Understanding Forehead Acne: Easy Ways To Treat Them

Forehead Acne Causes and Remedies Feature Image

Forehead acne appears as solid red bumps referred to as papules. Some of the bumps may have a collection of pus at the top. These are known as pustules. When tiny glands under the skin become blocked, forehead acne and zits may develop. Although acne can occur in any part of the body, it is especially common in the T-zone, and the forehead is a part of this zone.

Emotional tensions, poor hygiene, and hormonal changes are to blame for this type of acne. In this write-up, find out the causes of acne on the forehead and ways to treat and prevent it. On the other hand, you may learn about the benefits of microdermabrasion and how they are beneficial for acne removal too.

Why Does the T-Zone Produce More Acne?

woman stretching forehead

The T-shaped area on your face is what is referred to as the T-zone. It extends across your forehead, down the bridge of your nose, and to your upper lip. This area tends to produce more acne than even the chin and cheeks.

The reason is that there is a high production of natural skin oil around the T-zone. This is the area where there is a high number of sebaceous glands, between 400-900 per square centimeter.

These glands are, however, present in every part of your body to protect your skin by moisturizing it and aiding in the quick healing process of wounds.

The T-zone, however, produces more oil than your skin needs. An excess of sebum combined with dead skin cells will cause clogged pores, leading to stubborn bumps.

Oily Skin Types at Risk of Forehead Acne

Dry, oily, normal, and combination are the four main skin types. One of the best ways to tell your skin type is by looking at your U-zone. Your U-zone is any part of your face outside the T-zone. That means the chin, cheeks, and temples. If your skin type is a combination of either, your T-zone may be greasy, while your U-zone could be dry.

If yours is a dry skin type, then both the U and T-zone areas would be dry. An oily skin type would mean the U and T zones have oil. While excess secretion may not be the primary cause of forehead acne, it could be a factor. Studies conducted by dermatologists in the past show that most participants with acne had oily skin [1].

What Causes Forehead Acne?

man in turtleneck with forehead acne on phone

Acne is chronic and can cause lesions like cystic bumps, pimples, whiteheads, blackheads, and nodules.

Once your pores are blocked by bacteria, sebum, or dead cells, they may become inflamed and develop zits.

Several factors are to blame for the increased amount of sebum causing acne breakouts. These include:

  • Stress: Stress has been linked to acne outbreaks because of how it can contribute to hormonal fluctuations.

  • Hormonal changes: Acne commonly starts at the onset of puberty. This is the period during which the levels of hormones fluctuate. A surge can then increase the production of oil, leading to pimples.

  • Hygiene: Failing to clean the hair and the face properly can leave dirt and greasy deposits on the T-zone, triggering sudden bumpy outbreaks.

  • Medication: Some medications, including steroids and anticonvulsants, can result in an outbreak as a side effect.

  • Skin irritants: Make-up and certain clothes can irritate the forehead, especially if you have sensitive skin. Clothing such as a headband or hat may be to blame. Touching and rubbing your forehead regularly can also trigger a breakout.

  • Hair products: If you have oily hair, the oil may deposit on the forehead and clog the pores. The hair products you use may also trigger a breakout because they can contain coconut oil or cocoa butter. These might include gels, pomades, and waxes.

Other Causes of Forehead Acne

The following conditions may also cause bumps to form on your forehead:

  • Cellulitis: This is a skin infection that forms around a scrape.

  • Boils: These are painful red lumps that form from infected hair follicles.

  • Folliculitis: This is an infection of the follicles.

  • Ringworm: This is a skin infection caused by fungi.

woman applying serum on forehead acne pimpleTypes of Forehead Acne Treatment

Natural Remedies

If you prefer a more organic treatment to treat acne, several remedies may help clear the breakout. However, it’s crucial that you try tested methods to avoid making the breakout worse. Natural remedies that are perfect for mild to moderate acne include:

  • Azelaic acid

  • Zinc

  • Aloe Vera

  • Green tea extract

  • Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil is especially touted by dermatologists as one of the most effective remedies. It exfoliates the skin, reduces inflammation, and fights bacteria. Because it has drying effects and can cause discomfort and redness, you are advised to only use it on the affected spots. This also applies to many essential oils that are good for treating acne.

Medical Remedies

Treatment varies depending on the severity of your pimple outbreak. And before your mind starts wandering‚ÄĒdoes microdermabrasion help acne scars? The best way to get rid of these pimples is to first practice good skin care. Use a gentle cleanser to clean your face at least twice daily to get rid of excess oil from your skin. If this doesn’t work, over-the-counter medications might help.

There are a variety of soaps, gels, lotions, and creams that can be used to treat acne. Treatments that focus on suppression and exfoliation tend to work very well for this kind of pimple breakout. When choosing a product, look for these active ingredients:

  • Benzoyl peroxide: This works by fighting the acne-causing bacteria.

  • Alpha-hydroxy acids: These acids stimulate the growth of new skin and exfoliate pores. The acids may include citric and glycolic acids.

  • Salicylic acid: This product clears excess sebum. It contains anti-inflammatory properties that prevent the irritation caused by exfoliation

  • Retinoids: This is often prescribed because it treats acne that fails to respond to other treatments. Retinoids unclog pores and reduce inflammation.

Most of these at-home treatments can be purchased online. If you have sensitive skin, you might want to stick to lotions and creams. Nizoral shampoo is an excellent ingredient for treating forehead breakouts. It makes the skin less greasy.

If you are going through puberty, it is normal to experience acne around your forehead. However, poor hygiene, stress, and skin irritants can also make the breakout worse.

When seeking treatment for your acne problems, understand that symptoms may take several weeks or even months to clear while using these treatments. You may also experience mild side effects, such as skin irritation. In severe cases, a dermatologist should assess your symptoms to determine the best treatment.

woman with band aid on her forehead

Frequently Asked Questions

Can wearing hats or helmets cause forehead acne?

Wearing tight-fitting headgear can contribute to friction and pressure on the forehead, potentially leading to acne breakouts.

Is it safe to pop forehead pimples?

No, popping pimples can worsen inflammation, lead to scarring, and spread bacteria. It’s best to avoid popping acne lesions.

How long does it take for acne treatments to show results?

Results vary, but most treatments require several weeks to show noticeable improvement. Consistency is key.

Are there natural remedies for treating forehead acne?

While natural remedies like tea tree oil and aloe vera may offer some relief, consulting a dermatologist for personalized advice is recommended.

Can stress really cause forehead acne?

Yes, stress can contribute to hormonal fluctuations that trigger acne. Managing stress through relaxation techniques can help prevent breakouts.

woman with face roller on the forehead


While acne is very common among people of all ages, forehead acne, specifically, can be frustrating and can affect one’s self-esteem. Despite acne being often associated with hormones and adolescence, it can still happen in adults and can appear in different parts of the body.

Forehead acne can be a bothersome condition, but with the right skincare routine and treatment approach, it is manageable. By understanding the causes, seeking appropriate treatment, and adopting preventive measures, individuals can achieve clearer and healthier skin on their foreheads.

Also, check out the other comparison review I did below for more options on facial care procedures: