Oily Forehead

Individuals who have a particularly oily forehead may notice pimples, spots or zits in the affected area. Although other areas of the face may also be oily, some individuals only experience oily skin on the forehead and may even have dry or dehydrated skin in other areas.

What is an oily forehead?

The skin is covered with pores, below which the sebaceous glands lie. These glands produce oil, or sebum, which is necessary for healthy-looking skin. When the sebaceous glands produce too much oil, however, the skin may feel too oily.

Lying above the eyebrows and below the hairline, the forehead can be a particularly problematic area in terms of oiliness. As a result, people with skin conditions may notice that they are particularly symptomatic in this area.

What are the symptoms of an oily forehead?

If individuals have an oily forehead, they may notice the following symptoms:

  • Greasy feel to the skin of the forehead
  • Shiny or oily appearance of the skin
  • Pimples, zits or spots
  • Cysts, nodules or pustules
  • Whiteheads or blackheads
  • Boils
  • Skin irritation

When too much sebum is produced, individuals may be able to notice the difference just by looking at their skin. An oily forehead may have a greasy appearance and, when touched, may feel moist. As well as changing the appearance of the skin itself, an oily forehead can cause further skin problems, such as acne.

If too much sebum is produced by the sebaceous glands, it can clog the skin’s pores. When this happens, spots are likely to form. Depending on the severity of the patient’s condition, they may experience one or two relatively minor pimples or numerous pustules, nodules and cysts. This can cause a significant amount of skin irritation, redness and discomfort.

Furthermore, an oily forehead can have a psychological effect on patients, as well as a physical one. Many people are self-conscious of their appearance and problems with their skin can affect their self-esteem. While an oily forehead often responds to treatment, individuals may need to try various types of treatments until they find one which suits them and, during this time, they may feel embarrassed or anxious about the appearance of their skin.

What causes an oily forehead?

Situated on the face, the ‘T-Zone’ is known to be an area which is particularly affected by excess oil. Comprised of the nose, chin and forehead, the T-Zone may be oilier than other areas because there are more oil-producing sebaceous glands in this area than in other parts of the body. As the sebaceous glands are more heavily concentrated on the forehead, nose and chin, these areas can be subject to excessive oiliness.

In addition to this, sebaceous glands can often produce too much sebum, which can give the appearance of an oily forehead. Sebaceous glands may produce too much oil because of:

  • Hormone levels
  • Poor diet
  • Unhealthy lifestyle

When an individual’s hormone levels are unbalanced, their sebaceous glands may produce too much or too little sebum. If too much sebum is produced, the skin may have a greasy and oily appearance. As hormones are subject to numerous changes during puberty, this is often why adolescents experience acne and related skin problems. While hormone problems can cause an oily forehead and subsequent skin problems in older patients as well, it is most common during times of hormonal changes.

As an unhealthy lifestyle and poor diet can affect the body’s hormones, it follows that these factors can have a direct impact on the oiliness of your skin. A diet comprised of processed food and a sedentary lifestyle can have a significant impact on hormone levels and, therefore, sebum production.

Can an oily forehead be treated?

As excess oil can cause the skin to have a greasy appearance and may cause spots and pimples to form, many people are keen to treat an oily forehead. Fortunately, there are various ways to manage an oily forehead and reduce oil production. These may include:

  • Using astringents
  • Hormonal treatments
  • Maintaining a good skincare regime
  • Applying water-based moisturizers
  • Using non-comedogenic products
  • Oil blotting papers

Astringents can be bought over-the-counter and, when applied, they clean the skin and cause pores to minimize. As a result, they can dry up excess secretions of oil and prevent the forehead from maintaining a greasy appearance.

If hormone levels are causing an oily forehead, there are hormonal treatments which may be used to resolve the condition. These can often benefit patients who are also experiencing acne or other skin problems, due to an oily forehead or T-Zone.

In addition to this, individuals with an oily forehead should aim to find products which suit their skin. For some people, cleaning the face with a mild cleanser and water is appropriate, whereas others may benefit from using a stronger chemical-based cleanser, designed to remove excess oil.

When using facial moisturizers or make-up, individuals with an oily forehead may find that non-comedogenic products are most suited to their skin type. Aimed at individuals with oily skin, non-comedogenic products don’t block the pores and can help to minimize oiliness. Water-based moisturizers may also help to improve the appearance of oily skin and prevent it from becoming too greasy.

As oily skin is such as common problem, there are many treatments designed to combat it. Oil blotting papers can be placed against the skin to absorb any excess oil, for example, and these provide a quick and easy solution to greasy skin. If the patient is experiencing ongoing skin problems due to an oily forehead and over-the-counter remedies have not been effective, physicians may be able to provide stronger medications which will reduce oil production and, therefore, improve the appearance of the skin.

Can an oily forehead be prevented?

Maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle can help to prevent the skin from becoming oily and can certainly reduce spots, pimples and zits. There are, however, other lifestyle changes which may help to prevent an oily forehead.

Cutting your hair and avoiding have a fringe can help to minimize oiliness, for example. When hair hangs onto the forehead, it can cause the area to become even greasier and this can contribute to an oily forehead.

In addition to this, individuals should avoid touching their skin with their hands if they want to avoid having oily skin. By touching the forehead with hands, individuals are simply adding more oil and bacteria to the skin and they could also prompt further oil production. By maintaining a healthy lifestyle and using a good skincare regime on a regular basis, individuals may be able to prevent their skin from becoming oily and avoid the skin problems which are often caused by excessively oily skin.

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Last Reviewed:
June 22, 2018
Last Updated:
June 24, 2018