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10 Common Causes of Blemishes on Face

Blemishes are the skin discoloration or dark spots on face which are caused primarily because of acne white heads, pimples, black heads etc. It is also known as hyper pigmentation. Blemishes cause skin discoloration and can also occur due to boils, rashes, itching, pigmentation etc. It must be noted that blemishes on face could be treated well with medications and some home remedies too. However, if they are left untreated, they may go worse.

Facial blemishes occur when pores clog with dead skin cells and sebum or a natural skin oil. When the clog occurs near the top layers of the skin, whiteheads or blackheads occur. Deeper clogs cause pimples and acne cyst. Here, the acne bacteria found on the skin mixes with sebum and skin cells in your pores and causes inflammation in the blemish. Approximately about 17 million individuals in The United States have blemishes.

10 Common Causes of Blemishes on Face?

10 Common Causes of Blemishes on Face?

Some of the common causes of blemishes include:

  1. Hormonal Causes for Blemishes on Face:

    Hormones can play a crucial role in acne and blemishes. Hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy, menstruation, menopause and also the use of hormonal types of birth control can cause or worsen acne and blemishes on face. In fact many women experience a surge of blemishes during the start of their monthly period cycle. Though this can be frustrating, however it is absolutely normal. Even during peri-menopausal or menopausal period, women have acne and blemishes on face because of the hormonal fluctuations.

    One tip to get rid of blemishes during menstrual cycle is by taking vitamin B-6 regularly one week before your cycle which aids in regulating hormonal imbalances which leads to breakouts or blemishes. You can also take calcium, magnesium supplements which can also aid you during this time. For getting rid of blemishes during menopause, you can consult with your physician and can take any treatment for the hormonal imbalance causing blemishes on face.

  2. Excess of Oil Can Cause Blemishes on Face:

    Excessive oil production can increase your chance of developing a clogged pore. This usually occurs during adolescence when oil glands ramp up the production of sebum because of the influence of androgen hormones. Because there is so much extra oil produced, some of it backs up in the pores and thus forms the blemishes.

    One tip of preventing blemishes on face caused due to excess oil is by removing excess oil from your face. You need to wash your face twice daily with a mild anti-bacterial cleanser which aids you in removing both oil as well as bacteria from the skin. Even oily hair can cause the oil from hair to migrate to face and cause blemishes on face. You can shampoo daily your hair and alleviate this problem.

  3. Touching Your Face Too Often Can Cause Blemishes on Face:

    Are you touching your face too often? If yes, then this may become quickly very dirty and can add bacteria to the skin which may cause acne, blemishes and other skin problems.

    One way to stop this is to keep your hands away from your face and if you subconsciously touch your face regularly then you need to keep your hands engaged in something that would keep away from touching your face.

  4. Eating Too Much of Dairy Products Can Cause Blemishes on Face:

    Eating too much of dairy products also cause blemishes on face. When you find acne breakouts or blemishes on the chin, jaw line or in the neck area then it might be a sign that you are taking too much of dairy products in your diet than your body can actually tolerate. Your skin acts as an excretory system for getting rid of things that your body is not in agreement with and thus when you get excess of dairy products it is by nature harder to digest and can come out in the form of cystic blemishes on the face, especially the lower area of your face.

    One tip to get rid of this problem is to cut short your dairy intake from your regular diet. You can slowly again take dairy products once you find blemishes leaving your skin.

  5. Stress Can Cause Blemishes on Face:

    Have you been under too much of stress for a long time? If yes! Then this might be one more cause for your blemishes on face. As per a small study conducted by the Stanford University School of Medicine, it was found that exam stress worsened acne in the students who took part in the study. As per the study it was found that stress not only affects acne flare up or causes blemishes on face, but in general it worsens the overall condition of the skin. Stress, induces the adrenal glands in to overproduction of a steroid known as cortisol, which in turn makes sebaceous glands produce more oil and turns the skin extra oily. This is the reason why stress can cause blemishes on face.

    One of the easiest and simplest tips for keeping away from stress acne or blemishes is to have 8 hours of sound sleep each night.

  6. Using New Skin Care Products:

    Using new skin care products can also cause blemishes on face. When your skin is introduced to new skin products, blemishes may occur, especially if the products are giving your skin more exfoliation than normal.

    One skin tip here could be that when introducing new skin products, it is always recommended to make use of one product for 3-4 days before adding in a second one. If your skin is negatively reacting you will be able to determine which product you should continue and which one you should eliminate. Make sure you get products as per your skin types.

  7. Fluctuation In Weather Can Cause Blemishes On Face:

    Have the weather temperatures where you stay, been fluctuating from day to day? When the season is changing and the weather is warm one day and cold in the other day; it can wreak havoc on your skin, leaving it unbalanced and prone to blemishes.

    In such case you can temporarily switch to skin products using salicylic acid, such as AHA or BHA cleansing gel.

  8. New Medications:

    If you have started taking any new medication then there may be chances that you may also get blemishes on face. Every drug affects the body differently; but generally talking, medications and drug use can cause stress on your nervous system, which elevates adrenal hormones. This contributes to the wear and tear of connective tissue and thus results in flaccid, loose skin and also increased blemishes on face.

    You need to consult about this with your physician and take necessary steps.

  9. Sleeping Without Washing Face Can Cause Blemishes On Face:

    Sleeping with your make up on and also the addition of dirt, oil and debris that has built up on your face during day time can trigger new blemishes greatly. So, you need to wash your face before sleeping at night and keep it absolutely clean to keep away from unwanted blemishes on your face.

  10. Flying On Airplanes May Cause Blemishes On Face:

    Flying on airplanes may also cause blemishes on face. The cabinets of airplanes have very low humidity which can cause the skin to get extremely dehydrated. The dehydrated cells can cause a buildup, which can trap oil underneath the skin and thus result in post flight breakouts or blemishes on the face.


  1. Medical News Today. “How to prevent pimples after waxing.” MNT. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324076

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 14, 2023

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