If you’re suffering from forehead acne, you’re not alone. According to some studies, as many as 30% of teenagers experience some degree of acne on their foreheads – a number that goes up to 80% by the time they reach 21 years old!
While this type of acne can be difficult to treat because there are many possible forehead acne causes that can lead to forehead pimples, it doesn’t have to be permanent if you understand what the causes are and take steps to treat them.
This article will answer all your questions about forehead acne causes and treatment options so you can restore your skin to its natural state of perfection!
Want to learn more? Let’s get started!
What Does Forehead Acne Mean?
What exactly is forehead acne? It’s a pimple that develops just above your eyebrows. You may develop just one zit or you might see them appearing in a cluster.
These are often painful, and they can also last for weeks at a time. This is usually considered minor acne, but it can cause moderate irritation if you don’t take care of it quickly enough.
Types of Forehead Acne
There are different types of acne on the forehead. Depending on what type you have, you are more likely to experience that cause. The most common types of forehead acne are the following:
Pustules and papules
They are generally more painful, which are raised bumps without heads that may feel rough or have sandpaper-like surfaces. Pustules are just like papules, but the distinguishing factor is that they are filled with white or yellowish substances, similar to a blister.
Comedones are small bumps caused by pores clogging with oil and dead skin cells. If you have a lot of sebum production in your forehead area, it’s more likely that you’ll experience excessive breakouts in your forehead region. Blackheads are open comedones, and whiteheads are closed comedones.
Nodules & Cysts
When zits are deep beneath the surface of the skin, they will feel red and bumpy to the touch. A nodule is more hardened to the touch, but a cyst is less solid because it is filled with fluid. If left untreated, they may result in unsightly scarring.
What Causes Forehead Acne
The best way to determine whether your forehead acne causes are due to an environmental or internal trigger is by tracking your symptoms using a skin journal.
You can also work with a dermatologist who can perform patch testing in order to uncover these triggers. Following are the main causes of forehead acne:
1. Pimples Caused By Irritation
Do you have sensitive skin? Itching, burning, or stinging in your forehead might be caused by irritation.
If your pores are clogged with debris and dead skin cells, it can lead to inflammation around them.
Don’t pick at any bumps you might notice. If you notice breakouts near any hair follicles or oil glands, then it’s possible that your skin has become inflamed from being touched or pulled on too much.
2. Your Hair Can Cause Acne
Additionally, if you wash your hair infrequently or if you have oily hair, oily products can build up on your forehead and clog pores there.
3. Due to the Side Effects of Some Medication
Some types of drugs may have a side effect of causing acne. Examples of drugs that have this effect include certain steroids, anticonvulsants, or barbiturates.
4. Acne Caused By Makeup
A common forehead acne cause can be due to makeup. Makeup causes your pores to clog due to dirt and oil that gets trapped in them.
When you go back to remove your makeup at night, your fingers pull out the oil that has built up over time. Pores filled with dirt and oil, causing acne breakouts.
Women who wear heavy or waterproof makeup should take extra care when removing their products before bed because water alone may not be enough to fully dissolve product build-up.
Don’t Forget to Read: 11 Benefits Of Aloe Vera For Your Face: Get The Glowing Skin You Deserve!
5. Pimples Caused By Stress
Did you know that stress can cause acne? A stressful event can trigger a hormonal imbalance that causes your sebaceous glands to produce more oil, which clogs pores.
Sleep deprivation also contributes to stress; getting less than six hours of sleep has been shown to elevate cortisol levels (the hormone associated with stress) in young adults.
6. Hormonal Changes
The biggest culprit of all when it comes to acne breakouts on your forehead is hormonal changes. When your hormones go crazy, chances are that you will have a tough time with pimples on your forehead.
7. Poor Hygiene
One of the causes of forehead acne is poor hygiene. This may sound strange, but acne tends to grow on our faces because we’re in contact with dust, grime, dead skin cells, and oils from our hands throughout the day. If you’ve never really put a lot of thought into cleaning your face regularly, then that could be causing forehead acne!
8. Oily Products
One of the most common causes of forehead acne is the over-application of skincare products. This can be especially problematic for people with oily skin, who need their moisturizers and other products to be oil-free, or at least labeled as non-comedogenic (which means they will not clog pores). It’s easy for those with oily skin to put too much on—especially when using a new product, so go slowly when applying anything to your face.
9. Excessive Sweating
One of the most common forehead acne causes is excessive sweating which may cause clogged pores that lead to acne breakouts.
Excessive sweating often results from wearing hats, helmets, or other items that put too much pressure on your face, which restricts blood flow—and helps head-hugging heat stay trapped.
10. Tight Clothing
One forehead acne cause is tight clothing, like headbands, bandanas, caps, or hats. When you don’t give your skin enough room to breathe, pores can get clogged.
Additionally, wearing a hat that’s too tight will constrict blood flow (and may damage hair follicles), which can exacerbate any acne conditions on your scalp.
For good skin health, it’s important to wear loose clothing when possible and give your skin enough breathing room.
11. Hair Products
Hairsprays, gels, oils, and waxes, are believed to cause forehead acne which is sometimes called pomade acne.
How to Prevent Forehead Acne?
If you experience acne on your forehead, it is important to prevent further outbreaks by avoiding known triggers. Follow these tips for a clear, beautiful forehead!
1. A Good Skincare Routine Is a Must
When fighting forehead acne, it’s important to maintain a proper skincare routine. No matter what type of acne you have, use products that are labeled non-comedogenic, which means they won’t clog your pores.
You should also always make sure you cleanse your face with a gentle cleanser and tone it with an astringent (to balance out your skin). If you already have a routine in place or feel like creating one—now is as good a time as any!
2. Wash Your Face
Washing your face is one of those skin care habits that a lot of people forget about or don’t prioritize.
That being said, making sure you keep your face clean by washing it each day is important for maintaining its health and appearance.
When washing your face, be sure to use a gentle cleanser that won’t dry out your skin. For sensitive skin types, look for hydrating cleansers with natural ingredients like aloe vera.
3. Take Care of Your Hair
This can clog pores on your forehead, leaving you vulnerable to acne. Keep things fresh by washing your hair every day.
When you shower, use a gentle shampoo (many over-the-counter shampoos are too harsh) and make sure it rinses cleanly so that no residue remains on your scalp or face when you step out of the shower.
4. Avoid Using Oils or Pomade Products
Before using any oils or pomade products on your hair, you need to make sure that your scalp is clear of any forehead acne causes.
Oils will only clog your pores, leading them straight down your face. If you must use pomade or oil on your hair, use very small amounts so they don’t transfer onto your skin.
This small amount may seem like a lot when using it on top of thick strands, but trust us: a little bit goes a long way!
5. Don’t Pop or Pick Your Acne
Your first instinct may be to pop or pick your pimples, but we strongly recommend against it. This can lead to scarring and worsen your acne condition over time. If you really feel a pimple coming on, you should resist from popping it as much as possible.
6. Tie Your Hair Up
If you must have your hair in front of your face, tie it back or wear it up. In order to keep your hair out of your face, keep it away from your forehead as much as possible.
The main culprits for causing acne on your forehead are likely to sweat, sebum and dirt—so by keeping your hair out of that area, you’ll minimize bacteria build-up on that part of your skin.
7. Post-Workout Face Wipes to Prevent Acne
After a workout, your skin is more susceptible to breakouts. Drying sweat can clog pores, causing pimples.
Keep your face clean with gentle wipes after you work out. These acne-fighting wipes will clean up your face without irritating it further or removing healthy oils that protect against premature aging.
8. Avoid Wearing Headbands Frequently
If you have acne on your forehead, avoid wearing headbands or hats. They will trap oil and bacteria which causes irritation. This can result in more pimples on your forehead.
9. Keep Your Hands Away From Your Skin
Touching your face can cause further irritation and spread oil, dirt, bacteria, etc. onto your skin. Even if you’re not trying to pop pimples, touching your face frequently can cause more breakouts! It also spreads open pores which leads to more acne. Keep your hands off of your face!
10. Use Non-comedogenic Skincare Products
Are you using beauty products that block your pores? You might want to make sure what you’re putting on your face is non-comedogenic (or, in plain English, it won’t clog your pores).
That includes makeup, lotions, moisturizers, and cleansers. When you have acne along your hairline or forehead area like many of us do as we age, a skincare product that clogs pores can be even more irritating for acne-prone skin in those areas.
11. Take a Break from Makeup
Yes, you can prevent breakouts by not wearing makeup. Foundation is one of the most common forehead acne causes because it clogs your pores with grease and oil, especially if you wear it every day.
A simple solution is just to take a break from makeup for a few days each month—letting your skin breathe and do its thing.
You don’t need to announce it or go full uncovered, but a couple of days off here and there will help keep your forehead acne causes under control.
12. Avoiding the Use of Harsh Skin Products
The most common cause of forehead acne is clogged pores. Products with harsh chemicals in them can be detrimental, not only on your face but all over your body. They can irritate your skin which leads to forehead acne.
13. Avoid Prolonged Sun Exposure
When you’re outdoors, make sure to wear sunscreen or sunglasses that cover your forehead. Also, try not to be outside at midday (when sunlight is strongest) for extended periods of time. These simple precautions will help reduce acne breakouts on your forehead.
14. Wash Your Pillowcase and Bedcover Every Week
When you sleep on your pillow at night, oil, dirt, makeup, and dead skin cells can get on it. If you don’t wash it every week, bacteria can build up. Bacteria cause acne too!
That’s why it’s important to keep your pillow clean. Wash your bedding regularly in hot water so that germs won’t grow there either.
15. Drink Plenty of Water
This may seem obvious, but it’s worth repeating. Proper hydration helps keep your skin balanced and healthy, which will help reduce acne.
Drinking plenty of water also helps regulate your hormones, which can lead to a reduction in breakouts. Aim for at least eight glasses of water per day.
16. Avoid Taking Stress
One of the biggest forehead acne causes is stress. When you’re stressed, your body releases cortisol into your system.
This hormone helps prepare you for a fight-or-flight situation, but it can cause breakouts on your forehead if it stays at high levels for too long.
If stress is causing your forehead acne, try managing it through various methods, including exercise and deep breathing (such as yoga).
17. Invest In a Good Antibacterial Face Wash
If you’re trying to treat acne on your forehead, you should use an antibacterial face wash in addition to your normal skin care routine.
A professional-strength face wash that contains ingredients like salicylic acid can help control mild bacterial growth on your skin.
While these products are usually more expensive than ordinary face washes, they’re often worth it if they help reduce redness, prevent pimples from forming and work well with other treatments.
18. Exfoliate Your Skin Every Week
Most people don’t realize how easy it is to shed some extra pounds from their face. One simple exfoliation treatment can help get rid of dirt, oil, acne-causing bacteria, flakes, and more.
Be sure you use a gentle exfoliant that won’t cause irritation or scarring; a homemade scrub can work well.
Lightly rub your skin with your fingers in small circles until all of your forehead acne causes have been lifted off.
Use cool water on warm skin; if you prefer you can also use a warm towel over your face for five minutes before exfoliating.
19. Zinc Supplement
Getting zinc in your diet via food sources is always a good idea. There are many foods you can eat that contain zinc, including seafood and meat.
Zinc may also be taken as a supplement in pill form, though it’s important not to exceed what is recommended on your label.
Some side effects include nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting – but only if you take too much at once. Start by taking half what is recommended, gradually increasing until you feel symptoms subside.
20. Eat Foods High In Antioxidants
Antioxidants fight free radicals, which are harmful molecules that are produced as a byproduct of your body’s normal functions.
They also help protect skin from UV damage. Free radicals may be one cause of forehead acne since you can often see them forming near sebaceous glands and other areas with high levels of oil production.
Fight them off by consuming foods high in antioxidants such as Vitamin C-rich citrus fruits, broccoli, and watercress.
21. Eating Foods That Are Low on the Glycemic Index
The glycemic index refers to how quickly your blood sugar levels spike after eating a specific food.
Foods with a high glycemic index (like white bread and potato chips) cause rapid spikes in blood sugar, which are then followed by intense dips that can leave you feeling hungry again sooner than you’d like.
Low-glycemic foods (like eggs, whole grains, nuts, and legumes) keep your blood sugar steady for longer, giving you a more sustained source of energy and fewer cravings throughout the day.
A diet that’s high in fresh fruits and vegetables with low-glycemic carbohydrates will help control forehead acne (in conjunction with these other tips on how to get rid of forehead acne).
22. Cut Back On Dairy
Cheese, cream, and butter all contain hormones that are linked to causing breakouts. If you’re finding it impossible to cut back on dairy, consider switching over to non-dairy alternatives like almond milk or soy-based yogurt. These products also contain calcium and protein, which are great for your bones and skin. Plus, they’re delicious!
23. Maintain a Healthful Lifestyle
The best thing you can do for your skin is to keep your body healthy and fight aging in general. Stay hydrated, exercise, and eat a diet full of whole grains, fresh fruits, and vegetables.
It’s especially important to avoid junk food, saturated fats, and processed sugars that stress your system and lead to more problems on your face (and elsewhere).
Drink plenty of water (it’s good for everything!). Antioxidants found in green tea are said to help strengthen capillaries underneath your skin.
Talk with a dermatologist or consult with a cosmetic surgeon about non-invasive ways to get rid of forehead acne causes.
Treatments Available for Forehead Acne
To save you time and help make sure you’re looking after your skin, we’ve come up with some simple ways to do so.
Wash your face with a gentle face wash that contains glycerin, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid. Make sure to use a gentle washcloth, as even something as simple as a bath towel can irritate acne-prone skin.
Stay away from cleansers that contain alcohol or drying agents; these ingredients often make acne worse by killing off any bacteria without removing them from your pores and causing further irritation.
2. Benzoyl Peroxide
Benzoyl peroxide is an anti-bacterial that’s commonly used as a treatment for acne. It works by killing bacteria, and so can be used to treat pimples and blackheads.
You can get it in cream or gel form over-the-counter at your local pharmacy, or you can ask your doctor about using it topically if you’re struggling with more serious forms of acne like cystic acne.
3. Salicylic Acid
Salicylic acid is found in many over-the-counter spot treatments and can be used on any acne, but it’s especially effective at treating blemishes on your forehead.
Apply a thin layer overnight. Be sure not to get it near your eyes or mouth though, as it can irritate skin very easily.
Follow up with a moisturizer first thing in the morning, if possible. Otherwise, you might find yourself with some dryness for several hours after applying salicylic acid overnight.
4. Topical Retinoid
If you’ve already tried a number of home remedies and over-the-counter products but you’re still seeing these annoying bumps on your forehead, it’s time to talk to your dermatologist about trying retinoid.
These prescription topical creams work by slowing down cell turnover, which reduces blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples. They also help regulate oil production so you’re less likely to see dry or flaky skin as well.
5. Oral Antibiotics
Another way that dermatologists recommend getting rid of forehead acne is by taking oral antibiotics.
These are prescription-only and can be used if your dermatologist believes that an infection has taken place.
The effect only lasts a short amount of time, but they’re useful in treating certain kinds of acne. The antibiotics that are commonly prescribed for acne are of the tetracycline or macrolide family.
Doxycycline from the tetracycline group and azithromycin from the macrolide group is mainly prescribed.
6. Take Birth Control Pills (For Women)
Birth control pills are prescribed for a number of reasons. One of them is acne, which may be caused by hormonal imbalance.
Birth control pills decrease the amount of androgens (which lead to increased sebum production).
Your doctor may recommend the use of certain birth control pills in order to reduce the risk of acne breakouts.
You have nothing to lose by talking with your doctor about taking birth control; if it works, you’ll see an improvement in just a few months.
Natural Remedies for Forehead Acne
Remedies for treating forehead acne are very similar to those for other forms of acne. It’s important not only to remove offending factors but also to replace them with healthy ones. Some natural remedies that can help your skin include:
1. Aloe Vera
For mild cases, apply aloe vera directly onto your pimples. Aloe vera is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, which can help heal those pesky forehead pimples. Applying aloe vera topically is also an excellent way to cool down your red and irritated skin.
If you’re having trouble finding fresh aloe vera leaves, look for an all-natural product that contains only aloe—avoid anything with added ingredients or preservatives.
2. Apply Green Tea to Your Face
Green tea may have anti-inflammatory effects on acne-prone skin. To get rid of forehead pimples, you should apply green tea to your face for about 20 minutes every day.
You can use plain water or tea if you don’t have a green tea product available at home. Boil green tea in water. Let it cool. Use cotton to pat green tea on your face and forehead acne.
3. Tea Tree Oil
One study has shown that a 5% tea tree oil gel helped prevent new pimples from forming on users’ foreheads.
Tea tree oil may also help remove existing forehead pimples if it is applied as a spot treatment. Simply dab a bit of tea tree oil on top of any pimples and leave overnight. (Never apply tea tree oil to your entire face, as it can cause skin irritation.)
The tea tree should absorb into your skin by morning, and you should see results! Always mix water in tea tree oil before applying.
4. Honey and Cinnamon Face Pack
Mix equal parts honey and cinnamon powder together and spread on your forehead. Let it sit for about 20 minutes, and then wash off with warm water.
The oils in honey soften up skin cells that have hardened under stress or sun exposure, while cinnamon is an astringent (it constricts blood vessels) and a natural antibacterial that clears out acne-causing bacteria.
Plus, its scent helps you relax so you sleep better at night—which means your face will be less prone to breakouts.
5. Cucumber Face Mask
To tighten your pores and eliminate impurities from your skin, mix two tablespoons of fresh cucumber juice with a teaspoon each of lemon juice and fuller’s earth.
After mixing well, apply it to your forehead for five minutes. Rinse it off with lukewarm water. This will instantly give you clear and healthy skin. You can apply some moisturizer after cleansing your face for extra benefits.
Make sure to store it in a cool place before applying it to your face as warm water might spoil its benefits faster than you would like. Use two-three times every week for the best results!
6. Lemon Juice and Rose Water
If your skin is red and inflamed, lemon juice can help decrease inflammation by killing bacteria and reducing the redness of pimples.
Simply put a few drops of lemon juice on a cotton ball or pad and apply directly to blemishes twice daily.
You can also reduce redness with rose water, which has been used for thousands of years in Asian countries as an anti-inflammatory.
Rose water has natural anti-bacterial and healing properties that are gentle enough for even sensitive skin.
7. Apple Cider Vinegar
If you’re dealing with a lot of small, red pimples on your forehead, apple cider vinegar may be an option for you.
Mix 1 teaspoon into a bit of water and wash your face with it twice daily. It contains malic acid that has antibacterial properties, which helps get rid of bacteria in your pores and kill off acne-causing germs.
8. Turmeric, Almond powder & Gram flour Face Pack
These three ingredients are not only used for making packs but also work wonders on their own.
Almond powder is known to clear blemishes from the skin and make it glowing. Gram flour makes skin soft and silky while turmeric helps in treating acne effectively.
You can prepare a pack by mixing two tablespoons each of gram flour, almond powder, and turmeric. Add rose water to make a thick paste.
Apply it evenly all over your face including your forehead and neck, leave it on for 15 minutes, wash off with lukewarm water and then moisturize your face well.
You May Like to Read: 13 Best Home Remedies For Blackheads That Actually Work!
Complications and Side Effects of Forehead Pimples
When acne reaches its advanced stages, you might begin to experience symptoms such as redness, tenderness, oozing, swelling, and even scarring.
And while pimples may not cause permanent physical damage in most cases (unless they’re severe), it’s still a good idea to get rid of them quickly because these symptoms can sometimes be uncomfortable or painful.
Infection is also a risk when your pores are blocked for an extended period of time. The best way to treat forehead acne is by preventing pimples from forming in the first place with a diligent skincare routine that includes cleansing, toning, and spot treatments.
When to See the Doctor for Forehead Pimples
A pimple on your forehead can be easily hidden with concealer, but some of these blemishes can get too big for makeup to cover.
If you notice acne on your forehead that’s painful or very sensitive to touch, see a dermatologist as soon as possible.
Pimples located on your forehead tend to produce more pus than other types of acne, which makes them much more prone to scarring if left untreated.
While minor bumps and blemishes can often be treated at home with over-the-counter products, treating severe acne requires prescription medications—sometimes several different treatments before finding one that works for you.
The longer you wait the higher risk you have of permanently scarring yourself.
The forehead is more prone to acne than any other part of your face. When you don’t know what causes forehead acne, it can be very frustrating.
We’ve compiled everything for you so that all you have to do is follow along. Thanks for reading!
If you liked what we had to say leave a comment below. And remember: knowledge is power! Once you start knowing why things happen, you can start taking steps toward fixing them!
Redefine Your Beauty with Beautilog!
1. A Good Skincare Routine Is a Must
2. Wash Your Face
3. Take Care of Your Hair
4. Avoid Using Oils or Pomade Products
5. Don’t Pop or Pick Your Acne
6. Tie Your Hair Up
7. Post-Workout Face Wipes to Prevent Acne
The best way to determine whether your forehead acne causes are due to bacterial or hormonal trigger is by tracking your symptoms using a skin journal.
1. Dairy Products
2. Fast Food
3. Processed Food
4. Oily Food
6. High Sugar Intake