An acne face map? Here's what your acne-prone areas mean.


acne face map blog

Whether you’re prone to getting acne or not, you may notice that there are areas that break out more than others. While acne treatment plans are generally similar for everyone, treating the underlying cause is where a little extra attention is beneficial. Once you’ve treated your active breakouts, here’s how to narrow down the causes to avoid more in the future.

This is one of the most common places for acne because it’s usually the result of something we all have to experience whether we like it or not: hormonal changes. They’re unavoidable, so if you notice zits popping up in this area more frequently and you just keep scrubbing, exfoliating, peeling, and spot treating, you aren’t really getting to the root cause. Oral treatments like spironolactone can help correct this, or you can always try birth control if you’re female.

This part of the face is known for having larger pores that can easily clog up, hence why you see so many extraction videos on the internet of whiteheads and blackheads in this area. Since oil production in this area is commonly higher than other areas of your face, it’s important not to congest this area with too much makeup. Medicated toners can be beneficial here, as well as retinol or even laser treatments if your pores have become too enlarged.

You might notice what you think is acne around your mouth, and it very well could be acne. But often, those tiny bumps that sometimes appear around your mouth are known as perioral dermatitis. In layman’s terms, it’s just an allergic reaction. One of the clues its an allergy is persistent itching, but it’s important to know what you’re allergic to so you can stop the bumps from forming. Common culprits are food or toothpaste, and you should try testing out which one it is if you want the area to improve. In some cases, it is just acne and it’s probably due to clogged pores around your mouth from too much contact with hands or grease/oil that might be brushing against your skin while you eat or touch your face.

There are a lot of reasons your forehead might be breaking out so it might take a minute to narrow it down. The main cause of forehead acne is your hair because the oils, dandruff and products you use are in constant contact with your forehead. If your hairstyle includes bangs, try including a product in your skincare routine like a toner or blotting pad that can absorb extra moisture throughout the day (or simply change your hair style if you’re open to it). You can also cut back on how much makeup you apply to your forehead, and be mindful of sweat dripping down from your scalp if you’re active.

If you don’t think your hair is the cause, it could be stress. Stress is a common acne trigger (especially on the forehead) and the only way to get rid of it for good is to reduce your stress. Stress triggers your fight-or-flight response, releasing stress hormones like cortisol and androgens. Both hormones stimulate oil production, leaving your with clogged pores and acne. So lighten the mood with some exercise, meditation, or whatever calms your mind.

There’s a simple solution to cheek acne: clean your makeup brushes and wipe down your phone. They’re the two main causes of acne on your cheeks and they’re constantly redepositing oil, dirt and makeup back onto your skin. Not to mention the dirt you’re leaving on your touch screen and then transferring to your face. Cheek acne often boils down to hygiene, and luckily it’s easy to correct.

You really should schedule an appointment with a dermatologist to determine the main cause, but here are a few of the common culprits. Exercising and excessive sweating can clog pores throughout your body, particularly on your back and ears since a lot of sweat congregates in those areas and they don’t usually get a lot of attention when you’re wiping off sweat at the gym. And speaking of the gym, it could also be your workout towel that’s causing problems so keep it clean or use disposable towels if your gym provides them. It’s also smart to make sure you shower as soon as you can following your workout.

Another potential cause is a new lotion or hair care product that’s irritating the skin or clogging the pores on your back as it spreads across your pores and clogs them throughout the day. If you have products that are contributing to your clogged pores, try switching them out for non-comedogenic products and incorporate a product that combats acne in those areas. 

Schedule an appointment with Dr. Supriya Tomar to get an acne consultation by calling our office at 561-805-9399 or emailing us at if you are struggling with acne-prone skin.

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