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
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
"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
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
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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