Health & Beauty

Acne Not Going Away? Maybe It’s Your Clothes

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Martina HingisAre Your Clothes Causing Your Acne?

Do you have acne on your neck, shoulders, back or chest? If so, you may want to take a look at the way you dress. Tight clothes that rub against acne-aggravated skin tend to disrupt the area even more, and give rise to new pimples by spreading the oil and bacteria.

Acne is most commonly thought to be caused by a hormonal imbalance. Overactive sex hormones called androgens cause glands in your skin to produce too much oil. This oil, along with dead skin cells, provides a home for bacteria that irritate the skin and cause swelling. Tight clothes prevent the dead skin cells from escaping which, along with the oil, plugs the skin’s pores and means ideal conditions for bacteria.

Dermatologists are still debating whether tight clothes might be a cause of acne, suggesting that if you changed the way you dress to a looser style, your acne might go away. This doesn’t mean you have to go and buy a whole new wardrobe, just be more selective. Here are some tips:

Plastic is Tragic
Try to avoid polyester and other man-made fabrics, as they do not allow your skin to breathe. This makes you sweat even more. More sweat, more oil. Mix in the dead skin and you’re in for a serious bacteria infestation. However, some athletic apparel companies have designed fabrics that pull the moisture away from your skin, into the fabric, for rapid evaporation.

Stop the Rubbing
Check your book bags, sweaters, tank tops, etc. to see if they are rubbing against your neck, chest, shoulders or back. If something is rubbing against your acne, then it is most likely spreading the bacteria.

If it Itches, Ditch it
Wearing a wool sweater that is driving you nuts? Don’t! The fabric is probably too rough on your skin. You’re going to be scratching it. Again, you’ll be spreading the bacteria. You are also likely to be aggravating the acne, which will then take longer to heal and will be more likely to scar.

Watch the Workout Wear
So, you want to wear that tight shirt to show off your great figure or bulging muscles? Well, this is the time to be especially careful. When you are working out, you’re already hot and sweaty. The added heat from the friction of a tight shirt rubbing against your neck will further aggravate your acne.

There are many causes of acne. Most likely, it is a combination of things. Some of the other potential culprits to look into are cosmetics, diet, stress, medication and environment. You will find information about these topics online at

Martina is sporting Adidas wear with ClimaLite technology that allows your skin to breathe – helping in the fight against acne.

Photo by C. Brunskill/Allsport

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