Facial acne is a common health problem and commonly occurs above the eyebrows. Acne occurs when dead skin cells and skin oil, called sebum, plugs the pores. Bacteria collect in the pores and cause inflammation, causing skin redness. The area over the eyebrows is often affected because it contains a lot of oil glands. Fortunately, there are progressive treatment options to heal acne and prevent future breakouts. Some treatments are available over the counter, while others require a visit to the dermatologist.
Clean your face and forehead with a mild skin cleanser -- not soap -- twice daily. Look for a product that does not contain abrasives. Gently wash and do not scrub the skin harshly. Rinse and pat dry with a towel.
Try an over-the-counter topical acne treatment. Products containing 2.5 to 10 percent benzoyl peroxide are considered generally safe and effective. It is usually best to start with the lowest concentration and increase the strength, if needed. This reduces the chance of possible side effects, such as skin irritation and dryness. Other over-the-counter acne products commonly contain salicylic acid, sulfur, sodium sulfacetamide or resorcinol. Apply the treatments as directed.
If your acne does not improve with an over-the-counter product, visit your doctor to discuss a prescription-strength topical treatment. Topical retinoids are usually the first choice for facial acne, including breakouts over the eyebrows. Options include tretinoin (Atralin, Avita), tazarotene (Avage, Tazorac) and adapalene (Differin). These medications come in different strengths to address varying acne severity.
Talk with your doctor about adding an oral prescription medication if your acne is not controlled with a topical prescription drug. Your doctor may recommend short-term treatment with an antibiotic. Oral contraceptive pills may be helpful for women who have acne breakouts associated with their menstrual cycle. For the most serious cases of acne, oral isotretinoin may be prescribed to alleviate acne cysts. This medication is associated with a high risk of birth defects and other potentially serious side effects. Use all prescription medications as directed by your doctor.
- Skin Research and Technology: Characterization of a New Acne Vulgaris Treatment Device Combining Light and Thermal Treatment Methods
- Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology: Management Strategies for Acne Vulgaris
- Pediatrics: Evidence-Based Recommendations for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Pediatric Acne
- American Academy of Dermatology: Acne: Diagnosis, Treatment, and Outcome
- American Academy of Dermatology: Guidelines of Care for Acne Vulgaris Management Technical Report