Chin Acne: Why You Get It and What To Do If You Get It
A new pimple on your chin is not one of the nice things to wake up to. It’s also not part of the notorious T-zone where most pimples appear due to the increased oiliness of that region. Interestingly enough, the people who experience chin acne are likely older, more mature women who have gone through puberty already. You are more likely to experience chin acne from the ages of 23 and above, than if you are a teenager. The chin forms part of the area known as the U-zone, which consists of the chin, jawline, and lower cheeks. If you are a woman above 23 and still experience acne, it will likely be in these areas that pimples flare-up instead of the T-zone.
Causes of Chin Acne
So what causes chin acne? Are there factors that predispose someone to chin acne, and why are grown women more likely to experience acne in this area compared to other parts of the face? There isn’t a clear reason why older women tend to experience acne in this area, but there are definitely reasons why you might have acne particularly on the chin.
The first reason is genetics and hormones. If your parents have a history of acne, you are more likely to experience acne because it might be genetic. On the other hand, hormones are also a big culprit in causing acne. You can very easily identify what is a hormonal flare-up compared to pimples caused by dirt. A hormonal flare-up occurs in the form of cystic acne (swollen, red, bumps) or in less severe cases, whitehead bumps that occur under the surface of the skin. These types of acne are caused by the overproduction of oil underneath the skin. A note on oil, it isn’t a bad thing because oil is what keeps your skin lubricated and prevents dryness. However, an excess of oil combined with dirt and dead skin buildup can result in the clogging of pores and hence acne.
This all sounds like normal acne but how does this relate to the chin in particular? The chin is an area that tends to be touched a lot more. We have daily habits that include rubbing our chin and resting it on desks or on our hands. These encourage the spread of oil and sebum and hence increase the likelihood of acne forming.
There are also many other reasons as to how and what hormones are causing the acne flare-ups on your chin. Firstly, your menstrual cycle could be the reason why acne is popping up on your chin. The week or few days before you begin menstruating is usually when acne formation is the most prevalent. It all has to do with the change in the type and amount of hormones being produced during the menstrual cycle. From day 1 to 14, more estrogen is being produced, while in the second half of the cycle, it is heavier in progesterone. The body is simultaneously producing more testosterone too, meaning there is a lower ratio of female hormones at this stage of the cycle. It is testosterone that increases the size and activity of the oil-producing glands, the sebaceous glands. Increased size of oil glands naturally leads to increased clogging, and hence more opportunity for acne to form.
Another reason could be sleep deprivation. Not getting enough sleep can lead to increased resistance to insulin. Insulin is the hormone that metabolizes carbohydrates and glucose. Glucose is a common cause for acne, so naturally, if you are lacking in the hormone that breaks it down you will likely experience more acne. In a similar vein, stress is another cause of hormonal acne. Cortisol, the stress hormone, is inflammatory and when you are stressed the release of this hormone can lead to excessive spots and acne.
The final reason for hormonal acne on the chin could be birth control pills. If you previously were on the pill and got off it, chances are you will experience a general increase in acne. Birth control pills keep acne at bay by decreasing the circulation of androgen, and in turn sebum production. When you stop taking the pill, the balance gets thrown off and might lead to an overproduction of sebum, leading to more acne.
How to Deal with Chin Acne
So now we know the causes of chin acne, the next step is to learn how to deal with it. While you can’t prevent acne because it is caused by natural hormone processes, you can certainly take steps to reduce the possibility of it happening too frequently. Here are some ways that will help combat chin acne:
- Wash your face at least once a day
Keep your skin clean and free of excess oil by washing your face twice a day. But also don’t overwash your face though, as the skin does need a little bit of natural oil. Overwashing might actually backfire as the sebaceous glands produce even more oil to compensate for the drying out effect that overwashing might have.
- Try AHAs (Alpha-hydroxy acids) or BHAs (Beta-hydroxy acids)
Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) like glycolic acids and lactic acids are very efficient chemical exfoliants that have the added benefit of helping to fade scars by removing the top layer of dead skin cells. There are also beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) like salicylic acid which causes a chemical disintegration of the skin’s top layer of cells which unblock the pores.
- Incorporate a retinoid into your routine
Retinoids have recently become quite popular in the skincare world, and rightfully so as they are one of the best methods for tackling skin imperfections. A retinoid is a vitamin A-based formula that induces an accelerated exfoliation. You’ll have to be patient with retinoids though, as they take anywhere between 8-12 weeks to show effect. Retinoids can be very strong, and you should only use them at night as the sun causes it to be inactive. Retinoids should be used in gradual increments. Start off using it once or twice a week and pay attention to whether your skin gets red and itchy. Once you have gotten used to the strength, you can use it more frequently or move up the retinoid strength.
- See a dermatologist
Still unable to contain your chin acne with over-the-counter measures? The most effective action you can take is to schedule a visit to a dermatologist. Your dermatologist will be able to diagnose your skin problems and give medicine and products specifically targeted to combat those issues. This will save you lots of time and money testing out skincare products without a guarantee that they will work. A dermatologist is basically a skin doctor after all!
Combating acne might seem like a frustrating problem, but it’s not impossible! It is definitely worth the maintenance effort for clear skin. Preventing acne on your chin is not difficult, but it will take some time and effort to find the right methods that work for you!