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What Are the Causes of Acne Around the Mouth?

What Are the Causes of Acne Around the Mouth? What Are the Causes of Acne Around the Mouth?

Acne starts afflicting people at the onset of puberty. In fact, the American Academy of Dermatology projects that 85 percent of U.S. teenagers will suffer from some form of acne within a single year. Many people hear that acne will clear up as they go from teenagers to adulthood, but unfortunately this is not usually true. Acne can last well into adulthood, though it does tend to lessen in severity.

Oil Glands

Excess oil and oil buildup in clogged pores provides an ideal environment for bacterial growth. The clog and bacterial infection cause inflammation, and dependent upon the depth of the clog within the pore determines the severity of the acne type from blackheads to cysts. According to the Mayo Clinic, acne most commonly appears on the back, shoulders, chest, neck and face including around the mouth as these are the areas of skin with the most functional oil glands.


There is no scientific evidence showing specific foods cause acne. Certain vitamin deficiencies can result in acne however if you are not getting a balanced diet such as A, B2, B3 and zinc. Although it has not been proven that greasy foods cause acne, the American Academy of Dermatology notes some vegetable oils on the skin can irritate acne further. Eating greasy foods cooked in oil can leave the oil on the face, specifically around the mouth.

Persistent and Late-Onset Acne

Persistent acne is when acne doesn't clear by the mid-20s, and according to the Skincare Physicians, acne has been known to persist in people into their 50s. Late-onset acne occurs in adults who may have not had any acne for years. Both types of acne are more common in women, and tend to form predominately around the mouth.

Perioral Acne

Most commonly, women suffer from adult acne due to hormone fluctuations around monthly menstrual cycles, pregnancy, menopause and when changing, starting or stopping birth control. Acne caused by hormone changes around the monthly menstrual cycle specifically is so common it is named perioral acne. These monthly acne flare-ups tend to happen primarily around the mouth.


People have a tendency to touch the face more than they realize many times, but especially around the mouth area. They hold objects like telephones against the skin around the mouth. Oils from your hands and constant rubbing of the skin can irritate it and cause acne breakouts. Applying greasy chap sticks, lip balms, lipsticks and glosses can spread around the mouth as well resulting in clogged pores and acne.

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