Subclinical Acne: Causes, Treatment and Prevention

Subclinical Acne

If you have looked in the mirror and horror of horrors, noticed lots of small bumps on your forehead, you probably have subclinical acne. You can also find it on your cheeks. If you’re a teenager, investing in the good times and building relationships, you will know that you need to get rid of these fast! But don’t worry, you can face the world and get rid of it fast before your friends say, “stay away!”

What is subclinical acne?

In a nutshell, the definition of subclinical acne could be described as small bumps on the forehead due to an imbalance of the oil in the skin. This clogs the pores; pores which cannot discharge the dirt themselves and which causes the subclinical acne to develop on your skin. Subclinical acne is bumps on the forehead without injury.

Fortunately, subclinical acne is not all inflammation and redness as you can note from the subclinical acne pictures. It is caused from things like pollution and even from some of the skin products that you could be using. It could be general dirt and oiliness or dead cells of the skin, which build up. Keeping those small bumps on the forehead cleansed is a very good way to start to get rid of it.

Subclinical Acne: Causes

If you are serious about getting rid of the bumps and getting into the right routine of cleansing and care, you will be surprised that in a matter of a few days or a week or two, your skin can already be showing the lovely peaches-and-cream look that one always dreams about.

Causes of subclinical acne

Sometimes there are certain diseases that will leave a bumpy type of red rash on your forehead. Usually, if it is associated with these types of diseases, the rash will even spread across your body. With subclinical acne, the bumps usually are more in one area. With serious disease like measles or lupus, you would probably have a fever and nausea as well and aching joints, which means you would need to see your doctor for a diagnosis. Top reasons for getting those small bumps on forehead are:

  • Hormonal changes
  • Bad environment
  • Improper cosmetics
  • Stress

Each one of these is very important and needs to be dealt with appropriately or understood as to why they contribute towards subclinical acne. Subclinical acne can be in the form of small bumps on forehead, white bumps on forehead or red bumps. Sometimes these can become painful bumps on forehead too, if not looked after. If these become painful, it might mean that they are infected and inflamed. Let’s look at each of the causes:

  1. Hormonal

From the early childhood years into adulthood, a child can enter the puberty years, when the hormones become active, bringing with it an increased activity from the oil glands. Particularly when it’s subclinical acne on the forehead, the pores can get clogged from oil, dust and dirt. About 80% of older women too, are prone to acne as a result of fluctuating hormonal levels at times such as their periods, pregnancy or even from something called polycystic ovary syndrome. This is a condition that can cause acne.

  1. Environmental

Changing air-conditioning temperatures, for example, can cause you to develop subclinical acne on your forehead. Sometimes being outside and involved in outdoor activities where you are exposed to the sun and dirt can give rise to acne. Using hats to keep as much grime and sun from your skin is a good start, but remember to wash your face and forehead with a cleanser suitable for your skin later.

  1. Cosmetics

subclinical acne cosmetic

There is no doubt that sometimes we choose the wrong creams, lotions and potions for our face. Some of these might even cause us to experience irritation, allergies and yes, acne.

  • It is important not to buy anything that is too oily.
  • Check your cosmetic ingredients if they contain things like mineral oils or other type oils.
  • Switch to oil-free cleansers as well as moisturizers.
  • Try to avoid products that have very thick or creamy textures as these can clog your pores.
  • Opt for the more light-type serums, fluids and gels, which are probably more acne-safe than the thicker counterparts.
  • Also try and avoid skin products that contain acne-irritating ingredients, such as menthol or peppermint, alcohol, camphor, lemon, eucalyptus, lime and grapefruit.
  1. Stress

It can certainly bring on an outbreak of subclinical acne. Stress makes you keep your mind on the problem, getting you all worked up and increasing the oil gland activation. Try to manage your stress by taking deep breaths and then exhaling slowly through your mouth. This can be repeated about five times in a row to bring on calmness and to rein in anxiety.

How to get rid of subclinical acne

Teenagers and adults with subclinical acne often wonder whether they need to see a doctor; some just don’t have the financial means which often comes with prescriptions for expensive skin products. Besides, doctors realize and confirm that subclinical acne is actually very common and it can be treated easily with over-the-counter subclinical acne treatment at your chemist.

If you insisted on going to see a doctor, he or she would recommend that you:

  • wash your face daily with a mild cleanser followed by a moisturizer
  • avoid touching the pimply area on your forehead that is affected
  • avoid heavy makeup that can clog your pores
  • get outside and enjoy an active and healthy kind of lifestyle
  • eat a balanced diet
  • get some exercise

Following all of these recommendations will help not only your subclinical acne, but your general health as well.

A doctor should be consulted when the over-the-counter medications don’t work even though you have been using them for 6-8 weeks, when you are psychologically distressed about it, or if your pimples have become big and tender and are starting to leave scars behind.

Battling subclinical acne at home

Decide straight away to deal with your acne by visiting your pharmacy, looking out for over-the-counter washes, subclinical acne treatments, moisturizers and stuff that will clear you off the acne. There is also another route and that is your own natural route which will we will discuss below. But right now, here are the latest reviews on superb over-the-counter treatments that will do wonders for your skin.


These reviews have come from researchers looking at studies, talking to dermatologists as well as aestheticians to figure out which over-the-counter treating subclinical acne kits have the right combinations of salicylic acid and also benzoyl peroxide. These top acne ingredients get right down to the business of dealing with those zits. Look at these excellent ones:

  • Dermalogica Clear Start Kit
  • Proactiv+ 3-Step System
  • Neutrogena Complete Acne Therapy System

As mentioned above, there are two big guns when it comes to taking down subclinical acne. One is salicylic acid, which originates from the willow bark. It is used for exfoliating the skin. The other is benzoyl peroxide. Once benzoyl peroxide gets onto your face, it turns into oxygen as well as benzoic acid, getting quickly to work to destroy the bacterial membranes.

For people who can’t endure the side effects associated with benzoyl peroxide, (claims that it could cause more inflammation and irritation), sulphur-based products are a good other choice. Actually, in The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology you will discover comments to the effect that both salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide are the most commonly used acne ingredients by far, being highly effective in patients suffering from anything from mild to even moderately severe acne. If you don’t want treatments that have benzoyl peroxide in because of its very drying effects, you could opt for a milder cleanser which is not too drying or heavy, followed by a light moisturizer. You would use this twice a day.

What about alcohol?

Benzoyl peroxide might officially be the world’s top acne and skin bumps treatment, but there is a close second that people use a lot. It entails rubbing alcohol on to the problem areas. Alcohol is basically a commonly used skin antiseptic. When you rub alcohol on, it dissolves the DNA of the skin cells and bacteria. There are many people and doctors included who don’t agree with the use of alcohol rubbing, claiming it just creates new blemishes. What it can do is destroy the skins natural acid mantle barrier.

cetaphil benzoyl peroxide benzac

When this precious acid mantle gets damaged because all the natural oils on the face have been evaporated, the sebaceous glands could kind of rebel. They could then start producing more oil to make your skin oiler than ever. Stay away from acne treatment-kits that contain alcohol high up on the list.

 Using natural products

There are some unique and wonderful natural and home remedies for subclinical acne that will heal and soothe. Look at this wide array from Nature’s pharmacy:

  1. Generous Garlic: Garlic is known as nature’s anti-inflammatory agent and antibiotic. It will decrease any redness and swelling, killing the bacteria in its tracks. Many people won’t go this route because they don’t want the smell and taste of garlic to linger around them. Don’t rub raw garlic on the area though, this will sting and burn.
  2. Just-amazing Jojoba Oil won’t clog your pores and it contains vitamin E and other antioxidants, even fighting aging. Wash your skin, take a couple of drops of Jojoba oil on your hand and massage it softly and gently to the skin, allowing it to penetrate into your pores.
  3. Healing Honey is considered a top natural remedy for subclinical acne; with its anti-bacterial healing properties. Applying it directly to the skin decreases inflammation; just use it regularly. Here’s a good recipe:
    Take some honey, some oatmeal and some water, mixing them into a bowl to make a sticky paste, applying it as a mask to the affected area. Leave it on to work its miracle for about 20 minutes of removing excess oil and soothing along the way. Rinse with normal temperature water – you will love the feel.
  1. Tea tree oil remains a top remedy for treating subclinical acne. All you need is a little bit of cotton wool, dipping it into some fresh clean water that has been wrung out. Take a couple of drops of this delightful oil on to the cotton wool, spreading over the affected area. This allows the antibiotic properties to get down to business. Leave on for a few hours before rinsing off. You can get rid of your acne completely if you do this twice a day.
    Subclinical Acne
  2. Amazing Apple Cider Vinegar is considered a fantastic skin tonic all round, apart from its beneficial effect on subclinical acne. Being very acidic, it will immediately get to work, killing bacteria in its wake. Remember to only use raw, organic apple cider vinegar. Take 1 tablespoon of water, mixing it with your vinegar and apply it to the affected area. Let it dry completely before rinsing with clean water and drying softly. Do this every day.
  3. Beneficial Baking Soda is both antiseptic and anti-fungal. Make a paste of soda and honey or soda and water; it’s your choice. This lovely mask below, if used 2 to 4 times a week will give you superb results:
    Clean face and pat dry. Take 2 teaspoons of baking soda and water to make a paste and apply to skin, leaving for about 15 minutes. Rinse with cool water and pat dry. Add a moisturizer and you will notice the difference in no time!

Additional useful tips for healthy skin

  • Eat foods that contain zinc. These can be zinc tablets or things like pumpkin, oysters or veal liver.
  • Omega-3 fatty acid soothes inflammation and cleans the skin. Foods that contain it are fatty fishes, flax seeds and walnuts.
  • Drink enough water. Mineral water is good as is green tea – full of antioxidants.  Fresh juices made from dark berries and leafy greens will do miracles.
  • Stay away from junk food, keeping your skin clean as well as your hair. Exercise more and try and relax – no stress. All these things decrease the possibility of clogging up your skin pores.
  • Try and avoid foods that cause inflammatory conditions in your system such as eating too much refined sugars and processed grain. Rather opt for something healthier such as stevia, which is a natural and safe sweetener, coming from the stevia leaf or raw and unfiltered honey. Eat more whole sprout grains, which are becoming very popular today as more people strive to improve their health.

Remember that your subclinical acne occurred for a reason. As noted above, it can be your hormones, your lifestyle habits, the food you eat and what you drink. Poor digestion can also be a cause.


Whether it’s over-the counter-remedies for your subclinical acne or some simple but natural and healing home remedies for subclinical acne, your skin will talk to you and react about the products you use on it by how it looks. Obey the demands of your skin, get rid of those bumps on your forehead and put on a beautiful face to the world. If you cleanse properly, eat and exercise properly and don’t get too stressed, your skin will no longer know what subclinical acne is.

You won’t know the answer to “what is a subclinical acne cure?” because your skin and you would have moved on long ago – to a new you. Act today and invest in your skin because it’s going to represent YOU for a very long time!

Sources and References

  1. BetterHealth – Acne
  2. All About Acne – What’s to blame?