June is Acne Awareness Month and as we all know acne can affect people of all ages. The number one question regarding acne is how do you prevent it in the first place and stop it from worsening.
Prevention is Key
If you’re an adult dealing with acne, chances are your dry skin may be an underlying cause,” noted Dr. J. Mark Jackson, board-certified dermatologist with Forefront Dermatology. “As we age, our skin loses the ability to retain moisture, causing dry skin which ultimately can lead to clogged pores – a true domino effect. Diet also plays a role in acne breakouts. To help prevent future acne breakouts, try to reduce or eliminate dairy and high glycemic foods while focusing more on fruits, vegetables and lean proteins.”
Stress can also cause acne at any age. Stress triggers a hormone known as CRH, or corticotrophin-releasing hormone. This hormone attaches itself to the skin’s sebaceous glands and drives up oil production while also causing increased inflammation. In addition to this hormone, stressful times commonly cause individuals to live a less than healthy lifestyle. They tend to sleep less, consume more processed foods and fail to stick to their skin care routines. All of these factors can also contribute to acne breakouts.
While genetics, hormones and the environment are contributing factors of acne, there are other things you may do that cause acne without you even realizing it, including:
- Using cosmetics that are not oil-free or outdated
- Wearing tight-fitting clothing, including hats
- Constantly touching your face
- Sleeping on a dirty pillow
- Not cleaning your cellphone screen regularly
According to Dr. Jackson, “The best acne treatment for teens and adults starts with a proper skin care regimen. It is important to incorporate regular cleansing of your body, especially after sweating, and use oil-free moisturizers to keep your skin from becoming dry.”
When breakouts do happen, you have a variety of acne treatments to choose from. When looking for a product, choose ones that include the following ingredients:
- Salicylic Acid: a master exfoliator, it helps get rid of the dead skin cells
- Benzoyl Peroxide: effective at killing acne-causing bacteria
- Glycolic Acid: exfoliates the skin and helps remove oil and dirt on the skin
While it’s tempting to take a “more is better” approach by using a lot of products, doing so may likely over-dry your skin, which can make acne worse. Start with one product and allow it time to treat your acne breakouts.
Lastly, monitor your lifestyle during stressful times. Get to bed early, increase your fruit and vegetable intake and always wash your face before bed. Small habits can lead to less breakouts during stressful times.
At Forefront Dermatology, we know that life is all about the moments when you don’t need us. That’s why we’re here for all the moments when you do. We offer comprehensive and compassionate care for all skin conditions and create customized treatment plans for all stages and ages – even the tiniest of patients! Find a location near you today.