Acne/Bumps/Folliculitis, Skin Health
Bring Skin To Bare: Clear Acne & Bumps on Face & Body
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While acne is bothersome year-round, summer flare-ups (when you want to bare your skin!) are especially irksome. Keep acne at bay this summer with these easy tips from VMV’s founding dermatologist-dermatopathologist.

Acne 411
1. Acne refers to skin bumps or lesions resulting from clogged and irritated pores.
2. Comedonal acne: blackheads, whiteheads, normal-sized pimples that feel like they’re close to skin’s surface. They are often caused by external factors, such as cosmetic comedogens (pore-clogging ingredients) or irritants.
3. Cystic acne: very large pimples that are inflamed and feel “deeper” in the skin. If you have cystic acne, the cause is almost always internal, such as hormonal changes, stress, lack of sleep, and certain medicines, vitamins, foods and drinks. A cyst can also be a staph infection. It’s best to receive a proper diagnosis by a dermatologist to determine the next steps.

Daily Cleansing
Cleansing skin daily is important, yet cleansing, especially with brushes, harsh scrubs or strong antibacterial products, can be irritating and can make skin more acne-prone. Opt for gentle, but thorough, formulations.

Mouth Guard
Acne around the mouth, chin and jawline is frequently peri-oral or halogen acne. Clarity can be fast and dramatic. Simply avoid halogens like fluorides and other irritants in oral care products, bromides in chocolate, iodides in salty food, vitamin B12, etc.

Deep Cleaning
Regular deep cleaning facials can significantly improve skin’s clarity.

Think Fresh!
Processed foods are inflammatory and inflammation is linked to acne. Avoid junk food and most things that come in pre-packaged bags and bottles, as well “whites”: bread, rice, sugar, etc. Substitute with wild, brown, or whole wheat versions. Snack on unflavored Greek yogurt, nuts and fruit. Drink plenty of water or squeeze your own juice.

Sleep It Off
Acne might not be gone overnight, but 7-8 hours of sleep a night helps your body control stress and reduce inflammation.

Avoid pore-clogging ingredients and allergens in skin and hair care, makeup, shaving creams, waxes, even laundry soap — everything.

Watch Your Back
Bumps on the back, arms, thighs and butt are bothersome enough; in the summer, they’re also harder to hide. Traditional anti-acne antibiotics may not work, however, because the condition might be fungal. Try monolaurin instead.

Follicle Factors
Shampoos, conditioners and hair styling products with comedogens or allergens can trickle down onto skin, particularly with sweat, and cause acne on the forehead, neck, back and other areas near where hair touches skin.