Acne is a skin condition that occurs when your hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. It causes whiteheads, blackheads or pimples. Acne is most common among teenagers, though it affects people of all ages.
Effective acne treatments are available, but acne can be persistent. The pimples and bumps heal slowly, and when one begins to go away, others seem to crop up.
Depending on its severity, acne can cause emotional distress and scar the skin. The earlier you start treatment, the lower your risk of such problems.
If you get frequent breakouts (or ones that just never seem to go away), you likely have acne-prone skin. This means that your pores tend to clog easily, making you more susceptible to whiteheads, blackheads or pustules than other skin types. You can have oily or dry skin and be prone to acne.
DO – wash your face with a mild cleanser and warm water once or twice a day. Especially after you work out or have been sweating.
DON’T – overdo face washing because this can strip away the natural oils from your skin and sometimes leave your skin feeling tight, red and dry. Plus you can make things worse.
DO – watch your sun exposure.While there is some evidence that vitamin D (which you can get from the sun), too much time in the sun isn’t good for acne or your skin. In fact, it can put you at greater risk for sun damage or for worse, skin cancer.
DON’T – Be cruel to your skin. A gentle approach to skincare is generally preferred for most as opposed to harsher, exfoliating products that can cause more skin irritation. Here are a few things you should try to avoid such as using products that can irritate your skin, such as astringents, toners and exfoliants. Please avoid touching your face with your hands. Lastly, avoid squeezing, picking and frequent popping because this can just lead to skin inflammation, discoloration and risk of scarring.
DO – Watch your meals every time. While that chocolate bar and hamburger won’t cause your acne, a poor diet won’t help it. Make sure you stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day and stick to a balanced diet rich in lean proteins, fruits and vegetables. Avoid consuming sweetened or artificially sweetened beverages and limit sugars and carbohydrates in your diet. For example, increased milk consumption can worsen acne, so limiting your dairy intake may help as well.
DON’T – Cover or conceal acne with cosmetics. Be careful with using makeup to hide your blemishes. Many individuals with acne problems use cosmetics to try and conceal acne, but more makeup can block pores leading to more acne. If you prefer to wear makeup, consider mineral makeup, especially powder. And remember to wash your makeup brushes and sponges regularly to prevent oil and bacteria from building up.