Common acne (aka "acne vulgaris") is a skin condition characterized by what are often called pimples or zits. It can occur anywhere on the body and at any age, though it typically affects teenagers on the face and back. You can take steps to avoid and prevent acne, as well as keeping yourself healthy and presentable, by doing the following.
- Remove dead skin cells regularly by exfoliating. Use an abrasive cloth or scrub, or use an over-the-counter chemical exfoliant like salicylic acid and glycolic acid. Remember that over-exfoliating can actually increase the likelihood of red, dry skin by irritating the skin.
- Remove bacteria from your pores. Your skin can become "allergic" to this bacteria. Use bactericidal products containing benzoyl peroxide by rubbing, twice daily, into the pores over the affected region or washing with a medicated soap bar/wash. Keep in mind that this may cause dryness, local irritation and redness.
- Avoid exposing your skin to other sources of oil and irritants.
- Break the habit of touching your face.
- Keep bangs off of your forehead--the oil and the hair products (if any) can clog pores.
- If you use a phone a lot, don't let it touch your face.
- Change your pillowcases and sheets once a week to prevent the build-up of oils and bacteria that can re-occupy your pores.
- Use non-comedogenic moisturizers and makeup. Choose cosmetics that are water-based and hypoallergenic. Avoid oil-free products, coal tar derivatives, and heavy creams. Make sure you wash your skin thoroughly every night to remove makeup residue.
- Review your diet and the research surrounding the links between diet and acne. The relationship between food and acne is a debatable topic. Your diet may or may not have an effect on acne.
- Studies have shown a correlation between milk and acne. Try substituting with soy milk and other calcium-rich foods.
- Excessive consumption of foods high in iodine (e.g. some seafood) may worsen acne but probably won't trigger it
- Research suggests--but does not prove--that a diet with a low glycemic index may reduce the likelihood of acne. High glycemic foods to replace with healthier alternatives include:
- soft drinks (drink water instead)
- sweets (substitute with fruit)
- white bread (replace with whole wheat bread)
- Remove other potential causes of acne. Some factors, such as being in puberty, can't be altered, but these can, with the approval of your doctor:
- Try asking a skin doctor also known as a dermatologist about your acne
- Minimize use of medication containing halogens (iodides, chlorides, bromides), lithium, barbiturates, or androgens
- Keep your bedsheets clean. Wash your pillow case on a regular schedule to reduce the transfer of natural body oils.
- Wash your face at least two times a day. Use face washes such as Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Wash or other face washes.
- There are no perfect creams or medicines that make your face smooth, soft and acne-free.
- Watch your diet and observe the effects it has on your skin. Whatever science has to say, every body is different and how yours responds to certain conditions can best be determined by you alone. As with any common condition, keeping your body hydrated is sound advice.
- Avoid drinking too much alchohol (especially beer) and eating spicy food. These increase the level of heat within, believed by the Chinese to be linked to acne. Salads, avocado etc will cool.
- Drink herbal tea eg. Rooibos or green tea at least once a day to help detox your system.
- Try Dan's regimen of gently washing your face twice a day, then applying generous amounts of benzoyl peroxide and finally putting on a good non-comodogenic moisturiser. This worked wonders for me. More information can be found at www.acne.org
- Cleanse the colon by taking psyllium husks with water once or twice per day. This is another excellent way of detoxing the body. Psyllium can be found at most chemists / pharmacies / drugstores.
- Sometimes the best way of taking care of this condition is by doing it naturally, as in using natural products. Recommended are some such as : Witch Hazel, to be applied with a cotton swab after washing face. Dr. Bronner's Tea Tree Body Soap, which because of its Tea Tree elements, can reduce pimples on the face quite well if used at least twice a day.
- Neutrogena is a good product that can prevent or treat acne! it is sold at any drugstore.
- If you can afford it, I highly reccomend this place called Skinprint (I don't know where all of the branches are but there is one in Red Bank, New Jersey) They mix a face wash, moisterizer, and other products that are perfect for your skin, they test it in the beginning. The only problem is it's expensive, but it's worth it.
- It may not seem like it, but green apples are extremely good for preventing and fighting existing acne - both on your face and around the body (like the back - eek!). To avoid acne, eat one green apple a day (cut it into slices if need be and eat it throughout the day). And (here's the big secret) to reduce existing acne, cut a green apple into quarters and rub two of those quarters over the acne areas. If needed, use the rest, or just eat them. Combine this with plenty of water and voila - clear skin!
- Do not make any drastic changes in your diet or skin routine without first consulting a medical professional.
- Anything beyond very gentle cleansing can actually worsen existing lesions and even encourage new ones by damaging or overdrying skin.
- You should only scrub your face if you have no existing pimples. Scrub lightly; avoid scrubbing too much or with too much pressure.
- Benzoyl peroxide can have a bleaching effect on clothes and hair. It may also increases sensitivity to the sun, so you might find that you burn faster!