HOUSTON – An estimated 50 million Americans are dealing with acne, a very common skin condition that can lead to scarring, permanent changes in the skin and can take a toll on a person’s self-esteem.
Dr. Sherry Ingraham, dermatologist from Advanced Dermatology, explained the latest treatments for acne-free skin, and simple ways to avoid acne breakouts.
“Diet affects your skin. The first thing I tell my patients is do not drink dairy products as a beverage. If you can, change over to almond or soy milk to something with vitamin C or calcium. If you are a teen wash your face every day. Do not scrub it, do not pick it. But find a good salicylic acid or peroxide wash, start there, and remember, be kind to your skin,” said Ingraham who also mentioned other major factors that cause acne besides diet.
“Hormones, hygiene and genetics, with hormonal changes having the most significant impact.” she said.
Most commonly appearing in the teen years, acne can persist into young adulthood and often recur in the late 30s and 40s. But according to Ingraham, the most important thing to keep in mind for any age is to not pop your pimples.
“Stress, lack of sleep, eating too much sugar, drinking too much caffeine; all of those things drive cortisol which can stimulate acne. You want to have a healthy lifestyle. You can try over-the-counter products. I like Effaclar from La Roche-Posay. If you’re not seeing improvements with over-the-counter products, make an appointment with a dermatologist. We have a lot of prescription options. We put people on antibiotics, hormone-blocking drugs, birth control pills and Accutane,” said Ingraham, who stresses that an appropriate skin regimen can effectively treat current breakouts and aid in the prevention of future eruptions.
According to Ingraham, new acne flare-ups and irritations are also happening these days, called “Maskne.”
“Because we are wearing our masks, and we’re seeing this a lot in healthcare workers, we’re seeing more breakouts in rosacea and acne in the mask area. To mitigate that, when you can, wear a cotton mask because you can wash it daily, and wash the bacteria, dirt and makeup off. If you can avoid wearing makeup under your mask under your mask, don’t wear it,” she said.
For more tips, watch Ingraham’s complete interview in the video above.