The forehead is one of the most common places to get acne breakouts. It's part of the so-called T-zone, an area of the face that tends to get oily and shiny. In most cases, acne breakouts can be treated with good personal hygiene and over-the-counter medication. However, for more severe cases of forehead acne, you may want to contact a dermatologist, who can prescribe stronger treatment.
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Despite what your mother may have told you, acne is not the result of eating too much chocolate or pizza. Acne is caused by overactive sebaceous glands, which produce an excess of a substance called sebum. Sebum production is regulated by androgens (sex hormones) including testosterone. Too much testosterone leads to an overproduction of sebum. The sebum clogs pores, which leads to blackheads. Blackheads are a breeding ground for Propionibacterium acnes, the bacterium that causes pimples. Acne breakouts can occur almost anywhere on the body. The forehead is one of the more common places. There are contributing factors, such as hair oils and hair products. These can exacerbate blocked pores.
It's important to keep the forehead skin clean by washing your face twice a day with a medicated face wash containing salicylic acid. Salicylic acid promotes the shedding of dead skin cells that would otherwise block your pores. If you have sensitive skin, use the face wash once a day to prevent over-drying.
Exfoliation is crucial for keeping the pores clean and the skin smooth. You can use a gentle face scrub, or a little scrubbing sponge that is specifically designed for exfoliation. If you have sensitive skin, don't exfoliate more than three times a week. Otherwise, you can do so daily in the shower.
There are many medicated acne lotions available over-the-counter without a prescription. Find one that contains Benzoyl Peroxide. Benzoyl Peroxide kills the bacteria that causes acne. It can bleach certain fabrics, so make sure that it has fully absorbed into your skin before getting dressed.
If you have severe forehead acne, standard over-the-counter medications may not be enough. You may want to see a dermatologist, who will prescribe antibiotics to kill the Propionibacterium acnes bacteria. There are topical antibiotics and stronger oral ones. They are extremely effective, but may also have unintended side effects. Some people experience severe allergic reactions including rashes and fever.