Although acne treatments are usually discussed for areas like the nose and chin, acne doesn’t just develop on the face. If you’re more prone to acne from risk factors such as hormones or oily skin, you may develop blemishes anywhere on your body — including your chest.

Acne develops when your pores get clogged. Pores exist around your entire body, and your chest is no exception. If you have acne-prone skin, you might see the following types of acne on your chest:

  • blackheads
  • cysts
  • pimples
  • pustules
  • whiteheads

Though chest acne isn’t always as visible as pimples on your face, it can be quite a nuisance. Here are eight ways you can fight chest acne before pimples develop or help clear a breakout after pimples have formed.

1. Try a New Laundry Detergent
Washing your clothes is a must for keeping germs at bay, but if you have oily skin, it can also help prevent acne. However, laundry detergent can sometimes have the opposite effect by causing acne.

This can happen from certain types of detergents that tend to irritate the skin. These include products with fragrances and dyes. When you wear a shirt that’s been washed with allergenic detergents, you could put your chest area and other parts of your body at risk for a breakout.

Look for laundry detergents labeled as “hypoallergenic.” All and Seventh Generation create these types of products.

2. Maintain Post Workout Hygiene
Those yoga mats at yoga class or the weights at the gym—they contain bacteria in plenty. Think of it like this—everyone’s palms are sweaty and multiple people are going to be using the same mat/weight in a day. This doesn’t just mean you need to wash your hands. It also means that you cannot let sweat settle on your skin. When you allow that, it means you’re allowing sweat to get trapped into your pores—something that might eventually take the form of chest acne. So make sure you shower and wash yourself thoroughly after a workout.

3. Use an Exfoliating Body Wash
Dead cells often clog pores and lead to pimples. So just like you scrub your face twice a week, make sure you use an exfoliating body wash daily—one that sloughs off dead skin and impurities so no dirt or grime settles on your skin to cause pimples. Try the St Ives – Smoothing Apricot Body Wash that’s made with 100% natural moisturisers and exfoliants. It’s hypoallergenic and suits all skin types. The apricot in it scrubs away dull skin and leaves your skin smooth and healthy. Make sure you use this daily while showering to stay away from chest acne.

4. Use a Cooling Lotion
One of the best ways to keep chest acne at bay is to ensure that your skin care products don’t feel greasy on the skin. What if we told you that you could actually include a body lotion in your skin care routine that’s not only non-greasy but also soothing on your angsty skin? We suggest you go for the Vaseline Intensive Care Aloe Soothe Body Lotion. This one has a non-sticky formula that contains pure aloe, stratys-3 multi-layer moisture, which deeply moisturises the skin without making the skin feel greasy.

5. Wear Breathable Fabrics
If you’re wearing extremely fitted clothing, that could very well be the culprit behind your chest acne. Wear breathable fabrics that won’t hug your skin and won’t aggravate your chest acne. If you’ve been out in the sun and have been sweating, make sure you shower and get into something breathable just as you return home.

6. Stay Hydrated
Sometimes, acne also requires treatment from the inside. While there’s debate about whether certain foods cause acne, there’s no doubt that drinking water can help. Water not only keeps you hydrated, but it also helps flush out toxins.

You should drink eight glasses of water daily to reap these benefits. Over time, swapping sodas and other beverages for water may lead to an overall reduction in chest acne and an improved skin complexion.

If you’ve tried over-the-counter products and they just aren’t cutting it, it's time to chat with a dermatologist about trying stronger treatments, like a prescription retinoid or antibacterial gel, says Dr. Day. But don't feel like a derm is your last resort—a doctor should, in an ideal world, be your first line of defense. Acne may not be curable, but it is treatable, so get started on your clear-chest journey, now.