Ask The Expert About Preventing Seasonal Acne

Acne, one of the most common skin conditions, affects more than four out of five people between the ages of 12 and 24. With summer and wedding season under way, you may want to learn more about acne by seeing if you know the correct answers to these commonly asked questions:

Q. Will frequent face washing eliminate acne?

A. Although a popular belief, dirty skin does not cause acne, and frequent face washing and scrubbing can actually make acne worse.

Q. Is acne caused by poor nutritional choices?

A. Scientific studies have not found a clear link between diet and acne. In other words, chocolate or greasy foods do not cause or worsen acne in most people. If acne is being treated appropriately, there’s no need to worry about certain foods leading to a breakout.

Q. Will squeezing pimples make them go away quicker?

A. No. It is recommended that those with acne avoid squeezing, pinching or picking at the face. Any sort of skin friction created by rubbing or leaning can actually make acne worse.

Q. Is acne just part of adolescence?

A. Although many teens are affected by acne, it is important to know that acne may be improved with proper treatment. Teens with acne should see a family doctor or dermatologist for the appropriate treatment. Acne that is not treated may lead to permanent physical scars, which can affect how people feel about themselves.

Q. Are all acne medications the same?

A. No. There is a wide range of over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications that can be used to help treat acne. Some medications help reduce the buildup of too much oil and fight bacteria associated with pimples; other medications help unclog the pores. The number-one prescribed combination acne product in the U.S. is BenzaClin® (clindamycin 1 percent-benzoyl peroxide 5 percent gel), a combination of benzoyl peroxide and clindamycin that helps fight bacteria and reduces inflammation of pimples. Because acne varies from patient to patient, it is important that people with acne consult their physician to find out which type of treatment is best for them.

Dr. Kandula, a dermatology expert, is currently president of the St. Louis Dermatology Society and teaches at the Washington School of Medicine.

It is important to know that acne may be improved with treatment and those suffering from it can do something about it.

Dr. Kandula