June is National Acne Awareness Month, and we’ve got answers to some of your burning questions. You want to know if there’s an acne treatment out there that actually works. More specifically, you’re interested to understand what causes acne and how you can prevent it. The trusted, board-certified dermatologists at Advanced Dermatology of North Central Ohio are here to answer all of your top acne questions today.
Of course, if you don’t see your question here and are tired of struggling to find an effective acne treatment, now is the perfect time to make an appointment with us and start your personalized treatment plan!
What Causes Acne?
In your skin, you have small, oil-producing glands called sebaceous glands, which are almost always attached to hair follicles (even the very tiniest ones). Sebaceous glands secrete sebum—an oily substance that keeps your skin moist and elastic. If your sebaceous glands are too inactive, you’ll suffer from chronic dry skin.
Unfortunately, if they’re overly active, they can produce too much sebum, which combines with dead skin cells to clog the hair follicles. Clogged follicles can be infected by bacteria on your skin, causing inflammation and acne’s famous blemishes.
So, what causes these glands to produce so much sebum in the first place? One or more of the following factors can trigger or worsen acne symptoms:
- Hormonal changes (common in adolescence and midlife)
- Certain medications like corticosteroids, lithium, or birth control pills
- Diets rich in carbs (bread, pasta, chips, etc.)
- High levels of stress
Does Tanning Help Acne?
The idea that tanning could help with acne is complete fiction. Tanning will not help acne—if anything, it could make the problem worse.
People think that tanning helps because it makes your skin darker and can reduce the appearance of acne. The problem is still there—you just don’t see it as clearly as before. Plus, tanning dries out your skin which forces your glands to produce more sebum, potentially making your acne worse in the long run.
This, of course, is only one of many reasons that tanning is bad for your skin, especially indoor tanning. The fact is, there’s no such thing as a safe tanning bed, booth, or sun lamp!
Does Wearing Makeup Cause More Breakouts?
Generally, no. While some types of liquid makeup can clog your pores, most cosmetic companies now offer oil-free and non-comedogenic (non-clogging) products. If you want to wear makeup, choose acne-friendly liquids like these or opt for mineral-based powders that won’t clog your pores.
Also—and this is important—be sure to wash your cosmetics off before bed every night and clean your makeup brushes weekly to avoid spreading acne-triggering bacteria.
Is It Normal for Adults to Get Acne?
Yes—it’s a myth that only teenagers suffer this affliction. Acne is a growing problem for adult women especially. In one study, half of the women in their 20s reported experiencing some form of acne, 35% of women in their 30s, 26% of women in their 40s, and 15% of women over 50. As much as 20 to 40 percent of women who experience adult acne never had it as a teenager.
Adult men and women can both have acne, though it is more common among women due to hormone fluctuations during menstruation and pregnancy. If you start noticing red bumps and inflammation around menopause, however, it is more likely to be a sign of rosacea. Visit a board-certified dermatologist for an accurate diagnosis!
Does Chocolate Cause Acne? What About Greasy Food?
First of all, no food causes you to get acne. However, certain foods can make outbreaks worse.
For many years, we thought that sugar was the only reason chocolate could trigger outbreaks, but recent studies have suggested a stronger link. When it comes to pizza, the issue has been exaggerated. Eating a slice of pizza isn’t necessarily going to make your skin break out—just try not to touch your face with oily fingers!
Here’s the bottom line about food and acne: all things in balance and moderation. Following a healthy, nutritious diet can improve our skin across the board. By that same token, regularly eating processed, fried, sugary, or carb-laden foods can make our skin worse. One indulgence here or there doesn’t spell doom for your skin—consistency is key.
Should I Just Wash My Face More Often or Use Stronger Products?
The idea that people who have acne need to wash more frequently is a myth, too. In fact, over-washing your skin can dry it out, causing it to produce even more sebum. It’s important to stick to a regular washing routine and not overtax your skin. Use a gentle, fragrance-free foaming cleanser no more than twice daily, and don’t forget to moisturize!
When it comes to acne products, benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid solutions are go-to acne-fighters. But when they’re not enough, using a stronger concentration isn’t likely to solve the problem—doing so could even irritate your skin. At Advanced Dermatology of North Central Ohio, we have a range of high-quality and prescription-strength products and systems that we can personalize for your skin type, sensitivity, and acne severity!
Get Proven Acne Treatment Today
We understand a lot about acne, and there are plenty of lifestyle and skincare interventions you can make to curb its uncomfortable and often embarrassing effects. Of course, this condition is famously stubborn as well, as it can be caused by a unique combination of factors in each individual. If you feel like you’ve tried everything and are still battling acne, don’t give up hope!
Call Advanced Dermatology of North Central Ohio today, and we can schedule an appointment to take care of your skincare needs. Our board-certified dermatologists offer a variety of acne treatments that can help reduce the appearance of breakouts and acne scars.
Find Your Effective Acne Treatment in Mansfield, OH Today
At Advanced Dermatology of North Central Ohio, we can help you take the guesswork out of your fight against acne. Our board-certified dermatologists know how to treat all types of acne in all types of skin, and can create a personalized treatment plan to provide relief. Call (419) 664-5138 to schedule your appointment, or send us a message online.