Why Am I Breaking Out?! 15 Acne Causes You Need to Know About

Acne breakouts aren’t just a sign of puberty—for millions of people, they’re a nuisance that can last way longer in life than you’d hope. And although the cause for acne is easy to understand (clogged pores due to excess oil), it’s a lot harder to pin down every contributing factor that could possibly be causing a breakout, and how to adjust your daily routine to fix it.

Face Mask Use

If you’re wearing a cloth face mask for an extended period each day, you’d be surprised how much sweat, oil, and bacteria can build up because the material can’t breathe well. That warm, moist environment is a haven for acne-causing bacteria, so consider switching to a more breathable material, and remember to wash your face twice a day—and your mask after each use.

Unhelpful Ingredients

Your daily skin care routine is likely packed with several steps and as many products. But did you know that the formulas you think are helping may actually be causing occasional breakouts?

Ingredients to avoid depending on your skin type include mineral oil, which can be excessively heavy and cause pore clogging, and synthetic dyes or fragrances in cheap products that can have unknown effects on skin.

For the best skincare products for acne treatment, trust a certified dermatologist like Dr. Rachel Ness at Fargo Dermatology to recommend the most effective formulas.

Popped Pimples

We know how frustrating those blemishes can be, especially the big ones, but popping pimples rarely helps in the long run. Pushing on and bursting pimples can actually drive the bacteria causing the condition deeper into the skin, making the problem worse. Plus, as the skin ruptures, bacteria from other parts of your face and hands can make its way into the breach, causing further harm.

Over-Treating Zits

When used sparingly, topical ointments to treat zits and pimples can be effective at reducing their appearance. But over-use can dry out the skin, causing it to produce even more oil, thereby clogging pores worse than before. Make sure to follow the directions on these products carefully, and consider making investments in high-quality creams and cleansers.

Excess Exfoliation

Similar to over-using zit cream, people who frequently exfoliate with facial scrubs can actually be doing themselves a disservice. By irritating and overly drying out skin, you may be increasing your oil production because the skin senses it has been damaged and dried out. Choose mild chemical exfoliators with glycolic acid to get deep cleansing without aggressive scrubbing.

Sweat-Induced Breakouts

While we applaud you for having a diligent workout routine, make sure to take the proper steps to avoid the negative side effects sweating can have on skin. Remove makeup and wash your face before starting, and make sure to shower afterward. Otherwise, sweat, dirt, oil, and facial products could end up in pores all over your face and neck.

Dirty Face or Pillowcase

Sometimes the solution for acne breakouts is simply to clean your face a little more often. Dermatologists like Dr. Ness recommend washing your face with a mild cleanser in the morning and at night, following up with specialty products and a light moisturizer. Another thing to wash regularly is your pillowcase, which, after all, is the thing that touches your face for the longest amount of time each day.

Sun Damage

You’re probably aware that over-exposure to harmful UV rays from the sun and/or tanning beds can have all kinds of adverse effects on your skin. And in addition, sun exposure can dry skin out, causing an overproduction of oil and eventually a breakout. Make sure to use sunscreen when outside for extended periods of time, and limit your exposure by wearing protective clothing, such as a hat.

Poor Sleep

The more we learn about sleep and its effects on the body, the more important getting adequate rest becomes. When you sleep, your body repairs itself and reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol has been linked to over-active oil glands in the skin, so having too much in your system means you may break out more. That’s one more reason to protect the rhythm of sleep.

Chronic Stress

As mentioned, increased levels of cortisol can lead to acne breakouts. Finding healthy ways to relax or removing environmental stressors can have a host of benefits in your life, including fewer acne breakouts.

Acne Breakout Treatments in Fargo, ND

All the internet research in the world may not be enough to solve your chronic acne problems, which is why Dr. Ness is here to help. For those in and around Fargo, the Fargo Center for Dermatology is a leader in providing treatments, products, and skincare advice for those suffering from acne. To learn more, schedule a consultation with our skincare experts today by calling 701-203-9852 or contacting us online.