Skin Care to Clear Acne
Acne is the most common skin problem in the United States, affecting between 40 and 50 million Americans, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Teens and young adults experience acne more often than people in other age brackets, leading the Mayo Clinic to say that hormones probably play a major role in the development of acne. However, anyone can have mild to severe acne breakouts. If you’re struggling to clear your blemishes, some simple skin care steps may lead to an improvement.
Over-the-counter acne lotions that contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid can dry up excess oil, help dead skin cells slough off and kill bacteria, according to the Mayo Clinic. However, these products tend to be more effective for mild cases of acne, and they can cause some initial side effects, such as skin irritation, skin flaking and skin dryness.
Touching your face with your hands, resting your face on objects such as telephones and wearing tight clothing can cause excess dirt and oil to touch your face and may aggravate your acne, cautions the Mayo Clinic. Other harmful habits are picking at and squeezing blemishes and scrubbing your face aggressively with soap that contains harsh chemicals. Gentle cleansing twice a day should keep your face clean without irritating your skin.
You may have heard the myth about chocolate causing acne problems. Acne isn’t thought to be caused by any specific type of food, but you may notice that certain foods cause you to break out more than others, says the American Academy of Dermatology. Also, while eating greasy foods won’t necessarily cause your skin to produce more oil, the grease that is left directly on your face from whatever you ate may make your acne worse, says the American Academy of Dermatology.
You may still use cosmetics if you have acne, but you need to be careful about the products you put on your face. Some cosmetics clog pores and cause breakouts. Oil-free products labeled “non-acnegenic” and “non-comedogenic” specifically won’t clog pores and are safe to use on a daily basis, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
If your acne persists despite your best efforts to reduce breakouts, consult a dermatologist. She can assess your condition and prescribe a stronger topical treatment, prescribe an antibiotic or recommend a powerful medication called isotretinoin, notes the Mayo Clinic. She may also suggest using an oral contraceptive to regulate hormones that cause acne in some women, tell you about acne-reducing laser therapy or light therapy and inform you about cosmetic procedures such as microdermabrasion and chemical peels.
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