Pimples on the Breast
Pimples, known as acne, occur when hair follicles become clogged with oils called sebum, which is made naturally by the body. In a 2007 study published by American Academy of Dermatology, or AAD, dermatologists from the University of Alabama found that among adults, women experience acne more often than men. In an article about the study, "Science Daily" reported that women continue breaking out past their teen years, well into their 50s and beyond.
What is Acne
Acne appears when the hair follicle becomes clogged with oil or dirt. In your teens, when sebaceous glands are first activated, sebum could for the most part be to blame for breakouts on your face, back, chest and trunk, which includes your breasts. But as you age, you could be hit with hormonal acne, which would appear before or after menstruation and menopause. Acne can be caused by hormone-therapy and prescription medications.
Sweat is an inadvertent culprit in breakouts. While sweat alone does not cause acne, the toxins that sweat flushes out of your skin could clog pores. But more likely than sweat, according to the AAD, the friction caused by tight clothing, exercise machines, or other objects that rub against your skin like a yoga mat, could cause you to break out on your chest.
Additionally, women with large breasts risk breaking out from the friction of skin on skin. So be sure to wear a supportive bra. Avoid sports bras because they don’t breathe well and prevent moisture from evaporating.
The Hormone Help Center in New York reports that it’s not unusual for a woman with acne to have a hormonal imbalance. Polycystic ovary syndrome is a common hormonal disorder and acne happens to be one of its most typical features.
Treating Hormonal Acne
For hormonal acne, Dr. Geoffrey Redmond, director of the Hormone Help Center, suggests that hormonal treatments can block androgens on the oil glands. Getting hormonal treatments will require blood tests and oral medications. Dr. Redmond suggests seeing your gynecologist or an endocrinologist for hormonal acne treatment.
The AAD reports that medications used to treat this type of acne include oral contraceptives, spironolactone and hormone replacement therapy. These medications work by preventing cells from absorbing acne-causing hormones, such as androgens. They also help minimize hormonal fluctuations, another cause of breakouts.
A Common Problem
If you get acne on your breasts, you’re not alone. The Beauty Brains, a website founded by cosmetic scientists, suggests that before seeing a doctor or specialist, be sure to give an acne-busting regimen a try.
Washing your skin with soap and water can minimize sebum production for about four hours. Salicylic acid works by preventing pores from clogging. Benzoyl peroxide helps kill the bacteria that cause breakouts. Note, however, when you use benzoyl peroxide, especially on your chest, it can bleach clothing.
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