May 17, 2023

Why Am I Breaking Out Around My Mouth- Best Advice

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Acne breakouts on any part of the face are a telltale sign of certain underlying health conditions. Formally known as acne vulgaris, acne can develop on different body parts such as the face, back, arms, chest, etc. Facial acne mainly develops on the forehead, cheeks, and around the mouth close to the chin area. One of the most identified problem areas is the formation of acne around the moth. So, why am I breaking out around my mouth is open to interpretation.


What causes acne around the mouth?

Acne usually develops when the sebaceous glands produce more oil, which results in pore clogging. This acne either appears for a limited time or keeps recurring depending on the reason and type of acne. To understand the pimples around mouth, it is the presence of small raised bumps that cause itching and irritation on the skin.

There are many reasons for having chronic acne around the mouth, but essentially they are linked to hormonal fluctuations or clogged pores. However, before checking their reasons, let’s explore the different types of acne.

Types of Acne Around Mouth: Why am I breaking out around my mouth?

No matter what type, acne around the mouth irritates and looks bad on the skin. For effective and timely treatment, it is vital to ascertain the types of acne that could appear around this area.

Open Comedones

Also known as blackheads, this acne happens as sebum and keratin clog pores around the mouth. They are either black or their top is black due to oxidization of melanin. Factors responsible for open comedones are using pore-clogging ingredients such as shea butter and coconut oil in lip balm or creams.

Close Comedones

They are tiny whiteheads around mouth and usually develop when the sebum causes clogged pores due to overproduction or oily skin condition. They make the skin look bumpy and uneven. However, they are generally non-inflammatory and rarely cause much irritation but typically don’t go away on their own.


Compared to the abovementioned acne types, cysts or nodules are painful types of acne around mouth and chin females. The nodules tend to occur deep beneath the skin surface and take quite some time to heal. Since they are deep-rooted, they are pretty painful. You must seek effective acne treatment if you have frequent cystic acne.



Pustules are common mouth acne that comes with a white cap. They could appear in bulks which are often termed acne breakouts. They usually go on their own but may appear frequently on the skin, especially around the chin, mouth, and cheeks.

Cold Sores

Cold sores are fluid-filled blisters that develop around the mouth or near the lip. They cause lesions on the face and are therefore considered highly contagious. The patient will likely suffer from burning and itching due to these mouth breakouts.

Perioral Dermatitis

It starts like a small red itchy patch around the mouth. The condition causes the skin to get flaky with inflamed bumps. The reason behind perioral dermatitis is unknown, but it is observed in women more than men. Experts also blame the use of certain steroids that cause perioral dermatitis and acne around the lips.

To understand why do I get acne around my mouth, let’s study different reasons behind the formation of acne around the mouth and chin.

What causes pimples around the mouth?

Hormonal Acne

Acne around the mouth, jawline, and chin is often associated with hormonal fluctuations. While hormonal acne can occur in both men and women, women suffer more due to hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle, menopause, pregnancy and if taking birth control pills. If you notice flare-ups before periods or during pregnancy or irregular periods, it happens primarily due to hormonal changes.

Women with PCOS suffer a lot from acne breakouts days before the start of the monthly period. In men, hormonal acne appears as the testosterone levels change over time. What does acne around the mouth mean? It might be a sign of a hormonal issue.

Pore Clogging

Continuous pore clogging is another reason behind acne breakouts around the mouth. It normally happens with people having oily skin as the sebaceous glands produce more oil than needed which causes sebum to get trapped in the pores.

Now what clogged pores? Other than natural oily skin, the presence of certain makeup products, such as lip balm enriched in comedogenic ingredients such as coconut oil, algae, etc., could cause acne breakouts on the skin’s surface around the mouth.

Moreover, don’t let go of ingrown hair unnoticed. Ingrown hair, if trapped in pores stuck with oil, can cause pain and irritate sensitive skin. So make sure to keep ingrown hair at bay.


Stress is another reason that triggers acne flares in areas around the mouth. When stressed about something, the cortisol hormone spikes up in the body. The elevated hormone levels cause excess oil release by glands and promote severe acne. 

If you are concerned about why I get acne around my mouth, Make sure to work on stress management. 


If you cannot determine the exact cause behind chronic acne, then you must reflect on your habits. Research shows several other factors responsible for causing chronic acne around the mouth, meaning-seeking urgent treatment, especially for people with sensitive skin. These habits may appear harmless but play quite a role in triggering acne, such as;

  • Not removing face makeup before going to bed: As skin produces oil at night when the body is at rest, heavy makeup traps the oil in the pores, causing a breakout of acne around the chin and mouth. To treat acne, use a gentle cleanser and a moisturizer before bed.
  • Not washing pillow covers: If you want to prevent acne, you should pay attention to hygiene. The overused pillow carries unseen bacteria and germs. As you sleep, the friction irritates sensitive skin, causing acne breakouts. Make sure to change your pillowcase twice a week.
  • Using a phone close to the skin: It is common to hold the phone close to your face while on a call. The mobile screen carrying germs is transferred directly to the face causing a massive breakout. Wipe your cell phone screen regularly with the screen cleaner.
  • Picking up the acne: Picking up the body acne, especially those around the mouth on the face, causes further breakout. If you want to manage acne, keep your hands off the skin.
  • Inadequate Shaving Regimen: Why am I breaking out around my mouth and chin despite using great products? Shaving is also a reason behind clogged pores. Overusing razor blades, bad shaving cream, or sharing the razor with others is horrible for your skin.
  • Foods that cause acne around mouth.

Treatment for chronic acne around the mouth: How to prevent acne around the mouth?

To have acne breakouts around the mouth is concerning, especially for people who wish to have clear skin. However, before jumping to acne treatment, it is best to ascertain the factor responsible for mouth and chin acne.

Regular Cleansing

To get rid of acne, it is advised to follow a skincare routine that features regular cleansing before going to bed, applying good moisturizer, and wearing sunscreen before stepping out in the sun.

Exfoliate regularly to avoid unclogging the pores and get rid of ingrown hair.

Pro Tip: Use a mild salicylic acid cleanser to reduce pimples and breakout around mouth.

Invest in quality products.

The use of substandard facial products is also a reason behind small pimples around mouth. If you are a fan of makeup or skincare products, invest in good-quality cosmetic products to prevent acne and improve skin conditions.

One of the major mistakes many people make is that they rely on specific home remedies that do more damage to the skin than good. One such is the use of toothpaste to treat acne. Enrich with sodium lauryl sulphate. The toothpaste irritates the skin causing acne to appear aggressively.

Check your hormone levels.

Hormones, such as androgens, stimulate oil production. Too much oil production by the glands ultimately causes acne or, worse, cystic acne around mouth. Consult your healthcare provider to check the levels and get prescription medication to regulate hormones.

The hormonal issue is often wrongly associated with women. However, males also need to check their male hormones. If you want to prevent breakouts, make sure your hormones are working in order.

Add a Retinoid to your routine.

To treat persistent breakouts around the mouth, incorporate prescription retinoids, salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, etc., in your skincare routine. Retinoids work perfectly to unclog pores by preventing dead skin cells. They are also helpful in treating acne scars, reducing fine lines, and excess oil production.

You can quickly get an OTC mild retinoid; however, it is also good to take the help of your healthcare provider if you have other underlying conditions.

Talk to your Dermatologist

If you want focused action and immediate results in treating acne around mouth and chin, it works well to talk to your derm about topical or oral prescription. You can directly ask your healthcare provider how to get rid of acne around the mouth.

The skin specialists also have advanced treatments, such as topical steroids, and tools for acne around mouth, such as chemical peels, photo facials, and microdermabrasion. The specialist can prescribe you the medicine according to your treatment.

Bottomline: Why am I getting acne around my mouth?

Saying goodbye to acne, especially hormonal acne around mouth, requires patience and dedication. They can’t be treated overnight and may take months to show results. Moreover, opting for healthy lifestyle changes could also prove helpful in treating acne. So, are you still wondering why do I get acne around my lips? Analyze the factors triggering it and pick a treatment accordingly.

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