Why Do I Only Break Out on One Side of My Face?
- By Dr. Alan J. Parks
- July 27, 2020
Acne can be relentless. No matter what how often you’re washing your face or how much water you seem to drink, it can feel like it never goes away. You also might notice your breakouts reoccurring on only one area of your face. Are you noticing breakouts solely on your right cheek in the morning, or maybe only on the left side of your chin? You might consistently see breakouts on only one side of your face or one specific area, but what causes this to happen?
Cheeks: If you notice a cluster of breakouts on just one of your cheeks and the surrounding areas, you can blame your phone and your bedsheets. This is also called “frictional acne.” It’s been shown that your phone holds more bacteria than a toilet- and you’re putting that straight on your face. Ew. Every time you touch your phone to your cheek, you’re spreading all that bacteria, which can lead to increased acne in that area. You might also find clusters of breakouts forming on one side of your face due to your pillowcase and sheets. All of the dead skin, oil, dirt and even dust mites that live on your pillowcase transfer over to your skin and clog pores. Be sure to wipe your phone down with an antibacterial wipe at least once a day and try to switch out your sheets once a week to keep them as clean as possible. Skin feeling dirty or clogged after using your phone or laying your face on a dirty pillow, the SuzanObagiMD Acne Clearing Wipes provide a quick and easy cleansing treatment with 2% salicylic acid to keep your skin clean and free of acne. If you’re noticing breakouts on your body stemming from your sheets, try Glytone’s Acne Treatment Spray, which features an easy-to-use spray that can hit those hard to reach areas with acne-fighting salicylic acid.
Hairline: This type of breakout is also called pomade acne, because pomades are found in thick and mineral-oil based haircare products. Products that contain pomades prevent the natural sebum in your pores from exiting as it should, leading to a clogged pore and ultimately a pimple. After washing your hair and adding treatments, cleanse your face with a strong acne-fighting cleanser, like the CLn Acne Cleanser. This cleanser clears breakouts and prevents future ones by killing bacteria and unclogging pores with power salicylic acid and sodium hypochlorite. You can also switch up your hair-care products and use sulfate and paraben free formulas, like Virtue’s Full Shampoo and Full Conditioner.
Jawline: If you experience frequent and sometimes painful breakouts around your jaw area, this is often caused by hormones, especially if you’re seeing an influx of breakouts around your menstrual cycle. When there’s a disruption in your endocrine system, such as an excess of androgens. Androgens stimulate the oil glands, and an overstimulation can lead to clogged pores and breakouts. While there’s not much you can do to fight your hormones, you can fight the breakouts that come with these hormone shifts with a strong spot treatment like Clearogen’s Acne Lotion, formulated with benzoyl peroxide to kill bacteria and regulate oil production.
Nose and Forehead: This area is generally known as your “T Zone”, which is known to be one of the oiliest areas on your face. This excess oil production can cause clogged pores or blackheads. It can be easy to pick at your breakouts in these areas, but try to avoid picking as it can make the breakouts worse. If you’re noticing your oily skin is leading to breakouts, your best bet may be to use an acne system to regulate your oil, keep your skin cleansed and fight current and future acne. SkinMedica’s Acne System includes the Purifying Foaming Wash and Purifying Toner, both of which contain salicylic acid, and the Acne Treatment Lotion with benzoyl peroxide to keep your skin consistently smooth and clear.
Remember that acne is normal, and as frustrating as it can be, it happens to most people. Keep a consistent skincare routine and maintain a hygiene regimen to keep bacteria on your phone and sheets at bay. As always, if you’re facing serious acne concerns, please reach out.