Acne can be the worst.  When getting ready for picture day, homecoming, or just any day of school, pimples serve as unwanted and sometimes painful guests.  In honor of November being National Healthy Skin month, here are some quick tips on what is causing your acne and how to stop the blemishes from returning.  

Acne forms when hair follicles become clogged with oil or dead skin cells which makes the follicles susceptible to inflammation-causing bacteria. pimple-clipart-1397630548714187588zit-svg-hi Whiteheads occur when pores get clogged and blackheads happen when these clogged pore are exposed to the surface and fill up with oil and bacteria. Pimples result when follicles become inflamed and infected.  Gross, right? The reason acne starts occurring in most people in middle school is because of the hormonal changes that happen during puberty result in your glands producing more oil.  

Acne can be a reflection of many aspects of your life.  If you’ve been stressed out lately, your face may seem to have more red bumps than usual.  Your acne may be worse than your friends if you have a family history of acne as well.  For girls, acne may flare-up during specific points in their menstrual cycle.  

How to Reduce and Prevent Acne:

  • Wash your face every morning and night to remove the buildup of oil.  Make sure to use a face wash that is specific to your type of skin (ex. oily, dry, sensitive, etc.).  If wearing make-up, make sure to always wash it off before you go to sleep!
  • Do not touch your face! Your hands have oils on them that can cause acne.  Do not even think about popping your pimples.  This may help spread the acne causing bacteria.
  • Buy acne spot treatments at your local grocery store.  Look for products that have the chemical benzoyl-peroxide or salicylic acid and read the instructions for usage carefully.  If the acne treatment is causing your skin to redden or peel, stop using the product and look for a treatment with different ingredients.  
  • Try to keep greasy hair off your face.  If your hair is long, try sleeping with it pulled back.  
  • If you develop acne on your chest, shoulders, or back, try to wear looser clothes and make sure to shower after you exercise!

Contrary to popular belief, acne is not caused by greasy foods or make-up.  Grease only affects acne if it is present on your face (not in the food in your stomach) and make-up should not affect acne if it is oil-free and washed off every night.  

If your acne becomes worse and does not show signs of clearing up, talk to your parents about seeing a dermatologist who may prescribe you with stronger topical or oral acne treatment that can help reduce blemishes and prevent scarring.  

Don’t worry, most people experience acne at some point of their life.  If your acne is making you feel self-conscious or causing you anxiety, talk to a parent, friend, or any trusted adult.  

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