Acne affects around 50 million Americans annually, and 85% of them (between the ages of 12 and 24) develop minor acne (1). Though you can break out on any part of your face, chin acne and breakouts along the jawline are common. And it is associated with your hormone levels (2).
This article explores the causes of acne or pimple on your chin, how to treat them, skin care, and diet tips to minimize chin acne. Scroll down.
In This Article
What Does Acne (Or Pimple) On Your Chin Mean?
If you are aware of the acne face map, you know that the distribution of acne lesions is regulated by several factors, depending on where you get them. Usually, acne on your chin and jawline is related to your hormone levels (2).
The endocrine system is responsible for producing hormones. When it produces excess of androgens (a group of hormones), the sebaceous glands become overactive, which causes acne.
Also, during your menstrual cycle, the hormone production in your body increases. Your hormone levels also go haywire when you take progestin-only birth control pills.
A pimple or acne on the chin is very common. However, not all pimples on the chin turn into cystic acne, which is a severe kind of acne.
You get pimples when the dead skin cells, sebum, and dirt clog your pores. Often, bacteria get trapped in the pores, causing inflammation and redness. When the amount of inflammation and the number of bacteria increases, a smaller acne lesion may become cystic acne on the chin.
Several factors may cause hormonal fluctuations in your body, leading to chin acne.
What Are The Causes Of Chin Acne?
1. Contraceptive Pills
Birth control pills can help in treating acne. The hormones present in the pills decrease the androgen levels in your body, which, in turn, reduce sebum production and control acne.
However, once you stop taking the pills, your androgen levels spike up, and this causes excess sebum production. If you have stopped taking the pill recently and experienced a few breakouts, you know who the culprit is.
2. Psychological Stress
Are you stressed? If yes, you are at risk of developing acne. Stress increases sebum production and exacerbates acne (3). Sleep deprivation can also increase psychological stress and insulin resistance (4). Both these factors can cause acne.
Try to bring your stress levels down. Practice meditation, exercise, or indulge in an activity that interests you. Also, improve your sleep patterns if you are sleeping for less than 5 hours every day. This may help control your acne.
You may notice pimples popping up on your chin just two weeks before your periods are due. This is when the production of estrogen and progesterone increases (to prepare the uterus for pregnancy). The increased hormone levels in your body stimulate the sebaceous glands and cause excess oil production.
However, not all bumps that you get on your chin are acne. Sometimes, you may develop multiple small pus-filled bumps on your face and chin. These look red, just like pimples, but they could be due to rosacea. This is often accompanied by reddening of the skin around the lesions.
If you are sure that it is acne and want to get rid of it, you can try a few treatment options. But, remember, not all treatment methods work for everyone. If you have mild acne, these treatment methods will help reduce their appearance. However, if you have severe acne, it is better to consult a dermatologist.
Treatment For Chin Acne
1. How To Get Rid Of Chin Acne Or Chin Pimple At Home
- Wash Your Face With A Mild Cleanser
Go for soap-free cleansers and the ones containing ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and glycolic acid. These ingredients help break down dead skin cells and dissolve excess sebum from your face without affecting the pH balance of your skin (5).
- Apply Ice On the Area
Wrap ice cubes in a cloth and apply it on the spot for a few minutes (not more than 5 minutes). This helps reduce inflammation, pain, and redness. Also, remember not to apply too much pressure.
- Try Over-The-Counter Products
OTC products, such as creams containing benzoyl peroxide (2.5-10%), help reduce inflammation and redness (6).
Avoid touching or popping acne because it will only intensify the infection. If your acne is stubborn and doesn’t seem to budge, you will need to consult a dermatologist. They may recommend the following treatment options to reduce inflammation and pain.
2. Additional Treatment Methods To Try
- Topical Ointments
The dermatologist may prescribe topical creams and ointments containing salicylic acid, retinoids, and benzoyl peroxide and oral antibiotics. These ointments clear the bacteria, reduce excess oil production, and unclog your skin pores.
If you have severe acne, the doctor may also prescribe Accutane or Isotretinoin (7). However, they will prescribe this option only if all other treatment methods fail.
- Chemical Peels
Chemical peels often help to reduce the appearance of acne, pimples, and acne scars (8). They are usually performed by a doctor or a qualified skin care specialist.
- Laser And Light Therapy
LED light therapy is one of the most popular non-invasive treatment options for acne (9). It helps to kill the acne-causing bacteria and reduce inflammation. The FDA has approved using blue light treatments for mild to moderate acne. Laser therapy is also used for treating mild to moderate acne (pimples, whiteheads, and blackheads).
- Surgical Extraction
If the cyst or nodule is large and painful, you may need to undergo surgical extraction. A doctor performs this procedure in clinical settings.
You also need to develop good skin care habits to prevent chin acne or chin pimple. Here are a few tips you need to follow.
How To Prevent Chin Acne Or Pimples: Essential Skin Care Tips
1. Don’t Wash Your Face Too Often
Washing your face twice a day with a mild cleanser is fine. Too much washing and cleansing can irritate your skin and worsen the acne.
2. Avoid Using Scrubs and Harsh Cleansers
Avoid scrubbing too much as it can cause flare-ups and worsen your condition.
3. Avoid Picking the Acne or Pimple
This will aggravate the inflammation and may even cause post-acne blemishes
4. Avoid Drying Out Your Skin
Excessive oil production is an issue, but dryness can also aggravate acne. If you are using alcohol-based cleansers and astringent lotions and toners, don’t forget to moisturize your skin.
5. Remove All Trace Of Makeup
You shouldn’t use makeup if you have acne. If you are applying makeup, try using non-comedogenic products. Make sure to remove all traces of makeup before you go to sleep.
It is not only physical, psychological, and skin care related factors that contribute to acne, but your lifestyle and dietary habits also have a lot to do with your breakouts.
Can Changing Your Diet Help Control Chin Acne?
Though there are no studies to prove that diet causes acne, there are many reasons to believe that it can influence acne (10).
During puberty, your body produces a hormone called the Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 or IGF-1. As per a study, IGF-1 stimulates the sebaceous glands, causing excess sebum production and acne (11). Several foods also increase the levels of IGF-1 in your body.
According to a study, foods that are most likely to increase IGF-1 in your body are:
- Dairy products
- Food with high Glycemic Index (GI) and Glycemic Load (GL) (12).
Usually, processed foods tend to have high GI and GL levels. The American Diabetes Association suggests a list of foods with a high GI (13):
- White bread or bagel
- White rice and other rice items, such as rice-based pasta
- Corn flakes
- Puffed rice
- Instant oatmeal and other instant cereals
- Pretzels, snack items such as rice cakes and popcorn
- A few fruits and veggies such as pineapple, melons, potatoes, and pumpkin
- Dairy products such as ice cream, milk, yogurt, and cheese
According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, avoiding foods with high GI is one of the best ways to prevent acne and pimples (14).
On the other hand, several foods with low GI can help improve acne. They include:
- Soybeans and soy products
- Green leafy veggies, such as spinach and kale
- Pastured eggs
- Fish, such as salmon, sardines, and mackerel
- Flax seeds and mustard seeds
- Wild rice
- Nuts, such as almonds and walnuts
- Navy beans
- Beef (grass-fed)
Also, avoid switching to new products and trying out new treatments frequently because they will irritate your skin. If you are undergoing acne treatment or have started following a regimen, give it at least a month to work.
When treating chin acne, always stick to the treatment plan for at least a few months. You must be patient and let the treatment or skin care regimen for at least a month. Switching products frequently and trying new treatments and remedies can irritate the skin and aggravate chin acne.
You may follow the tips discussed in the article and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Consult a doctor to understand the underlying causes of chin acne and use the prescribed medications. This will help you manage the breakouts effectively and prevent flare-ups.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is chin acne a sign of pregnancy?
Pregnant women may develop chin acne during the first trimester due to increased hormone levels. However, developing chin acne doesn’t mean you are pregnant!
- Skin Conditions by the numbers, American Academy of Dermatology.
- Hormonal treatment of acne vulgaris: an update, Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Study of psychological stress, sebum production and acne vulgaris in adolescents. Acta dermato-venereologica, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Association between Sleep Duration and Perceived Stress: Salaried Worker in Circumstances of High Workload, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Over-the-counter Acne Treatments, The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Clinical efficacy and safety of benzoyl peroxide for acne vulgaris: Comparison between Japanese and Western patients, The Journal of Dermatology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- The use of isotretinoin in acne, Dermato Endocrinology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Chemical peels in active acne and acne scars. Clinics in Dermatology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Light therapy in the treatment of acne vulgaris. Dermatologic Surgery, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- The Relation of Diet and Acne, Dermato Endocrinology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Diet and Dermatology, The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Significance of diet in treated and untreated acne vulgaris,” Advances in Dermatology and Allergology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Glycemic Index and Diabetes, American Diabetes Association.
- Can The Right Diet Get Rid Of Acne? American Academy of Dermatology Association.