Does Touching Your Face Cause Acne?

Does touching your face cause acne?

Does Touching Your Face Cause Acne?
You have always touched your face with your hands and never gave it a second thought. That is until your friend told you that touching your face with hands causes pimples and if you stop doing this then your acne will go away.

Could it be that easy to clean your skin?

You’re not getting acne just by touching your face

The whole idea of ‚Äč‚Äčtouching your face with your hands causes acne. Touching your face with your hands, while not really helpful, probably isn’t doing much to cause acne. And, more importantly, now just not touching your face will not go away with acne.

Acne is caused by several factors; fingers are not one of them

The reason you get acne isn’t that you brushed your fingers on your cheek last week, and it’s also not because you like to put your chin on your hand.

The real acne-causing culprits are overactive sebaceous glands (also known as oil glands), abnormal shedding of skin cells, certain bacteria (specifically Propionibacterium acnes), and hormonal influences. Touching, or not touching, the skin is not going to affect all of these causes, if at all.

It’s never a good idea to squeeze or pick at pimples

Of course, it all depends on what kind of touch we are talking about. There are things you can do to your hands that will make acne worse.


Picking the skin, squeezing out blemishes, and scratching the crust will certainly make acne worse. When you pop a pimple or pick a pimple scab, you’re creating more inflammation and damaging your skin.

So, in this case, a hands-off approach is absolutely the best bet. But picking at the skin is a lot different than touching your face.

Touching your face isn’t necessarily helpful, though.

This does not mean that you are now free to start touching and rubbing the skin. Your hands aren’t always the cleanest things in the whole world, so you might not want to touch your face frequently.

It’s also a good idea to wash your hands before touching your face, even if it’s not to reduce acne. Hands can have germs. Touching your mouth, nose, or eyes with dirty hands can spread things like cold and flu viruses.

And if you’re a real picker, it’s probably best not to touch your face at all. Once you feel a pimple, it’s hard to fight the urge to take it, isn’t it? In this case, it is so much easier to avoid the temptation altogether by not touching the face in the first place.

Other things touching your face can trigger breakouts

Although touching your face with your hands is not a major acne trigger, certain things that touch your face can actually make acne worse. These are sweatbands, hats, football helmets, and the like.

It’s more about friction than spreading bacteria. Acne caused by friction is called Acne Mechanica.

So, you might not want to spend a lot of time resting your face in your hands, for the same reason. If you do this a lot (such as every day during a boring class period) you may see an increase in breakouts in that area.

Again, this is more than a constant pressure on the skin, not mere touch. And, for a lot of people, even lumpy cheeks on the hands don’t affect acne one way or another.

Not touching your face won’t clear acne, but a good treatment product will.

But even if you never touch your face again by this point, you will still get acne. Since acne is not caused by just touching your face, acne cannot be “cured” by not touching your face. Acne will not stop by not touching your face.

If you want to see real improvement in your skin, you need to follow the acne treatment regimen. These can be over-the-counter products, but they can also mean prescription drugs. A good daily skincare routine, a proven acne medication, consistent treatments, and a little bit of time will do the most to banish those breakouts, whether you’re touching your face or not.