Chin Acne – Causes & Treatment

For girls, the chin is a prime target for big, painful pimples that continue to pop up again and again. They creep along your jawline and multiply seemingly over night. And the worst part is when people tell you they’re caused by hormones, because it means there’s nothing you can do. Or is there? Joshua Zeichner, MD, the director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Medical Center, is breaking down what makes this type of acne so resistant to our favorite spot treatments—and what you can do to ensure a clearer future for your face.

Causes of Chin Acne

Yes, you can blame hormones.
It’s no myth that they’re often what’s behind your worst pimples. “Women tend to break out on the lower third of the face, especially the jawline and chin, but the neck may also be involved,” says Dr. Zeichner. “This pattern, which I affectionately refer to as the ‘beard of acne,’ is a hormonally responsive area. Hormones stimulate oil production, which promote acne causing bacteria to grow and encourage pores to become clogged.”

Cure for Chine Acne

You can’t rely on oral antibiotics alone.
They can be a temporary solution, but this is a case where there’s no magic pill to banish breakouts forever. “Oral antibiotics directly kill acne-causing bacteria and can help reduce inflammation in the skin. They work while you are taking them and oftentimes for a few months after discontinuing, but the acne can recur. I rarely give out an oral antibiotic by itself—instead I have patients use a topical acne medication at the same time and continue to use the topicals as maintenance after discontinuing the oral antibiotic.”

Better Treatment for Chin Acne

Go for a one-two punch.
Don’t be afraid to use more than one product. “Combination therapyusing medicines that address as many factors that lead to acne as possibleis the best way to treat the skin. In terms of over-the-counter treatments, you can combine benzoyl peroxide with salicylic acid. Together, they kill acne causing bacteria, open pimples, promote exfoliation, and help remove oil.”

Last Option for Acne Removal

Still not better? Head to the derm.
Sometimes it takes a prescription-strength product to get the job done. “If your face is not improving after a few weeks, visit your dermatologist for a prescription. In terms of topicals, you may be instructed to use benzoyl peroxide (at an Rx strength), topical antibiotics, topical retinoids (like Tazorac, Differin, or Retin-A), or topical dapsone (like Aczone). They also may want you to try oral antibiotics, hormonal therapies, or, in severe cases, Isotretinoin.”

It seems like a lot to consider, but knowing that there’s help available is, well, a big help. Oh also? You’ll like the sound of this: “Acne is treatable, and we can prevent the development of permanent scars with early, appropriate action,” reassures Dr. Zeichner. Hormones have nothing on that.