Neck & Chin Acne
The National Institutes of Health characterizes acne as a skin disease that results in papules, pustules and other blemishes. Often referred to as pimples or zits, these acne lesions are actually an inflammatory response to an obstruction within the hair follicle. When they surface on the neck or chin, standard acne treatments should help improve your complexion.
The papules, pustules and other blemishes associated with acne develop when dead skin, excess oil and bacteria build up within the pores of your skin. Epithelial cells and sebum can form a soft plug, creating an obstruction within the pore and causing the walls of your hair follicle to bulge, according to the Mayo Clinic. This inflammation produces a comedone or papule on the surface of the skin. Bacteria can then infect the lesion, leading to a pustule, which is basically a papule that's filled with pus. Deeper blockages can elicit more severe forms of acne, such as nodules or cysts.
Acne lesions on the neck or chin are similar to blemishes that surface on other areas of your body. They often appear as raised, red bumps that are tender to the touch. Some may crop up with white tips, while others may seem more like lumps under the surface of the skin. The depth of the obstruction influences the severity of inflammation and size of the lesion.
Self-Care of Chin Acne
Acne on the chin typically responds to standard self-care methods. Washing the affected are with a gentle cleanser twice a day and then applying an over-the-counter acne cream can help clear up the lesions. The American Academy of Dermatology suggests using creams containing benzoyl peroxide, azelaic acid, salicylic acid or aluminum chloride. However, the Mayo Clinic adds sulfur, resorcinol and lactic acid to the list of beneficial ingredients. This method can also help to prevent additional lesions from forming.
Self-Care of Neck Acne
Neck acne may be more difficult to treat, especially when it develops on the back of the neck, advises Acne.org. This area of the skin is thicker than other locations on the body, so you may need to include an additional step in your treatment plan. Much like with chin acne, using a gentle cleanser and over-the-counter acne cream helps, but following with a topical cream containing 10 percent alpha hydroxy should speed up recovery.
Moderate-to-severe acne on the neck and chin may not respond to self-care measures. In this situation, talk to your doctor or dermatologist about a prescription treatment. Topical creams containing tretinoin, adapalene or tazarotene, which are all retinoids, can reduce obstructions causing the acne lesions, explains the American Academy of Dermatology. This helps reduce inflammation and clear the complexions. Retinoids are also combined with antibiotics to improve their efficacy.
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