Acne around the mouth causes and how to deal with it

acne around the mouth
acne around the mouth

Acne around the mouth is one of the most annoying skin problems that affect many people at a certain time in their lives.
The area around the mouth, chin, and jawline are most liable to flare-ups.
but in fact acne around the mouth specifically may be caused by many triggers such as Toothpaste and lip balms.

In this article, we will discuss the most common causes of acne around the mouth and how to deal with it.

Hormones and acne around the mouth.

Generally, the most common cause of acne is due to the hormonal effect.
During puberty, There is a hormonal disturbance. As a result of this disturbance in hormonal activity, we may get hormonal acne.
Hormonal acne usually occurs in the age of puberty, but in fact, this type of acne may affect us at any age in our life. High testosterone levels in our blood during puberty causes increase in sebaceous gland size and activity.
This increase in activity of the gland will increase sebum production results in oily skin. That oily skin can clog the pores and make the sebaceous gland liable for infection, resulting in hormonal acne.

Lip Balm and acne around the mouth.

Lip balm can cause skin irritation resulting in skin acne especially in the area around the mouth.

The main cause for this irritation is due to the presence of wax and fragrances in lip balm products.
Our lips don’t contain any hair follicles or oil glands so these fragrances don’t cause acne or any other problem in our lips.

These fragrances are irritating to our skin as the face skin have oil glands and hair follicles.
If lip balm reaches skin in your face, this will cause skin inflammation and acne formation.
Lip balms also contain wax which provides a layer of protection from the air, that makes lips softer.

Usually, the wax in lip balm has no serious effect in your lips as the lips don’t contain pores to get clogged.
But in case of skin around the mouth(have pores), it may lead to producing blackheads.

Toothpaste and acne around the mouth.

If you suffer from acne around the mouth, toothpaste may be responsible for this problem.
many toothpaste brands have a chemical called sodium lauryl sulfate(SLS).

Sodium lauryl sulfate is responsible for clinging to the plaque on your teeth, and then form little bubbles to remove plaque from your teeth.

When you brush your teeth, sodium lauryl sulfate in those bubbles may reach to the skin surrounding your mouth causing irritation and acne formation.

Shaving and acne around the mouth.

Is shaving may lead to acne formation? the answer is yes.

This may occur due to many causes such as the ingredient in the cream used in shaving or skin irritation resulting from multi-blade razors.

Many shaving products contain sodium lauryl sulfate, which leads to skin irritation and inflammation.

Using an electric shaver or single blade razor will reduce skin inflammation and help in the prevention or in the treatment of the acne.

Smoking and acne around the mouth.

Is there is a relation between smoking and acne? the answer to this question is still unreliable.

Many studies have approved that there is a relationship between smoking and acne. According to these studies, smoking lead to acne due to two causes:

  • Nicotine: decrease blood flow to the skin around the mouth. This makes the skin more liable to inflammation, infection and decreases the rate of cell regeneration.
  • Cigars or cigarets contain chemicals that irritate skin and make it more liable for inflammation and acne production.

How to prevent acne around the mouth.

Prevention of acne is easier than treating it.

For prevention of acne around the mouth, there are two main lines:

  • Hormonal balance: actually this factor is the most important factor for the prevention of acne generally.
  • Stop skin irritation: acne in the area around the mouth only mostly occur due to skin irritation. Using sodium lauryl sulfate-free toothpaste, fragrance-free lip balm, and stop smoking is enough to prevent irritation of your skin at the area around the mouth.

How to treat acne around the mouth.

As we mentioned before that the main cause for acne around the mouth is skin irritation.

Treatment is based on stopping this irritation and reduction of the inflammation of the skin around the mouth.

A gentle skin care program that cleanses, treats, and moisturizes the skin is highly recommended for these cases.

Salicylic acid products are a great option for unclogging pores and reduction of skin inflammation. Concentrations of salicylic acid are ranging between 0.5% and 2%.

In cases with acne around the mouth, low concentrated Salicylic acid (0.5%) is better.

You can also read:


  • In general, the most common cause of acne is a hormonal disturbance.
  • If you only have acne around the mouth, local irritations such as toothpaste, lip balm or smoking are the most common cause.
  • Your lip balm may be the cause of your acne. the best solution is using fragrance-free lip balm.
  • Your toothpaste may be the cause of your acne. the best solution is using sodium lauryl sulfate-free toothpaste.
  • Shaving may be the cause of your acne. the best solution is using an electric shaver or single blade razor.
  • Smoking has to be stopped.
  • Salicylic acid products with low concentration(0.5%) are the best treatment option of acne around the mouth.


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