How To Remove Forehead Acne: Causes, Treatments And Remedies

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How To Get Rid Of Acne On Forehead – Causes & Treatments

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People who are usually affected by acne have them all over the face, while for some of us, acne targets specific regions to attack like the forehead. Somehow, the forehead is the most common area for people to get acne on, and ironically, it is the first thing that people notice about your face as well. Now, attention is a good thing, but nobody likes receiving THAT kind of attention solely focused on their foreheads. Therefore, read on to identify the root cause behind the issue of breakouts on your forehead and find a solution to it as well.

Acne On Forehead Meaning

Acne on different parts of the face is a representation of the internal turmoil in your body due to the various problems that it is fighting every day. Forehead acne are solid red bumps that can triggered due to various factors like stress, hormonal imbalance, and certain foods. Irregular sleep patterns due to stressful routines can also contribute to the acne on your forehead.

These causal factors are talked about in detail below.

What Causes Forehead Acne?

Forehead acne is very confusing and difficult to deal with because this area is not attended to properly as people feel it does not require any specialized treatment. The below-listed are the most common causes of forehead acne –

Dandruff In The Hair

Erratic climatic conditions that can dry out your scalp or an unclean scalp can cause dandruff. Forehead acne tags along with dandruff and gives you one additional problem to deal with, apart from the dandruff. This is because dandruff is caused by fungus, and thus it is capable of causing skin irritation on your forehead, which results in pimples.

Oily Scalp

For people with oily scalp, forehead acne is a given, because, oil from the scalp can spread and clog the skin pores on your forehead to result in acne.

Excess Stress

can stress cause forehead acne

Our relationship with stress is complicated! Due to a hectic lifestyle, stress is a condition we cannot escape and it has a profound impact on our skin/body in some way or the other.
Stress is responsible for disrupting the hormonal balance and also for causing a disturbance in the oil production of the skin, thus causing acne.

Certain Hair Products

We all like a well-groomed mane that we can flick stylishly, but the hair products used for hair styling contain chemicals that are alien to our body. Hair spray, heat protectant, serum, etc. tend to cause zits when they come in contact with your forehead, which is very likely to happen.

Popping Zits

The urge to pop a pimple as soon as you see one is as irresistible as popping bubble wrap, the only difference being, with popping a pimple/zit, you give a gateway to the bacteria to spread resulting in even more acne. Moreover, it causes skin inflammation and reddens the surrounding skin, making the condition only worse for you to handle. Therefore, consider it a thumb rule, that the habit of constantly touching your face to pick on your blemishes and pimples is a strict no-no.

Bad Cosmetics

The foundation or moisturizer you use to help you in looking radiant may actually turn out to be your enemy, as chemicals found in certain makeup can irritate your skin, leading them to block your pores. And, this is not healthy for your skin as it gives acne an opportunity to flare up.


Balance is important in all aspects of life and your skin care routine is no different. Yes, exfoliation is useful for getting rid of dead cells and rejuvenating your skin, but overdoing it can cause skin irritation, which results in acne. So, with over-exfoliation you will be doing more harm than good to your skin.

Wearing Helmets

If you drive two-wheeler and are a good citizen who follows the rules, then you sure own a helmet. But, when is the last time you remember washing/cleaning it? So, think of all the sweat from your skin that sticks to the helmet day in and out and has accumulated in there. It is almost like wearing the breeding ground for bacteria on top of your head every day. Hence, the pimples!

Hormonal Causes And Other Genetic Factors

Our genes define a lot of things for us and acne is one of them. You may just be prone to getting acne because your sebaceous glands on your forehead have a tendency to produce more oil than the rest.  Also, the menstrual cycle or pregnancy can disturb the normal functioning of your skin and cause breakouts.

Also Read: What Are The Main Causes Of Hormonal Acne And How To Cure It?

Skin Conditions That Cause Forehead Acne

1. Boils

Staphylococcal bacteria enters the body through scrapes and cuts in the skin or can travel down to the skin through infected hair follicles and cause boils. It starts as skin inflection in the hair follicle or oil gland and turns into a lump. But eventually, this lump develops into a pus-filled painful boil under the skin.

2. Cellulitis

Cellulitis is a common skin infection often caused by Streptococcus or Staphylococcus around small cuts and cracks in the skin, typically resulting in redness and swelling of the skin. Although, proper antibiotic therapy in its early stages can resolve this condition quickly, but if it is left untreated, cellulitis can develop into pockets of pus and spread through the bloodstream, causing blisters or pus-filled bumps.

3. Contact Dermatitis

Contact dermatitis is a common condition because of the reaction of the skin when it comes in contact with an irritant or allergen. For instance, when you are doing the dishes and the chemicals in the detergents does not suit your skin and causes inflammation, then, in this case, there is a possibility of you being afflicted by contact dermatitis. This is basically of two types –

  • Some substances tend to irritate the skin, which eventually inflames the skin, for example, hair products – Irritant contact dermatitis.
  • Some substances that are usually harmless, but have the ability to trigger an immune reaction causing skin inflammation, for example, hair dye allergies – Allergic contact dermatitis.

4. Folliculitis

Folliculitis is an infection in the hair follicles, which causes inflammation. These are usually identified as tiny red bumps or dots of pus surrounding a hair. Depending on how worse the condition is, one to hundreds of follicles can be affected. In fact, the facial acne that usually occurs in teenagers is a type of folliculitis. Based on the severity of this infection, it may or may not require treatment. But, it is always recommended to consult a dermatologist to understand if you need powerful antibiotics to deal with it.

5. Ringworm

Ringworm is a fungal infection and is usually identified because of the appearance of a rash on the skin. Forehead ringworm is categorized as facial ringworm (tinea faciei). Scalp ringworm is also quite common, and in most of the cases, the infection starts on the scalp and then extends to the forehead.

6. Rosacea

Rosacea is a chronic inflammation of the face with no known cause and no permanent cure.

It is of four different types –

  • ‘Red face’ rosacea, a face flushing (or blushing) condition involves a persistent redness of the nose or central face
  • Acne-like bumps and/or pus-filled, with/without redness on the face
  • Rhinophyma, which causes slow enlargement of oil glands and skin thickening, typically around the nasal region (usually in men)
  • Ocular rosacea, which may cause reddening and burning of the eyes and eyelids

Also Read: Things To Know About Acne Vulgaris – Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

How To Treat Forehead Acne?

(A) Antibiotics
If the acne is severe, then your dermatologists may suggest some antibiotics such as erythromycin, doxycycline or minocycline. But, an antibiotic does not remove the clogged sebum in pores. Hence, it is usually combined with a topical cream such as vitamin A or retinoid creams, for best results.

(B) Benzoyl Peroxide Formulation
Benzoyl peroxide is the most commonly prescribed cream to treat acne. Its formulation helps in preventing blocked pores and also in targeting bacteria that cause acne. Therefore, it not only helps in fighting the current acne but also in preventing breakouts even before they occur.

(C) Retinoids
Retinoid based creams, when used on the skin, can help in unclogging and cleaning the pores; thereby allowing other medicated creams to penetrate through the skin and work better. These creams reduce outbreaks by preventing dead cells from clogging the pores of the skin. However, retinoid based creams may cause redness and can worsen the current acne condition initially. This is only temporary until the skin gets used to this cream and it starts showing its effects.

(D) Combined Oral Contraceptives (For Women)

Oral contraceptive pills for Forehead Acne treatment
Some oral contraceptives are considered to have anti-androgen properties. And, as androgens are typically responsible for the oil production in your skin, the contraceptive pills put a control over this production. Hence, these pills prove to be useful in treating acne.

(E) Anti-Androgen Agent
Spironolactone, Cyproterone Acetate, and Flutamide are some of the anti-androgens that help in reducing the appearance of acne and blemishes by blocking androgen hormone receptors in the body. Therefore, these slow down the process of production of excess oil by the sebaceous glands.

Before And After Results

Also Read: List Of Dermatologist Prescribed Medicines For Pimples

How To Prevent Forehead Acne?

The forehead is often an ignored region of the face, so to get rid of the pimples/zits on your forehead, start with a healthy skin care routine – that includes washing your face with a gentle cleanser (which does not have too many chemicals) twice a day. This helps in removing the excess oil from your skin.

Apart from this, you can always fall back upon some of the topical creams that are readily available over the counter, such as lactocalamine lotion, benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid.
You can also hunt for a good dermatologist in your city and try some of the non-drug treatments to clear up the acne, like lasers and chemical peels.

Rules to live by for an acne-free forehead –

  • Invest in a good antibacterial face wash and wash your face at least twice in a day on a daily basis, to prevent forehead acne bumps.
  • Occasionally, exfoliate your skin well to keep your skin pores clean and get rid of dead cells.
  • Keep your hair clean by washing it with a gentle shampoo (containing ketoconazole and zinc pyrithione) as a healthy head is directly proportional to a healthy forehead.
  • Ensure that you drink plenty of your water to keep your skin and body well hydrated.
  • Avoid wearing headbands or hats with brims that touch your forehead.
  • Be certain to wash and change your pillowcase and bedcover at least twice per week.
  • Use makeup, cleansers, and other products labelled as ‘non-comedogenic’.
  • Instead of being a detective and solving your own case, visit a good dermatologist in your city to ensure your skin receives the best treatment.

Natural Remedies To Cure Forehead Acne

1. Lemon
Lemon is the easiest remedy out of the lot as it is available in every kitchen. Applying some fresh lemon juice directly on the affected area and leaving it for five minutes is a quick way to get rid of forehead acne. You can dilute it a little with water if your skin stings too much.

2. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is infused with dozens of skin healing properties. It helps in remarkably diminishing the acne on your skin. It also helps in tightening skin pores, and thus preventing future acne as well. Applying this gel every night is going to work like a miracle for your forehead acne.

3. Azelaic Acid
Azelaic acid is obtained from wheat, barley, and rye, and has high antibacterial and exfoliation properties, which makes it your best bet to treat acne.

4. Green Tea Extract
Drinking green tea is extremely healthy and we are all aware of that. But, using it topically is equally effective. So after brewing a cup of green tea, cut open the tea bag, empty its contents in a bowl, and add a dash of honey to make yourself a little paste out of it. Apply this on the forehead for about 10 minutes.

Green tea contains polyphenolic components, which is a special kind of anti-inflammatory ingredient that not only soothes your skin but also fights a wide set of microbes. Thus, it helps you in getting rid of acne and giving you a healthy skin in return.

5. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is known as the best treatment for forehead acne because of its antibiotic elements. Only two drops of this magic portion over the affected area can have great influence on the skin, resulting in an acne-free, healthy, and smooth skin.

6. Zinc
Zinc is critical for hormonal balance, and thus, in combination with other key nutrients helps in maintaining hormonal balance. This, if used properly, will help in normalizing the oil production of your skin. Zinc is also known for its anti-inflammatory and skin healing properties. With its use, you will notice less redness in skin and faster recovery from pimples.

Forehead acne is a very common condition as nobody really focuses on one’s forehead all that much. But, you can easily control this condition by maintaining a few healthy habits and utilizing some of the effective remedies listed in this article. For a long lasting and efficient solution, consult a dermatologist.

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About The Author

Kushneet Kukreja

Kushneet Kukreja

A postgraduate in Biotechnology from Kingston University and an ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition, Kushneet Kukreja is a passionate writer who works in close association with the dermatologists at our head office to generate valuable and scientifically accurate content for our blog.

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