The 3 surprising reasons you keep getting pimples in the exact same place.

We all have those pimples. You know the ones. They like to pop up every month or so, in exactly the same spot - just to check in, look around, see what's good.

Mine are on either side of my chin - one on the left and one on the right. Two blind pimples. They're the type of ones that feel like they have their own heartbeat. 

They pop up every couple of months without fail - when I'm stressed/not getting enough sleep/on my period/breathe, etc.

Sound familiar?

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Dermatologist Dr Cara McDonald from Complete Skin Specialists said this is basically the result of inflammation and infection around a pore. 

"Pores are small channels extending from the surface down into the deep layer of the skin."

"They contain the hair follicle which has an important role in sensation and thermoregulation, and oil glands that produce sebum to protect the skin and keep it moisturised."

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"If the pore gets blocked up with dead skin cells, oil, or other products like makeup, we call it a blackhead or whitehead. If it gets infected or inflamed, we call it a pimple."

So, then why does it... keep happening? In the same place?? EVERY TIME??

According to Dr McDonald, persistent spots actually mean different things. 

Along with hormonal changes, there are a few main reasons why you're probably experiencing recurring breakouts.

1. Your pimple hasn't healed.

If your spot doesn't heal properly, chances are you're going to get another spot in exactly the same place.

Cruel, we know.

"The reason we get pimples again and again in the same spot is that these pores either continually block up or fail to clear completely even once the inflammation settles," said McDonald.

The thing is, pimples have deep roots - so while they might look like they're healed, and redness and inflammation has settled, often acne bacteria, dead skin cells, and all that other fun stuff is still brewing underneath.


That's why it's super important to suss out the exact cause(s) behind your spots. For example, is it hormone-related? Due to a lack of sleep? The products you're using?

We know, we know - it can be frustrating to navigate.

But finding out the core issue behind your breakouts means there's less chance you'll experience things like hyperpigmentation and scarring.

2. Your pores may be damaged.

Bad news: Your pores could be problematic. 

Did you know some pimples can cause temporary tissue damage? It's true! And it's one of the most common reasons you could be experiencing recurring pimples.

"In some cases, the pore may be damaged and more prone to blocking up infection and inflammation," she said.

Often cystic spots can cause a change in the skin's structure, making the sebum gland expand and overflow through damaged walls, spreading underneath the skin. 

As a result, this can create a large 'pocket' inside of this pore, which easily refills with pus and bacteria in the exact same spot, time and time again.

3. Certain areas are more prone to pimples.

While pimples can obviously appear anywhere on the body, Dr McDonald said another major reason is that some areas of the face are simply more susceptible to irritation or friction - think the nose, chin and forehead.

"Certain areas of the face are also more prone to acne and congestion due to being more oily or more sensitive to hormonal fluctuations," she adds.

So, what can you do about recurring pimples?

Let's just preface this by saying there's no quick fix. It can sometimes take ages for a recurring spot to go away completely (weeks, sometimes months).

One of the most important things you can do is to help reduce your stress hormones by ensuring that you have adequate sleep, a good diet, and some form of exercise daily. We know it sounds boring - but it's true!

Another tip? When it comes to what kind of skincare products you should be using, a lot of experts will recommend paring everything back and trying to keep your routine as simple as possible in order to help strengthen your skin barrier.

So, don't go too crazy and use 839 new active products at once. Less is more, friends.

Instead, look for products with soothing and calming anti-inflammatory ingredients such as niacinamide or green tea until your spots pass.

If you're still struggling with recurring cystic pimples, it could be best to seek advice from a qualified skin specialist.

Do you experience recurring pimples on the regular? Share your experience with pimples in the comment section below.

Feature image: Mamamia; Getty