How to Treat Acne: Your Top Questions Answered

One of the most common skin issues we treat in our New York and New Jersey dermatology offices offices is acne. Whether you’re a teenager struggling with ongoing complexion issues or an adult who is battling hormonal breakouts, acne is a major skin concern that doesn’t discriminate against age, sex or skin color. There is so  much misleading information online about how to treat acne and the causes of pimples. We sent some of our patients most frequently asked acne questions to our dermatology providers to answer. Here, a look at their advice on how to avoid and properly treat acne.

Are there items our faces come in contact with that could potentially cause acne

Acne Solution: “It’s important to be aware of everything your face comes into contact with when trying to fight acne. Pillowcases, towels, and even your own hands can cause acne if they are dirty. Wash your pillowcase at least once a week, and more frequently if you go to bed with product in your hair that can rub onto the pillowcase and your face. Towels should be swapped out regularly and be sure to use a clean towel when wiping sweat off your face at the gym. It’s also very important to try and keep your hands off your face, especially if your hands are dirty,” says Dr. Jeremy Fenton

Does stress play a role in acne breakouts?

Acne Solution: “Stress is a big factor in acne,” says Dr. Helen Flamenbaum. “Stress increases glucocorticoid production, which is a hormone that is released when you’re stressed and can cause acne.” To reduce stress, make sure you’re getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly. To optimize your sleep, make sure the room is not too hot or cold (about 68 degrees is perfect), no texting in your room right before bed and make sure the room is completely dark. 

What’s the best way to treat adult acne?

Acne Solution: Adult acne for women is typically caused by hormones  “Hormonal acne for women appears in their 30s, 40s, 50s and can present if they never had acne before but are now breaking out,” says Dr. Karen Hammerman. “Cysts around the jaw and lower face usually point to hormonal acne. For those patients I’ll recommend a birth control pill and Spironoalctine as well. Adult acne in men is pretty similar to teenage acne, it’s inflammation in the hair follicles, a lot of time happens from shaving and bacteria gets in their hair follicles.” 

Is there a specific diet I should be following to help fight acne?

Acne Solution: While eating a certain diet won’t necessarily get rid of acne, a healthy diet is indeed part of the acne-fighting puzzle. Following a diet low in carbohydrates and sugar is best for those looking to fight acne. “We know that sugar can trigger production in the oil glands,” says Dr. Flamenbaum. “Drinking water is also important to flush out internal toxins and hydrates the skin from the inside out. Omega 3 fatty acids can lower sebum production. It’s found in salmon, walnuts, avocado oil and flaxseed oil. Wash the face twice a day, to rid of pore-clogging debris.” 

About Schweiger Dermatology Group

Schweiger Dermatology Group was founded to help make excellent dermatology care accessible throughout the Northeast. In 2010, Dr. Eric Schweiger started the practice with a single location in Midtown Manhattan. When he saw the need for high-quality dermatology care that did not require weeks or months of waiting to see a qualified provider, his vision of a multi-location practice was born.

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