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How to Prevent Severe Acne Flare-ups

How to Prevent Severe Acne Flare-ups

If you or your teen has acne, you’re seeking solutions. Even mild acne can be embarrassing, and you may feel anxious and/or depressed when it’s severe. 

If you have acne flare-ups, your best solution is to visit a medical professional trained to clear up this skin condition. 

At Seacoast Dermatology, our board-certified dermatologists see patients with acne every day. We treat it with a wide range of tools that conquer those flare-ups. Following are tips to help prevent severe acne breakouts.

Avoid harsh skin care products and wash gently

We can advise you on the type of skin care products to select. The ones you choose should be free of astringents like alcohol. The ingredients are on the label. Exfoliants can also be too drying and cause your skin to appear even more red. 

Don’t scrub your face, which can irritate it. We advise you on a gentle cleanser that won’t harm your face. 

Avoid oil-based makeup 

You don’t want to increase the amount of oils on your face when you apply makeup. Some cosmetics are oil-based. Instead, choose a mineral-based makeup that’s oil-free. 

Don’t touch your face

When you see a whitehead or pimple in the mirror, you may want to squeeze it or pop it. Avoid the temptation. It can spread infection and lead to scarring. 

Check your medications 

Did you know that birth control pills can cause acne flare-ups? Along with certain other medications such as lithium and barbiturates, they change your hormone levels, which can affect your skin. 

In addition, if you’ve had steroid shots recently and you notice acne breakouts, the steroids could be the culprit. When you visit us at Seacoast Dermatology, we review your medical history and consider all of the medications and supplements you take. 

If a medication you take can cause acne flare-ups, we ask that you speak with the prescribing physician to see if there’s an alternative. Don’t stop taking a prescribed medication without talking to the prescribing doctor. Some medications may be necessary for your physical and mental health. 

Use techniques to manage stress 

Researchers have correlated stress with acne flare-ups. Both men and women’s bodies produce the male hormone androgen. When you’re stressed, your body’s androgen production shoots up. A chain reaction ensues. Your oil glands secrete excess oils, clogging your pores and making acne worse. 

Invest in learning about and using stress management techniques. Use strategies like deep breathing and meditation on a daily basis. 

Exercise is an effective stress reliever. Choose an activity you really enjoy and make a commitment to exercise most days of the week. Exercise produces endorphins, which leave you feeling good. Get professional help if other techniques don’t ease your stress.  

See your dermatologist regularly

Don’t wait until your acne is severe to receive medical treatment. If you haven’t been able to control acne yourself, it’s time to see a professional. 


Call us at Seacoast Dermatology at one of our four convenient locations today if you have troublesome acne. We can get it under control. Our offices are in Portsmouth, Exeter, and Dover, New Hampshire.

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