What It Means If You Have Acne Around Your Mouth

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acne around mouth

When I turned 30 I thought my days of battling acne in my T-zone were over. I have never been more wrong about anything. The truth about acne is that you are always a candidate for an outbreak.

Once you age of out the hormonal teenage years and really nail down the whole "hygiene" thing, your skin tends to find its own happy medium. But that by no means frees you from ever waking up to find a whopper between your eyes or on the tip of your nose. 

To me, the worst kind of acne is acne around the mouth, the kind that dots. Not only is it unsightly (duh) but it's also super painful, and getting it to heal can leave you a sore, peeling mess.

RELATED: Why Am I Breaking Out? 15 Super-Weird Things That Cause Your Acne

If you're anything like me, you've wondered what causes acne around the mouth and what to do to cure it. I'm here to share with you the most common reasons for mouth acne and the best solutions for treating it so you can slick on your favorite red lippy once more.

1. Skin irritation and clogged pores

You know 'em, you love 'em, they will give you maaaaad zits! Pores are stubborn little beasts. If you don't keep them clean and moisturized they can get bigger, they can swallow up funk, and then get clogged and turn into a zit to beat all other zits. 

Clogs and irritation, just like other locations where zits thrive, are prime causes for mouth zits. Keep your skin clean, moisturized, and exfoliate regularly, and if these are the culprits, it'll clear right up.

2. Your lip balm

If you're using a scented lip balm, stop this madness at once! The chemicals that make your favorite Dr. Pepper scented lip balm smell so damn dope are also deeply irritating to the skin! We cannot have anything nice!

What makes it even worse is that wax is one of the key ingredients in most lip balms. Great for locking in moisture... but they also lock in those bad-for-you chemicals. So switch things up and try a non-scented lip balm. 

3. Perioral Dermatitis

Bad news, my dudes. Those weird breakouts you've been having around your mouth... there's a chance it's actually not acne at all. In fact, what looks like acne is really perioral dermatitis, a skin condition that, while it requires a medical diagnosis, you can usually clear up at home.

While they look like pimples, the marks are actually a pus-filled (barf) rash. The most common cause is over-use of steroid creams. Your doctor will let you know what to do to treat it. Usually, it's just going off the steroids, but sometimes an antibiotic is necessary to clear it all out. 

RELATED: How To Get Clear Skin Fast: 15 Tips For A Smooth, Acne-Free Complexion



4. Your toothpaste

Sodium lauryl sulfate. Remember those three words and check all of your products for them. If something goes on or in your body like shampoo, conditioner, or moisturizer, and it has sodium lauryl sulfate in it, do not use it. 

Sodium lauryl sulfate is commonly used to keep truck engines running smoothly. So the last place where you want it is on your actual person. It's also, tragically, often found in toothpaste! So if you've switched 'pastes and you're noticing acne, it could be a reaction to that. Switch it out with someone sodium lauryl sulfate free and watch that acne fly away.

5. Dental procedures

Acne mechanica. That's right, acne caused by dental procedures is so common that they actually gave it a name! This is also the name given to acne that athletes get when they wear the same uniform day in and out and get acne where the uniform rubs up against them. 

Much like a uniform, when you have serious dental work done, there's a lot of pressure and friction. If you want to prevent an outbreak of this nature, rinsing your face as soon as it is safe to do so following your procedure is the way to go. 

RELATED: How To Cure Acne With What You Put Inside Your Body

Rebecca Jane Stokes is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her cat, Batman. Her work focuses on relationships, pop culture and news. For more of her work, check out her Tumblr.

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