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How to Get Rid of Chin Acne for Good

If you're suffering from chin acne, pesky hormones are probably to blame. Here's what you can do about it
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You're an adult. You can vote. You can legally drink alcohol. You can rent a car. You might even have children. And yet you have chin acne like some sort of teenager. What gives?

Well, if your acne is located on your chin, jawline or around your mouth, then you're not actually breaking out like a teenager at all — you're breaking out like the grown woman you are.

According to New York City dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD, the "goatee of acne" (an unattractive name he came up with for the equally unattractive condition of chin acne) primarily affects women over 25 — and it's common.

Fortunately, there are products and treatments that can get rid of chin acne. Heed our advice, and soon enough you'll be back to worrying about wrinkles like a grownup.

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Chin Acne: It's Hormonal
While dermatologists aren't completely sure what causes chin acne, they almost unanimously agree that it has to do with hormonal changes in women. "Some women break out all over the face, but I find in my practice that the chin tends to be the most common location in women over 25," says Zeichner.

When you change birth control, become pregnant, give birth or are having hormonal problems, you're more likely to experience breakouts around the chin and jaw, explains New York City dermatologist Rosemarie Ingelton, MD.

However, doctors don't know exactly why up-and-down hormones cause breakouts specifically in this area. But Zeichner hypothesizes that it has to do with these particular oil glands being more sensitive to hormonal fluctuations.

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What Chin Acne Looks Like
If you're reading this, you're probably all too familiar with what chin acne looks like. But if you're simply a curious skin care buff, here's the deal: We're not talking about traditional blackheads or whiteheads.

"Most commonly the pimples are red angry bumps, sometimes pus pimples and sometimes painful undergrounders that do not come to the surface," says Zeichner. "Blackheads and whiteheads do occur, but I find they are less common in this group of patients and in this location."

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When Chin Acne Isn't Really Chin Acne
If you're breaking out specifically around your mouth, you might be in luck — it might not be the dreaded "goatee of acne" after all. "It could be from your toothpaste or heavy lip products that are traveling onto your face," says Ingleton. "It may look like acne, but sometimes it's a form of dermatitis."

To determine whether your breakouts are hormonal or something else, you could go to a dermatologist ("we can tell just by looking at it," says Ingleton), or you can pay attention to your cycle. If you're only breaking out at certain times of the month, and if the acne tends to be focused more around your chin and jaw than your mouth, it's probably not dermatitis. Sorry.

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Managing Your Hormones and Chin Acne
The best way to get rid of chin acne is to address the causes, which we know are most likely hormonal. Talk to your doctor about switching your birth control method until you find something that makes your skin happy — it's different for every woman.

If you'd rather not take hormonal birth control, ask your doctor about spironolactone — both Zeichner and Ingleton often prescribe it for patients suffering from chin acne. The drug is primarily used to treat high blood pressure, but it's been used off-label for acne for years. It regulates androgen hormone levels and can keep your sebaceous glands from overproducing sebum, which — you guessed it — contribute to chin acne.

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