Frequently asked questions about acne

Acne can be a frustrating and challenging skin condition, and many have questions about its causes, prevention, and treatment. In this article, we will explore some of the most common questions about acne and provide answers to help you better understand this condition and how to manage it.

Q: What causes acne?
A: Acne is caused by a combination of factors, including excess oil production, clogged pores, bacteria, inflammation, and hormonal changes. Hormonal changes during puberty, menstrual cycles, and pregnancy can trigger acne, as can certain medications and medical conditions. Genetics, stress, and diet may also contribute to acne.

Q: How can I prevent acne?
A: Preventing acne involves maintaining good skin hygiene and avoiding factors that can trigger or worsen acne. Keep your skin clean by washing it twice daily with a gentle cleanser and avoiding touching your face with your hands. Use non-comedogenic skincare products, avoid oil-based cosmetics, and wear sunscreen to protect your skin from sun damage. A healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet, regular exercise, and stress management can also help prevent acne.

Q: What is the best way to treat acne?
A: The best way to treat acne depends on the severity of your acne and your skin type. Mild acne can be treated with over-the-counter topical treatments containing ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. Moderate to severe acne may require prescription medications such as antibiotics, retinoids, or hormonal treatments. The MDacne app can help analyze your acne and suggest a customized treatment routine.

Q: Can diet affect acne?
A: While the evidence is mixed, some studies suggest certain foods may contribute to acne. A diet high in refined carbohydrates, dairy products, and saturated and trans fats may increase the risk of acne. Eating a diet rich in whole foods, fruits, and vegetables may help improve acne. However, more research is needed to understand the relationship between diet and acne fully—more info on the best diet for people with acne.

Q: Is it okay to pop a pimple?
A: No, it is not recommended to pop a pimple as it can lead to further inflammation, infection, and scarring. Instead, treat the pimple with a topical acne treatment containing benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or retinoids. If you are prone to picking at your skin, keep your hands away from your face—more info on the best single pimple acne patches.

Q: Can stress cause acne?
A: Stress can contribute to acne by triggering hormonal changes that increase oil production and skin inflammation. Managing stress through relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, or exercise may help improve acne. More info on stress and acne.

Q: How long does it take for acne to clear up?
A: The time it takes for acne to clear up depends on the severity of the acne and the treatment used. Mild acne may clear up within a few weeks to a few months, while moderate to severe acne may take several months to improve with treatment. Consistent treatment and maintenance can help prevent future breakouts.

Q: Can acne scars be treated?
A: Yes, acne scars can be treated with various treatments such as chemical peels, microdermabrasion, laser treatments, or surgical procedures. It is best to consult a dermatologist to determine the best treatment plan for your specific type of acne scar—more info on the best treatment for acne scars.

Q: Can acne occur on other body parts besides the face?
A: Yes, acne can occur on other body parts, such as the chest, back, and shoulders. Treatment options are similar to those for facial acne, including topical and oral medications and in-office procedures. More info on the best treatments for chest acne and best treatment for back acne.

Q: Does makeup cause acne?
A: Certain types of makeup, such as oil-based or pore-clogging products, may contribute to acne. Using non-com

Q: Can acne scars be prevented?
A: While it is not always possible to prevent acne scars, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of scarring. Avoid picking or squeezing pimples, as this can cause further damage to the skin and increase the risk of scarring. Early treatment of acne can also help reduce the risk of scarring.

Q: Are there any natural remedies for acne?
A: Some natural remedies may help improve acne, but it is important to note that they may not work for everyone and should be used cautiously. Tea tree oil, aloe vera, and green tea are natural remedies with acne-fighting properties.

Q: Can acne be a sign of a more serious health problem?
A: In some cases, acne can be a symptom of an underlying health issue, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or thyroid problems. If you have persistent or severe acne, speaking with a healthcare provider to rule out any underlying health conditions is essential—more info on polycystic ovary syndrome and acne.

Q: Can certain medications cause acne?
A: Yes, some medications may contribute to the development of acne. Medications that contain hormones, such as birth control pills, may trigger acne in some individuals. Other medicines like steroids and lithium may also contribute to acne. More info on medications that cause acne.

Q: Is it necessary to see a dermatologist for acne?
A: While mild acne can often be managed with over-the-counter treatments, seeing a dermatologist for moderate to severe acne may be beneficial. The MDacne app can help determine the best treatment plan for your specific type of acne.

Q: How does sunscreen affect acne?
A: Sunscreen is an essential part of skincare, but some types of sunscreen may contribute to acne. Look for non-comedogenic or oil-free sunscreen options to avoid clogging pores. It is also essential to cleanse the skin thoroughly after wearing sunscreen to prevent buildup and potential acne—more info on the best sunscreens for people with acne and acne-prone skin.

Q: Are there any lifestyle changes that can help improve acne?
A: Yes, lifestyle changes can help improve acne. Maintaining a healthy diet rich in whole foods, fruits, and vegetables can help reduce inflammation and improve overall skin health. Exercise can also help manage stress, which can contribute to acne. Additionally, getting enough sleep and avoiding smoking can improve skin health.

Q: Can acne return after it has cleared up?
A: Yes, acne can return after it has cleared up, especially if proper skin care and maintenance are not maintained. Consistent use of acne treatments, healthy lifestyle habits, and regular skin care can help prevent acne from returning.

Q: Can acne be contagious?
A: No, acne is not contagious and cannot be spread from person to person. It is a skin condition caused by a combination of factors, including excess oil production, clogged pores, bacteria, inflammation, and hormonal changes.

Q: How can I address acne scarring on darker skin tones?
A: Acne scarring can be more noticeable on darker skin tones, but treatments can help improve the appearance of scars. Laser treatments, chemical peels, and microneedling are all effective options for treating acne scars on darker skin tones. It is essential to consult a dermatologist with experience treating darker skin tones to ensure the best possible results. More info on the best treatment for people with darker skin types and lack skin.

More info:

Best treatments for Acne scars - 2023
Best Vitamin Supplements for Acne Scars - 2023
Ten unknown facts about acne scars

To find the right acne treatments for your unique skin, take the free skin assessment by clicking here.

To find the right acne treatments for your unique skin, take the free skin assessment by clicking here.

Image callout

Start your journey
to clear skin

  • Custom acne treatment cream, cleanser and moisturizer
  • Unlimited Dermatologist support
  • Ongoing skin monitoring