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Why You Keep Getting Acne In The Exact SAME Spot

May 28, 2015 2 min read

Can you predict the location of your next zit with relative certainty? If so, we feel your pain. Joshua Zeichner, M.D., and director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, says there are steps you can take to end this brutal cycle. Here is what you need to know about this type of acne and how to get rid of it forever.

Those pimples might be cysts

Underground pimples that swell but never break the surface are notorious for showing up in the same spot and are known as cyst acne. They occur when a pore causes oil to detour from your skin's surface. The oil then forms a balloon shape under the skin and inflates or deflates depending on the amount of oil you are producing, says Zeichner. How to deal: Bad news, cyst acne changes your skin structure so there is no way to remove it on your own, according to Zeichner. You either have to wait for it to clear or see a dermatologist. Your doc may give you a cortisone shot if you only get one or two a month but if you have a more serious break out, s/he may prescribe medication to heal the breakout from within.

Popping a whitehead might backfire

If you squeezed it until it burst, it is possible that the entire blockage wasn't removed which means it could become inflamed again. The irritation might also cause another zit to appear right next to it. "It might appear like it’s the same zit, but it’s not," says Zeichner. How to deal: To prevent your pore from becoming blocked again, Zeichner recommends using a salicylic acid treatment to remove excess oil and keep the pore clear. You can also use a spot treatment or a product containing benzoyl peroxide to kill the bacteria that lies in the skin and causes acne.

Your dirty habits might be to blame

Touch your face a lot when you are reading emails or sitting at your desk? "Touching your face repeatedly in the same area can push dirt and oil into the pores in those areas and lead to pimples," Zeichner says. How to deal: Keep your hands off your face. I know, it's hard. So Zeichner also recommends using salicylic acid-based products to keep the area clear and using benzoyl peroxide to remove any of the bacteria you've left behind.

Period zits are so not a myth

If you believe your breakouts are forever tied to your period, you may not be wrong. Zeichner says that many women breakout in the lower third of their face (nose down) when they get their period. "We don't exactly know why this happens but we know that it does," he says. He explains that it is possible that the oil glands in this part of your face are just more sensitive to hormones. He adds that some women might have acne flare-ups in other areas like their neck or forehead during that time of the month, too. How to deal: Zeichner recommends using a salicylic acid cleanser the week before your period to help remove excess oil so that your pores stay clear when your hormones kick it into high gear.  

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