Acne and dandruff can occur due to many reasons, such as genetic makeup, weather conditions, hormonal imbalance, and more. However, did you know that dandruff could also be one of the reasons for acne breakout? If you are frequently experiencing dandruff and acne simultaneously, chances are the former one is causing the latter.
In this article, we will discuss how dandruff can be responsible for acne, along with tips for treating and preventing them.
Does Dandruff Cause Pimples & Acne?
Many reasons for acne and pimples on the face include clogged pores, excess oil production, dead skin cells deposited in skin pores, and bacterial activity. Dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis is also one of the leading causes of its occurrence.
Acne occurs because of dandruff, also known as cradle cap, seborrhea, and seborrheic eczema. It is almost identical to skin eczema in appearance. That's why it is difficult to identify if the acne is caused by dandruff simply by looking at it.
As we all know, dandruff occurs on the scalp. It causes itchy rashes and makes the skin look flaky. Since the face is in close proximity to the scalp, dandruff affects facial skin and may cause acne because the microorganisms responsible for dandruff spread through touch. That's why you may experience acne and pimples on your face when your scalp gets dandruff.
However, in many cases, dandruff may not be the direct reason for acne. Both dandruff and acne happen because of a variety of different reasons, but one common factor for their occurrence is excess oil production. When the scalp lacks oil, the body gets a signal to produce hormones that can increase sebum production. This signal is received by all parts of the body, including the face.
Due to this extra sebum production, dead skin cells can get clogged in the pores and cause dandruff. A similar effect is observed on the face too. Excess sebum oil blocks the pores on the skin and causes acne. Moreover, the dandruff flakes may fall on your face and cause clogged pores, further leading to acne breakouts.
Does Dandruff Cause Pimples on the Forehead?
Yes, dandruff could be one of the reasons for acne on the forehead because the scalp and the skin of the forehead are in close proximity. So any anomaly on one of them affects the other.
Can Dandruff Cause Acne On Cheeks?
Yes, dandruff can cause acne on any part of the face, including the cheeks.
How To Treat Dandruff Related Facial Acne?
Here are some remedies to treat dandruff related facial acne:
1. Wash With Anti-dandruff Shampoo
These shampoos are specially produced to treat dandruff. They contain ingredients like salicylic acid, zinc pyrithione, and selenium sulphide, which provide the following benefits:
- Salicylic Acid: It works towards improving the protein structure of your scalp and acts like a keratolytic. Thus, it helps remove flakiness and reduce inflammation and irritation in the scalp.
- Zinc Pyrithione: It has antifungal properties and thus helps control fungal growth on the scalp. This leads to dandruff control.
- Selenium Sulphide: It helps manage yeast infection and dandruff caused by pathogens. People who get their hair coloured are recommended to use shampoo having selenium sulphide to prevent yeast growth.
- Tar: Coal tar helps reduce skin cell production and treat skin inflammation and irritation caused by acne. That's why it is one of the most common components of anti-dandruff shampoo.
2. Massage With Luke Warm Hair Oil
Massaging with hot oil helps in reducing dryness and restoring natural sebum oil production. It keeps the moisture content of the scalp in check. You can also apply 2-3 drops of oil on the face to control acne. Here are some oils that you can use for this purpose:
- Coconut Oil: Along with providing moisturization, coconut oil has many other benefits, such as controlling skin irritation and inflammation, skin eczema, and more conditions like these that trigger acne. Virgin coconut oil helps in reducing acne symptoms.
- Tea Tree Oil: It can be used for controlling the growth of fungal strains. Tree oil also helps in treating various skin conditions like acne and dandruff.
3. Applying Aloe Vera
This succulent plant has many benefits, including reducing dandruff and other skin-related problems. Some of them are:
- It helps treat cold sores, inflammation, acne, etc., by calming the skin.
- It soothes the scaly and itchy scalp by reducing irritation.
- Its antibacterial and antifungal properties help in fighting dandruff.
- If you are feeling stinginess because of acne, you can apply aloe vera to calm the skin.
4. Applying Apple Cider Vinegar
It aids in treating acne and dandruff because of the following benefits:
- Acidic effect on skin leads to dead skin cells shedding.
- Has antifungal properties that help in stopping dandruff growth.
- Maintains the pH balance of the scalp.
5. Applying Lemon Juice
It can be applied to the scalp after mixing with carrier oils like coconut, almond, tea tree, rosemary, etc. This citrus fruit offers the following benefits:
- The citric acid in lemon has the potential to fight dandruff triggering fungus.
- Lemon juice helps remove excess sebum oil and dead skin cells from the scalp.
Tips to Prevent Acne Due to Dandruff
Check out these tips on how to prevent acne due to dandruff:
1. Comb Your Hair Regularly
When you comb your hair, all the strands get detangled, and dead skin cells are shed from the scalp. Thus preventing the clogging of pores due to the deposition of dead skin cells and excess sebum.
2. Apply Conditioner Only to the Hair Shaft
Conditioner has the moisturising property that may increase sebum production and worsen the dandruff condition. Hence, apply it to the hair shaft only.
3. Prevent Hairs From Touching the Face
As mentioned before, acne-causing bacteria spread through touching. So if you have dandruff issues, try to keep your hair away from the facial skin. It will help reduce bacterial and fungal growth, which could further cause acne.
4. Do Not Overuse Styling Products
Styling products like hair gels and sprays have chemicals that disbalance the sebum oil production. They can make your scalp extremely oily or dry. Both the scenarios are harmful and lead to dandruff. So try to limit their usage.
5. Use Anti-dandruff Shampoo Twice a Week
If you are more prone to dandruff, wash your hair with a good quality anti-dandruff shampoo approximately two times a week.
6. Do Not Over wash Hair
Over washing removes necessary oils from hair and causes dryness.
7. Keep Hair Care Tools Clean
Regularly wash hair care tools like towels, combs, brushes, and clips to keep them clean.
8. Invest in Quality Hair Care Products
Choose products that suit your hair type and resolve the issues you commonly face.
9. Use Anti-acne Skincare Products
Your skincare routine should have some anti-acne products if you have acne-prone skin.
10. Limit Usage of Harsh Makeup Products
Avoid using harsh makeup products if you have sensitive acne-prone skin.
Both acne and dandruff are irritating to skin conditions. They not just damage your skin but may also dampen your self-confidence. You should use a combination of anti-dandruff and anti-acne products to recover from them. However, if nothing works, seek medical help to get them treated on time.
- Aditya K Gupta, 2004; Role of antifungal agents in the treatment of seborrheic dermatitis - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15663338/
- Ana Carolina Loureiro Gama Mota, June 2015; Antifungal Activity of Apple Cider Vinegar on Candida Species Involved in Denture Stomatitis - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25219289/
- Anna Liza C Agero, September 2004; A randomized double-blind controlled trial comparing extra virgin coconut oil with mineral oil as a moisturizer for mild to moderate xerosis - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15724344/