Acne on Chin: Hormonal, Cystic, Meaning and Cures

Why do I have chin acne or what does it mean? How do I get rid of these zits now that they keep on appearing under my chin area and sometimes on my neck, and jawline? We discuss the whole issue including their causes like the hormonal cases as well as painful, itchy ones and much more.

Why do you have acne?

Acne tends to occur “when dirt, excess oil, and dead skin cells mingle and plug the openings of your pores” [womenshealthmag.com]. This gives the bacteria that live in your oil glands a favorable environment to increase and cause pimples or acne breakouts.

 

This problem affects people of all ages, especially those aged from 15-35 years and the breakouts tend to affect various part of human beings especially the face. This problem can affect adults and children with some age sets such as teenagers more vulnerable as well as expectant women or those with hormonal imbalances.

Meaning

What does acne on chin mean? It is normal to wonder. If you did not know, there is a link between the place where pimples affect an individual and possible causes or what it could be telling the affected person. This practice of linking the part of your body affected and the possible meaning is popular among the Chinese physicians.

For instance, according to Dr. Wang Zheng Hu, a Chinese physician, “the location of acne spots on your face can give you an indication of their underlying cause” [skinacea.com]. Therefore it means that breakouts on right or left cheeks, chin, forehead, lips, jawline, nose, around eyes, on your hairline, between your eyebrows, near your neck, etc. do mean something.

The first possible explanation or meaning is that you either have food allergies or a poor diet. People who have food allergies or do not get a balanced diet have been noted to suffer from pimples in this area. This is due to the fact they are have been associated with small intestines problems, especially to those that related to diet and food allergies.

Secondly, a hormonal imbalance could be the cause if you have breakouts during and/or around the time of your menstrual cycle, menopause, pregnancy or puberty among other stages. For instance, you will tend to have pimples around this area just before your periods (a few days) and they will begin disappearing after your menstrual flow is over.

Finally, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, (PCOS), hypothalamic amenorrhea (HA), nervousness, taking too much coffee, alcohol or having little sleep have also been associated with pimples on this part of your face  Ensure you have enough sleep, do not go to bed immediately after eating, exercise and have your hormones checked.

When also on jawlines, and sides of chin

If you have them in this areas, it could indicate all things we have mentioned on already in addition to lymphatic system drainage problems.

When you have a problem with your lymphatic drainage system, elimination of the toxins from your body is hampered. This could cause acne under chin sides and jaw

This, therefore, call you to ensure you have a good diet (with lots of fiber, fruits, and vegetables), don’t eat and jump to your bed immediately, have adequate sleep (at least 7-8 hours), keep good hygiene, try taking spearmint tea, get omega 3 fatty acids supplements, check your lip and mouth care products, reduce stress levels, try massaging your body and go for hormonal checkup.

in adults?

Some grown-up men and women tend to battle with acne, including the ones that affect their chin areas. If you doubt this, “research from the University of Pennsylvania has found that low-grade, persistent acne is common among women in their twenties, thirties, and forties [womenshealthmag.com].

Of course, the causes in adults are obvious, some of which have already mentioned and others we will also discuss more while looking at causes. The most common causes in adults revolve around their diets, stress and hormonal changes. Unlike teenagers, adults will tend to have breakouts on their neck and jawline too. Rarely are their cheeks or forehead affected with zits or pimples.

In children and babies

Although not many cases are reported as in the case of adolescents, this problem can also affect children. To be specific, this problem is known as baby acne, i.e. “small white pimples, usually on the cheeks and sometimes on the forehead, the chin, and even the back of a newborn” [babycenter.com].

It is normal for the skin around the pimples to be reddish. Furthermore, it can affect children who are as young as 2 weeks of age. Some parents have reported instance during teething as well as in younger or much older infants. If your child has baby acne it does not mean he or she will later have the problems.

For preteens, zits breakouts are normal including in this area. Proper hygiene and seeing a dermatologist is the best ways to deal with baby chin acne since they can be confused with conditions such as keratosis Polaris that can also affect children.

When on chin and neck

If you have it in this area, it could be an indication for PCOS which affects your lower face including your “cheeks, jawline, chin, and upper neck” [webmd.com]. Any other cause can also cause them on the neck. Generally, if you often get breakouts on your neck, it is a sign that your body might be battling with a bacterial infection.

Causes

As already mentioned, a pimple comes by when “a pore in your skin gets clogged, usually with dead skin cells. Sometimes bacteria get trapped inside the pore, too, causing the area to become red and swollen” [webmd.com]. There are many things that could be behind or cause them. While looking at what causes, we are going to mention general causes and go to a few specific cases where we will discuss them in details.  You already know a few causes from what we have covered so far.  So, what are the reasons for pimples or zits on the chin?

1. Hormonal imbalance

One of the main causes is hormonal imbalances which tend to affect people at different stages of their lives especially during puberty (for both genders), ovulation, menopause, pregnancy or menstrual cycle (for women). Lifestyle and diet can also cause them. When the cause of these zits is hormonal imbalance, you will end up with what is at times referred to as ‘hormonal chin acne’. We will discuss it in details afterward.

2. The poor lymphatic drainage system

As already mentioned, poor lymphatic drainage can cause these zits as the body cannot get rid of the toxins. Accumulation of these toxins that often occurs in the areas around your jaws can cause acne on your chin, jaws and neck areas.

3. Stress

It has been observed that acne breakouts worsen with stress and anxiety. The exact connection might not be known but since sebum producing cells have stress receptor, there must be some sort of connection between stress and these breakouts. Due to the fact that sebum, dirt, skin cells and bacteria is what actually causes pimples or zits, it is practical to assume that the two are connected. You are likely to have acne on sides or around your chin if you lead a stressful lifestyle. In terms of severity, it will range from mild to very severe depending on your stress levels. Normal stress such as career, family or social life is enough to cause pimples.

4. Makeup use

Lip balms, lipsticks, and glosses might contain some ingredients that encourage breakouts

5. Poor personal hygiene

Personal hygiene can worsen zits or spread from one area to another. Some of the common practices that can cause this problem include:

  • Letting dirty cellphones touch this area, especially if you love holding your cell phone with your chin and neck so as to do other tasks. Your skin oils, “as well as acne-causing bacteria, build up along with any bacteria already on your mobile” [everydayhealth.com] to cause breakouts on this areas
  • Similarly dirty musical instruments played by mouth can cause this problem if they come in contact with your chin.
  • Touching this area, face or neck with dirty hands can spread the dirt, bacteria, and oils.
  • Use of makeup on this area can clog pores

6. Other causes

There are many other causes  which we might not have mentioned that include:

  • When you stop using contraceptives, you might have acne in case it is caused by hormonal changes.
  • Too much sweating can cause clogged skin pores and thus encourage breakouts.
  • Poor diet such as foods with high Glycemic Index (GI) as well as foods that are inflammatory
  • Smoking tends to increase breakouts especially blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples.

Note: Infections such as cold sores, discoid lupus erythematous, wart, rosacea, facial ringworms, abscess, actinic keratosis, insect bites, boils, moles, melanoma, perioral dermatitis, among many other conditions can also affect your chin causing pimple-like infections. Ensure you see a dermatologist in case you doubt if it is actually pimple

Painful, itchy cystic chin acne

Whereas some people’s cases might not be painful or itchy, others suffer from very painful acne on chin that can also be very itchy at times. If you suffer from “large, red, and painful breakouts deep in your skin, it could mean you’ve developed something called cystic acne” [webmd.com]. This can affect you anywhere on your body.

This breakout happens when a pimple is so deep and forms a tender red bump that is filled with pus. Since this cystic type can be troublesome, we will exclusively discuss more on them when will be looking at cystic acne chin. This will ensure you have a better grasp on how to dealing with them.

Causes, they are more or less the same as general causes which have already covered especially hormonal imbalance. It is worthwhile to note that this itchy acne on chin line can be on your chin only or also be on the jaw (jawline), neck, forehead, cheeks or any other part of your body. As a precaution, most people who have these cystic cysts are likely to end up with scars especially if they try to squeeze or pop them.

Dealing with painful and itchy pimples

If you they are itchy and painful, you can try the following home remedies to treat, soothe and reduce any future breakouts.

  • Take lots of vitamins including niacin, vitamin E as well as therapeutic zinc
  • Apply fenugreek leaves paste and leave it there overnight
  • Apply pounded orange pills paste and wash it off after it has dried
  • Try applying lemon juice (has acidic properties) to reduce spread, reduce pimple size and help in drying it out.
  • Apply grated cucumber
  • Run raw sliced garlic on affected area

Ensure you follow some of the chin acne treatments we are going later in this article.

Hormonal

Various stages of life that are accompanied by a lot of hormonal changes that tend to create a hormonal imbalance that might trigger this problem. They could during pregnancy, ovulation, childbirth, PMT, menopause, breastfeeding etc. have been associated with hormonal imbalances. Furthermore, lifestyle behaviors such as stress and diet can also cause hormonal fluctuations and consequently zits.

When it’s hormonal, you will have acne breakouts around your mouth, on your chin, side of your chin, along with your chin line and your jawlines. They can also be below your nose, on your cheeks, buttocks, back, shoulders, and/or any other part of your body that has testosterone receptors. They tend to be cystic in nature (big in size, inflamed or itchy, painful, and reddish (for Caucasians) and pus-filled) and take longer to heal. Expect to have scars when they begin healing. However, you could also have smaller lesions that are not as painful. Its rare for them to be accompanied by a lot of whitehead or blackheads but in few cases, you can have whiteheads that do not break your skin surface.

a). What actually happens?

When you have a hormonal imbalance, cortisol, a stress hormone goes up. When this hormone is broken down, it forms androgen male hormones (especially testosterone as most prominent DHEA-S) that will encourage more sebum to be produced in your sebaceous glands. Of course, when too much oil is produced, it has to go somewhere i.e. come out as an acne breakout.

b). Effects of high testosterone levels

We have mentioned testosterone as a male hormone. It is good to understand its effect on your body. Having high testosterone hormone tends to encourage a lot of acne breakout in various parts of the body. To verify this, women who suffer from PCOS tend to be victims of zits because they have high testosterone levels in their bodies. Similarly, men on steroids will have hormonal caused breakouts around their mouth regions for the same reasons. This is perhaps a proof that hormonal chin acne in men is also reality. Finally, for women who have pimples during ovulation, the cause is testosterone since its levels are highest at ovulation. I guess you can now see that testosterone can actually cause breakouts.

c). High DHEA-S

Other than testosterone, DHEA-S is also another common androgen hormone that causes the production of oil in adrenal glands. This is the main cause of acne on chin that results from stress. Stress will either encourage DHEA-S production or reduce the production normal feminine sex hormones such as estrogen or progesterone. Estrogen is particularly important in reducing breakouts. Furthermore, it has been noted that DHEA-S tend to rise when women are under stress, have hypothalamic amenorrhea or Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) Axis dysregulation.

d). Impact of estrogen

In a woman’s body, estrogen is what offsets male hormones, especially testosterone and it is also “most potent anti-acne molecules in the female body” This “occurs because estrogen increases levels of sex-hormone-binding-globulin (SHBG), which in turn binds testosterone” [paleoforwomen.com] A week to menstruation, levels of estrogen usually drop compared to progesterone and this can cause breakouts for some ladies. Of course, the skin has estrogen receptors and they help in ensuring your skin is smooth and free of acne. Finally, hypothalamic amenorrhea (HA) is a period characterized by low body fats, stress, excess exercising and diets that are restrictive.  During this period estrogen levels go low. This is why women with this condition can have hormonal pimples. Similarly, HA is the “primary reason women in menopause can see a re-emergence of hormonal acne after decades of clear skin” [paleoforwomen.com].

e). Impact of progesterone

High levels of progesterone are known to cause hormonal acne including under the chin since it acts as an inflammatory agent when its levels are so high. Progesterone levels highest during the menstrual cycle and thus some women experience breakouts a few days before or during menstruation.

f). Other causes

Other causes that can lead to hormonal induced cases include:

  • Stress – reduces production of estrogen while increases DHEA-S which will not necessarily cause pimples but worsen it and slow down healing.
  • Heat – heat causes sweating that can clog your skin pores and it is an inflammatory
  • UV rays – they inflame your skin
  • Low thyroid – hampers quick healing process
  • Little sleep – This affects the production of the healthy hormones that ensures quick healing of hormonal zits.

g). Hormonal acne on chin  and diet

Some foods such as dairy, grains, omega 6 and nuts can cause inflammation and consequently pimples.

  • Dairy products – they are inflammatory agents, contain some hormones including progesterone that might promote breakouts.
  • Phytoestrogens – soy, flax, and nuts tend to have plant estrogen that lower normal estrogen levels on your skin tissues.

How to stop, prevent get rid of hormonal acne on chin

If you have this issue, it is important that you do not irritate them since that will make them bigger, red, and more painful. You need to try the good ways of clearing  them including those on jawline that include:

  1. First,  you can try the various birth control pills. These pills will ensure your hormones are brought back to balance. Most of these pills will take about 3 months to give some results.
  2. The second treatment is spironolactone (hormone blocker) prescription. Spironolactone works very effectively for women than men since in men it is a testosterone blocker. Furthermore, women who are pregnant should not take spironolactone.

Note that if you are certain that the cause of your the acne is hormonal related, do not go for the various topical creams, lotions, and gels since they might not be of much help. Furthermore, trying to control oil on your skin might not be important since they are not related to the amount of sebum (skin oil) i.e. they are caused by hormones.

How to get rid of them- treatments & Remedies

This section is going to dwell much on how to get rid of chin acne where some of the good treatments and home remedies will also be covered. You will also learn some important ways on how you can prevent them since prevention is always better than cure. It is a fact that we have already covered a few ways to deal with this problem which should not be ignored.

Furthermore, when you notice this problem, it is advisable you take early measures to deal with them because early treatment can produce quick and better results and reduce scarring chances.

1. Birth control and hormone therapies

Some birth control medications can help women in regulating sex hormones and thereby deal with this problem. Go for birth control pills with progesterone and estrogen such as Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Estrostep, and Yaz which have all approved by FDA. They will be very helpful for women who produce too much of the male hormones. Furthermore, if you suffer from hormonal ones, try hormone replacement therapy to see if they can reduce the problem.

2. Oral antibiotics

If you suffer from itchy, painful pimple type, you can try oral antibiotics. They will help in reducing inflammation as well as control bacteria, being one of the causes. However, ensure you first get a prescription before you can buy any oral antibiotics.

3. Non prescribed and prescription creams, gels, lotions

Some of the non-prescribed and prescribed (in case you need prescription strengths) creams, gels and lotions can be good for treating this problem. Generally, go for those that have retinoid (vitamin A form) since they can unclog your pores and ensure any antibiotics you are using will work well. Tazorac, Differin, or Retin-A are a few brands to give a try. Also, for non-prescribed, go for products that have “sulfur and sodium sulfacetamide; and products that combine antimicrobial medications such as clindamycin with benzoyl peroxide” [livestrong.com] Another product to try is Aczone. “Aczone—an anti-acne, anti-inflammatory gel that’s great for those with sensitive or aging skin” [womenshealthmag.com]. Furthermore, it is good to apply “a product containing the plant extract willow bark (a derivative of salicylic acid) and antioxidants (like vitamin C) twice a day to fade marks and boost cell turnover” [womenshealthmag.com].

Other good face care products to try include:

The product you use can either affect or help reduce zits on your chin. For instance, facial care products with salicylic acid as well as benzoyl peroxide might be helpful. When looking for face care products:

  • StriVectin-EV Get Even Spot Repair
  • Kate Somerville’s Anti BAC Clearing Face Lotion that has 5% benzoyl peroxide which is helpful.
  • Skinceuticals CE Ferulic has ferulic acid (antioxidants), vitamins E and C. It will also stimulate production of collagen, and stop damaging effects of sunlight (UV rays)
  • Sunday Riley Good Genes Treatment. It will make your skin smoother and improve skin textures being a hydrating serum with un-neutralized lactic acid
  • Neutrogena All-in-1 Acne Control Daily Scrub is a good cleanser that has beta hydroxyl acid will be good for your morning shower.
  • RoC Multi Correxion Night Treatment (retinol cream that will help unclog your pores).
  • La Roche-Posay Effaclar K Daily Renovating Acne Treatment (2-5% salicylic acid)
  • Try Olay Professional Pro-X Clear UV Moisturizer SPF 15 to ensure a pimple fighting agents you are using do not leave your skin vulnerable to UV rays. Remember UV rays is inflammatory.

Finally, do not use an anti-acne wash, lotion, and anti-aging creams at the same time as they might dry your skin.  It is advisable to seek an opinion of a dermatologist first. Some ingredients in face care products such as cocoa butter, petrolatum, or shea butter cause breakouts since they clog pores and they should be avoided.

4. Anti-acne pills and medications

There are various medications which can work effectively in dealing with pimples problem as a whole. Medications such as Isotretinoin are known to help if you take a pill daily or two. Results are expected after about 5 months. It clears the problem permanently. However, if it recurs, you can use this medication again.

5. Eat a healthy diet

A great way to get rid of pimples on the chin in checking your diet, i.e. always go for diet for acne prone skin. Ensure you always eat a balanced diet that has a lot of fiber especially fruits and green leafy vegetables.

Also, avoid high glycemic diets (have much sugar) and ensure you drink a lot of water. You also need to reduce consumption of acidic foods, quit smoking and drinking alcohol. A reason for low glycemic foods is that high glycemic index foods such as cakes, white bread increase blood sugar level and encourage breakouts i.e. “stay away from sugar, dairy, and bread” [glamour.com] as well as fermented foods, yeast, wines, etc. Instead, go for whole grains. Chocolate affects some people according to University of Miami Miller School of Medicine research that showed “who consumed six ounces of 100 percent pure cocoa daily got breakouts in a week” [womenshealthmag.com]. Detoxify if you have any digestion problems or your acne is caused by food and diet. Furthermore, drink herbal tea brands since they do aid digestion.

6. Stress management

Try relaxation and managing your stress. Various stress management therapies including massages can be helpful too. In addition, yoga, meditation, music, writing and seeing a professional for help is important.

7. Adequate rest and exercise

Adequate rest and exercise are two important healthy living routines you should adopt if you want to both get rid and prevent chin breakouts. Exercising will reduce cortisol level while your body produces endorphins that will calm you.

8. Keep proper personal hygiene

Ensure you always clean your skin well to reduce the buildup of sebum that might clog your skin pores. Sebum buildup tends to trap bacteria and encourage breakout. Furthermore, ensure you frequently exfoliate your skin to get rid of any dead skin whose accumulation can cause acne when working with other factors. Other routine personal hygiene practices you should embrace include:

  • Wash your face only twice (when you wake up and go to bed) with an alcohol-free soap. More times only if your face is dirty due to what you might have been doing i.e. “Wash your face twice — and only twice — every day, in the morning and at night” [livestrong.com].
  • Regularly wipe your cell phone with cleansers you use to cleaning your TV screens and computers or go for a hand free option.
  • If you have a partner with oily skin, stop sharing pillows and ask them to use oil-free hair products and non-comedogenic skin products to avoid pimple-causing agents from reaching your skin.
  • Use soft water since hard water tends to clog pores. To get soft water buy Jonathan Product Beauty Water Shower Purification System to help filter your water as well as balance its pH.
  • Avoid touching your chin with dirty hands since it will spread the oil, dirt, and bacteria.
  • Try Origins Zero Oil Deep Pore Cleanser (salicylic acid based cleanser)

9. Do not pop them

Do not pop your pimples as squeezing and picking them. If you have pimples in this area, it is very important that you do not pop them since this will worsen the breakout, cause scars or even an infection.

10. Others ways 

Which are the other ways to get rid of or deal with this problem?

  • Massage and relaxing your abdomen is important in case you have issues with your small intestines that might be the cause.
  • Check your toothpaste and lip makeup to ensure they do not encourage the breakouts. According to Dr. Schweiger, “ingredients such as fluoride and sodium lauryl sulfate may cause irritation and produce pimples” [everydayhealth.com]
  • Avoid touching or resting your hands on your chin to reduce reinfection cases
  • Avoid using blunt razor blades  when shaving as it can cause irritation, redness and as well as acne keloidalis nuchae
  • Reduce pressure on your jawline especially if you want to avoid acne mechanica caused by exerting much pressure on your jawline i.e. “Football, bicyclist, fiddler, flautist, and other breakouts on the edges of the chin” [www.facingacne.com]

When to see a doctor or dermatologist

If you have tried all the above without much success for a duration several months, you can see your dermatologists for further advice.

Sources and references

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