Acne occurs when dead skin cells and oil get trapped in a pore and clog it. One of the most common skin concerns, pimples and acne can affect teenagers and as well as adults. While it is more prominent among those with oily skin, that’s not the only reason why a person might be experiencing acne. External factors like pollution, unsuitable skincare products, poor skincare habits are also responsible for acne. While these little bumps can appear anywhere on the face and body, sometimes it only affects a particular area and becomes quite bothersome. Pimples on the forehead are a common problem that bothers a lot of women. But did you know it could be a result of something as simple as dandruff?

To learn more about the causes and ways to get rid of pimples on the forehead, we decided to contact cosmetic dermatologist, trichologist & dermat surgeon, Founder & Director – Shine Skin, Hair & Laser Clinic, Dr. Mrunal Shah Modi. In this article, you will get expert insights on how to tackle this problem and bid goodbye to forehead pimples once and for all. To begin with, let’s first learn about what causes pimples on the forehead.


1. What causes pimples on the forehead?

What causes pimples on the forehead?

“Oily skin and hormonal changes in the body like PCOD and irregular periods are considered to be the leading cause of forehead pimples. However, these are not the only two reasons why you may be suddenly getting acne on your forehead,” says Dr. Modi. Below she has listed some sneaky reasons behind forehead pimples.

i) Dandruff:

If you have dandruff or a flaky scalp, chances are, it is falling on your face and causing forehead pimples. It is necessary to get your dandruff treated by a trichologist.

ii) Excessive oil on the scalp:

Those with a natural oil scalp or someone who applies too much oil on the scalp can also experience forehead acne as it can block the sebaceous glands on the forehead.

iii) Poor cleansing habits:

Not washing your face often and letting the sweat dry out on the face is also a big no-no.

iv) Pore blocking products:

Using occlusive products like the wrong kind of makeup or creams can block the glands and cause forehead pimples.

v) Stress:

Stressful lifestyles and irregular sleeping patterns can also lead to pimples on the forehead.

vi) Hairstyling products:

Products like gel, mousse, conditioners, leave-on hair masks get mixed with sweat and seep from the scalp to the forehead transferring bacteria with it.

vii) Tight headgear:

Wearing tight caps, bandanas, helmets leave little to no space for air to enter and leads to pimples on the area.


2. Tips to prevent pimples on the forehead

Tips to prevent pimples on the forehead

Now that we know the sneaky causes behind forehead pimples, next, we asked our expert if it can be prevented in the first place. Turns out you can, here are a few tips from Dr. Modi that will keep forehead pimples at bay.


- Minimise the use of hair styling products

Minimise the use of hair styling products

Styling your hair requires both heat styling tools and products, these products can cause build-up and lead to a number of problems. Right from hampering the natural growth of your hair to causing pimples on the forehead, these innocent looking products should only be used when absolutely necessary.


- Avoid applying a lot of oil on the scalp

Avoid applying a lot of oil on the scalp

While hot oil massages are essential for the health of your hair, avoid applying a lot of hair oil to the scalp. Focus more on the lengths and tips, where hair tends to get drier. If applying on the scalp, wash your hair in 2-3 hours.


- Maintain scalp hygiene

Maintain scalp hygiene

Washing your hair everyday is not recommended, however, don’t go too long without shampooing as this can also cause forehead pimples. While using a blow dryer, avoid direct contact of heat over the face or very close to the forehead.


- Use anti-dandruff shampoo and treat scalp infections

Use anti-dandruff shampoo and treat scalp infections

As mentioned earlier, dandruff and scalp infections are one of the most common causes of forehead pimples. Therefore, if you want to get rid of pimples on your forehead, first address the issue of dandruff and scalp infections by using appropriate products.


- Remove makeup at the end of the day

Remove makeup at the end of the day

Always remember to wash the makeup off before going to bed. Use oil-free or non-comedogenic makeup if you have acne-prone skin. Most importantly, avoid wearing any type of makeup while exercising.


- Keep the hair away from the forehead

Keep the hair away from the forehead

Bangs may look super cute, but did you know they can also be the reason for forehead pimples. They attract dirt from the environment and oil from your scalp, mix the two and create a breeding ground for bacteria. This is then transferred to your forehead, thus creating a recipe for disaster.


3. How to treat pimples on the forehead

How to treat pimples on the forehead

Although forehead pimples are common, the good news is that it can be treated with the help of natural as well as in-clinic treatment options. Want to know the most effective ways to treat pimples on the forehead? Scroll down to read them all.


- Home remedies to treat pimples on the forehead

Home remedies to treat pimples on the forehead

i) Aloe vera gel

Aloe vera has superior soothing and healing properties which makes it an excellent ingredient for almost every skin concern including forehead pimples. The gel of aloe vera can be used directly on the forehead everyday to get quick results. Freshly extracted gel from the plant leaf is recommended for visible results.

ii) Tea tree oil

Essential oils are potent ingredients that offer a wide range of benefits for skin and hair. Tea tree oil, in particular, is added to skincare products formulated for those with oily and acne-prone skin. Its antibacterial properties fight pimple-causing bacteria and accelerate the healing process. Avoid applying it directly on the skin, always mix with a carrier oil and apply only on the forehead pimples.

iii) Apple cider vinegar

Just like tea tree oil, apple cider vinegar contains antibacterial properties that help heal pimples quickly. What’s more, it also maintains the pH balance of the skin and prevents it from becoming too dry. Dilute it with water and apply directly on forehead pimples to notice the difference within a few weeks.


- In-office treatment methods

In-office treatment methods

i) Chemical peels

Glycolic and salicylic acid peels are a common treatment option for forehead pimples. They work as exfoliators to remove the top layer of the skin and reveal healthy, radiant-looking skin. Based on your skin type and concern, the dermatologist will recommend an appropriate peel.

ii) Extractions

Pimples are a result of clogged pores, therefore extracting blackheads and whiteheads can sometimes offer relief from forehead pimples. In-clinic extractions ensure the job is done with care and minimum scarring.

iii) Microdermabrasion

Another in-office treatment that has slowly become popular for the treatment of forehead pimples is microdermabrasion. With the use of a small handheld device, the top layer of the skin is exfoliated, this improves texture, skin tone and minimizes pimples and breakouts.


4. FAQs about pimples on forehead

FAQs about pimples on forehead

1) What do pimples on the forehead mean?

A. Forehead pimples are associated with hormonal changes in the body, however, it could also be a result of poor skin and hair care habits. It can be corrected with the help of OTC treatment options, natural remedies as well as in-office treatments.

2) How do I get rid of the small bumps on my forehead?

A. Lots of tiny bumps on the forehead is a common skin concern and could be a result of something you have never thought of, for example, dandruff. Therefore, it is necessary to first identify the cause behind your forehead pimples.

3) Does toothpaste get rid of pimples?

A. A lot of websites suggest using toothpaste to get rid of pimples. However, skin experts strongly discourage this. It contains chemicals that can cause severe dryness and turn the skin black. Instead, use tea tree oil or apple cider vinegar to heal forehead pimples faster.