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Common Acne Triggers

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Acne may not be an acute medical problem, but it does cause acute emotional trauma to sufferers. Though we normally associate it with teenagers, some unfortunates continue to suffer with acne outbreaks even in adulthood. A look at common acne triggers can help sufferers to steer clear of them and avoid the repeated outbreaks that can be so mortifying.

Several reasons are put forward for acne but the root cause is often hormonal. This accounts for the fact, that despite good skin care, acne continues to persist. Hormonal changes during puberty cause greater production of oil from sebaceous glands which lead to clogging of pores. Bacteria are always present on the skin and when the pores are clogged with oil and dead skin, they get a chance to flourish. This leads to those painful and angry looking bumps on the skin. Thus hormones predispose a person towards acne.

Common acne triggers serve to aggravate acne and cause more frequent outbreaks.

  • The most obvious is dirt and perspiration which provides an ideal breeding ground for bacteria. Thus, keeping your skin clean helps to reduce the outbreak of acne.
  • But overzealous cleaning can prove more harmful as it strips the skin of its natural oils. This stimulates overproduction of oil from the oil glands. Besides this, it can irritate the skin and further exacerbate acne. Generally speaking, washing your face with a gentle soap twice daily is more than enough. Exfoliating the skin is a good idea as it removes dead skin; however, it is better to do it once a week only.
  • Another common acne trigger is the products used for hair care and your hairstyle. If you are acne prone it is better to keep your hair away from your face, especially your forehead. Some hair products like gel or anti frizz products can trigger acne along your forehead.
  • Oily cosmetics that further clog your pores can also be an acne trigger. It is better to use water based cosmetics and to faithfully remove makeup at bedtime.
  • The use of bandannas, tight helmets, backpacks and so on that cause friction will steadily worsen acne.
  • Dirty washcloths, cellphones and frequent touching of your face are also best avoided as it puts back bacteria to your skin, making it more acne prone.
  • Certain medicines can also trigger acne. These are steroids, lithium and androgen.
  • Often stress is cited as an acne trigger, but it is likely to worsen existing acne rather than cause a fresh outbreak.
  • Diet is a strong causative factor for acne, but it is foods that are high in refined sugar and have a high glycemic index number that need to be avoided. Oily foods are not directly related to an acne outbreak. However, some relation has been found between dairy products and acne.

Though some of the above causes like hormones are not in our hand, it makes sense to follow a sensible regime of proper skin care and a healthy diet. Worrying about it will only worsen the condition, leading to more outbreaks.

Written by: Nandita tripati

Date last updated: January 07, 2015