Step-by-Step: How to Clear Chin Acne – Cystic Acne on the Chin

Acne on any part of the face can be annoying, uncomfortable, and embarrassing. Chin acne is no different. In many cases, breakouts around the jaw and on the chin will manifest as cystic acne rather than more traditional “nodular” zits.

Cystic chin acne occurs when an acne lesion fails to form a head. These are not the “white heads” you may be used to seeing. Cystic breakouts are larger, red bumps, and the head is beneath the surface of the skin. These can be very difficult to pop (which is actually a good thing, as popping a pimple can lead to permanent scarring). Cysts are much more likely to leave your chin scarred than a regular zit.

Unlike white heads, cysts can actually be quite painful. To top it all off, they usually leave behind a red mark when they clear up, and may result in hyperpigmentation.

With all of that in mind, it’s important to clear up these breakouts as soon as possible. Before beginning treatment, it’s important to understand some of the theories behind what causes chin acne. The specific cause of acne on the chin is hard to prove from a universal standpoint, but there are many indicator that point at hormones as the prime suspect.

Cystic Chin Acne & The Hormonal Factor

You may be plagued by chin acne, but did you know that acne on the chin (especially cystic acne) is often linked to hormones?

If you are female and happen to be on birth control, or have recently stopped birth control, this is the first place to look. Research your contraceptive and find out if it is progesterone or androgen dominant. A high level of progesterone often leads to chin acne breakouts. Talk to your doctor about switching to a contraceptive option that fights acne, such as those that are androgen based.

Of course, cystic and non-cystic chin acne can also appear on men. That doesn’t mean hormones don’t still play a factor. Acne bumps on chin areas are still usually cause by hormone levels. If your acne isn’t severe, you may want to stick to traditional treatment options – but if it is severe enough to qualify you for a medication such as Accutane, you should look into getting your blood hormone levels tested first. This applies to both males and females.

A doctor can do a simple blood test and check your primary hormone levels – specifically testosterone and estrogen. This is actually a good test to have done, since cystic chin acne can be a first sign of underlying issues. Off-balanced hormones can lead to a whole bunch of problems, so this is good to have checked if you ever suspect anything might be off. The good news is, if it is hormonal, then there are many treatment options that can clear up your acne.

Treating Chin Acne (Cystic or Non-Cystic)

Here’s a step-by-stop tutorial on how to clear chin cystic acne, as well as basic acne bumps on chin.


Cleanse the skin with a gentle scrub. Apply only the lightest possible pressure with your finger tips, and gently massage the scrub over your skin. This helps remove the top layer of dead skin, and better exposes your acne to topical medications.


Apply a liberal amount of 2.5% benzoyl peroxide cream. Neutrogena’s “On the Spot” acne cream can be purchased at most drugstores and super-markets (including Wal-Mart). Let your face dry for a few minutes after scrubbing, then apply as much of this product as your skin will soak up. You should be using a LOT of it for sufficient results.

Note: Please start slowly when using benzoyl peroxide for the first time. Your skin may take some time to adjust, and until then, may peel or turn red. Start slow and work your way up.

Gently rub the product into your skin for several minutes, until it is fully absorbed.


Benzoyl peroxide will dry out your skin, and as a result, your body will produce more oil to compensate. If you don’t adjust for this excess oil, your skin will further break out and your chin acne will get worse.

After the benzoyl peroxide has dried for several minutes, apply as much moisturizer as your skin will soak up. If it feels dry throughout the day, repeat this step.

Start out following this method once per day. After a week, move up to twice a day. Before you know it, your skin will be clearing up, and your chin acne will be a thing of the past. This method has proven to be highly-effective on the more stubborn chin cystic acne as well.

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