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Health & Fitness 5 Reasons Why You're Dealing with Chin Acne – and How to Deal

14:40  05 december  2022
14:40  05 december  2022 Source:   womenshealthmag.co.uk

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Facing a new wave of spots across your chin? You're not alone. If you're dealing with pesky chin pimples then know that acne, more generally, is on the rise.

Spots on your chin? Don't fret, WH tapped up a leading derm who reveals why it's happening and how you can tackle it. © stockfour - Getty Images Spots on your chin? Don't fret, WH tapped up a leading derm who reveals why it's happening and how you can tackle it.

A 2018 review of studies in the journal Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology reported a significant increase in adults dealing with the skin condition, while a 2015 study of 92 private dermatology clinics found a 200% spike in the number of adults looking to treat the condition.

There are lots of reasons as to why a fresh breakout can suddenly appear on the lower half of the face. Thankfully, there are lots of ways to treat them, too. WH enlisted the help of the leading dermatologists who can reveal the culprits and the cures for spots on your chin.

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Here's everything you need to know.

So, what causes chin acne?

'Acne, generally, affects over 80% of the population at some point in their lives. People who escape unscathed are incredibly fortunate. It is a medical condition that occurs due to the complex interaction of genetics, hormones, bacteria, oil production, and sticky skin cells,' reveals Dr Anjali Mahto, a consultant dermatologist and author of The Skincare Bible.

'About 20% of those who suffer from spots will go on to develop scarring. Acne is associated with mental health issues including low self-esteem, poor body image, social isolation, depression, and even suicide, she adds.

There are some common acne myths that remain pervasive, which Dr Mahto outlines below.

1. Acne is not due to infection

'There is bacterial involvement leading to inflammation in the skin, but this is not contagious,' says Dr Mahto.

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2. You can’t 'catch' acne

'Acne is not due to poor hygiene or not washing your face properly. If anything, many acne sufferers tend to over wash their skin in an attempt to remove surface oils,' adds Dr Mahto.

What causes spots on your chin, specifically?

'Spots that occur on any part of the face are largely down to hormonal and genetic changes,' says Dr Mahto.

'But women who have gotten acne after the age of 23 often do see it mostly on their chin, jawline and lower cheeks. This is what we called the "U-zone," rather than the traditional "T-zone," which tends to affect teenagers.'

So chin acne as a fully grown-up, pay cheque-collecting woman is very normal. But, why is it so typical in this region, as opposed to, say, your forehead? 'We don’t know why that is,' says Dr Mahto. Gah. The good news is, we do understand more about why said hormonal and genetic wobbles do contribute.

Which hormones cause acne on your chin?

'You can identify hormonal acne by the type of flare-up you have', says Dr Jonquille Chantrey, an aesthetic doctor.

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'It usually occurs in the form of cystic chin acne (large, red sore bumps) or comedones (whitehead bumps that never break the surface) and is caused by increased oil production beneath the skin.

There is normally a healthy flow of oil to the surface of your skin to keep it lubricated. But when there’s too much oil, it can combine with other debris on the surface of your skin and clog your pores.

'The chin is also an area that is easy for people to touch all the time, for example using our hands to lean on a desk can add dirt and spread oil and sebum. This is a habit that should be discouraged, and obviously, any acne should be left well alone and not squeezed', adds Dr Chantrey.

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Do any foods cause chin acne?

Newsflash, the link between diet and acne is weak.

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'For a small select group, reducing sugar or dairy may be of benefit but this is unlikely to help everyone. Food restriction to try and control acne can potentially lead to disordered eating patterns. (Also, for the record, eating “healthily” or following a vegan or gluten-free diet does not protect against acne development),' says Dr Mahto.

'For a small group of people that will be sensitive to dairy, and for them, it might be worthwhile to limit the amount of cow's milk, cheese and yoghurt that they have,' says Dr Mahto.

'But you’ll have to make sure that you have other good sources of calcium and vitamin D.'

5 reasons you're getting spots on your chin

1. Your chin acne is because of... your period

'A lot of spots on your chin tend to be in the second half of your cycle, or premenstrually – just before your period is due,' says Dr Mahto.

'This is because the first half of your cycle is oestrogen-heavy, and then the second half, from day 14 to day 28, is progesterone-heavy. At this point, your body is also producing more testosterone, meaning that you have a greater ratio of this versus your female hormones, before your period.'

She explains that testosterone increases the size and activity of your oil glands. Bigger oil glands = more blocked pores. Blocked pores = plenty of space for bacteria to get involved and to create deeper spots.

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2. Your chin acne is because of... bad sleep

According to a recent study, the risk of psychological stress increases by 14% for every hour of sleep you lose a night, which can lead to abnormalities in skin structure and function. Another factor connecting sleep deprivation to acne is increased insulin resistance. This is because insulin resistance can increase glucose (or sugar) – one of the major causes of acne.

If that wasn't enough, less kip means that your body is less able to reduce stress hormone levels (cortisol) in your body.

When you don't get enough sleep, your skin will look dull, won't be plump and fresh and, what's more, cortisol plays a role in sebum production – so you will be more prone to skin flare-ups. So put on your PJs and go to bed; your skin will be grateful in the morning.

3. Your chin acne is because... you came off the Pill

The hormones present in combination birth-control pills can combat acne because they decrease circulating androgens, which in turn decreases the production of sebum. But, once you come off the pill, those hormones come back into play, which can lead to an overproduction of sebum.

4. Your chin acne is because... You're stressed

'An increase in cortisol, the inflammatory stress hormone, can lead to excessive oil production and cause spots', adds Dr Chantrey.

5. Your chin acne is because... of your scarf

Think about it, if you're wrapping the same piece of thick material around your neck then your breath and warm, moist air circulating behind it has nowhere to go. Skin oils and perspiration are also trapped, providing the perfect environment for bacteria sitting on your skin to thrive, leading to blocked pores and spots across the chin. And when the warmer weather arrives, this will only exacerbate the problem.

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So, what about how to get rid of chin acne?

First things first, wash your face morning and night with a gentle cleanser to remove excess oil and grime from your skin. Look for ingredients like:

  • salicylic acid ('this is key in terms of treating acne because it will actually break down the oil in the pore,' says Dr Mahto)
  • glycolic acid
  • benzoyl peroxide

These all help to break down the bonds between dead skin cells, eliminating them from the surface of your skin and dissolving excess oil without disrupting your skin’s pH balance.

Another good product to try is retinol. 'We often think of retinoids for their anti-ageing properties but they are actually really good at unblocking pores as well – so they do have acne-fighting benefits,' elaborates Dr Mahto.

If over-the-counter acne remedies don’t work, see a dermatologist for prescription-strength acne treatment, such as

  • antibiotics
  • benzoyl peroxide
  • cream or oral retinoids

As to sorting out reddish or brown spots that appear on your skin, when your chin acne has healed? Dr Mahto recommends using alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), like glycolic and lactic, to help fade them fade as well.

And do any foods get rid of spots on your chin?

Sorry, but there is no magic diet that will nix your chin acne. Why? Dr Mahto says that these spots are, largely, a direct result of your hormones and your genetics, as opposed to your current 4pm snack of choice.

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These are the ones you can really rely onI know this both because skin experts have told me that's the case, and because I have suffered from acne for years and years—so I've paid attention.

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