Ever get spots that appear on exactly the same area of your face, to the point where you can almost anticipate the next one's arrival? Your skin might actually be trying to tell you something. Getting spots in different locations on the face can mean very different things, so being aware of what causes each can help reduce the severity. A magnitude of things could be causing your spots, from too much coconut oil to hormonal acne (sigh) but the good news is there are ways to help treat each of these breakouts.
We called on Dr Ejikeme, Medical Director at Adonia Medical Clinic to give us some expert advice. Dr Ejikeme is qualified in internal medicine, has a postdoctoral fellowship in head and neck surgery, and is trained in aesthetic medicine, so she really knows her stuff. Read on to see what your spots could mean and how to get rid of them fast.
"Sometimes called pomade acne, forehead spots can be due to excess natural oils or thick oils added to the scalp which can seep from the scalp onto the forehead, leading to spots." Dr Ejikeme says that another big cause is coconut oil . . . sorry superfood lovers!
Treatment: Dr Ejikeme suggests to "try switching your shampoo to a clarifying shampoo once a week and switch to a natural noncomedomogenic (nonpore-clogging) oil such as almond or jojoba oil."
For men, "in this area I often see folliculitis, inflamed pores, and ingrowing hairs" and for women, "small hairs getting trapped under the skin can lead to closed comedones and inflammation."
Treatment: If you are prone to lots of ingrown hair, Dr Ejikeme suggests laser hair removal as it "can reduce the hair growth and will also reduce the inflammation associated with the hairs. Other options if you have a beard, or know someone that suffers from this, would be a hydrofacial, which is one of the few facials that can refresh and treat the beard area." If laser hair removal isn't your thing, using active ingredients such as salicylic acid helps to unclog pores, but it can't promise to keep your spots away completely if they are due to hormones.
"This area is usually associated with deeper cystic or nodular acne. This area is most associated with proponium acne and usually represents deep soreness; sometimes you can feel it more than you can see it.
Treatment: "Oxygen facials and LED light together are fantastic to reduce this. The oxygen and LED blue light have been shown to create an unfavourable environment for the bacteria." For at-home treatments, regular cleansing is key to keeping skin clear because a buildup of pollutants and dirt can contribute to cheek spots.
"Spots around the nose can occur for many reasons, including excess oil production in the skin or clogged pores due to reduced exfoliation. If associated with background redness and telangiectasia (broken veins), you may have acne rosacea.
Treatment: Salicylic acid 2% pads used on the nose and T-zone daily to unclog the pores.
Around the Mouth
"Hormonal acne can occur in both men and women, and this can happen anywhere on the face, but is most common around the mouth and chin. Often this type of acne and pustules (white heads) will pop up around menstruation.
Treatment: "If you know you regularly get monthly spots in this region, Dr Ejikeme says you can pretreat the area with laser treatment and the Adonia ultimate facial. The 4-in-1 facial aims to declog the pores, treat the bacteria associated with acne, and soothe and calm skin. Other preventative measures include never sleeping in your makeup and maintaining a regular skincare routine. Opting for hypoallergenic products may also help to reduce inflammation.
Product Credit: Everlane T-Shirt, Levi's Jeans