No matter what you do, you’re probably going to deal with acne at some point. On your face, back, neck, wherever—it shows up at the most inopportune times. One weird place you might notice some pimples: your breasts. Yep, we’re talking about boob acne. It might throw you for a loop at first, because who knew breast acne was even a thing? If you’ve dealt with it, too, you’re likely wondering how to treat breast acne—and how on earth you even got it in the first place. Hear, hear, sister.
Breast acne pops up in an, er, unusual spot, but it actually isn’t any different than acne you’d find on your face or higher on your chest (the dreaded “chestne”). So if you’re dealing with breakouts elsewhere, you shouldn’t be surprised if you wake up to find a zit or two on your ta-tas. Fabulous, right? Don’t fret. It’s easily taken care of.
These are the five reasons you’re getting boob acne, and they might surprise you.
1You have big boobs
According to Livestrong, “women with large breasts are more susceptible to breast acne than women with small breasts,” which makes sense, because the bigger your breasts are, the greater chance for chafing and rubbing against fabric or accumulating sweat. No need to resent your big, beautiful boobs, though. Just make sure you’re always wearing a clean bra and it fits you perfectly. The less uncomfortable friction, the less chance for zits.
2You’re working out a lot
While it’s great that you’re on your fitness grind, excessive sweat on your chest paired with a tight sports bra is a perfect breeding ground for your sebaceous glands to hit overdrive, leaving you to battle more than just annoying bench hogs in the gym. Cue the boob acne.
We’re not suggesting you give up working out to minimize the chances of breaking out, but taking off your sports bra ASAP and using a gentle acne cleanser immediately after you finish your sweat sesh should help. Unfortunately, this means heading right to brunch after your cardio class probably isn’t the best idea.
But since the skin on your breasts is more sensitive than the skin on your face, your normal acne cleanser might be too harsh for your décolletage. Make sure you’re gentle with your ladies, and use a gentle, non-comedogenic cleanser.
Additionally, even if you don’t work out regularly, tight bras and tops can irritate your skin, causing chafing and irritation that leads to pimples. So make sure you’re wearing the kind of bra that perfectly fits your tits.
3Your hair gets in the way
Another unexpected cause of breast acne: your hair. If you’re rocking long mermaid locks that happen to graze your breasts, you could be unknowingly transferring oils or product buildup to your ta-tas. Weird, but easily fixed by keeping your hair away from your chest as much as you can.
4You’re using irritating products
Any products that you use on your chest can irritate your skin and cause breakouts. This includes everything from sunscreen, to body moisturizer, to body makeup. The more you pack on the products, the more likely you are to see some pimples on your breasts. Be sure to use oil-free, non-comedogenic products so you don’t clog your pores.
5You’re sweating a lot
As the temperatures warm up, you may find yourself dealing with night sweats, which can absolutely cause you to break out on your breasts. Be sure to sleep in breathable fabrics, and wash your sheets and pillow regularly to avoid the buildup of grime from night sweats.
Basically, anything that causes acne on your face can cause acne on your breasts. Everything from hormonal changes, to medications, to excessive stress and genetics can cause you to break out, so if tit zits are really driving you crazy, consult your dermatologist.