Acne breakouts are very common and despite your diet and fitness routine they can emerge out of nowhere. They are especially embarrassing when they occur at prominent areas on the face and right before any big event or function. Acne and their timing is connected to genetics, our skin care habits, hormones and also our skin’s natural tendency to clog pores.
Acne breakouts are manageable and can be brought under control with a proactive approach, a hygienic skin care routine, a good dermatologist and a healthy diet
What Is Acne Breakout?
Acne breakout is essentially a pimple that has formed on the surface of the skin on the face or body. It is a result of the skin pores being blocked by excess sebum (natural oil), skin debris, dirt and grime. Acne causing bacteria thrive in such an environment and cause acne to form that can be filled with pus. Inflammation (or swelling) and redness at the affected site are common accompaniments of acne breakout.
Acne breakout around the mouth or anywhere on the face such as the cheeks or chin is a skin concern that troubles adults and teens alike because of being very noticeable.
What Causes Acne Breakouts?
1- Hormones – Hormones play a crucial role in causing acne outbreak at any point in our lives. Some hormones like progesterone, testosterone, etc. can fluctuate and cause increased production of sebum. This excess oil on the skin plugs the pores and leads to acne breakouts. Both teenagers and adults can suffer from acne breakouts due to a hormonal imbalance
2- Unhygienic Skin Care Routine – Not washing the face regularly or using products not meant for your skin type can irritate the skin and cause pimples. Sweat left on the skin can also plug pores easily and prove to be suitable environment for acne causing bacteria to grow in. Acne breakout on back is often seen as a result of not taking a shower after a physical activity that has caused sweating
3- Stress – This is often a cause of acne breakouts in adults. Stress can impact the production of natural oils by the skin and increase it to the levels where it can easily block the pores and thus acne is formed
4- Pollution – Pollutants in the environment can clog pores on the skin and cause acne breakouts. Such acne is often red and inflamed because of the irritation caused by the pollutant particles
5- Makeup – Using the wrong makeup products can cause both excess oil production and pore blockages. Additionally, not removing makeup before sleeping gives the makeup ingredients a high chance of clogging your pores.
Apart from these, other causes of acne breakouts include smoking, unhealthy diet, wearing hats and sensitivity to certain ingredients in hair or skin products.
Where Are Acne Breaking Out On The Body?
How To Treat Acne Breakout?
The treatment for acne breakouts depends on the severity of the acne and also, on the site of the affected skin. Over the counter medications or lotions containing benzoyl peroxide or mild concentrations of salicylic acid only work to a certain extent and do not offer long lasting relief from the acne problem. For persistent or frequent acne breakouts, a consultation with a dermatologist is recommended to identify the cause, analyse the skin, and then opt for a suitable course of treatment. The following methods are frequently used for acne breakout treatment –
1- Chemical Peels – Dermatologically approved alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids are applied on the affected skin to thoroughly exfoliate and remove all the dead skin cells and debris. The chemical peels used can also help to regulate sebum production. Glycolic acid, salicylic acid, TCA and other acids are used for acne breakout treatment in appropriate concentrations.
2- Laser Therapy – In some cases, the acne breakouts can be brought under control and future breakouts can be prevented by exposing the affected skin to a certain wavelength of laser light under controlled conditions. The energy from the laser lowers the natural oil levels in the skin and also helps to kill the acne bacteria. Specific lasers are also used to eliminate the scars caused by moderate and severe types of acne.
3- Topical Medications – For mild to moderate acne breakouts, the dermatologist may prescribe topical lotions or creams that contain the right dosage of acne fighting ingredients such as vitamin A derivative. The doctor may also advise certain skin care products (cleanser, moisturizer, etc.) that would suit your acne prone skin the best and to be used while using the prescribed medications
4- Oral Medications – In addition to the topical creams, you may be prescribed some oral medications. A frequently prescribed medication for acne breakout treatment is isotretinoin. The dosage of this medication is determined by the dermatologist depending on the severity of your acne and your body weight. Oral antibiotics are also often prescribed to target the acne causing bacteria and kill it. These oral medications reduce sebum production, keratinization, inflammation and redness.
In the case of cystic acne breakout, wherein the acne is in the most severe stage and the skin is extremely prone to scarring, topical treatments are often avoided. Oral medications are the preferred course of treatment by experienced dermatologists for such acne. However, the treatment is altered and personalized, based on the individual case.
How To Prevent Acne Breakouts?
Managing acne breakouts becomes easier when preventive measures are taken to keep the skin clean and healthy. Follow these prevention tips for acne breakouts –
1. Use suitable skin care products that are meant for your skin type
2. Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before stepping out and make sure to reapply it every few hours. Use a sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 20
3. Cleanse and moisturize your skin twice a day. Always wash your face after a day out in the pollution and sun
4. Remove all trace of makeup from your skin before you go to bed
5. Exfoliate your skin 1-2 times a week. Speak to your dermatologist to know more about exfoliation tips at home
6. Chemical exfoliation (by means of chemical peels at a skin clinic) can help to keep your skin acne free in the long run. In most cases, dermatologists recommend getting a peel once every month or once every 45 days for maintaining a clear skin
7. Pay attention to not just your face but also your body when it comes to exfoliation as acne breakouts on back, chest, etc. are as common as acne breakouts on cheek, chin, and other parts of the face
8. Use non-comedogenic makeup to avoid unnecessary acne breakouts due to makeup clogging your pores
9. Do not touch your face unnecessarily or pick at your acne. This can aggravate the problem and even cause acne scars
10. Drink eight to 10 glasses of water in a day to keep the skin hydrated and the blood circulation optimal
11. Eat a healthy and well balanced diet that contains ample servings of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats and protein
12. Avoid fried, spicy food, junk food, sugary drinks and fast foods
13. If dairy is a trigger for your acne breakouts, stay away from it
14. Change your pillowcase often if you have acne prone skin.
FAQs On Acne Breakout
Can too much vitamin C cause acne break out?
Yes, an over dosage of vitamin C can lead to acne breakouts. Remember to check the appropriate dosage with your doctor before you start taking vitamin C supplements.
What is cystic acne breakout?
When mild and moderate acne reaches the severe stage, it is called cystic acne. A cystic acne breakout is typically characterized by painful acne that is red, inflamed and filled with pus in most cases. Such acne is set deep in the skin and causes scarring very easily.
Why is my face breaking out all of a sudden?
Your face could be breaking out all of a sudden due to many reasons such as hormonal issue, use of wrong skin care product, use of comedogenic makeup products, unhealthy diet, stress, etc.
The anxiety and stress caused by acne breakouts is troublesome and embarrassing for men and women of all age groups. Acne, at all stages of severity, is conveniently manageable under the right guidance of an experienced dermatologist and an appropriate skin care routine.