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Girl with acne spots.

Acne and Blackhead Treatments and Prevention

Acne is one of the most common skin problems. It causes spots, oily skin and sometimes can mean skin is tender or painful. Though it is often thought acne only affects teenagers, it is true that adults can also suffer. Commonly acne affects the face, back and chest. Causes include clogged pores resulting from makeup, everyday air particles or often a simple case of hormonal changes.  While acne is a part of life for many individuals, it can be effectively treated.

Questions about Acne

Is It True Acne Just Affects Appearance?

Severe acne can lead to low self-image and depression. There’s a link between severe acne and social withdrawal. 

Does Poor hygiene Cause Acne?

Though it is true that skin infections can be associated with acne, the poor hygiene is not the reason for acne outbreaks. Acne develops beneath the skin's surface where it is impossible to clean it away. Gentle cleansing with soap and water once or twice daily will keep your skin as healthy as possible. Scrubing too hard may worsen acne. 

Do High Sugar and High Fat Foods Cause Acne?

Chocolate, crisps and chips have always had a reputation as a spot starter. Though no scientific evidence has shown this to be true. It is true though that some foods aggravate spot/zit/pimple and acne production. 

Should I Just Let Acne Run Its Course?

There are many acne treatments available both over-the-counter and stronger medicines from a dermatologist. 

Is Sunbathing is Good For Acne?

Sunbathing can dry out excess oils, so it does improve acne short-term. But it is key to note this is not a long term solution. Sun exposure damages skin and increases the chance of skin cancer and other issues.

Does My Makeup Cause Acne?

Some makeup products can clog the pores, which is bad for the health of your skin. Cosmetics that are labelled "noncomedogenic" or "nonacnegenic" are safe to use. Some brands are made with ingredients that actually treat acne. 

Is Acne a Condition That Affects Adults?

It is true the majority of teenagers get acne, so do many adults. For most zits and pimples generally clears up by the early 20s. This does persist for some into their 40s and some get acne flare-ups their entire lives.

Is Pimple Popping a Good Idea?

Popping pimples, if not done correctly, may worsen acne by spreading the bacteria that is causing it. Also it potentially leads to scarring.

Acne Prevention Tips

Hair can aggravate acne, especially if oily products like pomades or hair spray are used. Those with long hair could wear it pulled back or consider a shorter style to keep it off the face, neck and shoulders if acne is a problem in those areas. Remember also to keep your hair away from your skin when you sleep so that pimples don't develop overnight.

Avoid using moisturisers on acne-prone areas to get rid of pimples you have there or practice good acne prevention; if you do use a moisturiser, make sure it is not acnegenic.

Topical treatments for preventing acne are available which can be used anywhere that one tends to get breakouts. It is recommended not only to spot and treat existing blackheads and zits but also works to prevent pore clogging which starts two to three weeks before they become visible on the skin. Since salicylic acid in the body spray causes exfoliation, it helps eliminate dead skin cells which combine with oil and dirt forming blackheads and whiteheads; these can then lead to cysts which may need medical attention if left untreated.

Gently washing the skin with a mild soap and warm water once or twice daily. If the water is too hot it can further irritate your skin.

Washing TO HARD is not how to get rid of spots. Too hard or too frequently can actually make your acne worse and promote scarring by increasing inflammation or rupturing cysts under your skin, spreading bacteria.

Picking at acne or blackheads can lead to scarring, and can also spread the bacteria causing the blemishes. So you really shouldn't. See the other suggestions on this page.

Try to avoid stressful situations (as this can aggravate acne), resolve stresses by talking to friends/family or a professional, and be sure to eat right and get enough sleep. Sometimes the stress of having acne and trying to figure out how to get rid of pimples can make things worse. But if you take action toward acne prevention with these tips, you can diffuse some of that stress.

Exercise is also a stress reliever and is beneficial to the circulation and oxygen penetration to the skin, which may help with acne prevention.

Drink at around 3 litres of water each day. This requirement depends on size etc, but a good water intake is key.

Heat and humidity are a problem so:

  • Avoid hot and humid areas.
  • If you work out clean of sweat on a regular basis.
  • Try to wear loose fitting cotton when working out.

Sweat combines with skin oils to trap dirt and bacteria in your pores, causing blackheads and pimples, so it's important to shower as soon as possible after you work out or sweat profusely.

Treating Acne

One of the best natural remedies is prevention, so follow the tips above.

There are many retail products for the treatment of acne. Whether you are using Acne dots, or  Buy Blackhead strips or specialist creams it is important to follow the directions. 

For a severe case of acne, you could turn to your GP or a dermatologist. There are prescription medicines and treatments for acne.  In most cases, a follow-up visit will be scheduled so that the doctor may monitor the patient’s progress and determine whether additional steps should be taken to treat the problem.

The information in this article is intended for informational purposes only.  It should not be considered as, or used in place of, medical advice or professional recommendations for acne diagnosis and/or treatment.  If necessary, acne sufferers should consult their GP for acne treatment.

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