Skin Care Ideas

Forehead Acne: Causes, Treatment, And Prevention Tips

Medically reviewed by Dr. Hari Hara Sudhan, MD, Dermatologist
by Atulya Satishkumar

Acne is a common skin condition. It is observed in both men and women, especially in adolescents as they enter puberty. Acne is characterized by the appearance of small, red, and inflamed bumps on your skin and forehead. This happens as a result of clogged pores as you are likely to be exposed to pollution, dust, and other impurities.

In this article, we will discuss the causes of forehead acne and medical as well as natural treatment options for it.

What Causes Forehead Acne?

Most types of acne are caused when the pores of sebaceous glands in your skin get clogged. This holds true for forehead acne as well. Excess sebum production, presence of dead skin cells, dirt, and bacteria can cause the pores to clog, thus leading to pimples on the forehead.

Some factors that increase your risk of developing acne include hormonal changes, stress, poor hygiene habits, use of comedogenic cosmetics that clog your pores, medications like steroids, barbiturates, etc. (1). Hormonal changes around puberty can cause the appearance of acne and pimples due to the changing levels of hormones in your body.

If you use comedogenic cosmetic products, the pores in your skin can get clogged and result in breakouts and acne. Acne can also be a result of taking medicines that can cause a hormonal imbalance in your body. If you do not maintain good hygiene by washing your face and hair regularly, you are at the risk of getting acne as the impurities in your skin can clog the pores and cause breakouts.

Acne can also be caused in individuals who are predisposed to have the skin condition and also if you have foods that have a high glycemic index.

Forehead Acne Medical Treatments

Mild cases of pimples or acne on the forehead can be treated using over-the-counter medication in the form of ointments, creams, gels, or supplements. Benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, retinol, and resorcinol are common OTC options (2).

Benzoyl peroxide is known to be antibacterial, while salicylic acid exhibits anti-inflammatory and comedolytic properties (2). This can help reduce the blockage of pores with sebum that can lead to acne.

Retinol (vitamin A) and zinc supplements are other effective options to reduce acne.

You can resort to over-the-counter medication, depending on the severity of the acne on your forehead. Make sure to consult your dermatologist before taking these medicines. If you are dealing with severe acne, your dermatologist will guide you about the treatment options you can follow.

If you have a mild case of acne, the following natural remedies may help treat it.

How To Reduce Forehead Acne Naturally

1. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera contains active components that possess antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, which may help alleviate acne and pimples on the forehead (3).

You Will Need

Aloe vera gel (as required)

What You Have To Do
  1. Dab a little aloe vera gel on the affected area.
  2. Leave it on for 20-30 minutes.
  3. Rinse it off.
How Often You Should Do This

You can do this 1 to 2 times daily.

2. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is anti-inflammatory and can improve mild to moderate forehead acne (4). Its antibacterial nature can also fight the acne-causing bacteria.

You Will Need
  • 1-2 drops of tea tree oil
  • 1 teaspoon of sweet almond oil or any other carrier oil
  • Cotton swabs
What You Have To Do
  1. Add 1-2 drops of tea tree oil to a teaspoon of any carrier oil.
  2. Mix well and dip a cotton swab in the mixture.
  3. Apply the swab to the affected areas.
  4. Leave it on overnight.
How Often You Should Do This

You can do this once daily.

Note: Tea tree oil can cause skin irritation in some people and must be avoided if you are allergic to it.

3. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar exhibits powerful antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties (5). This may help reduce the infection that causes acne and aid healing.

You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons of water
  • Cotton balls
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix a tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar with three tablespoons of water.
  2. Apply the mixture to a freshly cleansed face with a cotton ball.
  3. Leave it on overnight.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this once daily or every alternate day.

Note: Apple cider vinegar, if used undiluted, can cause burns and skin irritation.

4. Lemon Or Lime Juice

Lemon is a rich source of vitamin C. Due to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, vitamin C, whether it is topically applied or consumed, may help minimize acne (6).

You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • 2-3 teaspoons of water
  • Cotton balls
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix a teaspoon of lemon juice with two to three teaspoons of water.
  2. Dip a cotton ball in the mixture and apply it all over your face.
  3. Wash your face after 20-30 minutes.
  4. You can also drink a glass of fresh lime juice daily.
How Often You Should Do This

Apply it once every alternate day.

Note: Lemon juice can cause a stinging sensation and irritation. You should avoid this if you are allergic to lime juice. Lemon juice also makes your skin photosensitive. Hence, make sure you apply sunscreen before stepping out.

5. Green Tea Extract

Green tea contains polyphenols that exhibit anti-inflammatory properties (7). This may help reduce sebum production, which, in turn, can help in combating acne.

You Will Need

Used green tea bags

What You Have To Do
  1. Take a couple of used green tea bags and refrigerate them.
  2. Place the cold tea bags on your forehead.
  3. Remove and rinse your face with water after 20-30 minutes.
How Often You Should Do This

You can do this once daily.

6. Honey

Honey has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that can help in fighting acne (8).

You Will Need

Raw honey (as required)

What You Have To Do
  1. Apply a small amount of raw honey to your forehead.
  2. Leave it on for 20-30 minutes and rinse it off.
How Often You Should Do This

You can do this once daily.

7. Tomato

Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C and exhibit anti-inflammatory properties (9). This may be helpful in eliminating acne on your forehead.

You Will Need

½ tomato

What You Have To Do
  1. Cut a tomato in half.
  2. Gently rub one half of the tomato all over your face.
  3. Leave it on for 15-30 minutes before rinsing it off.
How Often You Should Do This

You can do this once daily.

8. Azelaic Acid

Azelaic acid is non-comedogenic and can help cleanse your pores. It has also shown to treat comedonal and inflammatory acne (10). An ointment or cream that contains azelaic acid may help reduce the appearance of acne.

You Will Need

Azelaic acid ointment

What You Have To Do
  1. Take a dollop of the prescribed ointment and apply it to the affected area.
  2. Let this dry before you apply other cosmetic products.
How Often You Should Do This

You can do this once daily.

Note: Avoid using any deep-cleansing astringent or facial cleanser when you are using an azelaic acid-based ointment. Do a patch test to determine if you are allergic to this formulation before trying out this remedy.

9. Zinc

Several studies show that zinc has anti-inflammatory properties and an inhibitory effect on Propionibacterium acnes, bacteria that cause acne (11), (12). This may prove to be helpful in reducing the appearance of acne on your forehead.

You Will Need

Topical zinc products or zinc supplements

What You Have To Do
  1. Take a dollop of the prescribed cream or gel on your fingertip and apply it to the affected area. Let it dry before you apply for other cosmetic products.
  2. Alternatively, you could take zinc supplements after consulting your dermatologist. Oral consumption may be more effective in severe cases of acne.
How Often You Should Do This

You can do this once daily.

Note: Do a patch test before trying out this remedy. Avoid using multiple acne-treatment creams. Do not opt for this remedy if you have sensitive skin.

These remedies are natural and take time to show results. If you have severe acne, avail medical treatment after consulting a dermatologist.

Listed below are a few tips to prevent the recurrence of forehead acne.

Tips To Prevent Forehead Acne

If you are looking for ways to prevent acne, the first step is to maintain excellent personal hygiene. Cleansing your face after exposure to pollution, grime, and dust can help prevent acne. Here are a few tips to prevent forehead acne:

  • Wash your face with a mild cleanser twice daily.
  • Use a mild facial scrub at least once a week.
  • Remove all makeup before you go to bed.
  • Avoid using comedogenic facial products to prevent clogging the pores in your skin.
  • Avoid eating foods with a high glycemic index (such as sugar, processed flour, pasta, etc.), chocolate, dairy products, etc. You must include foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants in your diet to prevent acne (13).
  • Avoid wearing tight hats, helmets, or clothing that can trigger forehead acne.
  • Avoid being exposed to the sun for long periods.
  • Shower soon after strenuous physical activities.
  • Pimples on the forehead are easy to treat and prevent if you follow a good skincare routine. Availing appropriate treatment or using natural remedies can provide you relief from forehead acne.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to get rid of a forehead pimple?

Acne usually takes 4-5 days to appear and another 4-5 days to go away completely. Larger lesions could take about it week to disappear. However, availing treatment can help in speeding up the healing.

Is it safe to pop a pimple on your forehead?

You should never pop a pimple on your own. Popping pimples not only increases your risk of developing more pimples in the affected area, but it also puts you at a high risk of scarring.

How can I stop hormonal acne?

Hormonal acne can be treated with oral contraceptives and anti-androgen drugs. Mild cases of hormonal acne can be treated with topical retinoids.

13 sources

Stylecraze has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

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Atulya Satishkumar