Intro to Forehead Acne

Forehead acne — it’s super common, but can also be difficult to figure out what’s causing it. If you keep up with skincare TikTok, you’ve also probably heard the term “fungal acne” crop up as well.  Keep reading for a breakdown of how to differentiate the two, their causes, and more importantly, how to get rid of them!

What causes forehead acne?

In order to treat your acne right, it’s helpful to know what type of acne it is. Forehead acne is most often a combination of comedones (blackheads and whiteheads), but can also include the more severe, often more painful variations: pustules, papules, cysts and nodules.With cysts and larger nodules, forehead acne can be quite painful. They are commonly caused by increased oil production, a decrease in shedding of skin cells, bacterial overgrowth and inflammation. Not to mention, there are other factors that can worsen these symptoms. Diet plays a part, as well as hormonal changes, certain medications, and of course stress. 

The second type of forehead acne, “fungal acne” can look similar, but is actually the inflammation or infection of hair follicles. It normally presents as itchy acne and small uniform bumps across the forehead, and is a result of a naturally-occuring yeast on your skin that overgrows and invades hair follicles. The result: skin-colored or pink and red papules and pustules, typically on oily areas like the forehead and hairline. Often, those with fungal forehead acne may also have dandruff, and if you’re a regular at saunas and taking steamy baths, the high heat and humidity can make fungal acne worse. The same goes for occlusive clothing, like workout gear and headbands, as well as some facial oils and skincare products containing lanolin. 

How to get rid of forehead acne

Lifestyle Changes

Avoid over-cleansing your face as this can lead to increased oil production. Instead, use a gentle cleanser twice daily. In addition, opt for cosmetics and skincare that are oil free and non-comedogenic.

For fungal acne, try to choose cool, dry environments over heat and humidity when possible. When exercising, wear breathable clothing and rinse off quickly after sweating.


One way to treat forehead acne is topical and oral medications, but we recommend speaking with a Dermatologist or doctor to discuss the best one for you. Fungal acne could also benefit from an additional topical antifungal cream (or even an anti-dandruff shampoo used as a face and body wash).