Medically reviewed by Sophia Yen, MD, MPH – Written by Renceh Flojo
Having acne anywhere isn’t a pleasant experience. However, it can be the most discouraging when on your face, as this area is the most difficult to hide. Read on to learn more about why acne may appear on the chin and some simple steps that can be taken to reduce the severity.
What causes acne on the chin?
Acne is influenced by numerous health and lifestyle factors – where it’s located on the face may be an indicator of the specific cause. Face mapping, a technique that originates from ancient Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, links specific areas of the face to different health issues. It’s important to note, however, that this method is not backed by a significant amount of scientific theory and should be taken with a grain of salt.
Acne is typically caused by inflammation of glands as a result of built up sebum (oil), dead skin, and/or bacteria. When acne appears on the chin, it may be linked to a fluctuation in the hormone, androgen. This stimulates the production of sebum, which can lead to clogged pores.
What are dead skin cells?
Dead skin cells are the cells that the skin sheds in order to make room for new cells underneath. The process of shedding dead cells is a necessary component in maintaining clear skin. Generally, this is not noticeable, as the cells are very small and fall off naturally.
When dead skin cells do not shed on a regular basis, they collect in the pores, leading to acne. This provides the perfect breeding ground for bacteria already present on your skin to enter and cause inflammation. Furthermore, it is necessary to aid your skin’s natural renewal process to ensure that dead skin cells are shed. Washing your face with a gentle cleanser daily will not only remove dead cells, but also help maintain a healthy complexion. It’s a win win!
How do you get rid of acne on your chin?
Two ingredients that tend to be successful in clearing up acne on the chin are salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. These products help soak up excess oil and decrease bacterial growth. While they are highly effective, they may not work for all individuals. Furthermore, it’s always best practice to consult with a healthcare professional (ideally a dermatologist) prior to pursuing this form of treatment.
If you decide to try salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide, the following routine is a great place to start:
- Wash your face with mild cleanser and warm water
- Apply an ice pack to the irritated area for about 5 minutes to reduce redness and inflammation
- Apply a cream or ointment with benzoyl peroxide
- Avoid trying to pop your pimples (this typically leads to further irritation)
If your pimples don’t go away within a few days, you may need to try a different method. The following techniques are also recommended by dermatologists:
- Oral antibiotics = products taken by mouth to kill excess bacteria
- Tretinoin = ingredient that is stronger than salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide
- Laser therapy = beam of light used to break up scarring
- Extraction = sterile equipment that cleans out pores
- Chemical peels = chemical solution that is applied to the irritated skin
- Birth control pills = oral treatment that may reduce oil on the skin
Is chin acne a sign of your period?
The fluctuation of hormones that occurs during a menstrual cycle may lead to increased production of oil on the skin. This excess of oil may cause clogged pores and, thus, acne. Furthermore, while having acne on your chin doesn’t necessarily indicate that your period is coming, there could be a correlation between the two scenarios.
How to prevent chin acne?
Although acne is not something you can fully control, there are numerous lifestyle habits you can take up in order to reduce the likelihood of developing pimples on your chin.
Salicylic acid can be used to both prevent and reduce the severity of acne due to its ability to remove dead skin cells that tend to clog the pores. That being said, it works best on mild acne (i.e. whiteheads and blackheads), so you may need a stronger form of treatment if your acne is severe.
In some cases, birth control helps clear up the skin as a result of its hormone regulating properties. Additionally, the combination pill can be taken continuously to prevent your period altogether (no periods = no fluctuation in hormones). However, it should not be prescribed as the sole method for treating acne, but rather as a supplement to additional techniques.
Having a low-glycemic diet may decrease your risk of developing acne. Foods that contain a high glycemic index spike the blood sugar and cause inflammation throughout the body, which could lead to the appearance of acne. Furthermore, reducing your sugar intake by maintaining a balanced diet (i.e. meals with protein, carbs, and fat) may have a positive impact on your skin.
Sun exposure can damage your skin by breaking down the natural barrier, thereby drying it out. The increased dryness then causes the body to compensate by producing more oil on the skin. Therefore, wearing sunscreen will help prevent this chain of events by protecting the skin from UV-rays. It’s important to note that oil-free sunscreen is the ideal option, as it’s less likely to clog pores.
Keep your hands away from your face
When you touch your face, bacteria on your hands gets transferred to the skin. This may cause new or aggravate existing acne. While it’s nearly impossible to stop touching your face altogether, making it less of a habit may be beneficial for the sake of your skin.
Wash your sheets regularly
Your sheets (bed spread, comforter, and pillowcase) can be a source of bacteria, dead skin, and oil. By washing your sheets regularly, you can decrease your likelihood of developing acne as a result of irritants getting transferred to your face.
What’s the takeaway?
If you try the methods listed above and don’t notice any improvements to your skin, consult a doctor, as you may require a stronger form of treatment. Either way, know that having acne is a normal part of life and nothing to be ashamed of!
How can Pandia Health help
Speaking of acne treatment, taking hormonal birth control is one way to help get your acne under control (especially breakouts that occur around the time of your period). As the ONLY women-led, doctor-led birth control delivery service, Pandia Health is here to help. If you live in AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, IL, MI, NV, PA, TN, WA, and WY, schedule an online consultation with one of our expert doctors – they can help you find a birth control method that best suits your lifestyle. *Note we only prescribe the pill, patch, and ring. We also deliver the pill to patients in all 50 states. Sign up today!
Frequently Asked Questions
How to get rid of chin acne overnight?
While you may not be able to get rid of your acne overnight, there are some methods that may reduce the severity in a short period of time:
- Washing your face with gentle, unscented cleanser
- Applying cream or gel that contains benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid
- Holding ice directly over the irritated area
- Using a warm compress
How to get rid of acne scars on the chin?
Microneedling and chemical peels are often implemented to remove acne scarring. While these techniques are highly effective, they may be too harsh for individuals with sensitive skin. Furthermore, it’s always best practice to consult a healthcare professional prior to having this treatment done.
How to get rid of cystic acne on the chin?
Cystic acne appears as large, red breakouts. It’s the most serious type of acne, as it is caused by cysts that form underneath the skin. If you experience cystic acne, your doctor may recommend the following:
- Oral antibiotics
- Birth control pills
- Benzoyl peroxide
Here are some home remedies that may help as well:
- Wash your face at least once a day (especially after you sweat)
- Use gentle products (i.e. unscented soap and oil-free sunscreen)
- Avoid touching or picking the cysts
- Stay out of the sun
- Alleviate unnecessary stress
- Maintain a balanced diet