A Patient's Guide to Acne
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Aggravating Factors to Avoid

The points below are well documented factors that cause or aggravate existing acne. While there is great individual variability, these are factors that have been well documented in acne studies. While complete avoidance is not a reasonable possibility all the time, minimizing them can help you reduce the chance of flare-ups.

  • Over-cleansing
  • Greasy cosmetics, especially moisturizers
  • Sweating
  • Drugs such as anabolic steroids that increase
  • Squeezing pimples

Possible factors that may aggravate acne

The points below have been not been established as aggravating factors in controlled medical studies, but there is an abundance of anecdotal evidence that supports possible connections. These may be minor factors. As acne is a complex process with a lot of individual variability, it can be difficult to establish causal relationships in a controlled study, as there are many factors to take into consideration. Small sample size is also a big hurdle for factors that only affect a small percentage of the population. Our suggestion is to not be paranoid, but if you know that these factors do affect you negatively, it would be wise to avoid them as much as possible.

  • Certain types of foods (individual dependent)
  • Chronic stress
  • Certain sunscreens and moisturizers

Myths that have no basis in reality

The points below are myths that have absolutely no basis in reality. Unfortunately, these misconceptions can not only be misleading, but harmful in many ways.

  • Sexual activity
  • Dirty skin/poor hygiene
  • Acne is only a teenage boy's problem
  • Acne is a trivial problem

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