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Forehead Acne: Doctors Explain How to Get Rid of It

How to Get Rid of Forehead Acne

Forehead acne occurs when the pores on your forehead get clogged by sebum, dirt and dead skin cells. When these pores are blocked, bacteria grow and cause inflammation, leading to tender red bumps known as pimples.  Everyone has sebum, an oily substance that is secreted by the sebaceous glands, to help keep the skin protected and moisturized.

However, there are situations when sebaceous glands overproduce sebum which contributes to acne. Some common causes of increased sebum or oil production and clogged pores are: poor hygiene, hormonal changes, cosmetic products, skin irritation, medication, and poor diet.

Causes of Forehead Acne

Poor Hygiene:

Adopting a good skincare routine for oily, acne prone skin is important. Our recommended skincare routine can help you maintain clean and clear skin and reduce forehead acne.

How to Get Rid of Forehead Acne

Hormonal Changes:

During and after puberty, a rise of androgen hormones such as testosterone in both women and men lead to an increase of sebum production. The forehead is a common place for acne breakouts.

Cosmetic Products:

Some makeup along with skin and hair care products contain oil and other ingredients that may clog pores and acne breakouts.1-2 These comedogenic ingredients include:

  1. Coconut oil
  2. Alcohol
  3. Lanolins
  4. Red dyes
  5. D & C Red dyes
  6. Silicones
  7. Polyethylene glycol
  8. Isopropyl myristate and its analogs, such as isopropyl palmitate, isopropyl isostearate, butyl stearate, isostearyl neopentanoate, myristyl myristate, decyl oleate, octyl stearate, octyl palmitate or isocetyl stearate

Skin Irritation:

Touching acne lesions and popping pimples can spread bacteria, inflame and irritate the skin which worsens acne and encourages new breakouts.


Some medications like steroids, anticonvulsants, barbiturates, DHEA, lithium can cause acne as a side effect.3

Poor Diet

There has been an increasing number of studies4 in the recent years that show a link between diet and acne.  People who have a higher glycemic diet tend to have more acne. Avoids foods such with processed carbohydrates, refined sugars, red meats, and alcohol. All of these foods increase the body’s inflammation and may lead to forehead acne.

How to Get Rid of Forehead Acne

Homes Remedies for Forehead Acne

Beside lifestyle changes, below are some home remedies and over the counter treatment to help with forehead acne.

Oral Supplements:

  1. Zinc - Zinc supplementation can help acne by restoring healthy zinc level. Low zinc levels are associated with acne.5
  2. Probiotics – pro-inflammatory bacteria in the gut can inflame and irritate the gut which releases inflammatory cytokines which worsen inflammation on the skin.6 Probiotics are known good gut bacteria that lower the inflammation response and tend to not irritate the gut.
  3. Turmeric and Fish Oil – Turmeric is a brightly colored antioxidant with potent anti-inflammatory properties.7 Fish oil is also known to lower inflammation because it is rich in omega-3 fats.
  4. DIM - DIM is found in cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts and helps support hormonal balance.

Try DrFormulas Clear Skin Support which includes all of the above ingredients.

Topical Treatments

  1. Retinoids such as Vitamin A, Retinol, Accutane, and Adapalene inhibit oil production and promote cell turnover
  2. Foaming Face Cleansers with salicylic acid reduce inflammation and unclogs pores.8
  3. Benzoyl Peroxide is an anti-bacterial compound that decreases acne-causing C. acnes bacteria.9
  4. Essential Oils such as tea tree oil have been found to be as effective as benzoyl peroxide.10

Natural Herbs to Support Clear Skin