Why You Get Chin Acne—And How to Clear It Up

Chin up! You don’t have to suffer from adult acne forever.

pimplethitipa suwanchasri/ShutterstockAs an adult, you have the privilege of voting, legally drinking alcohol, and renting a car. And yet, you’re still battling chin acne like a teenager. Actually, acne isn’t just for sullen teens. About 80 percent of youths and adults between the ages of 11 and 30 suffer acne outbreaks; there are even some people in their forties and fifties unlucky enough to see spots. Chin acne especially targets adults, but you don’t have to suffer.

What Does Chin Acne Mean?

According to Doris Day, a board-certified dermatologist who specializes in laser, cosmetic and surgical dermatology, chin breakouts are usually the result of a hormonal pattern. “Sometimes it’s women who stopped taking hormonal contraceptives, or it sometimes develops after the teen years as an adult form of acne.”

Day, who specializes in the area of cosmetic dermatology, recommends going to a dermatologist to gain a better understanding of your specific skin type, and how it reacts. “A variety of treatments can work, including hormonal contraceptives, aldactone, and topical medications such as benzoyl peroxide, topical or oral antibiotics, and retinoids,” she says. Meeting with an expert ensures you get the right meds for your skin—otherwise treatment can be a guessing game that leads to further irritation.

“There is much active research on acne, looking at possible food effects, hormonal imbalance, different types of bacteria, as well as treatments to help avoid flares and treat outbreaks,” says Day. One such study found acne to be a persistent problem for people of all ages, but women clearly seem to be the most affected due to hormone imbalances. Nutrition and diet can also play a role. Some research suggests essential fatty acids like omega-3 fish oils can help balance the skin oils and ease acne, while high-glycemic foods like white bread, potato chips, and sugary breakfast cereals can imbalance hormones and lead to more breakouts.

omega3R Szatkowski/ShutterstockAnother potential solution is probiotics, according to Whitney Bowe, a leading New York City dermatologist and specializing in skin rejuvenation, cutting edge laser therapies and nutritional dermatology. Similar to the way antibiotics can combat acne, probiotics can help fight harmful bugs from triggering inflammation. Bowe says that researchers are currently studying how healthy bacteria can be used topically on the skin or taken orally to benefit these skin conditions.

Another helpful tip? Work out! “Try to break a sweat a few times a week to reduce cortisol levels,” Bowe suggests. Heightened cortisol levels can trigger an inflammatory response in the body that can aggravate pores and encourage acne.

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