Most people may not be aware, but acne is a skin condition that affects roughly 612.5 million individuals worldwide. Since it has been stereotyped throughout the years, many of us are not properly informed about the ways on how to prevent acne. However, given that we’ll encounter this skin disorder at some point, it’s crucial to understand the condition and its causes.
What are acne and its causes?
Generally speaking, acne isn’t considered a severe health condition—but that doesn’t mean it’s a light matter to take care of. As a matter of fact, these skin outbreaks are so common that eighty percent of people around the age of 11 to 30 undergo this predicament, and some still experience it until their 60s.
Acne is often clinically described as a skin inflammation disorder that roots from pilosebaceous units (PSUs) beneath the skin. These units containing sebum glands are located in some parts of your body, especially the face, chest, and upper back, where most zits reoccur.
With the increased androgen production building up in your hair follicles, there are various types of acne that your skin may encounter. This condition ranges from Non-inflammatory Acne such as whiteheads and blackheads that normally don’t exhibit swelling—up to Inflammatory Acne where bacteria (Cutibacterium acnes) clog your pores and lead to minor degree skin infections.
The causes of acne widely vary depending on which type of skin condition you currently have; that’s why you must understand how it builds up in your body. In some cases, hormonal pregnancy changes and genetic factors can add to the occurrence of acne formation.
Tips for keeping acne under control
Despite the common misconception, there’s no confirmed way to halt the development of acne completely. However, there are some steps you can consider to keep it under control and minimize how it affects your daily life.
Keep your skin clean
Whether you’re suffering from acne or not, it’s a no-brainer that you have to wash your face at least twice a day. According to board-certified dermatologists, this routine is the most basic way to take care of your skin health and maintain the cleanliness of your pores to prevent acne formation.
While it’s crucial to remove excess oil, dead cells, and impurities in your skin, washing your face must be done sparingly. Even skin experts don’t recommend over-washing your face. You may
not know it, but scrubbing your blemishes roughly may cause irritation and trigger your acne to flare. If you’re using products like cleansers and moisturizers, always ensure that they’re suited for acne-prone skin and contain non-comedogenic substances (or skincare and makeup products that are formulated in such a way that they are not likely to cause pore blockages (comedones) and breakouts.)
Don’t Pop Breakouts
When a zit appears over your skin, the temptation to pop it out is irresistible. In the survey conducted by The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, 52.9% of their female participants agree that they cope with acne by popping or squeezing, and 22.1% believe that doing it can make pimples go away.
However, did you know that squeezing it out will only push dead skin cells or bacteria deeper into your skin? That’s right. The worse-case-scenario you can accumulate from this practice is scarring and pain from increased inflammation.
Know your skin type
To properly treat your acne and choose a suitable skincare regime, the first step you need to figure out is what kind of skin type you’re dealing with. Is your skin dry or oily? Does it feel tight and patchy? Aside from skin conditions that are susceptible to irritation and inflammation, some skin types experience a combination of dry and oily patches.
Applying certain products to a particular surface of the skin could lead to increased flares. Due to this predicament, it’s better to treat each skin area differently according to its needs.
Talk to a Dermatologist
Although there are many skincare routines out there that tell us how to prevent acne, it’s not a one-size-fits-all situation. As previously stated, acne formation heavily varies and could root from health and genetic conditions. With the right help from licensed derma experts, one can identify the cause and recommend proper medication (if needed) to keep your acne under control.
Testimonials about best practices to prevent acne
Oily Skin and Cleansing
Our body naturally produces oil that helps to maintain skin health. However, excessive production of it often results in acne flare-ups. When managing oily skin, April Armstrong, MD, from Dermatology at the University of California Davis, highly recommends using gentle cleansers instead of soaps with harsh substances that trigger oil production.
Even Dr. Sandra Lee, an American board-certified dermatologist, agrees that people with oily skin should consider cleansing morning and night to shed dead cells and give the skin the chance to undergo natural oil production.
Stress and Acne
The association between stress and acne has been widely debated over the years. Unfortunately, when Time asked Dr. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center’s dermatology professor, Dr. Alexa Kimball, she confirmed that their studies revealed that greater stressors indeed lead to heavy acne breakouts.
Some biological drivers cause stress-accumulated acne, which is why Kimball suggests those suffering from this condition to stick with standard healthy regimens inclusive of proper sleep, diets, and skincare routines to relieve stress.
Diet and Acne
Linking diet to acne accumulation isn’t a new theory around the industry. In fact, a study conducted by Bodo C. Melnik from the Department of Dermatology, University of Osnabrück, Germany, revealed that three food classes might trigger acne production. According to the research, milk and dairy products, saturated fats, and hyperglycemic carbohydrates are some major food groups to cut back from if one aims to achieve acne prevention.
Sleep and Acne
It’s not a secret that lack of sleep is highly prevalent, especially in adults. Because of this, poor sleep quality is primarily linked to many health risks like diabetes, heart problems, and psychiatric conditions. However, did you know that the severity of your acne also aligns with your sleeping depravity?
In a study released in 2021 entitled Acne Severity and Sleep Quality in Adults, statistics have shown that individuals with poor sleep routines, particularly adults, reported severe acne formations. Besides that, lack of sleep can also result in increased cortisol levels. This predicament could lead to weakening the immune system and eventually transpire to a skin problem.
As most of us differ in skin types and health conditions, learning how to prevent acne and manage skin disorders can be a challenging journey. While dealing with acne could cause distress, don’t hesitate to reach out to health care professionals regarding this. Just keep in mind that proper treatment options are still the primary driving force of clear skin.