Are you experiencing dandruff and acne breakout at the same time? Pimples on your face are not unusual, but are often the most uncomfortable. However, acne breakouts on the face happen due to a wide variety of factors that include dead skin cells, clogged pores etc.
But, do you know dandruff can also be a reason behind your facial acne? In fact, dandruff and acne have a special connection. Today, we will elaborate on the link between acne and dandruff and find out the treatments available.
Does Dandruff Cause Acne?
Acne on your face can happen due to multiple reasons that include dead skin cells accumulation in your skin pores, too much oil production, bacteria build up etc. However, another highly important reason is seborrheic dermatitis, which is the scientific term for dandruff.
Usually, seborrheic dermatitis occurs on your scalp. It makes your skin flaky and generates itchy rashes on your scalp. Often referred to as cradle cap, seborrhea and seborrheic eczema, this looks a lot like skin eczema but it is not. While in most cases, the scalp gets affected, other areas of your body such as the face may get affected as well. Acne-causing bacteria spread through touch. Hence, you may experience acne development all over your face.
Experts have been studying the causes of dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis, and it seems that this condition does not have one concrete cause. It is technically a combination of factors that contribute to dandruff development. Genetics, extreme weather conditions, certain medical conditions, stress and yeast infections are counted as a few dandruff triggers.
Dandruff indicates that the skin is lacking moisture. If your skin becomes dry, the sebaceous gland beneath your skin overproduces sebum oil to compensate for the lack of moisture. Due to the increased amount of sebum oil, your skin becomes oily. The extra sebum oil and dead skin cells clog your skin pores, leading to acne breakouts.
When you see your scalp and forehead acting up and developing acne, in most cases it is because of dandruff. But the acne does not stop only at your forehead. As the dandruff flakes fall on your facial areas such as nose, cheeks, chin etc, you start developing facial acne as well. And unlike other acne, dandruff-related facial acne may stay or continue returning till the issue of dandruff is resolved.
How To Treat Dandruff Related Facial Acne?
1. Use Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
The easiest way to get rid of dandruff is by using an anti-dandruff shampoo. A shampoo dedicated to treating dandruff mostly contains ingredients like salicylic acid, zinc pyrithione, selenium sulfide, etc. 
- Salicylic acid removes the flake build-up from your scalp. It works like a keratolytic which means it influences the protein structure of your skin. It helps reduce irritation and skin inflammation.
- On the other hand, zinc pyrithione is an antifungal that provides relief from fungal infection. It is a mild compound that controls dandruff pretty well.
- Selenium sulfide is great to treat the yeast infection which causes dandruff. Mostly, people with coloured hair use a shampoo that has selenium sulfide.
- Tar is another component often found in anti-dandruff shampoos. Coal tar slows down skin cell production and reduces both skin irritation as well as inflammation caused by acne.
Wash your hair and scalp using anti-dandruff shampoo at least twice a week. It should resolve the problem to an extent.
2. Hot Oil Massage
As mentioned before, dry scalp is home for dandruff. Reducing the dryness can provide a solution to your dandruff and dandruff-related acne. Hot oil massage is a great option to control the lack of moisture in your scalp. Multiple natural oils that are beneficial for your hair and help in reducing dandruff, can be used.
- Coconut oil is considered the natural remedy for dandruff. A study reveals that coconut oil has evident effects on skin hydration and dryness. Moreover, it can aid in reducing skin eczema and other skin conditions that can possibly trigger acne. In fact, the application of virgin coconut oil on acne reduces acne symptoms.
- Tea tree oil has been used for centuries to treat multiple skin conditions as well as hair issues. Dandruff and acne can be controlled with tea tree oil. It has anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. Reviews suggest that tea tree oil is competent to deal with acne-causing fungal strains. 
- Since both coconut oil and tea tree oil can be used against acne, direct application on your face would also be beneficial. Try massaging your face with two to three drops of either of the oils before you go to sleep.
3. Aloe Vera Application
Aloe vera is a succulent plant used for various purposes which include skincare, hair care and many health conditions. Many big brands of skincare products use aloe vera as their key compound.
- Aloe vera always has a calming effect on the skin. Thus it is used to treat inflammation, cold sores, acne etc. 
- If your scalp is itchy and scaly, aloe vera application soothes your skin and reduces irritation.
- Being antibacterial and antifungal, aloe vera fights against dandruff. 
- You can apply aloe vera on your face directly to get rid of the stinging feeling.
4. Apply Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar offers a wide range of health benefits including the treatment of dandruff.
- It has an acidic effect on the dead skin cells of your scalp. Hence, the dead skin cells start shedding off.
- In addition, It restores the pH balance of your scalp and stops the fungal growth which causes dandruff.
- Test tube study shows that apple cider vinegar has the potential to slow down few strains of fungus that may trigger dandruff and dandruff-related acne. 
5. Massage With Lemon Juice
- Lemon has citric acid which fights against the fungus that triggers dandruff.
- If you massage lemon juice on your scalp, it will remove the excess sebum oil from your skin, and shed off the dead skin cells.
- You can mix lemon juice with any carrier oil such as coconut, tea tree oil, rosemary, almond oil etc.
Tips To Prevent Acne Due To Dandruff
1. Comb your hair regularly. Combing not only detangles your hair but also removes the dead skin cells and flakes. That way, the dead skin cells would not build up in your scalp and the chances of acne development will reduce.
2. While applying conditioner make sure you are only sticking to your hair shafts. Do not apply conditioner to your scalp. Conditioner is used for moisturization. If your scalp gets oily due to the residue of the conditioner, it may worsen dandruff.
3. If you have a major dandruff issue, try to keep your hair off the face. If dandruff-filled hair touches your forehead or cheeks, the bacteria may affect that area too. Bacteria or fungus-affected areas will itch, irritate and eventually lead to acne breakout.
4. Hairstyling products sometimes misbehave with your precious locks. Over usage of styling products makes your hair either dry or extremely oily. In both ways, your hair gets damaged and dandruff prone.
5. Wash your hair with dandruff shampoo at least twice a week if you are Asian. African-American people need to wash their hair once a week.
6. Try not to overwash your hair. It will strip off the moisture and make your scalp dry.
7. Clean your hair care tools such as comb, brushes, clips, and towels frequently.
8. Choose hair care products that suit your hair type and address your dandruff issue.
9. Add anti-acne skincare products to your skincare routine.
10. Avoid using harsh makeup products if you have acne-prone skin.
What Are The Most Affected Areas In Your Body Due To Dandruff Related Acne?
Apart from your face, the most affected area due to dandruff is your scalp. Your scalp bears the maximum amount of damage if you develop dandruff and dandruff related acne. It is extremely uncomfortable for anyone who has acne on their scalp. Your scalp becomes itchy and scaly, as it sheds tiny particles of flaky skin. Besides, when your scalp produces excess sebum oil, it affects your forehead and cheeks too, when they come in contact with your hair.
Seborrhoeic dermatitis sometimes occurs on oily areas in your body such as around the navel, above your chest, under the breast area, groin etc.
Acne is a stubborn skin condition. When you suffer from a combination of acne and dandruff, it becomes even more difficult to handle. Not only does dandruff damage your hair, the embarrassment it causes, is another tough aspect to deal with. Using anti-dandruff shampoos and other home remedies can help. However, do take expert advice if you’re unable to tackle it by yourself.
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