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Acne Basics

Acne can detract from your appearance, embarrass you, cause pain, and permanently scar your skin. Here’s what you should know about protecting your skin from acne.

What causes acne?
Acne is caused by a combination of factors such as hormone changes, clogged pores, and excess oil on the skin. Acne is particularly common in teenagers because of all the hormone changers they are experiencing.

Woman with acne

What makes acne worse?
Although hormone fluctuations may be the primary culprit, there are a number of other factors that can make things worse. Some of these include:
• Anything that clogs your pores—this can include pollution, grease, oil, dead skin, hairspray, makeup, and more.
• Things that increase oil production in the skin such as heat and humidity.
• Things that trap bacteria on your skin—working out is a healthy habit, but it is important to shower shortly afterward so bacteria doesn’t sit on your skin.
• Foods with a high glycemic index—these are usually processed foods and foods that spike your blood sugar levels.
• Food containing hormones can also make acne worse for some people, which is why there is sometimes a link between meat and dairy products and acne.

How can you prevent acne breakouts?
Acne isn’t caused by dirt, but having clogged pores can lead to acne, so it is important to keep your skin clean—just don’t overdo it since too much scrubbing can irritate your skin and make breakouts worse.

In addition to keeping your skin clean, there are other things you can do to prevent acne or reduce the severity of breakouts. Some good options include:

  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet with very few processed foods.
  • Consider using Clarisonic tools to keep your skin healthy and keep your pores clear.
  • Keep your hair pulled back so that oil from your hair doesn’t get on your face.
  • Wear high quality makeup and skin products that do not clog your pores. The wrong makeup can make things worse, but good makeup can absorb oil and keep it off of your skin.
  • Manage your stress levels by exercising regularly, listening to relaxing music, talking to friends and family, watching TV shows or movies that make you laugh, and spending time outside.
  • Protect your skin from sun damage. A sunburn may make it look like your skin has cleared, but in reality it makes things much worse by increasing the number of dead skin cells on your face, destroying cellular DNA, and increasing your risk of skin cancer.

To learn more about protecting your skin from acne, contact a dermatologist.


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