How to prevent and treat acne

What is Acne?

Acne is a type of skin infection which manifests as spots, often on the face, shoulders, back and chest. Acne is more common than people think – 85% of 12-24 year olds suffer from this skin condition. We all produce oil just under our skin, but an imbalance in hormones can cause oil production to go into overdrive, resulting in acne. Bacterial infections usually result in inflammatory acne. Often, acne will clear up by itself or if treated with over the counter remedies; however, in very severe cases medical treatment should be sought in order to avoid long term scarrings.

Symptom summary 

  • Blackheads
  • Pustules (also called pimples, characterized by a little white tip caused by a buildup of pus)
  • Cysts (large, pus-filled lumps that look similar to boils)
  • Whiteheads
  • Papules (small red bumps which may be painful)
Acne prevention:

Medical practices

Chill out!
Acne often flares up during times of high stress, such as exams, deadlines, new relationships and new jobs. Try to avoid unnecessary stress to reduce your breakouts.


Exercise regularly and eat your greens
Ok, so exercise and vegetables may not have a direct impact upon acne. But, they will keep you feeling healthy, looking great and therefore bursting with confidence. Just what we all need! 

Hygiene and habits  

Keep your skin fresh and clean
While acne is not caused by dirt, it helps if one washes away the excess dead skin, bacteria and oil that block pores. Be careful to use water that is warm but not too hot, and to use soap that cleanses effectively, yet is gentle on your skin – not doing so can increase inflammation and make acne worse.

Acne treatment:

Keep it clean

It is important to wash your face, hands and hair regularly – particularly immediately after any physical activities. However, you shouldn’t overdo it by showering or washing your face more than twice a day, as this can irritate the skin.

Master your make up

Use water based cosmetics and always take your make up off before you go to bed. Following this guidance will help you avoid the blocked pores that cause acne.

Acne mythbusters 

Chocolate can cause acne.

Don’t worry – there is no scientific proof that chocolate causes acne. There is also no scientific evidence that fatty or fried foods cause acne or make it worse: the type of food that you eat has very little impact on the condition of your skin. (Apart from drinking water, which we all know is a great way to keep your skin healthy and hydrated!)  

The best way to get rid of my spots is to squeeze them.

No, no, no! While squeezing your spots might make you feel (very briefly) better, it is not an effective treatment of acne. All of that poking at your face will increase the redness of your skin, while squeezing your spots will only help to spread bacteria, not to mention the permanent scarring you can cause from continually breaking the skin.  

Medical source: British health authority



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