If you are battling acne, you are definitely not alone. Acne being one of the most common skin conditions around the world, affects almost anyone. Below I have provided some FAQs that we commonly hear in the clinic from our patients suffering from acne.

What causes acne breakouts?

Generally, acne occurs due to excess sebum (oil) produced by the sebaceous (oil) glands of the skin. Sebaceous glands are located under the skin, connected to the pores or the hair follicles. Your body’s natural hormones can also cause the sebaceous glands of the skin to produce more sebum. The excess sebum along with dead skin cells can cause a blockage of the skin’s pores. When these blocked secretions mix with bacteria, pimples form. These bacteria can also produce irritating substances that can cause inflammation and redness to the skin.

If I get a pimple, can I pop it?

Don’t pick at an acne blemish. Squeezing pimples forces the infected material deeper into the skin, causing additional inflammation and possible long term scarring. Popping a pimple may even make the pimple take longer to actually go away.

What role does diet play in acne?

Food is a controversial contributing factor for acne. Some new research studies have found a link between certain food groups, particularly a diet high in glycemic index and acne. However, following a strict diet alone will not clear up your skin. Avoid any foods which seem to worsen your acne and, for your overall health, eat a balanced diet. However, diet shouldn’t be your end all when it comes to managing your acne.

What kind of cosmetics and cleansers are best for patients with acne?

Look for “noncomedogenic” cosmetics and skin care products. These products have been formulated so that they will not irritate your skin and will prevent more acne breakouts.  As a rule of thumb, avoid heavy foundation makeup. Mineral makeup powder is recommended because it is comprised of less irritating and pore-clogging ingredients, and it has great long-lasting coverage.

What should I avoid when acne is already present?

Here are a few easy at home tips to prevent acne from getting worse:

  • Don’t pop your pimples!
  • Try to avoid touching your face during the day.
  • Going to sleep with makeup on is a bad idea!
  • Use a gentle cleanser when washing the face; hard scrubbing can further irritate the skin.
  • Use noncomedogenic skin products.
  • Avoid too much sun exposure as it can stimulate sebum production of the skin and make redness and scarring more pronounced.