Having skin problems is typical for humans. Some even face it at a very young age, while most people have greater chances of being affected with the said type of disease when reaching a period in life called adolescence.
Skin acne is one of the most common skin problems that people face. Roughly 80% of people experience this type of skin problem.
Although anyone can obtain acne, people within the age group of 11-30 are more likely to acquire it.
During those early teenage years, acne usually lasts from 5 to ten years. Dealing with this type of skin problem is an issue for both sexes, but boys in their teens tend to have the most extreme cases.
While 92% of people that possess skin acne have it on the facial area, 60% of people may have back or chest acne.
Recognizing Different Kinds of Acne
- Non-inflammatory Acne
Comedones– a hair follicle clogged with dead skin cells and oil. Comedones can evolve into bumps that are known as whiteheads and blackheads.
Ø Blackheads– are comedones at the surface of the skin that are open. They are full of skin cells that are dead and excess oil.
Ø Whiteheads– are comedones that stay closed at the surface of the skin. This occurs when skin cells and oil stop a clogged hair follicle from opening.
- Inflammatory Acne
After whiteheads and/or blackheads get infected, the pore becomes inflamed and turns into a pimple. Pimples are known to be considered as another form of acne.
- Papules – occur when severe inflammation causes the walls around your pores to break down. This makes the pores become hard and clogged. The skin around the pores is normally pink in color.
- Pustules – like papules, pustules also form when the surrounding walls of your pores break down. Unlike papules, these pores are filled with pus. Pus being a thick yellowish liquid produced in an infected tissue, consisting of bacteria with tissue debris and serum, along with dead white blood cells. Usually red in color, these bumps emerge from the skin. They generally have white heads on top.
- Nodules – take place when swollen, clogged pores undergo continuous irritation and become larger. Nodules are located deeper underneath the skin, unlike pustules and papules.
- Cysts – usually develop when the combination of bacteria, dead skin cells, and sebum clog pores. The clogs are further below the surface of the skin than that of nodules. These bumps often appear with white and reddish color which is very painful when touched. Cysts are the biggest form of acne, and a severe infection often follows their formation. A cyst also has a very high rate of producing a scar.
Mild Acne – the kind of acne referred to if you have below 20 whiteheads or blackheads, below 15 bumps that are inflated, or below 30 lesions in total.
Moderate Acne – it will be considered a moderate case of acne when you have about 20-100 blackheads or whiteheads, 15-50 inflated bumps, or 30-125 lesions in total.
Severe Nodulocystic Acne – having acne that may turn purple or deep red states that you have severe acne. Having multiple inflamed cysts and nodules also indicates the severity of your acne. Experiencing severe acne also often leads to the appearance of scars.
5 Main Causes of Chest Acne
The factors that cause the sudden appearance of acne at the chest area are pretty much the same with the factors that cause the appearance of acne at the facial area. However, possessing acne at the chest area may be an indication that your acne is most likely a severe case.
- Hair follicles clogged by oil and dead skin cells
The chest and back area, like the face, has a large number of sebaceous glands present on the skin area which are microscopic exocrine glands that secrete an oily substance which is known as sebum. Sebum is known to waterproof and lubricate the skin area for humans.
The secretion mostly occurs at the facial and scalp area due to the fact that these areas have the greatest number of sebaceous glands compared to other parts of the body, such as the chest and back. Overactive sebaceous glands lead to the production of excess sebum which is one of the main causes of the development of acne.
The pubertal stage of one’s life leads to a very significant increase of the body’s production of hormones.
While each of these hormones has their respective effects on a human body undergoing puberty, an androgen is a type of a hormone that rapidly increases in both girls and boys during puberty that causes the sebaceous glands which are found under the skin, to enlarge and lead to a bigger production of sebum.
A type of androgen that is one of the main causes of acne is testosterone, a hormone that is more common with men.
There many physical changes that male adolescents experience during puberty, one of which causes the development of chest hair. Having chest hair means that your chest will also have sebaceous glands, hair follicles, and pores that may generate chest acne.
Women undergoing pregnancy, menstruation, and menopause also have an increase of hormonal activities that can affect the production of sebum by further increasing it.
Although some may think that testosterones are only produced in men, women also possess this type of hormone, they just don’t have the same amount of production with that of a man’s.
This means that having acne because of hormonal reasons is not exclusive for teenagers that are experiencing puberty.
Dehydration is a condition of our body that mostly occurs when a significant loss of bodily fluid exceeds the amount taken in, examples being excess tears, sweat, urination, and respiration. Having an illness may also lead to a heavy loss of fluids, such as continuous vomiting and diarrhea. Being dehydrated may cause a number of skin problems, a common example being skin acne.
The effect of dehydration causes the skin to become overly rough and dry causing it to peel off. Dead skin cells tend to increase in number due to the dryness, thus increasing the possibility of the clogging of skin pores. It also becomes worse with the addition of dirt and skin debris with the dead skin cells.
The sudden dryness will lead to the sebaceous glands to create excess oil. These glands are known for being responsible in the maintenance of our skin’s lubrication. The extra oil that is produced by the glands will most likely combine with the dirt and dead skin cells to block pores, hence making dehydration an indirect cause of creating skin acne.
Having a sweet tooth comes with its fair share of disadvantages, while most people only associate the frequent intake of sweets to dental problems, having a high sugar intake has a very important influence regarding the health of your skin.
For your body to use sugar, a hormone called insulin is produced by the pancreas.
Insulin prevents your blood sugar from either getting too low or too high; however, having high levels of insulin will massively increase your sebum production.
Carbohydrates we take will eventually turn into glucose, which causes an increase in insulin. IGF-1 is a hormone that is created from insulin. This hormone is responsible for the massive increase in the production of sebum.
Genetics may also lead to chest acne although it doesn’t get acne to be considered a genetic disease.
If both parents have acne, there is a high chance that their children will get acne too, due to other factors such as their hormonal qualities and even the characteristics of their skin.
Genes affect the sensitivity of your skin to different hormones. Some skin is considered to be “acne-prone”, this type of skin will is more likely to produce a larger amount of sebum, and have a faster rate of skin cell growth. Genes may also influence the effect that bacteria have by increasing the strength of its inflammatory reaction. With these factors provided by genes, it is shown that genes have an influence in the formation of acne.
Ways of Prevention and Treatment
The formation of skin acne may become very problematic to some individuals due to the various effects it can give a person suffering from it.
Due to the fact that most people that have skin acne are in the age group with that of high levels of hormones, it may cause them to have low-esteem, suffer depression and a lack confidence.
Fortunately, this condition has various ways of being prevented and treated.
Over-the-counter products are widely used to prevent mild cases of acne. Various skin products have anti-acne formulas present in them. There are no quick treatments for this condition. The healing process when these treatments are taken takes time as most skin conditions do.
Taking a bath daily is a given, it should still be noted in order for us to not overlook its importance. Cleansing your skin everyday helps get rid of the dead skin cells and rids our pores from dirt. Daily cleansing of the body may treat and also prevent the different types of acne.
Lower your sugar intake. As mentioned earlier, sugar also has an effect on the formation of acne, so having control of the amount of sugar you take will certainly lower the chances of the emergence of acne.
Always rehydrate after participating in tiring activities such as workouts, sports, and others to prevent dehydration.
Green tea cream, if used, lowers the sebum production of our skin. It may also block the androgen receptors and prevent further hormonal damage to the skin.
Hormonal therapies help with the excess production of testosterones and other androgens by controlling it.
Exfoliation is the act of removing dead skin cells on the top layer of skin
Use an exfoliating glove during baths with 2% salicylic acid to clean the affected area.
Lessen stressful activities. Stress also causes acne formations, so try living a healthy and stress-free lifestyle
Think About It
A healthy lifestyle leads to a healthy body. Chest acne is a common condition that most people face in their lifetime. Different levels of cases need their respective treatments. Having chest acne is a troublesome situation, even though it is easier to hide than facial acne, it still has the same characteristics and consequences.
In the simplest of ways, people can prevent the said condition by taking care of themselves and being aware of their surroundings and how it may affect their lives. So, no matter what part of the body acne affects, you should be aware about what causes it in order for you to prevent it before it happens, and treat it the right way in case it does.