Acne on the forehead is a common skin concern for many women. They usually appear as red bumps or papules and are sometimes pus-filled pimples called pustules.

Forehead pimples are difficult to conceal and can often be painful too. Therefore, it is helpful to know the ways to treat and prevent them.

These include both medicated products as well as home remedies for forehead pimples.

To figure out the best forehead acne treatment, you first need to understand what causes your pimples and breakouts.

Depending on the root cause, you can resort to tried and tested treatments for forehead pimples. Moreover, you can also tackle the root cause to prevent future breakouts on your forehead.

What Causes Forehead Acne?

forehead acne causes

  • Hormonal ImbalancesHormonal imbalance in women during puberty, menopause, or your period can be a common cause of forehead acne. Hormonal fluctuations may trigger excess sebum production on the skin. This leads to clogged pores that trap dirt and bacteria, causing acne. You can check your hormone levels through a simple test and consult a gynecologist for further action.
  • Hair Products – Greasy hair products are one of the common forehead acne causes. Many women apply hair oils, gels, or masks on their hair strands and scalp. These products tend to migrate to the forehead and can clog the pores. Clogged pores are the primary culprit behind acne on the forehead. So, either avoid applying hair products close to your forehead or wash your forehead well after your hair care routine.
  • Clothing – Dirty headbands or hats can be breeding grounds for acne-causing bacteria. These can be the culprit if you suffer from frequent breakouts on the forehead. So, avoid wearing tight headbands or hats when you are stepping out in the heat. This will prevent the accumulation of sweat in the pores. Furthermore, frequently wash your headgear to prevent microbial growth, and keep the forehead acne at bay.
  • Stress – Stress is one of the most common forehead acne causes. When your body is under stress, the cortisol levels in the blood tend to rise. This may lead to inflammation and overproduction of sebum on the skin. So, if you lead a stressful life, it might be a good idea to practice some techniques for managing stress. This will be beneficial for your skin as well as your overall health.
  • Poor Hygiene – The best forehead acne treatment, as well as a prevention strategy, is to keep your pores clean. Use a gentle cleanser daily and an exfoliant 2-3 times a week to remove oil, dead skin, and bacteria from your pores. Once your pores are decongested, the chances of microbial infections or acne will certainly go down.

The Best Treatments For Forehead Acne

Treatments for forehead acne

  • Benzoyl Peroxide – According to studies[1], Benzoyl Peroxide reduces inflammation and has antimicrobial properties to kill acne-causing bacteria. Therefore, it is an effective anti-acne treatment for forehead pimples. Benzoyl Peroxide is found in acne creams as well as cleansers. You can consult a dermatologist to know which product will suit you better.
  • Salicylic Acid – Salicylic Acid is an exfoliant that penetrates the pores to dissolve sebum and dirt. It reduces congestion in the pores, healing active acne and preventing future breakouts. Therefore, it is an excellent forehead acne treatment. You can use this ingredient as a cleanser or as a serum, depending on your preference.
  • Retinoids – Retinoids are Vitamin A derivatives that are famous for their anti-acne properties. Unlike other treatments that attack the forehead acne causes, retinoids work slightly differently. They prevent the formation of acne by treating the lesions on the skin. The downside of retinoids is that they can be drying and cause irritation or peeling. So, always consult a dermatologist before using one.
  • Antibiotics – Most forehead pimples are caused by bacterial infections. Antibiotics are a common and effective forehead acne treatment. However, regular consumption of antibiotics is not recommended, and it is safer to prevent acne with frequent cleansing and topical skincare products. In the case of severe acne, consult a dermatologist to get a prescription for oral antibiotics.

  • Contraceptive Pills – Acne is a common consequence of hormonal imbalances, particularly in women suffering from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS. According to studies[2], oral contraceptives can help prevent acne due to such hormonal imbalances. Moreover, contraceptive pills also encourage better hormonal health in these cases. They can alleviate other physiological symptoms of hormonal imbalances too.
  • Cortisone Shots – Cortisone injections offer immediate relief from inflammation caused by cystic acne. They also reduce the swelling and redness that accompany forehead breakouts. A cortisone shot is a promising forehead acne treatment if you are dealing with large and painful forehead pimples. Remember that it should only be administered by a certified dermatologist.

Effective Home Remedies To Heal Forehead Acne

Heal Forehead Acne

  • Aloe Vera – Aloe Vera is an effective home remedy for forehead acne. It reduces inflammation and redness caused by acne and expedites healing. For this home remedy, you simply need to apply aloe vera juice or gel on your acne as a spot treatment. Leave it on overnight or wash it off after 15 minutes as per your preference.
    • Green Tea – Studies[3] suggest green tea has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties that make it effective against acne. You can apply soaked and cooled green tea bags directly on your acne for instant relief. Do this every night for 5-10 minutes until your acne heals completely. It will reduce pain and redness too.
    • Tea Tree Oil – Tea tree oil is an antibacterial agent that can prevent and treat skin infections. It could be effective against acne-causing bacteria that are one of the most common forehead acne causes. You can apply diluted tea tree oil as a spot treatment on your acne to expedite healing. You can also mix it with a clay mask for faster healing.
    • Rice Flour Mask – Rice flour is rich in Vitamin B that soothes and repairs the skin. It also absorbs excess oil from the skin to reduce acne. To use rice flour to treat forehead acne, use a face pack of rice flour and rose water mixed together. The rice flour will repair and brighten the skin while the rose water will reduce inflammation.

    Are There Any Ways To Prevent Forehead Acne?

    • Wash your face twice a day with a gentle, SLS-free cleanser. If you wear makeup during the day, remove it with an oil-based cleanser and use a face wash.
    • Avoid touching your face and popping pimples. Our fingers can transfer bacteria to the forehead that will lead to further breakouts.
    • Wash your hair 2-3 times a week and clip your hair away from your forehead. Avoid bangs as they can transfer hair products and oil to the forehead.
    • Avoid using heavy hair oils and if you do, keep the product away from your forehead during application.
    • Wash your hats and headbands regularly to prevent contamination.
    • Use a clay mask on your forehead once a week to deep clean your pores.
    • Wash your face after coming back from any outdoor activity or sports activity to get rid of the sweat.
    • Avoid harsh skincare products and look for non-comedogenic and gentle ingredients.


    Acne on the forehead can be quite bothersome as they spoil the look of the face and can be painful too. To heal and prevent these lesions from reappearing, you need to understand the common forehead acne causes and address them accordingly.

    These could include hormonal imbalances, stress, poor hygiene, or acne-causing hair products. Look carefully into every aspect of your lifestyle to figure out what could be the reason behind your forehead pimples.

    Once you know the root cause for your forehead acne, treating it will be much simpler. The common medical treatments for acne might work for you.

    These include retinoids, antibiotics, benzoyl peroxide, and salicylic acid. Also, home remedies like aloe and green tea may provide instant relief. Always consult a dermatologist who can fine-tune your skin care regimen by skin type and concerns.

    Lastly, to prevent acne from reappearing, you need to take certain preventive measures. Keep everything that comes in contact with your forehead squeaky clean, and avoid using heavy hair oils near the forehead.

    With regular cleansing and exfoliation, you will be able to keep forehead breakouts in check. So, do try out these tips if forehead pimples have been a constant headache for you!