Why does acne seem worse in the summer?
Well, simply put, in hot weather we sweat more, which leads to more clogged pores. And, over-exposure to sun and extreme temperatures can dry out skin, which causes the sebum machine (see Dermatology 101) to go into overtime and, yep, increases your chances of getting acne.
Here are some DO’s and DON’Ts to help you prevent and treat summer-time acne:
DO wash your face at least twice daily to get rid of sweat and dirt.
DO use moisturizers. A lot of people believe that moisturizers are too greasy to put on their faces, but a good moisturizer replenishes the moisture you lose daily, especially if you’re using acne medication that can be drying.
DO wear sunscreen all day, every day—especially if you’re using prescribed antibiotics, which make you more sensitive to the sun. Many moisturizers now include sunscreen.
DO exfoliate. Using a face scrub at least twice a week will help get rid of dead skin cells that block pores.
DO look into non-prescription products that contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, which can really help to clear up mild, everyday acne.
DO ask to see a dermatologist if over the counter products don’t seem to be working. A dermatologist can prescribe an antibiotic or retinoic acid lotion, or oral antibiotics.
DO have patience. It takes at least three weeks of consistently following a routine and using the right products to see any results.
DON’T squeeze. As tempting as it is, squeezing pimples will only lead to scarring. And the dirt and bacteria on your hands can cause further breakouts.
DON’T go overboard when washing your face. Harsh scrubbing will damage the top layer of your skin.
DON’T overdose on products. Find one that works for you and stick to it. Too many products will dry out your skin, leading to more breakouts.
DON’T freak out. An estimated 94% of teenagers have acne at some point. Learning how to treat it is the best prevention.
DON’T hide from the world. We’ve all had acne and know what you’re going through, so get outside and enjoy the summer!
The sebaceous glands in your skin secrete an oil, which becomes a white substance called sebum. It travels to the hair follicles on your skin and if your pores are clogged by the sebum, acne vulgaris (vulgaris doesn’t mean hideous, it means “common”) is born. There are three types of acne: whiteheads, which are complete blockages of pores; blackheads, which are incomplete blockages that mix with the pigmentation of your skin; and cysts, which are the painful, inflamed red spots.