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How To Remove Forehead Acne Effectively?

forehead acne


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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 Breakout On Forehead

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 pimples 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.

Also Read: Acne Vulgaris – Causes, Symptoms And Treatments

Causes Of Pimples On Forehead

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 reasons for pimples on forehead:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Over-Exfoliating: -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.
  • 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.
  • 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: -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.

Also Read: Pimple Treatment Clinics In India

Skin Conditions That Cause Forehead Acne

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 –
    1. Some substances tend to irritate the skin, which eventually inflames the skin, for example, hair products – Irritant contact dermatitis.
    2. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Rosacea: –Rosacea is a chronic inflammation of the face with no known cause and no permanent cure.
    It is of four different types –
    1. ‘Red face’ rosacea, a face flushing (or blushing) condition involves a persistent redness of the nose or central face
    2. Acne-like bumps and/or pus-filled, with/without redness on the face
    3. Rhinophyma, which causes slow enlargement of oil glands and skin thickening, typically around the nasal region (usually in men)
    4. Ocular rosacea, which may cause reddening and burning of the eyes and eyelids

Also Read: Treatments For Pimples On Face – Medicines, Peels And Laser

Forehead Acne Treatments

Here are the best treatments for pimples on forehead:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Combined Oral Contraceptives: -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.
  • 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 Post Treatment

forehead acne before after

Also Read: List Of Best Prescription Acne Medications For Adults

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.

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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