Black Bumps on the Chest

Woman in a dress looks in the mirror
Young woman wearing a dress looking in the mirror (Image: ivan_m/iStock/Getty Images)

Black bumps, caused by blackheads on the chest, can be easily covered by clothing, but come swimsuit season, you may feel embarrassed when it comes time to head to the beach. While chest blackheads are harmless, they can make you feel self conscious. By understanding more about those tiny black spots, including how to prevent and treat them, you can take control of your body acne for a clearer chest overall.

Symptoms

When you notice black bumps on your chest, they may be hard to the touch. Upon closer inspection, you may also note a rounded top on each bump. The black bumps may also be accompanied by other acne, including pimples and whiteheads.

Causes

Those black bumps on your chest are most likely caused by blackheads, which are basically visibly clogged pores, notes MedlinePlus. The sebum clogging the pores contains the pigment melanin, which is why blackheads are so dark. You can't wash the blackheads away as though they were filled with dirt because the blockage is caused by darkened oil instead. Blackheads are caused by over-productive sebaceous glands and dirt and oil.

Prevention

One of the best ways to prevent those pesky little black bumps on your chest is to keep your skin clean. Avoid harsh soaps, as they can dry out the skin and actually stimulate oil production, notes AcneTalks.com. Instead, use a mild body wash without colors or fragrances, and wash your chest every day to clean away any dirt or oil. It's also important that you wash after exercising; sweaty, clogged pores can also manifest as blackheads.

Treatment

If you already have a sprinkling of blackheads across your chest, treat them so they go away quickly and don't come back. First, lay a warm compress over the black bumps to soften the oil and material inside. Then, position a lancet, which is a long metal tool with a small hole on one end, over the top of the blackhead. Push the blackhead through the hold in the end of the lancet and then exert gentle pressure. The blackhead should erupt quickly. Once it has opened, use two cotton swabs placed on either side of the blackhead to gently press out any remaining material. Wash the area, and apply a dab of antibacterial cream.

Warning

Call your dermatologist if gentle pressure doesn't seem to extract your blackheads. Pressing to hard or using your fingers to squeeze the bumps could result in skin damage, further acne and even infection. Your dermatologist can use a medical-grade lancet or even surgical extraction to get rid of your black bumps, and then help you find a prescription solution to your black chest bumps.

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