10 Reasons You are Breaking out in Acne on Your Forehead

You’ve probably had it happen to you before. You’re enjoying yourself immensely while doing something you love, go to bed, and wake up with bumps on your forehead. You are breaking out in acne on your forehead. While many people focus on how to get rid of it immediately, you may be wondering why you keep breaking out with acne, especially if it happens all the time or always happens on the forehead and nowhere else.

Forehead acne usually looks like red bumps that are solid. These bumps are called papules. However, you may also see bumps with pus collection or formation at the top of them. These bumps are called pustules.

Regardless of where it is located, you must treat acne correctly. It is easy to pop them, scratch them, and otherwise aggravate them, but you shouldn’t do that. Doing so can cause you to scar in the area, but it can also cause the acne to spread to other parts of the body or face. Along with such, it can cause the acne to last longer because what was scratched or aggravated must now heal as well as the acne itself.

Instead of trying to pick or scratch away the acne, you can use prescription medication or OTC options to clear up the pimples. While it is easy to focus on how to get rid of the acne, you should also know why you break out in the first place. Knowledge is power, so it’s essential that you learn why you are breaking out in acne on your forehead.


10Regardless of Where Acne is, the Cause is the Same

In many cases, the pores get clogged with excess oil, dirt, or dead skin cells. Take care of your skin and keep it clean

Sebum, which is an oil that is produced naturally in the body, is designed to lubricate and protect your skin. It is produced by tiny oil glands that are called sebaceous glands. The oils get to the skin’s surface using small holes (pores).

In many cases, the pores get clogged with excess oil, dirt, or dead skin cells. Any bacteria inside gets caught, which creates a swollen bump. Most people call these bumps pimples, but the technical term is acne.

Many factors can increase the amount of oil produced by your body, which can make it easier for you to get acne. These can include:

  • Stress
  • Hormones
  • Medications

Hormones can cause acne formation and is sometimes called acne vulgaris. Whenever androgen levels rise (such as testosterone), it triggers a process of more sebum production, which also changes skin cells and their activity. It can also cause inflammation and hair follicle colonization.

Symptoms of hormonal acne are the same as with any type of acne. These can include whiteheads and blackheads, as well as cysts, pustules, papules, and more. While blackheads and whiteheads aren’t inflamed and don’t cause swelling or pain, they can turn into pustules or cysts if they become inflamed. They can appear anywhere on the body but usually appear on the forehead and other parts of the face. However, they appear on the forehead most often because sebum levels are usually higher in this area of the face. Plus, you are more likely to notice acne on the forehead because you tend to look at your face periodically throughout the day.

9Depression can Cause Acne and Vice-Versa

Depression can actually cause acne, it can also be a complication, which means if you have acne, you could easily become depressed.

Many people don’t realize that depression can be a cause of acne. For one thing, most people who become depressed do not care for themselves correctly. They may neglect face washing and other clean habits, which means they may have bacteria under their nails that they then use to scratch their forehead. When you go for long periods without washing away the excess oil, it can get trapped beneath the skin and cannot be easily cleaned away. Along with such, people who are depressed tend not to eat healthily. When you consume junk food such as chocolate or potato chips, the excess grease, and unhealthy calories can cause acne formation.

While depression can actually cause acne, it can also be a complication, which means if you have acne, you could easily become depressed. Acne can cause your face to look unsightly, and while it is a common occurrence, it can negatively impact your self-esteem. Acne is believed to affect up to 80 percent of men and women between 11 and 30 years of age, though it primarily affects teenagers between 14 and 19 years old. These numbers are worrisome for many, but those who are older than 30 can still experience acne. However, you may notice fewer outbreaks or fewer pustules forming as you get older. The challenge for people with depression or acne is not to let the other aspect come into play. The best way to do that is to be mentally healthy and discuss mental health concerns with your doctor and prevent acne formation from occurring.


8Forehead Acne can be Caused by Menopause

Hormonal changes and imbalances during this period in your life can cause acne of your face especially on your head

Women who are going through menopause or perimenopause may find that they start developing acne on the forehead. It happens for many of the same reasons that it happens during puberty. Hormonal changes and imbalances during this period in your life can affect your skin’s defenses and trigger acne formation.

As your progesterone and estrogen levels decline, your testosterone levels tend to remain stable for the most part. Unfortunately, the imbalance between the decline and stable levels of all three causes your skin glands to produce more sebum than necessary. Remember, sebum is a natural oil that is used to cleanse the skin. However, too much of it can clog your pores. Your immune system the responds to the blockage by flooding that area with more white blood cells, which causes a fluid bubble to form underneath the topmost layer of skin.

In most cases, acne during menopause isn’t usually severe, which means you probably won’t require any medical treatment. Usually, once the hormones balance more, the acne also goes away.

If you are still worried about the acne formation, there are things you can do to prevent it. For one, you can wash your face with an appropriate cleanser once a day or as recommended by your dermatologist. You can also avoid touching your face, which keeps bacteria from other parts of the body away from the forehead. If you already have acne, you may want to consider using medications, either prescribed by a doctor or found over the counter.


7Your Diet Could be Causing the Breakouts

Improper food intake can be the serious cause for acne breakout. If your skin is healthy, you must check for the other acne reasons.

Studies have shown that your diet can cause acne. While there are many myths out there about acne, one of the purported myths is true. Studies have shown that there is a link between your diet and acne formation. Some foods, such as dairy products and carbohydrates might trigger or worsen acne.

Foods that are high in carbohydrates can increase your blood sugar levels, and any foods with higher glycemic indexes raise blood sugar much faster than foods with lower values. Your glycemic load focuses both on quantity and quality of the carbs you consume. For example, higher levels are found in white potatoes, chips, and white bread while lower levels are found in peanuts, multi-grain bread, beans, and many vegetables.

Many studies have been conducted throughout the years that link higher glycemic levels with acne formation.

In fact, these studies have also shown that a lower glycemic index diet could improve acne over time.

While carbohydrates can cause acne, so can dairy products. However, the association between the two is weak. Therefore, more research must be done to determine if dairy products cause acne. Instead of ignoring dairy altogether, it may be helpful to eat it in small servings. Along with such, most studies show a correlation between milk and acne formation. Therefore, you may want to get your daily dairy servings from sources other than milk, such as yogurt, non-milk cheese, and more. However, before you start cutting things from your diet, it is essential to talk to your doctor and/or dermatologist about other options and what might be causing your particular acne outbreak.


6Your Hair and Any Haircare Products You Use Might Cause Acne

Using some hair products with excess oil can clog the forehead pores and cause acne.

Most people don’t realize that their hair contains oil, and it is essential to ensure that your hair is silky smooth and that it lies flat or has the right volume. However, the oils in the hair can cause acne, especially on the forehead. If you have bangs, you may notice more outbreaks of acne because your hair is full of oil, your forehead is full of oil, and the excess oil causes the outbreak. Many times, the best course of action is to remove the hair from the forehead and/or use a soap that is slightly drying on the skin. Both of these options reduce the oil formation on the head and keeps acne at bay.

Another option could be that you don’t wash your hair often enough and the oil permeates the forehead. You should wash your hair every other day or more often, depending on how oily it is.

It is also essential to focus on the hair products you use, as they can cause breakouts. When you use some hair products with excess oil, it clogs the forehead pores and causes acne.

Products to be wary of include pomades, gels, oils, and waxes. Many times, these products have ingredients like coconut oil or cocoa butter, which can leave the skin even oilier than normal. Before purchasing any haircare products, it is best to make sure that they don’t contain any other oils or ‘skin butters.’


5Oil-Based Cosmetics Could Cause Forehead Acne

Choosing non-comedogenic makeup, irrespective to the skin type can be the cause of acne. Buy the best makeup product that suits you

Many women find that they try a new makeup brand and end up with acne. While it seems like it shouldn’t happen, many makeup brands are comedogenic, which means they are acne-forming. Comedogenic means that the makeup can clog pores and has ingredients that can cause breakouts.

However, it’s not as simple as choosing non-comedogenic makeup, which does exist. You can try non-comedogenic make-up brands, but each person is different and will react to ingredients differently. Therefore, there isn’t a specific list of ingredients to avoid, and you may need to do the trial-and-error option until you find what works (and doesn’t) for you.

For many women, primers contain silica, which clogs pores. For others, cream-based makeups can cause acne. In others, the colorant or dye used in the makeup causes the skin irritation, which then turns into acne.

Women should not fear, however. They can still wear makeup if they desire. They just have to determine what works for them. Most dermatologists recommend avoiding high pigments, high occlusive makeups, and heavy cream bases.

While many make-up brands now offer ‘non-comedogenic’ products that are designed not to clog the pores, it can still give you an outbreak depending on what is causing your pores to get clogged. In some cases, the small red bumps may be an allergic reaction instead of a pimple. However, if you do notice that you break out or have an outbreak of acne whenever applying makeup, it is best to try a different brand. If you have done this many times, you may need to talk to a dermatologist or doctor about your issue.


4Excessive Sweating can Cause Forehead Acne

Sweating can cause acne because it attracts dirt and dust to the skin and helps these things adhere to the skin.

While summer is the best time to sport your short-shorts and bikinis, it’s also the time for excessive sweating. While most people worry about the sun causing skin damage, summer heat can affect the skin multiple ways, such as with sweating While it’s your body’s natural way to cool down, it can also cause irritations, such as acne.

Regardless of where it forms, acne is caused by too much skin oil production. The skin’s pores are blocked, which causes bacteria to build up and create acne. While myths populated and circulated that sweat actually cleaned the pores, studies have now shown that to be false. Oil pores and sweat glands are two different areas of the body, and neither helps the other. In fact, sweating can cause acne because it attracts dirt and dust to the skin and helps these things adhere to the skin, which can be full of bacteria, as well.

Along with such, if you combine excessive sweating with friction, you get a particular type of acne. When you involve yourself in an activity that uses friction and a part of the body that sweats, you can get acne mechanic. While this rarely happens on the forehead, your hair can cause friction if it is wetted down with sweat and it sticks to the forehead. When you move it away, it causes friction and can irritate the forehead, usually around the hairline.

Plus, friction can also be caused by headbands and hats. It is best not to wear tight headbands or anything that might slide down.


3Over-Washing the Face or Using Highly-Drying Facial Products can Cause Acne

If you wash more than a few times a day, you run the risk of removing too much oil from the face that can be a source of acne

Many people believe that the best way to prevent acne is to wash their face multiple times a day. While that seems like a good idea at first, it can actually cause acne to form. Studies have shown that when your face feels dry or taut after washing, the body then produces more oil. It is a coping mechanism to prevent dry skin. While it doesn’t work for everyone as some people do have dry skin, those with normal or oily skin may find that over-washing the face can cause the body to produce more oil in the hopes of balancing the body out again. In fact, it all comes down to balance.

You want a clean face because it removes bacteria from the skin and prevents infections of the face and eyes. However, if you wash more than a few times a day, you run the risk of removing too much oil from the face. Therefore, you need a balance between the two. You need to be able to remove dirt, extra oil and makeup from your face without stripping it of all the oil.

Therefore, you should wash your face once a day and use a mild cleanser. If you have oily skin, you may use a slightly drying face wash, but you should also follow up with a moisturizer afterward. That way, your face gets clean, but you put back some of the moisture you lose, ensuring the balance that you need. You can also wash with acne-preventing cleanser, but this shouldn’t be done more than a few times a week.


2Avoid Wearing Hats that Touch the Forehead

You should wear loose-fitting clothes to prevent friction that can cause acne formation

While it doesn’t seem like it should matter, anything that touches the forehead could cause acne, such as hats, helmets, or clothing. While most people don’t wear clothes on the forehead, you may find that winter-wear is essential to keep you warm. These can include earmuffs that go over the forehead, hats, scarves, and more. If you must wear these items, it is essential that you choose the right ones.

The goal is to wear loose-fitting clothes to prevent friction that can cause acne formation. However, it is also essential that you wear something tight enough to stay where it is supposed to be.

For a hat, it is best to wear cotton or something that breathes to ensure that airflow can get to the forehead and keep it cool, which prevents sweating. Instead of wearing scarves or cowls as a hat, it is better to wear a hat and try to find one that sits below where acne usually occurs on the forehead. For example, if you usually get acne at the hairline, you may want to wear a hat that goes farther down the face.

You may want to switch to all-cotton clothing to make it easier for your skin to breathe. You may also want to remove your hat and other winter clothing the moment you get inside so that you prevent excess sweating.

For those who wear helmets and other hats for work or sports, you may want to remove the helmet as often as possible to wipe your forehead with a clean towel.


1Stress can Cause Acne, Though Indirectly

Don’t stress too much. It can bring hormonal changes and ultimately cause acne.

For many years, doctors have believed that stress can worsen acne and research has shown that they may be right. While emotional stress can’t trigger acne to crop up, it can worsen it if you already have it. The problem is that scientists don’t know how stress can worsen acne. They only know that the cells producing sebum have stress hormone receptors. When you experience stress, the cells are warned to produce more sebum.

Another problem is that you are more likely to pick at the pimples when you are already stressed. You may become stressed out that you have acne, which causes a vicious cycle. If you then pick at the acne, you can cause it to get worse and scar. Along with such, you can spread the bacteria, which can cause acne breakouts on other parts of the body.

For most people, picking slightly at a pimple won’t do much damage, but if you excessively or compulsively pick at your skin blemishes, you’re more likely to have more acne and more severe acne. It’s best to get the acne treated and cleared up so that you have nothing to pick at. In some cases, you can get help with picking skin blemishes so that you stop doing it and let your acne run its course.



No one wants to deal with acne because it is unsightly and can cause you to be self-conscious about your body or face. While it seems easier to wait until you get an outbreak, it might be better to try to prevent acne from happening. However, some issues cannot be helped, such as hormonal imbalances from puberty and menopause.

Along with such, you may be tempted to hide the pimples with makeup, which can actually make the issue worse. If you must cover up the pimples, you should always use a non-comedogenic brand because it doesn’t clog pores more than they are.

Regardless of how often you get breakouts or how severe they become, it is always best to use best practices for cleaning and grooming your hair and face. It is also essential that you talk to your doctor when necessary about ways to prevent acne or treat it effectively and safely.

You do not need to significantly change your habits if you lead a relatively healthy life. You just need to make some minor changes and follow a few prevention tips to ensure that your face looks smooth and beautiful. You can prevent acne or treat it effectively so that it doesn’t ruin or rule your life.

One of the most important steps is to learn why you are breaking out with acne on your forehead so that you can focus on alternatives or ways to reduce those things you do that can cause acne formation in the first place.