Why Do You Get Chin Acne? How To Deal With It

Reviewed By Registered Dietitian Dr. Hari Hara Sudhan, MD, Dermatologist
by Ramona Sinha

Around 50 million Americans are affected by acne annually and 85% of them (between the ages of 12 and 24 years) experience minor acne (1).

It seems impossible to breeze through our lives without developing acne. You can get acne anywhere on your face. However, chin acne is related to hormone levels (2). Several other factors regulate breakouts on the chin. In this article, we have discussed everything you need to know about chin acne and how you can treat it.

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.

3. Menstruation

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.

  • Accutane

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
or scarring.

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
  • Pumpkin
  • 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.

Be patient and follow the directions diligently, and you will start noticing a difference in just four weeks. Chin acne or chin pimples are a result of underlying factors, and you need to work with your doctor to manage them effectively.

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!

14 sources

Stylecraze has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

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Ramona Sinha

Ramona is a journalist-turned-content writer. She holds a Master’s degree in English Literature and has been writing for the digital world for over five years. She specializes in writing for Skin Care. She has done a certificate course titled ‘Dermatology: Trip To The Skin’, offered by Novosibirsk State University. She believes that beauty begins with a good skin care regimen and is on a mission to eliminate all toxins from her routine. She helps and guides readers in selecting products and ingredients specific to their skin type/issue. When Ramona is not working, her books and passion for music, good food, and traveling keep her busy.
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