Zits are unfair. We didn’t ask for them, we certainly don’t deserve to have them into adulthood, and it’s especially insulting when you finally get a giant pimple to go away and then it comes right back a few days later.
Image by Sam Woolley/GMG.
Today’s burning question is a simple one. Reader puddluv asks:
Why do I get acne in the exact same spots?
It turns out there could be a few different reasons why a certain part of your face could be more acne-prone than the rest. Cystic acne is infamous for camping out under your skin and causing pimples that take forever to stop reappearing. “This often develops after a pore gets blocked by sebum and skin cells, becomes inflamed and dilated,” says Dr. Katie Beleznay, a Vancouver dermatologist. “That same acne spot can get bigger or smaller depending on various factors including how much oil your skin is producing.”
But you don’t need a hidden cyst to mastermind a patch of pimples. Boston-based dermatologist Dr. Susan Huang points out that pimple hot spots naturally occur in the areas of skin that produce the most oil — including, as you’ve guessed, the face, chest and back.
Women often have acne along the chin and jawline because the skin there is more sensitive to hormonal fluctuations that make it produce extra oil.
You should also consider things you may do that rub dirt and oil into the skin. “For instance your bike helmet can clog the pores of your forehead and thus [lead] to breakouts of that area”, Dr. Huang tells us.
Both derms recommend salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide products, which you can find in spades at any drugstore. But if your acne is severe or if there do turn out to be deep cysts, you may need a doctor’s help. (Here’s a good rundown of what to expect when you seek treatment for severe acne.)