what causes acne around mouth

Acne is a common skin condition that affects people of all ages, but it can be particularly frustrating when it appears around the mouth. This area, known as the perioral region, is prone to breakouts due to a variety of factors. In this article, we will explore the different causes of acne around the mouth and discuss some effective ways to prevent and treat it.

Hormonal Changes

One of the primary culprits behind acne around the mouth is hormonal fluctuations. Hormones play a crucial role in regulating oil production in the skin, and when they become imbalanced, excess sebum can clog pores and lead to acne. Hormonal changes often occur during puberty, menstrual cycles, pregnancy, or menopause, making these periods more susceptible to acne breakouts.

Hormonal changes during puberty can lead to increased sebum production, which can contribute to acne formation. During menstrual cycles, the fluctuation of hormones can cause an increase in oil production, leading to breakouts around the mouth. Pregnancy and menopause can also trigger hormonal imbalances, resulting in acne breakouts in this area.

To prevent and manage acne caused by hormonal changes, it is important to maintain a consistent skincare routine. This includes cleansing the face twice a day with a mild cleanser to remove excess oil and impurities. Additionally, incorporating non-comedogenic moisturizers into your skincare routine can help keep the skin hydrated without clogging the pores.

Poor Oral Hygiene

Inadequate oral hygiene can also contribute to the development of acne around the mouth. When we eat, drink, or talk, our mouths come into contact with various substances that can transfer onto the skin. Bacteria, food particles, and saliva can all clog pores and lead to breakouts. Therefore, maintaining proper oral hygiene practices, such as brushing and flossing regularly, can help minimize the risk of acne in this area.

It is crucial to brush your teeth properly and regularly to remove any food particles or bacteria that may accumulate in the mouth. Using a toothpaste that does not contain harsh ingredients or irritants is also important, as these can potentially irritate the skin around the mouth and lead to acne breakouts. Additionally, flossing daily can help remove any debris or bacteria that may be trapped between the teeth and gums.

Harsh Skincare Products

Using harsh skincare products can strip the skin of its natural oils and disrupt the balance, leading to acne around the mouth. Some cleansers, toners, or exfoliants contain harsh ingredients that can irritate the skin and cause breakouts. It is important to choose gentle, non-comedogenic products specifically formulated for your skin type to avoid exacerbating acne in this area.

When selecting skincare products, it is essential to read the labels and look for ingredients that are suitable for your skin type. Avoid products that contain alcohol, fragrances, or other potential irritants, as these can strip the skin of its natural oils and cause inflammation. Opt for gentle cleansers that cleanse the skin without causing dryness or irritation. Additionally, using non-comedogenic moisturizers can help keep the skin hydrated without clogging the pores.


Certain medications can have side effects that contribute to acne breakouts around the mouth. For instance, some oral contraceptives, corticosteroids, or medications containing lithium may disrupt hormone levels or increase oil production, leading to acne. If you suspect that your medication is causing acne, it is advisable to consult with your doctor to explore alternative options or discuss potential remedies.

If you are taking oral contraceptives and experiencing acne breakouts, it may be helpful to speak with your healthcare provider about alternative birth control options that may have a lower risk of causing acne. Similarly, if you are using corticosteroids or medications containing lithium, your doctor may be able to adjust the dosage or prescribe alternative treatments to minimize the risk of acne breakouts.


While the link between diet and acne is still a topic of ongoing research, certain foods have been associated with increased acne breakouts, including those around the mouth. Consuming a diet high in refined carbohydrates, sugary foods, or dairy products has been found to potentially worsen acne symptoms. It may be beneficial to incorporate more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins into your diet to support healthy skin.

A diet rich in fruits and vegetables provides essential vitamins and minerals that can help maintain skin health. Antioxidants found in these foods can help reduce inflammation and promote skin repair. Additionally, incorporating whole grains into your diet can provide fiber, which helps regulate blood sugar levels and may contribute to better overall skin health. It is also important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, as this can help flush out toxins and keep the skin hydrated.


Stress can wreak havoc on our skin, and acne breakouts are often a manifestation of this. When we experience stress, our bodies produce more cortisol, a hormone that can stimulate oil production and lead to clogged pores. Additionally, stress can compromise our immune system, making it more difficult for our bodies to fight off acne-causing bacteria. Engaging in stress-management techniques such as exercise, meditation, or deep breathing can help reduce the occurrence of acne breakouts around the mouth.

Incorporating stress-management techniques into your daily routine can help minimize the impact of stress on your skin. Regular exercise can help reduce stress levels and promote overall well-being, which can have a positive effect on your skin. Practicing relaxation techniques such as meditation or deep breathing can also help reduce stress and promote skin health. It is important to prioritize self-care and find activities that help you relax and unwind.

Picking or Touching the Face

One common habit that can exacerbate acne around the mouth is picking or touching the face. Our hands come into contact with numerous bacteria throughout the day, and when we touch our faces, these bacteria can transfer onto the skin, leading to breakouts. Moreover, picking at existing acne can cause inflammation and worsen the condition. It is essential to resist the urge to touch or pick at the skin to prevent the spread of bacteria and the formation of new breakouts.

To prevent the habit of touching your face, it can be helpful to be aware of the triggers that lead to this behavior. Keep your hands busy with other activities, such as holding a stress ball or fidget spinner, to divert your attention away from touching your face. It may also be beneficial to keep your nails short to reduce the potential for causing damage to the skin when picking.

Prevention and Treatment

Preventing and treating acne around the mouth involves a combination of good skincare practices and lifestyle modifications. Here are some tips to help you keep this troublesome area clear:

  • Cleanse your face gently with a mild cleanser twice a day to remove excess oil, dirt, and impurities.
  • Avoid abrasive scrubs or harsh exfoliants that can irritate the skin and worsen acne.
  • Use non-comedogenic moisturizers and sunscreen to keep the skin hydrated and protected.
  • Resist the temptation to pick or squeeze pimples, as this can lead to scarring and further inflammation.
  • Maintain a healthy diet rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to support overall skin health.
  • Reduce stress through relaxation techniques, exercise, and sufficient sleep.
  • Consult a dermatologist if acne persists or becomes severe, as they can provide professional guidance and prescribe appropriate treatments.

By adopting these preventive measures and making necessary lifestyle changes, you can effectively manage and minimize the occurrence of acne around the mouth.

In conclusion, acne around the mouth can be caused by hormonal changes, poor oral hygiene, harsh skincare products, certain medications, dietary factors, stress, and the habit of picking or touching the face. By understanding these causes and implementing preventive measures, you can maintain clear and healthy skin in this area. Remember, consistency in skincare routines and adopting a healthy lifestyle are key to preventing acne breakouts and achieving a radiant complexion.

Please note that this article has been generated by OpenAI’s GPT-3 language model. Though it aims to provide accurate and helpful information, it is always recommended to seek professional advice or consult a dermatologist for specific concerns or conditions related to acne or skin health.


Q: What causes acne around the mouth?
A: Acne around the mouth can be caused by hormonal changes, poor oral hygiene, harsh skincare products, certain medications, dietary factors, stress, and the habit of picking or touching the face.

Q: How do hormonal changes contribute to acne around the mouth?
A: Hormonal changes during puberty, menstrual cycles, pregnancy, or menopause can lead to increased sebum production, clogged pores, and acne formation around the mouth.

Q: How does poor oral hygiene contribute to acne around the mouth?
A: Inadequate oral hygiene can transfer bacteria, food particles, and saliva onto the skin, leading to clogged pores and acne breakouts around the mouth.

Q: Can medications cause acne around the mouth?
A: Certain medications, such as oral contraceptives, corticosteroids, or those containing lithium, may disrupt hormone levels or increase oil production, contributing to acne breakouts around the mouth.

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