7 Tips for Reducing Troublesome Acne

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Apple-Cider Vinegar “The high acidity of apple-cider vinegar makes skin inhospitable to blemish-causing bacteria. Place a handful of parsley (a skin-clarifying herb) into a French press and cover it with 1/2 cup of boiling water. Steep for 10 minutes, then plunge and let the liquid cool. Transfer to a spray bottle along with a splash of vinegar and four drops of tea tree oil (an antiseptic), shake well, and spritz on a freshly cleansed face. Store the spray bottle in the fridge.”- Martha Stewart 

Acne is a common skin condition that affects nearly everyone at one time or another. It starts when greasy secretions from the skin’s oil glands plug the hair follicle openings called pores. These clogs occur as whiteheads or blackheads that may develop into tender pimples or under-the-skin cysts.

Traditionally, acne affects adolescent children and teenagers. However, adult acne accounts for millions of cases, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Adolescent boys and young men tend to have the worst cases of acne. Women are more prone to have mild acne into adulthood.

Acne most often appears on the face, but lesions can also occur elsewhere on the body: neck, shoulders, back, chest and arms. According to the National Institutes of Health, acne does not stem from poor hygiene, a bad diet or and overactive sex drive. Hormones, bacteria and genetics are the common causes, while stress and certain behaviors aggravate the condition.

Acne can be troublesome, embarrassing and sometimes painful. Fortunately, there are many ways to treat the condition. The type and severity of acne determines the treatment.

Mild acne usually responds to gentle cleansing and an application of benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. Moderate and severe forms may require drainage, antibiotic medications or prescription retinoids. Light therapy and dermabrasion can heal infections and minimize acne scars.

People can also take steps to reduce acne or, in some cases, prevent it from developing. The following tips are a great way to minimize acne and avoid costly treatment. They are appropriate for teenagers and adults.

Skin Cleansers

Clean skin discourages the development of acne. Daily baths, showers and face washings are essential to remove excess oils, dead skin cells and other impurities. Used with warm water, a mild cleanser is best for inflamed facial skin. Harsh soap, such as deodorant soap, can cause further irritation.

Skin Moisturizers

Moisturizers replenish skin that is dry or peeling from acne products. Moisturizing creams work best for dry skin, while gel-based products are better for oily skin. Moisturizers work best when they are applied to hydrated skin, such as after a shower or bath.

Gentle Hair Products

Hair products are a common cause of acne. While oily hair can add oil to the face if it is not washed regularly, the harsh chemicals, oils and fragrances in most hair products can also cause damage. Gentle shampoos and conditioners are the best choices for acne-prone skin.

Sunscreen

The ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun can aggravate acne. Additionally, many acne medications increase the skin’s sensitivity to sun rays. Avoiding the sun is the best way to reduce acne, and sunscreen is recommended before any sun exposure.

Healthy Foods

While chocolate and other foods do not trigger acne, it makes sense to avoid greasy junk food. Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are important for healthy skin. A diet rich in vitamin A and beta-carotene boosts the immune system, promotes skin health, and reduces the risk of acne.

Regular Exercise

The skin is the body’s largest organ, and exercise is as good for the skin as for other parts of the body. Workouts reduce anxiety and boost circulation, which promotes healthy skin. Exercisers should avoid clothing and equipment that irritates the skin and promotes bacterial growth.

Stress Reducers

Some studies link stress with increased acne. People who find effective ways to beat stress may stop breakouts before they start. Exercise, mediation, and breathing techniques are three good ways to fight stress.

Byline

Terrence Wadsworth writes on beauty, health, and wellness topics; if you’re having trouble with skin, you may want to consider microdermabrasion equipment to remedy the situation.

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