Does dandruff cause acne?

Does dandruff cause acne? Acne is a common skin condition faced by many people. It happens when hair follicles under the skin become clogged. Sebum oil and dead skin cells are responsible for clogging the pores, which leads to outbreaks of lesions, commonly called pimples. 

Sebum oil helps the skin from drying out. The outbreaks occur most often on the face but can also appear on the back, chest, and shoulders.

The bacteria on the skin make the problem worse, it infects the clogged pores and causes a reaction within the body which leads to whiteheads, blackheads, etc.

Pimples are caused by many reasons like hormonal changes, improper diet, stress, consumption of specific drugs, excessive use of cosmetic products, etc. Most of us don’t know that dandruff is also responsible for acne. People who suffer from dandruff might be on the verge of getting acne

How does dandruff cause acne?


You will be wondering, does dandruff cause acne? For that, we have to understand the connection between the problem. Dandruff and acne are both caused by overactive sebaceous glands. 

You will think that some people who have oily skin don’t have both problems. It is because a reduction in the amount of oil produced by the skin’s glands is known to help control both conditions in those who suffer from dandruff and acne. 

The problem arises when excessive oil production in the skin and scalp mixes with the skin’s dead cells as they shed. These materials are responsible for clogging hair follicles and pores.

Bacteria make the problem worse as clogged pores increase due to bacteria and produce inflamed pimples, cysts, and blackheads associated with acne.

There is another common link between dandruff and acne which is the abnormal shedding of dead skin cells. Some People shed dead skin cells faster than usual people whose skin’s outer layer tends to develop a thicker than normal consistency can have a more difficult time for oil and impurities to pass through the pore completely. Thus, clogged pores are a result of a typical shedding of the skin.

Does dandruff cause acne on the forehead and back?


You avoid showing your face in public when you have face acne because the face is a common site for acne. But you know that the face isn’t the only place where acne can occur. It can affect any body part like the back, chest, and shoulders. Back acne is also commonly called “bacne”. It can be particularly troublesome. But you know how back acne is caused.  Our back and forehead have numerous sebaceous glands that secrete an oily substance called sebum. The accumulation of dead skin cells and oil within the pores of the skin, combined with an overgrowth of a common skin bacteria due to sweat causes back and forehead acne.

There are many reasons but dandruff is also the reason behind the acne on the back, as excess oil from the scalp transfers to your back and forehead through your hair and clogs the pores. As said before, in dandruff, the skin on the scalp becomes flaky. These white flakes clog the pores on the back. This all contributes to a problem called back acne. Dandruff flakes can make the problem even worse for people suffering from acne.

Now you will think, is there any way to check if the acne is due to dandruff? Then first try to overcome dandruff with an anti-dandruff treatment and also reduce your chemical cosmetic products. If you see a reduction in your acne, then the answer is clear “does dandruff cause acne”. If the acne persists even after getting rid of dandruff, then visit a dermatologist for the same.

Most common causes of acne


You will be thinking now about who is the culprit behind the cause of acne. As there are many reasons for acne breakouts some main reasons are as follows:

  1. Testosterone - Acne commonly occurs during puberty during the human cycle and is called teenage acne. It is thought to be triggered by increased hormone levels called testosterone. The hormone plays an important role in stimulating the growth and testicles in boys and maintaining muscle and bone strength in girls. Glands produce much more sebum than the skin needs as the testosterone level increases.
  2. Stress - Stress doesn’t have a direct connection with acne. But if you already suffer from acne, stress can make it worse. Dandruff triggers stress and it has a direct connection with acne. Therefore, stress is not good for your acne and your body.
  3. Junk food- Fast food like pizza, chocolate, fried foods, etc all have a high glycemic index. According to NCBI, A high Glycemic index is responsible for acne because it spikes the blood sugar in the human body which results in more sebum production. Eat low Glycemic index food to get rid of acne
  4. Environmental irritants, such as pollution, high humidity, and dirt can also contribute to the problem and also worsen them. As dirt, pollutants get clogged in the pores of the skin, and sweat due to humidity can let bacteria grow. Therefore clean your face at least 2 times a day and also wash your hair.
  5. Some daily habits and small factors which can make acne worse are given below:
  • Pressure on skin from sports helmets, tight clothes, backpacks, etc.
  • Touching your face with dirty hands.
  • Using harsh products on your skin.
  • Scrubbing your skin roughly.
  • Heavy makeup and styling products block the pores of the skin and may cause an acne flare-up.


Acne is the worst thing to happen when you are already suffering from dandruff. As said earlier there are many causes of acne. And dandruff is also the culprit behind it. Therefore it is necessary to first eliminate the root cause of dandruff. There are many changes which you can adapt in order to get rid of it. First and most important is to use a chemical free products and using anti dandruff shampoo. Nature4nature antidandruff hair oil doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals and it include important  ingredients necessary for healthy hair. Diet also play a important role, so keep yourself healthy with a balance diet.