Acne Complications : Acne Treatment Guide

Acne can be a miserable condition to have –just ask any teenager! But in the majority of cases it does disappear towards the end of puberty.

We know what is likely to cause acne and the symptoms but did you know that acne can worsen as a result of any of the following:

  • Chronic stress
  • Anabolic steroids: often used by bodybuilders but come with a range of side effects that includes acne.
  • Oil-based skin care products, e.g. moisturisers. Other forms of skin irritants e.g. hair products.
  • Thick, heavy make-up which clogs the pores
  • Squeezing or picking acne spots
  • Certain types of oral contraceptive pills
  • Side effects of prescription medications such as epilepsy medicine and steroid creams for eczema.
  • Pregnancy
  • Fluctuations in the female monthly cycle, e.g. menstruation.
  • Environment, e.g. hot and humid climates where the skin is unable to breathe properly.
  • Wearing too tight clothes which cause friction against the skin.
  • Excess sun exposure, e.g. using a sunbed.

Some people claim that eating certain foods, tends to worsen their acne but this varies according to individuals. There is no scientific proof that greasy food or chocolate causes acne although it may make your acne worse.

If this is the case then it is a good idea to avoid that type of food until your acne has cleared. Drinking plenty of water and eating healthily will not improve your acne but it will certainly improve your health.

Fluctuations in hormone levels can cause acne to worsen which may be due to a rise in testosterone. Yes, testosterone is present in women although in a very small amount; but a slight increase in this due to a change in hormone levels can increase the severity of an acne breakout.

Some of these complications are easier to avoid than others, for example stress. Stress is a part of everyday life but there are ways of reducing stress levels which are beneficial for both your physical and mental health. Not to mention your skin as well.

One complication which people find difficult to avoid is that of picking or squeezing acne spots. It can be very tempting to do so but the problem with this is that you may push inflammatory aspects of the acne such as pus further into the skin which increases the risk of scarring.

This is particular relevant with cysts and nodules. These are deep rooted types of acne which require professional treatment.

If you have noticed an outbreak of spots and you suspect it may be acne then your next step is to confirm this diagnosis. Find out more in the diagnosing acne section.

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