Things to Know about Acne
1. Acne is the #1 most common skin condition in the US affecting 40-50 million Americans at one point or another in their lives. While most common in teens & young adults, adult acne is also very common.
2. Acne is caused when a pore in the skin becomes clogged due to excess oil & dead skin cells. A bacteria of the skin called p. acnes then starts multiplying, causing the pore to become inflamed.
3. Hormones (not dirt or under-cleansing) are mainly responsible for the excess oil production that causes the pores to become plugged, which is why acne flare-ups are common in teens (puberty), during high stress or before/during/after pregnancy.
4. Washing your face multiple times per day can make acne worse! It is best to wash your face twice per day. More than that, you may irritate the skin which may make the acne more inflamed.
5. The two main ingredients used in acne treatments are benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. Benzoyl peroxide kills the bacteria & clears out oil & dead skin cells. It is the strongest of these 2 ingredients, and may stain towels & clothing. Salicylic acid is another strong acne-fighter that unclogs pores, but is less likely to stain fabrics.
6. You still need to moisturize! Many acne patients stop moisturizing because they don’t want to “contribute to the oiliness” of their skin, but when the skin is dry, it tells the cells to produce MORE oil, which then leads to more active. Use an oil-free, light moisturizer after cleansing to counteract this.
7. Where acne appears can help you determine any other contributing factors. Acne along the hair line may be due to an oily scalp, so you may need to wash your hair every day. Athletes often get acne somewhere that experiences a lot of friction due to a piece of equipment, such as a helmet. If this is the case, try to cleanse the area soon after practice and keep the equipment clean as well if possible.
8. When styling your hair, protect your face with a towel or your hands (visor style – try not to actually touch your face). Hair sprays and hair gels can exacerbate acne.
9. Try not to pick, squeeze or pop pimples. Avoid touching your face in general if possible. Popping pimples can end up spreading the bacteria to nearby cells, making the acne flare-up last longer.
10. Remember your SPF! The active ingredients in many acne products can make your skin more sensitive to the sun, so remember your sunscreen & avoid tanning beds.
For More Information on Acne:
AAD- Tips for Managing Acne http://www.aad.org/dermatology-a-to-z/diseases-and-treatments/a---d/acne/tips
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