Experts are still unsure why certain people have acne while others do not.
However, they recognize that acne can be caused by a variety of risk factors, such as:
Hormonal changes caused by pregnancy or puberty Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), and other endocrine disorders
- cigarette smoking
- poor sleep
Cleansers, creams and moisturizers with high oil levels are also available.
Certain medications, such as lithium, certain types of hormonal birth control, anticonvulsants and steroids, may be prescribed
Acne in the family
The most likely time to develop acne is during puberty. Your body experiences many hormonal changes during this period. These hormonal changes can increase oil production and increase the risk of developing acne. Your hormonal acne due to puberty will usually get worse as you age, and may stop altogether. A 2021 review found that certain diets and foods may cause acne.
Low glycemic diet. Reduced intake of processed meats and refined carbohydrates could reduce the appearance of acne lesions.
Milk products. Certain milk products like milk and ice cream can worsen acne in some people. Other dairy products like cheese don’t seem as likely to worsen acne.
Fat and fatty acid. Acne breakouts may be reduced by omega-3 and omega-6 fat acids.
Vegan and vegetarian diets. Although vegan and vegetarian diets may have many health benefits, there is not much evidence to support them for treating acne.
- Get a diagnosis
- A board-certified dermatologist can diagnose you if you suspect that you may have acne.
- Learn how dermatologists can identify and treat skin conditions.
By examining your skin, a dermatologist can diagnose you. A dermatologist can identify the severity of your lesions to help you create a treatment plan.
The severity of acne is the main determinant of treatment.
- To treat pimples that appear, you can use OTC medicated creams, cleansers and spot treatments.
- You’ll find the following ingredients in most acne creams and gels:
- Benzoyl peroxide. This ingredient is used to dry out acne-causing bacteria, prevent new pimples from forming, and helps reduce the appearance of existing pimples.
- Salicylic acid. This ingredient exfoliates your skin to prevent it from becoming clogged with acne-causing bacteria.
You may need professional treatment if you are still experiencing symptoms after applying OTC acne treatments for several week.
- A dermatologist can recommend medications to reduce symptoms and scarring.
- A dermatologist might recommend you to see a dermatologist if you have moderate acne.
- prescription-strength benzoyl peroxide
- Antibiotics such as erythromycin and clindamycin
- Retinoids such as retinol
They may recommend an oral antibiotic or hormonal contraceptive to manage acne in some cases.
You will typically only need antibiotics for a brief time so that your body doesn’t develop resistance or make you more susceptible to infection.
A dermatologist might recommend treatment for severe acne that includes one or more of these:
- Oral antibiotics
- benzoyl peroxide
- Topical antibiotics
- Topical retinoids
They might also recommend hormonal birth control or oral Isotretinoin (also known as Accutane).
Accutane, a vitamin A medication, is used to treat severe nodular skin conditions. Accutane can have serious side effects and is usually prescribed only by doctors if other options fail.
Your dermatologist might also recommend medical procedures to address severe acne scarring. These treatments remove oily skin and reduce its production. These include:
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) PDT is a combination of medication and a special laser or light to reduce the production of oil and bacteria. Laser treatments are also available to improve scarring and acne.
- This exfoliation uses a rotating brush to remove the top layers of the skin. This procedure is best used to treat acne scarring and not the actual acne. Microdermabrasion, a gentler treatment, helps to remove old skin cells.
- Chemical peel. This procedure removes the skin’s top layers to expose the healthier skin beneath. Mild acne scarring can be improved with chemical peels.
- Cortisone injections. These injections can reduce inflammation and speed up healing. For large cysts, cortisone is often used in conjunction with other treatments for acne.
Acne home remedies
There are many home remedies for acne that you’ve likely come across. These remedies may not always work, and some could make your acne worse.
These home remedies will help you clear your skin and prevent future breakouts.
- Tea tree oil can be used.
- Use aloe vera.
- Use a honey mask.
- Green tea can refresh your skin.
- Avoid touching your face.
Never pick or squeeze pimples. This makes scarring more likely and can spread bacteria and excess oils.
More home remedies for acne are available here.
What is the outlook for someone suffering from acne?
Although it is not necessary to stigmatize or judge someone for having acne, having it can be distressing and isolating.
It doesn’t matter how painful it can be to have this skin condition. Most people will experience some form of acne at some time in their lives.
There are many effective treatments available. Your acne can be treated in a matter of weeks.
Scarring can be prevented by getting treatment as soon as possible. A dermatologist can provide more advice on how to minimize scarring if you already have scarring from acne.
Flare-ups are possible even with the best treatment. For persistent acne, you may need to continue treatment. To find the best treatment for severe or regular acne, it is always best to consult a dermatologist.
Although it is not possible to prevent all acne, there are steps you can take at home that will help to reduce your chances of developing pimples and other skin problems.
These are some tips to try:
- Use an oil-free cleanser to wash your face every day.
- To remove excess oil, you can use an OTC acne cleaner.
- Water-based makeup and products that are not considered “noncomedogenic,” will be less likely to clog pores.
- Avoid oil-based skin care products and makeup.
- Before you go to bed, remove all makeup and thoroughly cleanse your skin.
- After exercising, wash your face with soap and water.
- To keep long hair out of your face, tie it back.
- Avoid wearing tight-fitting hats and headbands.
- Stay hydrated and eat a healthy diet.
- Reduce stress by taking steps.
A dermatologist can provide more advice and guidance regarding managing and preventing breakouts.