13.4.13

Acne The Hidden Causes


So much has been said, written, and researched about acne, yet 70-80% of the world population is still unable to get a grip on the pesky condition. Common culprits behind acne have been highlighted time and again e.g. colonies of skin bacteria called P. acnes; overactive oil glands; and pores that get blocked by dead skin cells. Research also has established the vital roles of diet, hormonal imbalance and inappropriate skincare in acne management.

But it seems we are still missing some variables — as even with the avoidance of the most common culprits we are witnessing a rise in acne patients in our dermatology practices. What brings on the surprise acne breakout storms is till not obvious. Today our mission is to identify and undercover some of the hidden daily-life pimple triggers — and hence get our selves better equipped in the battle against those nasty zits.

Pomade Acne: Beware Of Hair Styling Products

Styling products may fight frizz and leave your locks silky soft, but they can also cause breakouts, called “pomade acne,” especially along your hairline. The acne comes from oil-based products and cosmetics. A lot of women don’t realize it’s not always their cosmetics causing the breakouts, but their hair product that rubs against their face when they’re asleep. Some hair products can be comedogenic, and is like putting oil on your skin.

Look for oil-free pomades and gels (even natural oils can block pores). Also, scan the ingredients label for other acne-triggering additives, including the emulsifier Laureth-23, silicone and petrolatum. When applying styling products be sure to avoid your hairline and skin, then wash your hands before touching your face, Another smart move: Wash your pillowcases and hair scarf’s (tarha) regularly. They absorb oil, hair products and dirt, all of which can activate acne.

Acne Mechanica: Beware Of Your Cell Phone


Pressing your cheek and chin against your phone causes pimple-producing oils to collect. Those oils, as well as acne-causing bacteria, build up along with any bacteria already on your mobile. Friction acne or acne mechanica is also seen in violinists and football players with the helmet chinstrap around the jaw line and chin. Clean your phone regularly by wiping it with the same cleansers you use for computer and TV screens. When you talk on your cell phone, try not to keep it against your face or on the same side each time or simply keep clear by using a hands-free device.

Consort Acne: Beware Of Your Partners Styling Habits

If you can’t pin down what’s triggering your pimples, being cheek-to-cheek with your partner might be to blame. There’s even a name for breaking out after making out — “consort acne.” If your guy is wearing hair gel and you cuddle up, the gel can get on your face and cause acne. Or, if someone has a lot of oils in their hair and you’re sharing a pillow, the oils can get on your skin and cause breakouts.

Toothpaste Acne: Beware Of Fluoride & Sodium Lauryl Sulfate


Although a dab of toothpaste, is often recommended as an on-the-spot pimple fighter, some people find that fluoride toothpaste actually triggers zits. Dermatologists see this when patients switch toothpastes and notice that they’re breaking out. Ingredients such as fluoride and sodium lauryl sulfate may cause irritation and produce pimples.

Hard Water Acne: Beware Of The High Mineral Content In Your Water

Hard water often leaves a mineral residue on skin. This film can clog pores and bring on breakouts. There are certain minerals in high concentrations in hard water, which may cause irritation like hyper seborrhea, acne or eczema. Invest in installing water filters or purifiers. Filters reduce the concentration of heavy metals in water, which can help prevent pimple-causing residue and irritation.