What to Do if You Have Persistent Acne

Acne is an all too common skin disorder that can result in unsightly and uncomfortable blemishes such as pimples, whiteheads, and blackheads. There are many ways to deal with persistent acne. 

Why Does Acne Develop?

Dermatologists have identified four factors that can contribute to the development of acne:

  • The skin may produce too much oil, which clogs pores
  • Dead skin cells cause a pore-clogging build up
  • A bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes inhabits the pores
  • Skin and whole-body inflammation

A skin health professional or dermatologist can help to identify which factor or combination of factors is causing your acne. However, regardless of the cause, many methods of treatment and prevention are the same. These tips can help to prevent acne and reduce the number of breakouts.

Recommendations for Acne

  • Wash your face two times daily

Washing your face twice a day and not popping pimples can help to improve skin appearance. Contrary to popular belief, acne is typically not the result of a dirty face. However, it is essential to wash the face to remove excess dirt and oil from the skin.

  • Refrain from harsh scrubbing

Scrubbing the skin with rough cloth pads or washcloths is not advisable. This can irritate the skin, leading to inflammation and worsening acne breakouts.

  • Avoid popping or picking at pimples

Yes, it’s tempting to squeeze a pimple, but this can result in inflammation and scarring.

  • Keep your hair clean

Excess oil from the hair can travel to the skin, making acne worse. Washing your hair regularly to help stop acne from developing, particularly close to the hairline.

  • Apply topical treatments

Conventional over-the-counter treatments, such as serums or creams, can reduce or prevent acne breakouts.

  • Consider topical retinoids

Topical retinoids are products derived from vitamin A. Most are available by prescription, and many dermatologists prescribe them to prevent or manage acne. These treatments can also reduce inflammation and eliminate dead skin cells.

  • Reduce stress

Stress commonly leads to inflammation, which can worsen acne breakouts.

  • Avoid foods linked to acne

A growing body of research suggests that certain foods may trigger acne in some patients. Foods with a high glycemic index may increase the risk of developing acne or make acne worse, by causing spikes in blood sugar and inflammation. Potentially problematic high-glycemic foods and beverages have high sugar and carbohydrate content. Additionally, dairy products, especially milk, may also increase the risk of developing acne.

A low-glycemic diet may reduce pimples because this diet eliminates spikes in your blood sugar. When the blood sugar rises rapidly due to foods and beverages with high sugar or fructose content, it leads to inflammation throughout the body. These blood sugar spikes also cause your body to make more sebum, which is an oily substance in your skin that can contribute to clogged pores. Both excess sebum and inflammation can lead to acne.

Get Help From a Skin Care Professional

If these methods fail to help your acne condition, contact a skin care professional for further recommendations. Schedule a consultation to discuss your personal circumstances and discover additional options for fighting and preventing acne.