Eight Things That Could Cause You to Develop Acne

Acne is a skin condition that is associated with regular breakouts of pimples (also known as zits). For some people, these breakouts mainly involve little pimples called ‘whiteheads’, but other people suffer from red cysts that can sometimes grow large enough to cause extreme pain. Most acne results either from hormonal imbalances (such as those involved in polycystic ovary syndrome) or from temporary surges in hormones (related to events like puberty, periods of stress, and the onset of menstrual periods). However, some acne can be avoided or at least reduced by straightforward lifestyle modifications. Read on to discover eight things that have been proven to make acne significantly worse.


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1) Scrubbing your skin (or washing it too often):

If you have acne or want to prevent it from developing, make sure that you clean your skin gently. You should wash your skin twice a day with a mild cleanser, and also after excessively sweating (such as after going to the gym). If you scrub your skin too hard or too frequently, this causes the skin to produce more oil, which then promotes the development of more acne.

2) Spending long periods of time in the sun:

Frequent and intense sun exposure can cause acne to flare up. Further, a lot of the most popular and effective drugs and creams that are used to treat acne have the side effect of making the skin more sensitive to sun (thereby putting you at a greater risk of sunburn), so it is a good idea for medicated and unmedicated acne sufferers to avoid spending too much time in the sun.

3) Bursting zits:

Bursting pimples may get rid of them, but it leads to pus spreading to other areas of your face. This often means that you will develop new pimples in the places where the pus has been absorbed through the skin. Popping pimples also increases the likelihood of unsightly scarring. If you absolutely need to pop a zit due to pain or urgent aesthetic concerns, you should only do so when there is an obvious white head on the zit, and you should immediately clean the surrounding area before applying an antiseptic cream.

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4) Certain medications:

Reports from the University of Maryland Medical Center support the claim that some drugs are capable of exacerbating acne. They mention corticosteroids (used to treat adrenal gland problems and inflammatory diseases), phenobarbital (used to control seizures), lithium (prescribed to patients with bipolar disorder) and certain oral contraceptives. If you take one of these medications and think that there may be a relationship between the drug and your concerns about acne, speak to your doctor about whether there is alternative medication you might try (though note that you should never stop taking your current medication without your doctor’s explicit approval).

5) Greasy cosmetics:

If you shop for makeup, try to exclusively select products that are labeled as being noncomedogenic. This means that the makeup does not block the pores in your skin, and this reduces your risk of acne because blocked pores are where pimples develop. All of your cosmetics should be noncomedogenic, including your foundation, moisturizer, sunscreen and powder.

6) Touching your skin too often:

Although it is tempting to touch your skin to investigate acne, this actually makes it more likely that you will develop new pimples. This is because touching your face transfers dirt and oil from your hands to your face, where it can then clog or infect pores.

7) Allowing your hair to become oily:

If you are prone to problems with acne, wash your hair often so that it does not become greasy. If you do not, you risk the oil from your hair transferring to your face and causing zits to develop.

8) Excessive friction and sweating:

Acne mechanica is a type of acne that is specifically caused by hot skin that is covered up and repeatedly rubbed. This means that it tends to develop on your back (under the straps of a bag), or on the area of your forehead that is covered by a bicycle helmet. If you want to minimize acne in these areas, wear thin and light clothes and go for a shower straight after you apply heat and friction to any area of your skin.

If you take note of all of the above factors that can make acne worse, you should be able to make some easy lifestyle changes that will reduce the frequency of your breakouts and encourage your skin to heal. For some people, these changes will be sufficient to reduce their acne to the point that it is entirely tolerable. However, other people with more persistent skin problems may find that they need to see a dermatologist about trying a drug such as Accutane.

March 09, 2015 by Cory Barber
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