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What Causes Pimples on the Chest?

Updated on May 1, 2016

Pimples on the Chest

Pimples on the Chest
Pimples on the Chest | Source

Causes of Pimples on the Chest

Pimples can be very embarrassing and painful at times, some of you have noticed pimples or acne appear on several parts of your body, thus ranging from areas like your face, chest, neck, shoulders and back. Any form of pimples and wherever it appears can really make one feel very uncomfortable coupled with the pains that pimples come along with in some cases the pains can be really severe.

We would be looking at pimples on the chest, what causes it, some symptoms of pimples and some facts about pimples. But before we dive into the above mentioned areas, let us first take a look at a brief definition of pimples or acne.

What is Pimple or Acne?

Pimple can be briefly defined as a small inflammation of the skin. The plural for pimple is pimples and they are also called spots or zits (Source: Medical News Today). Acne refers to the outbreak of pimples.

Are Pimples and Acne the Same?

Most people often get confused when the words acne and pimples have been used. Most people ask if pimples are different from acne. Well, the fact is that both acne and pimples have similar skin conditions and appearances, however, the difference between acne and pimples is that acne is the outbreak of pimples, so we can say that acne refers to severe pimples (Source: Perfect Skin Care for You).

How do Pimples or Acne Develop on the Skin (Chest)?

The occurrence or development of pimples or acne on the chest is as a result of oil glands called sebaceous glands (these glands are located at the base of hair follicles and secrete sebum, an oily substance) getting blocked and sometimes being infected resulting in damaged reddish spots filled with pus.

What Causes Pimples on the Chest?

After we have understood what pimple or acne means and how pimples develop on the skin for that matter the chest, let us look at what causes pimples or acne on the skin. According to research, the main reason why we often notice pimples on our chest cannot be pinpointed to one particular cause, however, some of the following activities have been identified to increase the development of pimples on the skin;

  1. Hormones; one major cause of pimples on the skin is hormones, an increase in hormones is very common with teenagers as they approach their teens, the production of hormones increases drastically, with both male and female humans producing more androgens which include testosterone. This testosterone makes the body to secret more sebum, thus more oily substances being produced. Excess oil blocks the hair follicles mainly the ones on the face, chest, neck and back. Comedones, which are blackheads or whiteheads, occur on the surface of the skin due to bacteria which grow in the blocked follicles (Source: WebMD).

  1. Leakage of Oil into Nearby Tissues (Pustule or Papule); these are formed on the skin surface as a result of oil leaking into tissues around occurring from a break in the hair follicles as a result of pressure from the blockages caused by excess oil (Source: WebMD).

  1. Oral Contraceptives; another cause of pimples or acne on the skin is the side effects resulting from the intake of oral contraceptives by women. For oral contraceptive causing pimples on the chest, it has varying effects on some women, as it tends to suppress the development of pimples in some women (Source: WebMD).

  1. Steroids; the intake of steroid by some bodybuilders have been identified to have correlations with some bodybuilders developing pimples on the chest (Source: WebMD).

  1. Dead Skin cells; Another identified cause of pimples is our own dead skin cells that remain on our skin as a result of them being stacked by sebum, resulting in blockage of the pores. This process can lead to pimples on the chest (Source: Medical News Today).

  1. Yeast Infections; there has also been research on the correlation between pimples and yeast infections, with emphasis on a group of yeast known as Malassezia which are notably responsible for causing pimples on the Chest and forehead (Source: Medical News Today).

  1. Dairy Products; according to research from New York University, the consumption of dairy products on regular basis has also been linked with the development of pimples on the chest on other parts of the body, such as the face and the back (Source: Medical News Today).

  1. Allergies; sometimes pimples can develop on your chest due to some allergic reactions to the pomade or perfumes that you use (Source: No Skin Problems).

  1. Deficiencies in Immune Systems; sometimes a deficiency in an individual’s immune system can make the person prone to pimples or acne on the chest (Source: No Skin Problems).

  1. Stress; another cause for pimples on the chest is stress. According to research there is a correlation between stress and pimples on the chest. Stress related pimples also occur at the back around your spine (Source: No Skin Problems).

Symptoms or Types of Pimples

There are different types of pimples that might occur on your chest, face, neck or back, with each type of pimple having its unique symptom or rather say shape. Below are some types of pimples (Source: Medical News Today);

  1. Whiteheads; these type of pimples are very tiny and are usually found beneath the skin and they appear as a small papules that have the colour similar to that of your skin. They are also known as Closed Comedo.

  1. Blackheads; these type of pimples are a little larger than the Whiteheads, and are usually black or darkish brown in colour, they can be easily noticed on the surface of the skin. It is also known as Open Comedo.

  1. Papules; they are usually pink in colour and are also small in size. They also rise from the skin surface and are very visible.

  1. Pustules; Pimples called Pustules are full of pus and have red base. They are also very visible on the skin surface.

  1. Nodules; these pimples are look like the Papules but the only difference is that they are much bigger and are more painful than the Papules.

  1. Cysts; they are also very visible on the skin and are also very painful. They contain a lot of pus and usually leave scars when healed.

Some Facts about Pimples or Acne

Most people believe that pimples on the chest are usually caused by poor personal hygiene, or dirt or even an individual’s inability to control his or her sex drive. But the fact about the matter is that pimples are mostly caused by hormones and heredity.

Also pimples or acne on the chest are not contagious, meaning that pimples cannot be transferred from one person to another.

Research has it that about 80% of adolescents develops pimples at some point in time, with a rise in development of pimples at the age of 17 years (Source: Medical News Today).

For severe pimples on the chest, it is always advisable to seek medical attention. Consult your doctor in time so that you can get rapid medical care before the condition worsens.


Whitehead | Source

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Pimples can be very painful and at some times very embarrassing to an individual. Pimples can of the chest can be caused by several factors, but the two main factors that lead to majority of acne cases are heredity and hormones.

Most adolescents suffer from acne at their adolescent stages, this id due to the increase in the production of hormones. The increased hormones production leads to the secretion of sebum, which is an oily substance produced by the oil glands on the skin.

Whenever you notice that the acne on your chest has become sever, it is advisable that you seek medical care as soon as possible to avoid complications.


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