How to Get Through Another Summer With Acne

Medical experts estimate that about 50 million Americans struggle with the effects of acne, making it the most common skin condition in the United States, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. For many people, even mild acne becomes especially difficult to control during summer.

Skin care specialist Dr. Alexander Stein of Stein Dermatology and Skin Surgery in Chula Vista, California, provides the most innovative and effective care available for conditions that affect your skin’s health and appearance.

Here’s what he has to say about avoiding summertime acne breakouts.

Why does acne worsen during the summer?

The four main causes of acne are:

These acne-producing issues exist year-round, but seasonal changes in the weather and increased outdoor activity tend to worsen their effects on your skin.

Higher summertime heat and humidity, for instance, produces sweat and increases oil production. This creates a more favorable environment for a buildup of acne-causing bacteria and dead skin cells that clog pores and inflame the area around the affected follicle.

How do I prevent acne during the summer?

Fortunately, a few changes in your daily routine can help prevent summertime breakouts and decrease summer’s irritating effects on existing acne.

Tips to try include:

Wash well but don’t scrub

It may be tempting to try scrubbing away all that extra oil your skin produces when the heat and humidity climb. Unfortunately, even a quick scrub with a washcloth can irritate acne-prone skin. Use your fingertips instead to apply a gentle but effective cleanser twice daily. Be sure to rinse well with warm water and blot rather than wipe your skin dry.

Spritz with an astringent

When you feel oil building up on your skin during the day, try a quick spritz with an astringent such as witch hazel or a product containing salicylic acid. These products help remove excess oil from the skin's surface and are effective even when misted lightly over makeup or sunscreen.

Fill a small spray bottle with the astringent and carry it along in your purse or backpack to use as needed. Choose an alcohol-free formula that makes your skin feel refreshed rather than overly dry.

Lighten up your moisturizer

Don’t avoid moisturizer during the summer but try a lighter formula that prevents irritation and dryness without adding another layer of oil to your skin. Make sure your sunscreen is also noncomedogenic and oil-free with an SPF of 30.

Hit the showers after your workout

Rinse away the sweat and grime from a summertime workout immediately to help prevent acne breakouts on your face, shoulders, or back.

Also switch your winter sports gear and synthetic clothing for a more breathable fabric such as cotton, as this helps prevent acne breakouts caused by excess heat and/or friction. And while you’re at it, wash and dry your sweaty clothing, hats, and towels before using them again.

Follow directions carefully

Remember that certain topical and oral acne treatments increase your skin’s sun sensitivity. Follow directions carefully for applying sunscreen, avoiding sun exposure, and other precautions to avoid a painful sunburn or other reaction.

See a specialist for year-round acne prevention

No matter the season, if you need help getting acne under control, our team at Stein Dermatology can help. Dr. Stein offers a wide variety of effective acne treatments that help clear current problems, reduce your risk of future breakouts, and address the redness and scarring left by previous acne blemishes.

For outstanding skin care that’s tailored to fit your circumstances and needs, schedule a visit at Stein Dermatology and Skin Surgery today.

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