Pimples on chin can be painful, deep and blind. Hormonal chin acne is a major cause of chin pimples and bumps. Stress, birth control and hormonal imbalance in women is also a reason for breakouts on chin, jawline, neck, cheeks and forehead. Here’s how to get rid of small, hard painful pimples and whitehead breakouts on chin with treatments and remedies.
Acne and pimples normally affect the face, neck area, back, chest and even shoulders. Most teenagers get pimples, but they can persist or disappear and occur at certain stages of life. Pimples during pregnancy, when ovulating and having periods (PMS) are common. These are associated with hormonal imbalance and changes in the body as you will learn under causes of chin pimples below.
Acne pimples on chin meaning
What do pimples on the chin mean? According to Chinese face mapping theories and Dr. Wang Zheng Hu, the “location of acne spots on your face can give you an indication of their underlying cause” in addition to telling the status of your general internal health.
In most cases, prominent white spots on the chin, or acne on the chin can mean hormonal problems and some gynecological issues. Kidney and liver problems have been found to have a notable relationship with chin breakouts. In addition, the bumps on the chin or under the chin can also mean you rest your hands on the face a lot.
It is common for people to get acne and pimple breakouts on the forehead, neck, around mouth, lips, chest, cheeks, jawline, chin line, under lip etc. The general causes may apply, other than those specified by Chinese medicine. Below are the causes of pimples around the chin area.
What causes pimples on the chin?
According to Proactiv, pimples start to appear about two weeks before they erupt into breakouts. Pimples and acne zits start when skin pores get clogged with excess sebum and dead skin cells. Within the plugged pores, bacterial activity causes the body’s immune system into action, causing small pus-filled bumps on the skin that are pimples.
Both males and females can get pimples on the face and around the chin. The causes are basically the same, except for a few that may be unique to females than males, or people of different ages. Clogged skin pores, poor shaving, fatty diet, birth control and stress all cause pimples on the chin.
1. Hormonal acne from hormone imbalance
Hormonal pimples on the chin are caused by an imbalance in the body’s hormones at different stages of growth. During puberty, teenagers get breakouts around the face for the same reason. For women, menstrual periods (PMS), pregnancy and menopause cause an imbalance in hormones.
How are hormone changes related to acne around the chin? A rise in progesterone hormone before period stimulates the production of sebum or excess oil in the skin. At this time, the skin will plump up and the pores get compressed. The excess oil acts as food for bacteria on the skin. The result is increased breakouts and inflammation on the face, chin, jawline, breasts and around the mouth.
2. Chin breakouts after shaving (in men)
In men, shaving, waxing, and threading can result in razor burn and razor bumps. Bumps around the neck and chin (appearing as pimples on chin) are a result of poor shaving techniques. Commonly, the bumps around the jawline, neck and chin appear to be red. They are caused by irritation on the skin when shaving.
If you have thick hair, you are prone to getting razor bump breakouts on the face, jawline, and neck after shaving. This mostly occurs in men than in women. Noskinproblems.com identifies harsh shaving and aftershave products and tools as a cause of chin pimples and bumps as well.
3. Stress causes pimples in adults
Does stress cause breakouts around the face? Stress in itself does not cause acne on face. However, it triggers most of the causes in adults. Stress periods stimulate adrenal glands and in turn stimulate your sebaceous glands to produce more sebum or oil on the skin.
Pimple breakouts around the chin, forehead, jawline, and cheeks can be a sign of stress. These areas receive the worst inflammation whenever the body or mind undergoes stress conditions. Other than flare-ups on chin and face, sleeplessness, hair loss, and anxiety are some of the signs of stress in adults that may show alongside acne spots around the mouth.
4. Spots on the chin after stopping birth control pills
Birth control pills are usually used to help get rid of hormonal imbalance problems that cause pimples on the chin, sides of jaw and cheeks. It is common for some women who are on birth control to get acne breakouts on the chin after stopping the birth control pills.
Hormonal stabilization can take time before the whiteheads can go away. During this period, avoiding foods that cause acne cysts can help control the breakouts. Facial cleanses can also help unclog pores on the skin and prevent pimples.
5. Digestion problems and pimples
Chinese face mapping lists forehead pimples and chin pimples as a sign of digestive problems. It gets worse if your diet contains foods that cause acne, i.e. foods that are fatty or contain a high amount of fats.
According to Acne Einstein and Body Ecology, acne and gastrointestinal problems have strong connections. Acne patients have been found to show a “higher prevalence of gut problems.” Abdominal bloating, constipation, heartburn and intestinal inflammation patients are more likely to get acne on the forehead, jawline, chin, and sides of cheeks. That is according to a study that included 13000 adolescents.
6. Diet (foods) that cause acne pimples on the face
The one thing that could be the cause of a face full of pimples is diet or food allergies. But what foods can make you break out around the chin and mouth? Foods that make you have a high blood sugar level are more likely to cause acne flare-ups on the skin. In a 2007 study, teenage boys who ate a low glycemic content in their food “showed significant improvement in their breakouts than those who didn’t. The following are diets and foods that cause pimples around chin and face.
- Spicy foods such as those with red chilies
- Cheese and most dairy products
- Peanut butter
- French Fries
- Potato chips
In general, fatty foods and those laden with calories are not good for the health of your skin.
7. Chin pimple spots before period, ovulation and during pregnancy
Expert sources on pregnancy such as Pregnancy Center note that being pregnant in itself “can trigger acne or make existing adult acne worse.” During pregnancy, ovulation and before the period, there is a higher level of androgens in the body.
These hormones cause the enlargement of sebaceous glands, resulting in an increase in the amount of sebum produced around the face. Excess sebum and sweat is a precursor to acne and pimple breakouts on the face during pregnancy, before period and ovulation or mid-cycle.
8. Poor hygiene
Poor hygiene habits can also cause and worsen pimples on the chin and around the face. If you like touching your face, you are more likely to develop acne in areas you touch the most. Dirty cellphones touching the skin encourage bacteria that can contribute to pimples under the chin, on sides of cheeks and temples.
Toughing the chin area, neck and jawline can also cause acne to spread around this area. Hands pick up dirt and can spread bad bacteria on other parts of the body, including your face.
9. Excessive sweating after exercise
Why do I get chin pimples after exercise? Too much sweat on the skin due to climates that are hot and humid can cause pimples and bumps on the face. This is common in people with an oily skin and the type of acne associated by sweating is called pityrosporum folliculitis.
The reason for pimples on the chin from sweat is that the normal yeast on the skin can start to overgrow inside the pores. When temperatures go high during exercise and during summer, the yeast grows and feeds on the dirt and excess sweat on the skin, causing pimples, cysts, and zits.
10. Menopause acne
During menopause, hormone levels and balance change in women. The level of estrogen reduces will that of testosterone increases. This change comes with stimulated sebaceous glands that end up producing excess sebum.
An oily skin is prone to acne breakouts, blackheads and whiteheads. “Women in menopause are most likely to spot acne blemishes near their chin, jaw, and mouth, but pimples can also appear on the chest and back” according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
11. Poor lymphatic drainage causes pimples on chin and neck
Deep pimples or cystic pimples under chin and neck could be a sign of lymphatic drainage problems. Congestion in the lymphatic system due to poor drainage leaves your body with a load of toxins. These accumulate in the blood and skin.
- Signs include: “Acne and cystic acne along the jawline, near the ears, cheeks, and/or sides of the mouth and chin (this is where lymph vessels run close to the surface)” [TheLoveVitamin.com].
Lymphatic drainage problems result in pimple breakouts that occur in areas that are most affected, including the neck, jawline, cheeks etc. So, if you are getting the zits and pimples that won’t go away all of a sudden, you could be having this problem.
Other causes of pimples near the chin and mouth include the following:
- Kissing with makeup on. Makeup can clog pores and leave you with blemishes and breakouts.
- Genetic disposition or hereditary acne.
- Smoking regularly, which affects the health of your skin a lot.
- Herpes and HIV infections can cause white bumps on lips and around the mouth and chin.
- It is also possible to get pimple-like bumps under the chin from cold sores, rosacea, warts, ringworm infections, keratosis pilaris, moles and boils. See your doctor or dermatologist for proper diagnosis and treatment in case you think you have any of these conditions.
A painful pimple on the chin or cystic acne pimples
Painful breakouts with no head can be difficult to get rid of. They can be itchy and highly inflamed. Blind pimples from deep in the skin and can hurt when you touch them. Why are pimples on my chin painful and deep?
Cystic acne forms deeper in the skin. The inflammation occurs closer to the nerves. Whiteheads that appear close to the skin can be squeezed and removed, but cystic pimples and cystic acne can take a long time before the head can become visible.
- You can reduce the hurt from painful pimples using an ice pack. Place an ice pack on the pimple under your chin repeatedly at intervals of 5 minutes. This will reduce the pain from cystic pimples and acne.
Creams with salicylic acid, bentonite and zinc oxide can also help relieve the pain fast. They work by dissolving the debris and excess oil that clogs up pores. Getting rid of this plug reduces the inflammation.
Small hard pimples under the chin
Pimples can be small or big, tender and sometimes hard bumps. A small hard pimple under your chin or on the jaw can be acne, but not always. It is possible that the hard pimples around the chin are small fatty cysts, keratosis pilaris or other types of bumps.
Small pimples that are consistent on the chin can also be keratosis pilaris bumps. Keratosis pilaris “a benign condition which appears as numerous small, rough red or tan bumps primarily around hair follicles on the upper arms, legs, buttocks, chin, and sometimes cheeks.” [Lagunaskincenter.com]. It manifests like goosebumps on the chin. These are sometimes called chicken skin or small bumps on the chin.
How to Get Rid of Pimples on Chin Fast
Treatments and remedies alike can help you get rid of pimples on the chin. However, treating the cause is the first step towards eliminating the breakouts on the chin, jaw, neck and below lips. Hormonal acne and cystic pimples under the chin may require different methods of removal compared to normal breakouts. Below, we have discussed how to get rid of pimples on the chin naturally and with medical treatments.
1. Use topical acne creams, lotions, and gels
Both prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) creams can help get rid of chin pimples fast. Topical creams may however not be effective for acne vulgaris and cystic acne. Acne bumps on skin without open sores, also called comedones (or comedonal acne) can be treated using topical anti-acne creams.
- Creams containing salicylic acid e.g. Stridex and Propa pH can help reduce chin pimples.
- Triaz and Brevoxyl are benzoyl peroxide-based lotions that are said to remove the zits effectively too.
- Another common ingredient to look for when looking for a topical anti-acne gel is retinoids. Creams such as Tazorac and Differin contain Retin-A or tretinoin, which is known to treat acne pimples successfully.
Another commonly prescribed cream is Azelex, containing azelaic acid. Be careful when choosing a topical cream for relieving itchy acne on chin. Some of these creams can be too strong for a sensitive skin, especially those with tretinoin.
2. Antibiotic treatment for chin pimples
Antibiotics can be used topically or orally. Antibiotic medications for acne on the jawline, chin, and cheeks or face area are only used when bacteria are present. Infected pimples on the face can form small pus-filled cysts.
Inflamed pimples can be treated using oral antibiotics or topical options such as isotretinoin. For most of these, you will need a prescription from your doctor to be able to get some. However, you can also try OTC ones, mostly containing sulfur and sodium sulfacetamide. Some products with benzoyl peroxide and clindamycin can also help get rid of acne-causing bacteria.
3. Use tea tree oil remedy for pimples around the chin
Home remedies for acne can also be effective. Tea tree oil is one of the best, but should not be used on sensitive skin unless it is diluted. Tea tree oil has antiseptic properties and will help disinfect your pores and get rid of bacteria causing the inflammation. Here’s how to use tea tree oil to get rid of acne on chin, jawline and under the lip.
- Put a few drops of tea tree oil in a glass.
- Using a cotton swab, dab the oil on your chin, making sure the bumps are covered with it.
- Repeat this three times a day.
- Mix tea tree oil with aloe vera or water if it causes your skin to dry, feel irritated or become red.
4. Fuller’s earth face mask remedy
Fuller’s earth, also called Multani mitti, has long been used as a natural home remedy for oily skin. It reduces excess oil and opens up skin pores. This helps prevent pimples on the face, forehead, cheeks and even neck area. It can also help fade pimple marks fast and improve skin complexion. Here’s how to use this remedy.
- Gather your ingredients of sandalwood powder, rose water and fuller’s earth.
- Mix the three in equal proportions to make mud or paste of good thickness.
- Apply the mud to your face, including the chin area with pimples.
- Leave it on your face for about 30 minutes to dry up.
- Wash it off.
This natural home remedy for pimples can be applied once every week until the pimples clear.
5. Apply apple cider vinegar on your face
Apple cider vinegar kills bacteria that cause breakouts on the skin. It will also help balance the pH of your skin, making it difficult for bacteria to thrive on it, feed on sweat and excess sebum to cause pimples.
- Cleanse your face with clean water and pat it dry.
- Mix apple cider vinegar with water in a ratio of 1:3.
- Dip a cotton ball into the solution and apply it on the chin acne pimples or zits.
- Leave it on the face for about 10 minutes. You can also leave it overnight.
- Wash the face with clean water and pat dry.
- Repeat this home treatment several times a day.
- Apply moisturizer to hydrate your skin and prevent it from drying.
6. Use honey for breakouts on chin
Honey is used to remove pimples on the face. It can also help fade scars faster. Honey acts as a natural antibiotic as well as anti-inflammatory treatment. You can use it as a face mask and by consuming it directly in your diet.
- Put a little honey on your palm.
- Apply it to the acne and pimple breakouts using your fingers. You can apply it to the whole face.
- Leave it on for 30 minutes.
- Wash off the honey with lukewarm water.
- Repeat this remedy twice a day to get rid of pimples on chin fast.
7. Stress management to stop chin pimples
Stress can cause hormones to surge. As seen above, hormonal fluctuations can cause deep pimples on the face, jawline and under lips. Yoga, music and even massage therapies have been found to relieve stress. Here are more tips to help you manage and reduce stress and prevent whiteheads on chin.
- Identify the cause of your stress and start taking positive steps towards solving it.
- Keep a positive attitude all the time.
- Eat healthily. Eliminate foods that cause acne in your diet.
- Exercise regularly.
- Improve your time management skills to reduce stress from failures.
8. Do not pop deep pimples on jawline and chin
Picking, squeezing, scratching and trying to pop pimples on your face does not help in getting rid of them. Popping pimples leads to scarring, scabs on pimples, infections and can also spread pimples to other parts of your face.
Deep cystic or blind pimples are even worse. Trying to pop them can lead to swelling. They can also become very painful and cause discomfort.
9. Warm compress for blind acne pimples
Deep, blind pimples are always difficult to treat. The infection lies deeper in the skin and closer to nerve endings. If you squeeze one, you will end up with a painful, swollen bump on the chin. Here’s how to get rid of deep blind pimples (pimples with no head, and those that won’t pop) on jaw and chin using a warm compress.
- Make a warm or hot compress using a piece of wet cloth.
- Hold it right on top of the chin where there is a blind pimple for a few minutes.
- Keep putting it on the acne spot at intervals of a few minutes. Try to avoid burning yourself but keep it as hot as possible.
- Repeat this several times a day until the head of a pimple is drawn out and becomes visible, ready to be popped.
It is easy to treat acne vulgaris and blind pimples once you draw them to the surface. When deep, they remain itchy and painful and will take longer to heal.
10. Birth control therapy for hormonal chin acne
Birth control therapy is also called anti-androgen therapy (or sex hormone therapy). As we have already seen above, hormonal acne and pimples around the chin, face and jaws is triggered by hormonal imbalance. The common stages in life when women experience these breakouts include during menopause, PMS, ovulation, pregnancy and even when breastfeeding. Stress factors and your diet or lifestyle can also trigger hormonal acne on the chin.
- The common symptom of hormonal pimples and acne breakouts include spots and pimples around the mouth, chin line, back, shoulders, buttocks and even on the inner thighs. Most people get pimples on the nose, sides of cheeks and on the jaws.
- Hormonal pimples around the body tend to be inflammatory. The pimples (hormonal cystic pimples) are big, itchy or inflamed, painful and red.
- Typically, the pimples take long to heal and are generally stubborn to get rid of. It is normal for them to leave scars and pimple marks on the chin even after healing.
- Since they are itchy and painful, the blind pimples on chin can tempt you to scratch and pop. The result is further inflammation and swelling. Avoid trying to pop them or picking at them.
Increased testosterone causes breakouts under the chin
In stressful situations, your body produces more cortisol, which in turn increases the level of male hormones or testosterone to be precise. This makes the skin to increase its sebum production. In normal cases, sebum will make your skin glow, but on the bad side, it can also be excess and cause acne breakouts.
Both men and women can suffer from hormone-caused acne and pimple breakouts. Men who use steroid supplements to help in their muscle building increase the amount of testosterone in their bodies. This makes them more likely to suffer from frequent acne breakouts around the chin, jawline, neck, and face.
In women, the problem is prevalent in those with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). This is a hormone disorder suffered by women. It causes insensitivity to insulin.
- According to WebMD, “PCOS-related acne tends to flare in areas that are usually considered “hormonally sensitive,” especially the lower third of the face. This includes your cheeks, jawline, chin, and upper neck.”
Hormonal chin acne treatment
If zits on chin, jawline and lower face are caused by a hormonal condition such as PCOS, treatments such as anti-acne creams and retinoid creams or gels don’t work. Your dermatologist will recommend a hormonal therapy to get rid of pimples under chin won’t go away. There are two main hormonal therapy treatments for chin acne and pimples caused by hormonal imbalances: spironolactone and birth control pills.
Prescription spironolactone is a drug originally formulated to treat hypertension and fluid retention. It can also be administered to help stop hormonal pimples on the chin and face region. It is highly preferred for use in patients who smoke or have other risk factors that may make birth control therapies ineffective.
On the other hand, birth control pills are the most common type of hormonal therapy. These help raise the amount of estrogen and progesterone. Example pills that are approved by the FDA for treatment of stress pimples, pregnancy pimples, and acne before period include Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Yaz and Estrostep. It may take up to 3 months to start seeing results with birth control treatment for chin pimples.
11. Watch your diet
Acne management will depend a lot on what you include in your diet. A diet rich in fiber and leafy vegetables will help a lot in curing pimples on the face. Knowing the foods to avoid in your diet, especially if your skin is acne-prone, will help you manage the breakouts even better.
- Go for low glycemic foods in your diet. Processed wheat foods such as cakes and white bread have a high glycemic index and will cause acne breakouts on the chin and face area.
- According to Glamour, avoid dairy products, a lot of sugar and fermented foods.
- Chocolate is a bad choice of candy if you have chin pimple breakouts. Although there is little concrete evidence linking chocolate and acne spots as Prevention.com reports, it is important that you reduce dairy products in your diet.
- Another dietary cure for pimple spots on the chin is to reduce or exclude fatty foods in your diet. Such include French fries and fried potato crisps.
Remember that clear skin starts with your diet. To get a flawless skin, include legumes, whole grains, fruits and green leafy vegetables. Ingredients such as Vitamin A and E, mineral zinc and general antioxidants reduce inflammation and prevent acne pimples breaking out on your face as well. Eat more of pumpkin seeds, turkey, cashews, lentils, quinoa, beef and seafood such as oysters and crabs as well.
Sources and References
- Proactiv: What Causes Pimples & Acne
- WebMD: How Your Period Affects Acne
- WebMD: When Its More Than Acne
- No Skin Problems: Pimples After Shaving
- Body Ecology: Acne and Digestive Problems: The Skin-Gut Connection
- Activebeat: 10 Acne Trigger Foods: Avoid These Foods to Prevent Breakouts!
- Pregnancy Center: Acne during pregnancy
- Cynthia Bailey Skin Care: Can sweat cause pimples and acne?
- American Academy of Dermatology: Adult Acne
- Everyday Health: Menopause and Acne: Causes and Control
- Bona Fide Skin Care: Why Do Pimples Hurt?
- DermNet NZ: Anti-androgen therapy
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Hormonal Treatment of Acne in Women
- Healthline Networks: Anti-Acne Diet