Forehead Rash – Types and Causes of Forehead Skin Problems

Rashes can occur on the skin in any part of the body. Regardless of the location of skin rash, the causes are typically the same. Skin rashes are caused by either skin conditions or systemic diseases. Rashes on the forehead occur due to similar reasons, and are frequently a continuation of skin rashes elsewhere on the scalp or face. At other times, a forehead rash may be due to a condition that is specific to the skin on the forehead. Skin rashes on the face affect the cosmetic appearance of a person. Therefore, skin rashes cause great concern among sufferers and onlookers in social settings.

The skin on the face is prone to developing various types of skin conditions. This is because the skin on the face is relatively thin when compared to the skin on other parts of the body. Facial skin also has a relatively higher concentration of sebaceous glands that produce the oily sebum. This makes the skin prone to infections. The skin on the forehead is usually affected in such infections. Due to its proximity to the scalp, the skin on the forehead may also develop skin conditions that usually affect the scalp.

A rash refers to a visible skin lesion. The affected skin areas look and feel different from the surrounding normal skin. The rashes on the skin may have different colors, including red, silver, or white. The shade of color in a skin rash could either be darker or lighter than the shade of normal skin. Skin rashes also have a different texture than that of normal skin. This may sometimes be due to cracking or peeling of the skin at the site of the rash.

Read more on itchy forehead.

Causes of Skin Rash on the Forehead

Forehead rash can be caused by different skin diseases, including impetigo, cellulitis, shingles, and measles. Dry skin condition and insect bites can also cause a forehead rash. However, most of these causes are not specific to the forehead. In many cases, the infection on the forehead may be a part of a larger infected area that includes the scalp and other areas of the face as well. The following are some of the conditions that can cause skin rash on the forehead, scalp and face.


Acne is a very common skin condition that affects the face, especially in teenagers. The main cause of acne is bacterial infection of the skin. This is facilitated by an oily skin caused by excessive sebum production. Excess sebum can clog the skin pores, causing inflammation and infection. Hormonal changes caused by puberty stimulates excessive sebum production, which makes the skin susceptible to acne.

Acne typically arises as red, raised bumps on the skin, which may also have pus in them. Acne can also take the form of pustules, blackheads, whiteheads, and cysts. Acne on the forehead is usually a continuation of acne present on the face and scalp.

Read more on scalp acne.

Ringworm infection

Ringworm refers to a type of fungal infection of the skin. Despite the name, a ringworm infection does not refer to an infection caused by some parasitic worm. The name is given due the characteristic ring-like appearance of the infected skin area. Ringworm infection is caused by a group of fungi known as the dermatophytes.

Ringworm infection on the forehead is usually a part of the ringworm infection of the face (technically referred to as tinea faciei). In some cases, ringworm infection on the forehead may be derived from a ringworm infection of the scalp (technically referred to as tinea capitis). Yeast infections on the forehead are very uncommon.


Melasma refers to a dark skin rash that mostly affects the face. The darkening of the skin occurs in patches and is a gradual process. The exact cause of melasma is not understood. However, exposure to sun and hormonal causes are suspected. The darkening of the skin in melasma is due to excessive production of melanin pigment by the melanocytes in the skin.


Vitiligo is characterized by spotty or patchy areas on the skin that are pale or white in color. These patches are a result of hypopigmentation. Vitiligo starts as small spots or patches of pale skin, which then go on to coalesce and form larger patches. The exact cause of vitiligo is not understood.

However, a variety of factors such as genetics, autoimmune factors, repetitive skin injury, and oxidative stress have been linked to the condition. The pale, patchy areas of the skin may become red when exposed to the sun. This is because of the lack of the protective melanin pigment in these areas of the skin.


Eczema is an umbrella term that refers to many types of dermatitis or skin inflammation. The most common types of eczema that can affect the forehead include atopic dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis and contact dermatitis. Atopic dermatitis is common in people who suffer from allergies. However, the exact cause of this condition is not known. Atopic dermatitis begins early in life, and is also referred to as baby eczema.

Seborrheic dermatitis is associated with an oily skin in which the sebaceous glands are overactive. The skin on the forehead, scalp and face is especially prone to this condition. Contact dermatitis is caused by certain skin irritants with which a person may come in repeated contact. Depending on the mechanism of dermatitis, contact dermatitis is classified into irritant contact dermatitis and allergic contact dermatitis.

Allergic contact dermatitis is caused by an allergic immune reaction, whereas irritant contact dermatitis is caused by simple inflammation that is not related to any allergic reaction.

Acanthosis nigricans

Acanthosis nigricans is associated with a hyperpigmentation and thickening of the skin. The skin folds in the groin, armpits, and neck are frequently affected in this condition. The skin on the forehead and eyelids may also be involved in many cases. The exact cause of acanthosis nigricans is not known. However, type 2 diabetes and obesity have been associated with the condition. Genetics, hormonal medications and cancers may also be involved in the pathogenesis.


Psoriasis is caused by an overgrowth of skin cells, resulting in thick lesions on the skin. The scalp is one of the most commonly affected areas, and the condition may spread to the forehead. The exact cause of psoriasis is not known. However, genetic, environmental and immune factors are thought to contribute to the condition.

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