Acne and Your T-Zone

When many people think of treating their acne, they mostly think of the T-zone—that area that is made up of the forehead and the nose. But that is not the only spot that breaks out. Breakouts can happen on the cheeks, the back, even the chest. And these breakout spots can be aggravated by simple activities you do every day. We spoke with Doctor Simon Ourian, Medical Director of Epione Beverly Hills and here is his input on the irritants and how to avoid them, as well as how to treat them.

Breakouts on the cheeks can be caused by oily hair constantly making contact with your face. In particular, wearing your oily hair down can make this situation worse. Also, sleeping with your hair pressed against your face (courtesy of your pillow) will also cause breakouts. Makeup products that contain mica, a mineral that makes blushes sparkle, can clog pores and lead to this problem. And last but not least, the brushes themselves could be contaminated with bacteria, especially after long use.

In order to avoid this, change your linens frequently. If cannot wash your hair nightly, wear it up when you go to bed. Even a simple ponytail or bun will keep it out of your face and keep you from having breakouts. When you wake up in the morning, make sure that the first thing you do is wash your face. For makeup, especially blush, avoid products that contain mica and use others instead. And make sure your brushes are washed and changed regularly.

Back and chest issues can be caused by sweat and friction. If you work out regularly, you will be more prone to flare-ups. Bike helmets can chafe your chin, which in turn can cause acne. Also, if you have a favorite accessory that you use to hold large items, like a backpack or a purse, the straps on these can potentially irritate your skin in the same way. Make sure you wear workout clothes that allow your skin to breathe, as opposed to keeping oils and sweat in contact with you. Shower right after your workout, and use a cleanser that is designed to remove dirt and oil from the skin on your acne spots, preferably one that is formulated for facial use. Find another way to carry your items that will not chafe you. In fact, a simple remedy might just be to wear some sort of padding under the strap, or move the item around. Purses can be switched from one shoulder to another; backpacks can be carried by their top strap. And bike helmets should be allowed to dry out thoroughly before the next use.

Lip line acne might be the worst of them all. No one likes the idea of not being able to kiss due to a painful pimple. The cause of this is fairly simple—lipstick and other lip makeup. If you use foundation on your mouth as part of your daily routine, then this might also be part of the problem. The issue is that many of these products have pore clogging wax or petroleum in them. Use a lip makeup that does not contain these ingredients, and take it off at the end of the day with the rest of your makeup.

Acne in any place other than your T-zone can be an unwelcome surprise. But it can be treated effectively and quickly.