Things You're Doing that Aggravate Your Acne

Things You're Doing that Aggravate Your Acne

​​The most common skin ailment, acne, affects almost 10% of the world’s population. There are many things you should and shouldn’t do to prevent its spread and frequency. Dr. Jeffrey A. Klein and our knowledgeable team at HK Dermatology in San Juan Capistrano, California can make sure your acne isn’t infected with bacteria and can offer pointers on reducing outbreaks.

How diet affects acne

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “you are what you eat.” What you eat can also contribute to your acne.


Inflammation may lie at the root of this common condition. Food allergies aggravate your immune system. So it’s important to avoid foods that cause sensitivity. If you suspect certain foods aggravate your body’s systems, consider an elimination diet to weed them out.


Many of us overindulge in refined carbs made with white flour, such as:

Sweeteners, including cane sugar, maple syrup, honey, and even agave, can increase your risk of acne by as much as 30%.


This sweet “nectar of the gods” has also been linked to acne, by possibly causing an overreaction of our immune system.

Corn and soy

An overconsumption of omega-6 fats found in such popular foods as corn and soy increases acne. Eat less of these and/or add omega-3 rich foods, such as walnuts and fatty fish, to your diet.

Not so fast

Decrease your fast food and sugar consumption, which may also trigger acne. Ask our team what skin-friendly foods you should increase, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, turkey, blueberries, and brown rice, to decrease your outbreaks.

De-stress for less acne

While stress alone may increase acne, what stress causes you to do is more often the culprit. When stressed, we tend to bite our nails, pull out our hair, and pick at our blemishes, worsening acne. In its extreme, this condition is called acne excoriee, a constant need to pick at your skin, which can cause infection and future scarring. We recommend meditation, counseling, and other healthy habits to de-stress.

Makeup mistakes

Using oily makeup or shampoos can increase acne breakouts. Even sharing makeup and brushes can spread oil and dead skin cells onto your skin, inviting acne. Remember not to sleep in your makeup. Wash it off gently, and rinse with warm water every night before bed. 

Too much of a good thing

Washing your skin twice a day with a gentle cleanser and warm water helps prevent acne. Just don’t get overzealous when it comes to washing. Too much water and scrubbing can dry and irritate your skin, encouraging breakouts.

Less solar exposure

Enjoying the sun is fine, as long as you protect your skin and eyes with the proper hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Too much sun may lead to acne, skin cancer, and other serious issues. Small dark bumps, called comedones, also appear from continual overexposure.

Let’s combat acne together

Although certain medications, such as corticosteroids and lithium, may exacerbate acne, others help. If you suffer from severe acne, speak to one of our providers about which treatments, from antibiotic and topical medications to chemical peels and more, best ward off your particular type of acne. To discuss this or other medical dermatological or cosmetic issues, contact HK Dermatology at 949-248-1632, or book an appointment online today.  

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