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Ways to Prevent Acne Breakouts

Ways to Prevent Acne Breakouts Ways to Prevent Acne Breakouts

Acne causes various blemishes on the skin after oil, dead skin cells and possibly bacteria build up inside hair follicles. Medically called acne vulgaris, the disorder affects roughly 45 million Americans, about 85 percent of whom are teenagers, states the American Academy of Dermatology. Such statistics make acne the most widespread skin condition in the country. There are various strategies for preventing the condition.

Nonprescription Drugs

To prevent acne breakouts, you must successfully address the factors that contribute to the condition. Treatment strategies typically aim to accelerate the production of new skin cells, decrease inflammation, discourage bacterial infection and reduce the level of oil on your skin. Numerous effective products containing medicinal ingredients are available to achieve those goals. Milder nonprescription products include creams, lotions and other topical preparations with benzoyl peroxide, lactic acid, resorcinol, salicylic acid or sulfur. Such products are sold in pharmacies and stores, and they work best if your acne is only moderate.

Prescription Drugs

Prescription-strength treatments include topical products containing drugs such as adapalene, azelaic acid, higher-dose benzoyl peroxide, clindamycin, erythromycin, tazarotene and tretinoin. These stronger treatments work best to help prevent severe acne or acne that does not improve with nonprescription products. Another alternative for preventing more serious acne breakouts involves taking antibiotics for a short time, which requires consulting a trained healthcare practitioner first.


Keeping your skin as free of excess bacteria and oil as possible in order to prevent acne breakouts also requires paying close attention to what you put on your skin. If you wear makeup, you should only use cosmetics contain no oil and that clearly state they are noncomedogenic on the label. Such items are specially manufactured to make sure they do not clog your pores, which is a major contributor to acne. Some appropriate products may have a label describing them as non-acnegenic, which indicates they do not cause acne. Also avoid applying heavy layers of makeup and take care to remove all of your cosmetics from your face before you go to sleep at the end of the day.


Although dirt is not a cause of acne, proper hygiene, including keeping your skin clean, is essential for preventing breakouts. Cleaning your skin adequately -- especially after exercising or other vigorous physical activity -- helps to remove the dead skin cells and oil that contribute to the condition. Wash your face -- or whichever areas suffer from breakouts -- at least twice a day using a gentle, oil-free cleaner. If you apply products such as moisturizers afterward, select water-based items that will not cause blocked pores. In addition, wearing looser clothing can help avoid the friction, heat and moisture that can irritate skin and encourage acne breakouts.

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