Updated: Jan 15
Another break out!? Dont worry it happens to many of us!
Acne breakouts are “multi-factorial and many things in our daily life can contribute” says Dr. Francesca Fusco, M.D., dermatologist.
Certainly a part of equation is hormonal, part genetic, and part lifestyle. There are a few things you should, however, know about that may provoke your acne.
Read our high level summary below and be sure to consider the appropriate actions when taking on your acne.
Your Cell Phone
Not surprising, our phones may be one of the dirtiest things we own!
Phones gather a lot of bacteria and dirt throughout the day and are a huge cause of acne on the chin and around the mouth.
Try to wipe down your cell phone each day with an antiseptic (antibacterial wipes or alcohol wipes) to keep your face and phone clean.
Using headphones or earbuds can also aid in the reduction of phone related acne.
Your Sweaty Yoga Matt (And Other Exercise Equipment)
Have you been using a communal yoga mat? That may mean that your face hits where someone else’s sweaty arm pits or feet have touched.
One never knows how well or how often communal equipment is cleaned. Even if it’s your own yoga mat, it’s probably a good idea to put a towel over it when you exercise, same for other gym equipment.
Lastly, remember that some workout clothing or gear that constantly rubs in a certain area may cause what is called “frictional acne.” Consider these friction points and be sure to thoroughly wash, clean, and let dry if you believe you are suffering from this type of acne.
Your over the counter or prescription medication can be a key offender. This is especially true if they are steroids or steroid derivatives. And we aren’t talking about the illegal steroids for bodybuilders’ use, but steroid-containing medication or even over-the-counter medication can aggravate acne.
For example, Prednisone, is an oral steroid used to treat a wide variety of inflammatory disorders from allergies to poison ivy.
Steroids can also be topical (i.e. applied to skin), such as hydrocortisone (over-the-counter) and cortisone (prescription). Other meds include lithium, certain forms of iodine, and birth control (oral contraceptives).
Be sure to speak with your doctor if you found that your breakouts may be associated, timing-wise, with new medicines. Be sure to ask as there may be alternatives.
Touching Your Face
“Touching can inflame the skin, and if you’re touching the same area, you might get an increase in oil production, so it’s three-pronged: it’s the bacteria, the inflammation, and the increased production in oil,” says Fusco.
This is advice, every mother has provided their kids at some point. But it's true, try to avoid touching your face, even after you wash your hands.
And lastly - do not attempt to pop your pimples either! That irritates the skin and pores and can cause other skin complications.
Treating Pimples With Toothpaste
Some people believe that toothpaste will stop a breakout quickly, but certain toothpastes may actually cause you to develop acne or what’s called “perioral dermatitis” on the lower third of your face.
Fluoride and other anti-cavity and whitening ingredients — particularly sodium pyrophosphate— are abrasive and may burn the skin, lead to irritation, and cause breakouts.
It is a widely held that chocolate, fried foods and other less-than-healthy eating choices led to breakouts and flawed complexions.
Two studies published in the 60s and 70s convinced many experts that no link existed between diet and skin problems [source: Bowers].
However in recent years, new scientific research is has postulated that their diet very much affects skin health. Be sure to eat healthy, get your vitamins and sleep, and allow your skin to heal naturally where possible.
Certain foods and dietary habits increase the likelihood of acne, wrinkles, irritation, skin cancer and more. Be on the look out when purchasing certain cosmetic products as their underlying product ingredients can irritate the skin ad block pores.
But most of all, remember to wash your face and try your best to refrain from constantly touching your skin with both your hands and cell phones, there is more bacteria there than you think.
General Disclaimer: All information here is for educational purposes only and is not meant to cure, heal, diagnose nor treat. This information must not be used as a replacement for medical advice, nor can the writer take any responsibility for anyone using the information instead of consulting a healthcare professional. All serious disease needs a physician.