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Post in Skincare Aware

Unusual acne

I’m 28 and lately have been breaking out along my jawline, front and back of my neck, and even have a blemish on the back of my scalp right now. I’ve been avoiding foundation and been feeling determined to clear up my skin. Sometimes it does clear up, but eventually it always seems to inevitably start acting up again. I have a combination of cystic acne, blackheads, whiteheads, and even a few milia. The side effects of Accutane did not work for me so I tend to use a variety of products in an effort to clear my skin up topically. Anyone know what might cause these more unusual breakouts on the scalp, and can offer best practices for clearing this up? I’ve gotten the majority of my facial acne to calm down using a combo of Edible Beauty, Herbivore Botanicals, Sunday Riley and Kate Somerville products... but I’ve never heard of scalp acne let alone how to treat it.

Re: Unusual acne

@katie888 what are you using on the scalp? 


I'll use Neutrogena t/gel shampoo, not daily as it's drying, just on the scalp when I'm itchy - anything mint/tea tree/menthol /salicylic acid etc I react to.


Change your pillow case/bedding more often. Also use non fragrance body products, you may be reacting to them. Baby products will help calm the skin.

Re: Unusual acne

Hey there! I get scalp acne. If I use a product with peppermint directly on my scalp rather than the hair itself, it'll cause cystic acne. My scalp and face aren't a fan of peppermint. The rest of my body? Huge fan. I also seem to get a lot of ingrown hairs in my scalp since my hair is very fine. If I run a brush through, I can feel them. I use a tea tree based shampoo to help reduce these problems.

When it came to my jawline acne? The culprit was my hands. My face is too sensitive. When I washed my hands frequently, the acne reduced itself. The best choice was to teach myself to resist touching my face or lean into blankets and pillows to avoid the natural oils that build up over the day. Washing your hands that frequently can cause more damage than good, so you sort of learn to work around it.

This type of acne, as you have a varying deal, could be for any number of reasons. My first guess would be that you have a food item in your diet that isn't agreeing with you that may be causing the stress that then causes some acne. It might be dairy. It might be bread. It could be anything. My second guess would be that you could benefit from a double cleanser. When you take off your makeup or any other products from the day, use a second cleanser to make sure everything was removed.

I hope this can help send you in the right direction!

Re: Unusual acne

@katie888 I have this issue and, for me, yeast is the typical culprit - worsened by stress and sweating (my hair is very thick and wavy and traps the sweat). Alcohol on a cotton wool ball is a good on the spot treatment. Apple cider vinegar rinses are useful for prevention. If your scalp is also itching more, you might try some Nizoral shampoo. 

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