Question

Acne Prevention

How can I prevent acne?

A Answers (6)

  • AMehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answered
    One of the easiest ways to prevent acne is by taking good care of your skin everyday. In particular, wash with a mild cleanser that does not contain harsh ingredients like regular soaps.
    Helpful? 2 people found this helpful.
  • ARealAge answered

    With a little know-how, you can minimize or potentially eliminate occasional adult acne outbreaks on your face, back, shoulders, neck, chest, limbs, or elsewhere merely by changing a few small behaviors.

    Check Your Hair and Skin Products: Hair conditioners, gels, pomades, shaving products, cosmetics, moisturizers, sunscreens, and other products that contain oil can clog your pores and cause a breakout. Simply switching to hair and skin products that don't clog pores, called "noncomedogenic", could make a big difference in the appearance of your skin. Check the labels on your hair and skin products to see if they are marked oil-free and noncomedogenic. Also, consider whether you truly need every product you use. Even products marked "dermatologist tested" can cause acne for some people. Minimizing the number of products you use may help further reduce outbreaks. And when you exercise, wear as little makeup as possible. Even oil-free and noncomedogenic cosmetics can clog pores if worn during heavy, sweaty exercise.

    Adopt a Hands-Off Policy: Do you often rest your chin or cheeks in your hands or rub your nose? Doing so can encourage the growth of bacteria and cause infection to the areas most inflamed by adult acne. Adopt a strict hands-off policy that holds for breakouts, too. Picking or squeezing can drive acne bacteria deeper into the skin, leading to more inflammation and possibly to permanent scarring. So try to resist the temptation to touch.

    Don't Let Sweat Stick Around: Rinse off as soon as possible after you work out. Physical activity heats up the body, causing perspiration to mix with surface skin oils. Together, they trap substances in your pores. If a quick rinse isn't possible, towel off and change into dry clothes as soon as you can. Sitting around in sweaty clothes, especially if they are tight-fitting, can lead to acne on your chest, back, and other parts of the body. Also, avoid wearing tight headbands or hats that rub against your skin. If you wear a helmet or any other safety gear with straps, be sure to wash the straps frequently to reduce bacteria.

    Avoid Overwashing and Harsh Scrubs: Acne is not caused by dirt, so washing frequently with harsh substances such as alcohol-based products won't solve the problem. In fact, it may make the situation worse by prompting excess oil production and more blemishes. Be good to your skin by washing gently from under the jaw to the hairline with a mild soap once or twice a day.

    Helpful? 1 person found this helpful.
  • AEllen Marmur, MD, Dermatology, answered

    If you have acne-prone skin, take a good, hard look at your lifestyle, your stress level, what you put on your face every day, and what you are eating. Do some detectives work on your particular triggers, and then try to avoid or adjust them. And be sure to choose the right ingredients in your cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen.

    Use products containing salicylic acid to keep the pores open and prevent obstruction, which starts the acne process in the first place. A prescription retinoid works beautifully to control both comedonal and inflammatory acne because it exfoliates the skin, regulates the shedding process of keratinocytes, and controls overproduction of sebum. For those with sensitive skin, I recommend using a retinoid three nights a week - applying it for fifteen minutes, then rinsing it off. These short treatments will be effective and less irritating. (Many patients find retinoids too harsh on their skin and then give up entirely.) The frequency and duration of retinoid applications may be increased once a tolerance has been established. The medication should be used until the skin clears, at which point the patient can taper off the applications.

  • To help prevent acne:
    • Try acne creams from the store.
    • Choose makeup and lotion carefully. Stay away from oily products. Look for things marked "water-based."
    • Keep your hair and hands clean and off your face. The things that touch your face can make it more greasy.
    • Don't pick or squeeze pimples. This can cause scars.
  • Wash the face with mild soap and water several times daily to prevent pore clogging and oil buildup. Avoid repeated exposure to an environment that promotes oil production and clogging of the pores. Rubbing and friction from clothing, hair, and sporting equipment may also irritate acne-prone skin. Try not to "pop" pimples or touch them, as infection may occur. Avoid skin irritants such as cosmetics or shaving with an electric razor.

    Stress has been associated with occurrence of acne. Meditation, exercise, music therapy, and massage have been reported to decrease stress.

    Nutritional changes along with the addition of supplements (vitamins, minerals and herbs) may be effective in preventing acne, improving immunity, decreasing stress, and in supporting general health.

    Taking a multivitamin that contains the antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E, the B-complex vitamins, and trace minerals such as magnesium, zinc, and selenium can help protect the body from acne.

    Although still controversial, consuming less dairy products such as milk and cheese, may decrease acne. It is thought that the hormones contained in milk may be a causative factor in developing acne. Drinking soy milk or organic milk that does not contain hormones may help decrease acne. Try to avoid refined foods such as white breads, pastas, and sugar. The high glycemic index of these foods has been reported to increase acne outbreaks and symptoms. Eat antioxidant containing foods, including fruits (such as berries, grapes, and tomatoes), and vegetables (such as peppers and carrots). Studies report that oxidation may be a causative factor in developing acne. Seafood, which contains high levels of iodine, has been reported to increase the incidence of getting acne. Avoiding seafood may decrease the chances of developing acne.

    You should read product labels, and discuss all therapies with a qualified healthcare provider. Natural Standard information does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

    For more information visit https://naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com/

    Copyright © 2012 by Natural Standard Research Collaboration. All Rights Reserved.

  • AHealthwise answered

    Although you can't prevent acne, there are steps you can take at home to keep acne from getting worse.

    • Gently wash and care for your skin every day. Avoid scrubbing too hard or washing too often.
    • Avoid heavy sweating if you think it causes your acne to get worse. Wash soon after activities that cause you to sweat.
    • Wash your hair often if your hair is oily. Try to keep your hair off of your face.
    • Avoid hair care products such as gels, mousses, cream rinses and pomades that contain a lot of oil.
    • Avoid touching your face.
    • Wear soft, cotton clothing or moleskin under sports equipment. Parts of equipment, such as chin straps, can rub your skin and make your acne worse.
    • Avoid exposure to oils and harsh chemicals, such as petroleum.
    • Protect your skin from too much sun.


    This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. To learn more visit Healthwise.org

    © Healthwise, Incorporated.

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