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Quiz: Myths and Facts About Teen Acne

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Eating fast food can cause acne.

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Eating fast food can cause acne.

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Some people say their acne gets better when they cut back on dairy, or when they eat foods that don't spike their blood sugar level, but no particular foods are proven to cause acne. It's a good idea to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and limit sugary foods that don't offer your skin much nutrition. 

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What can affect your acne?

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What can affect your acne?

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Hormones are one of the top causes of acne, especially in teens. Other things can make you break out, too. When oil and bacteria get trapped in the pores of your skin you can get acne. Wash your face, but be gentle -- don't scrub hard.

Stress can make an acne outbreak worse.

Stress can make an acne outbreak worse.

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Stress doesn't cause acne, but it can make it worse. So can some cosmetics and moisturizers, hormonal changes caused by puberty or periods, and irritants such as pollution and humidity.

Shampooing oily hair every day can help prevent breakouts.

Shampooing oily hair every day can help prevent breakouts.

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Oil from your scalp can make its way to your face and clog pores there. Greasy hair products can also clog pores and lead to acne. Shampooing oily hair every day can help stop breakouts by washing away oils and hair products.

Acne may be worse in teen boys than in girls because:

Acne may be worse in teen boys than in girls because:

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Because boys tend to have oilier skin than girls, they're more likely to have acne. Your skin normally makes oil. It comes out of pores (the tiny holes in your skin) and you wash it away. Too much oil and dead skin cells can clog your pores. That can let bacteria grow, and that can lead to pimples.

Acne can run in your family.

Acne can run in your family.

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If other people in your family had acne, you're more likely to have it, too. You can still treat it, whether it runs in your family or not. 

 

What percentage of people between 1 and 30 will get acne?

What percentage of people between 1 and 30 will get acne?

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If you're breaking out, you've got a lot of company. Most people get acne at some point, and it usually gets better after they reach their 30s. A dermatologist can help you at any age.

If you get acne, the best way to put on cleanser is with:

If you get acne, the best way to put on cleanser is with:

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Put on the cleanser and wash using your fingertips. Using anything else, like a  washcloth or sponge, may irritate your skin and that can make you break out.

It's OK to pop whiteheads as long as you do it gently.

It's OK to pop whiteheads as long as you do it gently.

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You shouldn't pop your pimples. Squeezing or picking at a pimple can irritate it, making it worse. Squeezing also can lead to infection and make a permanent scar.

Which over-the-counter acne treatment works?

Which over-the-counter acne treatment works?

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These are some of the most common medicines for mild to moderate acne that you can buy without a prescription. They often work well if you give them 4-8 weeks to make a difference. Benzoyl peroxide kills bacteria, drying up the oils on your skin, and making the old layer of skin peel off. Salicylic acid helps unclog pores and dries your skin. Resorcinol helps control smaller acne.

Be careful using benzoyl peroxide if you:

Be careful using benzoyl peroxide if you:

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Leave-on products that use benzoyl peroxide can dry or irritate dark skin. It can also prolong the dark spots that acne often causes in dark-skinned people. It also can affect skin color.

 

People of color, particularly those of African descent, may want to try retinoid treatment. Retinoids may cause less dryness and irritation. A dermatologist can help you weigh your options.

People with acne should avoid "noncomedogenic" skin products.

People with acne should avoid "noncomedogenic" skin products.

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Noncomedogenic means the product won't clog pores. Products labeled noncomedogenic, oil-free, or nonacnegenic are OK for people with acne.

You should see a doctor or dermatologist for acne if:

You should see a doctor or dermatologist for acne if:

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Almost all acne will get better with proper treatment. You can start with products that don't need a prescription, and if those don't work in a few months, consider going to see a dermatologist.

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