Acne is an incredibly common aesthetic concern, affecting an estimated 50 million Americans. Chances are, you’ve heard plenty of old wives’ tales about what causes acne. The fact is, though, it’s not caused by chocolate, eating greasy foods or not washing your face often enough. We encourage you to learn more about the true causes of acne, and how to avoid developing this cosmetic concern.
Acne, a term that encompasses whiteheads, blackheads and pimples, is caused when a hair follicle becomes clogged by oil and dead skin cells. But what causes this to occur? There are a range of contributing factors, some of which can be avoided and some that you can’t control.
1. Skin Irritation
If you love a man with stubble, the friction caused when his sharp hair rubs against your skin can cause irritation that leads to breakouts. Conditioning his beard with coconut oil can help to reduce the problem. By the same token, avoid exfoliating with products that have “microbeads;” contrary to popular belief, these actually cause abrasions in the skin.
Oil production increases during puberty due to an influx of the hormone known as androgen. Androgen makes the sebaceous glands enlarge, which increases sebum production. These excess hormones can clog pores, leading to acne. Some hormones reduce acne, however, which is why oral contraceptives often clear your skin.
The makeup that you use to cover your blemishes might actually be making them worse. Letting your skin breathe can help to clear breakouts. If you must use foundation, you may want to opt for a water-based formula rather than an oil-based one. It’s especially important to avoid products with mineral oil and silicones. Look for the label “non-comedogenic,” which means that a product won’t clog the pores.
4. Overuse of Acne Medication
While using products with topical salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide can help to clear up blemishes fast, they also dry your skin. This leads to increased oil production to compensate, which causes more blemishes. If you get an acne flare before a big event, try using 1% hydrocortisone cream to reduce redness and inflammation.
If one or both of your parents was prone to breakouts, chances are high that you’ll have acne too. For that reason, experts think the condition has a genetic component.
Treating Your Condition with Aesthetic Services
Acne can make people feel self-conscious as well as cause them to feel much less attractive than they really are. As such, at Worcester Dermatology Associates and Chelmsford Dermatology Associates, we have aesthetic services available that can help with your condition. IPL therapy is one treatment that has shown to produce wonderful results. Couple this treatment with BOTOX® or any of our other cosmetic services and you will surely be on your way to a much more attractive you. Our offices are located in Worcester and Chelmsford, respectively. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to learn more about how this cosmetic concern can be treated.