Bumps on Chest, Small, Red, Rashes, Acne Vulgaris and Bumps not Acne

What are acne-like bumps on chest and back? There are various reasons why you develop chest bumps.

What are the bumps on chest?

What causes bumps on chest? Learn more about chest rashes among other skin conditions that are symptomatic of chest bumps.

1.      Are bumps on your chest a rash?

A rash is mainly viewed as a symptom of skin or systemic conditions, infections or allergic reactions of specific kinds. Below are some of the causes of rashes or ways in which a skin rash can result.

Contact dermatitis

Can contact dermatitis cause a rash on the chest? Yes. Contact dermatitis is the most common form of allergic reaction (allergic eczema) which can produce adverse effects on skin. Contact dermatitis is said to occur when an allergic substance encounters the chest and there is a reaction by the body to that specific substance.

Chemicals in antiperspirants, detergents and soaps are the common cases where a skin rash develops as a result of an allergic reaction. Let us take another example of this case where people like celebrities are fond of necklaces or neck chains. The chains may have metal coatings or strips made from an allergic-producing reaction. An example is Nickel.

While some people will experience no symptoms, red raised bumps that cause itching are more common in the most of the reported cases. Nonetheless, childhood rashes can be the worst more so when they cause itching.

Skin rashes due to human infections – Chickenpox and shingles

viral exanthem [courtesy of DermNet]
viral exanthem [courtesy of DermNet]

Chickenpox is a viral infection caused by varicella-zoster virus. This infection is commonly characterized by a skin rash but there is a variation in symptoms during the development phases. Before the virus becomes contagious many children and affected individuals complain about fever, headache and often lose eager for food.

The rash that develops after few days looks pink or red. The bumps would produce fluid-filled blisters and would lead to scabbing all over the body.

After resolving or receiving an immunity, the virus goes to “sleep” in the nerves.

On the other hand, shingles is a viral rash that can potentially erupt on skin when varicella-zoster virus is potentially reactivated after recovery from chickenpox.

It is symptomatic of pain, burning or tingling in the specific location on the body.

The occurrence is approximately at 40% and the rash is common among the older group of people. It shingles contagious. Notably, the virus can spread from infected skin to a healthy skin of someone who has never had chickenpox or its vaccine.

Treatments or remedies can only address the signs and symptoms but not eliminating the virus. However, the FDA-approved Zostavax vaccine is given to prevent shingles for those over 50.

Molluscum Contagiosum

Molluscum contagiosum is another (viral) infection that causes a mild skin rash. The rash can be identified as “small growths or wart-like bumps (called mollusca) that are usually pink, white, or skin-colored.” [kidshealth.org]

The virus that causes Molluscum contagiosum enters the body through skin cuts or breaks. Besides, the virus can spread quickly to other areas of your body after infection. The bumps are distinctly smooth and shiny or pearly-looking, and may have an indented center.

This infection is common in kids and growing children about 10 years old. The virus is also contagious in adults especially if they are sexual partners.

Treatment is not necessary in most cases. Otherwise, preventing the virus from spreading id the big deal.

Sweat rashes

bumps on chest - sweat rash on chest
bumps on chest – sweat rash on chest

Some people especially pregnant women can develop a rash from sweating around the chest.

2.      Cherry hemangioma

A cherry hemangioma is a purple to bright-red bump on the skin caused by an overgrowth of small veins. Cherry hemangiomas can develop on any part of skin. They are identified as small red, flat or bumpy. They can slightly increase in diameter with time.

They are not contagious and do not potentially develop into cancer of skin. Unfortunately, anyone of any race, gender or color can be a victim.

Treatment or removal

Do you need to get treatment to remove cherry hemangioma? Treatment is optional and may not be necessary. Cherry hemangiomas resolve on their own in most occurrences. However, if they occasionally bleed or irritate skin you can see a dermatologist to remove them. Prior to the removal or treatment, your dermatologist would have to look at them and study them carefully.

Bleeding lesions may require prescription medications. Other removal methods include laser, liquid Nitrogen freezing, excision and electrocautery.

NOTE: it is important to avoid or prevent trauma causing injuries or anything that can lead to bleeding of the bumps.

3.      Keratosis pilaris – small rough bumps on chest

What causes keratosis pilaris? Small numerous bumps on chest can also signify keratosis pilaris. You get keratosis pilaris when the horny skin layer of skin produce too much of keratin that ends up being deposited in the skin follicles.

What does KP look like on the chest and back of arms? Keratosis pilaris is marked by the appearance of small horny plugs on the chest. The plugs are also slightly rough when felt by the palm. People often say that KP on the chest feels spiky. Other common location for KP include the back of forearms, upper arms shoulders and thighs.

The problem can be inherited or run in families. KP is a harmless skin condition. It therefore does not really need treatment unless it is cosmetically driven. Sometimes keratosis pilaris clears on its own in adulthood.

4.      Acne vulgaris – pustules, nodules and lesions

Another cause of bumps on chest is acne. If your skin glands are triggered to produce too many body oils you can become prone to acne. Body acne is due to a number of internal factors such as the influence of hormones, interference in skin shedding, certain medications and increased growth of bacteria Propionibacterium acnes.

All of these factors result to plugging of hair follicles. When the follicles become pugged the growth of bacteria acnes is even favored. This is what mainly causes inflammation.

Inflamed acne or “pimples” is the major culprit in relation to chest bumps. Other symptoms of acne include:

  • Blackheads (open comedo) and whiteheads
  • Papules – pink rounded and solid bumps that rise under skin
  • Pustules characterized by the pus-filled pimples. Papules are distinct with red base.
  • They are painful huge or bigger than papules and tend to be deep
  • Cystic acne

Statistically, acne breakout is most reported at youth age when many people (adolescents exclusively) experience variation in concentration of hormones.

IMPORTANT: Moderate to severe forms of cane can lead to permanent scarring or form hypertrophic body scars especially when not treated timely, approached with inappropriate self-care or treated aggressively.

Treatment of acne bumps and pimples on chest

Acne nodules are usually treated using prescription medications. Over the counter treatments help get rid of the milder forms of acne. Beginning with the non-prescription treatments, products like cleansers, gentle soaps and creams can be acquired from drugstores or pharmacist shops.

If you do not know what to select from the range of products ask your skincare expert or physician. For the treatments to be of worth (the cost of going for clinical treatments) all instructions or rate of application must be adhered to.

For instance most of the water-based or those products labelled non-comedogenic are commonly incorporated in routine skincare and give results – quite satisfactory. If applied consistently in accordance with given directions most acne patients get to see the improvements come along.

If the acne does not show improvements inform your dermatologist. Experts use advanced procedures including microdermabrasion and laser resurfacing.

Prescription treatments for chest pimples

Doctors use medications to treat pimples. They can be administered orally or as external applications depending upon the symptoms (for instance infection) or severity in pimple formation. Antibiotic agents such as benzoyl peroxide and azelaic acid can help eliminate typical pimples on chest.

Vitamin A derivations could also be incorporated in some situations. Oral medicines may include: Tetracycline, Minocycline, Doxycycline, Ampicillin, or pills.

5.      Bumps Pityrosporum Folliculitis (bumps on chest not acne)

Pityrosporum folliculitis is caused by an over growth of the skin yeast in the hair follicles. The overgrowth is influenced by factors such as hot temperatures or humid surrounding. It is also contributed by increased sweating.

pityrosporum folliculitis bumps on chest
pityrosporum folliculitis bumps on chest

Other possible reasons behind the overgrowth of the yeast include

  • Diabetes or if one is diabetic
  • Too much body weight i.e. being overweight
  • Influence of certain medications such as oral steroid and contraceptive pills
  • Oily skin or applying oily skincare products

Notably, pityrosporum folliculitis is identified by the itchy, acne-like eruptions of yeast “pustules” in a follicular pattern especially the upper chest and back.


Getting the right medicine to treat this condition has never been easy. This may be due to the fact that all the factors can be correctly outlined. In addition, infections like tinea versicolor can pose challenge.

According to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology, oral treatments give the optimal results and is considered the best treatment. In many situations, this form of medication can take a few weeks to clear the condition. Doctors recommend the oral medicines Nizoral and Sporonox.

In addition, your dermatologist can decide upon the effective treatment after a careful examination and evaluation.

6.      Stings and bites

Other possible cause of bumps around the chest are bites and stings from insects.

Stings can be a cause of a bumpy skin rash. Bumps due to an insect sting like a bee is usually painful. In some people, the swelling can migrate from the point of stinging to another part of body.

On the other hand, most insect bites cause irritation, itching or general pain. Something tricky with treatment of bites is identifying them. Although, bites from insects like mosquitoes are

Red, small bumps on chest

Red bumps on chest can be itchy and cause discomfort. Red bumps on chest can be a symptom of allergic reaction, acne vulgaris, and viral rash such as chickenpox. As we stated earlier, insect bites can also cause red itchy bumps on skin. Besides rashes, cherry hemangioma and Keratosis pilaris can account for small red bumps on your chest.

How to prevent chest rashes

Chest rashes can be prevented in the future if you observe and practice a self-care to the latter. Here are top tips for you.

  • Change your clothing often. Doing so will assist you in identifying whether it is a potential reaction
  • Avoid hot beverages, greasy and spicy foods when you have discovered you are a sweat rash sufferer
  • Drink a lot of water during winter ho help you eliminate toxins or reduce accumulation
  • Remove sources of room humidifier or heaters during the onset of different seasons
  • Wear the right clothing during exercising
  • Shower after and every workouts
  • Do not scratch when the urge to itch is the last thing. instead control itchiness
  • Loosen up your clothing especially during pregnancy
  • Control sweating as much as you can

Medical attention and care

If you are suspicious or do not know what to do or the bumps on your chest won’t heal, do not hesitate. Call your doctor or seek medical attention.

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Cited Sources
  1. Lumps and Bumps: What’s on My Skin? http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/ss/slideshow-lumps-bumps-skin
  2. Cysts, Lumps, Bumps, and Your Skin http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/guide/cysts-lumps-bumps#1
  3. Pityrosporum Folliculitis, Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pityrosporum/folliculitis, Accessed on 2nd February 2017.
  4. Acne
  5. Common Rashes, EverydayHeatlth
  6. http://www.aocd.org/?page=PityrosporumFollicu