Acne Home > Acne Prevention

Good skin care, avoiding excessive sun exposure, choosing make-up and hair care products carefully, and talking with your doctor about what treatments can help are all part of preventing acne. Avoiding things that rub the skin -- such as backpacks and sports equipment -- can also be helpful in preventing breakouts.

Can I Prevent Acne?

You can help prevent acne flare-ups and scars by taking proper care of your skin. Suggestions for a good acne prevention plan include:
 
  • Clean your skin gently with a mild soap or cleanser twice a day -- once in the morning and once at night. It is also important to gently clean the skin after heavy exercise. Avoid strong soaps and rough scrub pads. Harsh scrubbing of the skin may make acne worse. Wash your entire face from under the jaw up to the hairline and rinse thoroughly. Remove make-up gently with a mild soap and water. Ask your doctor before using an astringent.
     
  • Wash your hair on a regular basis. If your hair is oily, you may want to wash it more often.
     
  • Do not squeeze or pick at acne lesions (also known as zits or pimples). This can cause acne scars.
     
  • Avoid getting sunburned. Several acne medications can make you more prone to sunburn. Many people think that the sun helps acne because the redness from sunburn may make acne lesions less visible. But too much sun can also increase your risk of skin cancer and early aging of the skin. When you're going to be outside, use sunscreen of at least SPF 15. Also, try to stay in the shade as much as possible.
     
  • Choose make-up and hair care products that are non-comedogenic or non-acnegenic. These products have been made in a way that they don't cause acne. You may also want to use products that are oil-free.
     
  • Avoid things that rub the skin as much as you can, such as backpacks and sports equipment.
     
  • Talk with your doctor about what acne treatment options can help. Take your medicine as prescribed. Be sure to tell your doctor if you think the medicines you take for other health problems make your acne worse.
     
(Click Acne Skin Care for more suggestions to help with acne prevention.)
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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