“I’ve had what seems like the same zit, in the same place, 2 months in a row. Why the same spot?”

There are a few reasons why you might develop an acne lesion in the same location, multiple times.

One possibility is repeated contact of the area of the skin with an object that causes bacteria transfer, irritation, occlusion, or moisture buildup. Phones, for example, often have bacteria on their surfaces and routinely contact the face while conversing, thereby transferring bacteria, which can promote the development of acne. Similarly, the hands can transfer bacteria and oil to the face.

If the lesion is in an area that you repeatedly touch (for example, some people rest their hands on their chins while studying), that could contribute to the development of acne in the same spot. Repeated touching can also simply irritate an area of the skin, making it more prone to acne development.

Another potential explanation relates to the fact that acne lesions develop in hair follicles or pores. When the wall of a hair follicle becomes damaged, for example from squeezing, picking, or being rubbed repeatedly, it becomes vulnerable to bacterial growth and inflammation, and consequently, the development of an acne lesion. Until the follicle heals, an acne lesion may continue to reappear.

Finally, hormonal fluctuations (for example, related to the menstrual cycle) are thought to relate to the development of reoccurring acne lesions in the same location.

By considering these possibilities, you may be able to reduce the chance of the acne lesion appearing once again. Some phones, for example, can be wiped with alcohol or antibacterial products designed for electronics. Frequent hand washing and avoiding contact of the hands to the face may also be of help.