If your skin has bumps along the hairline or forehead see BUMPS.
See our discussions of ACNE and related topics at REFERENCE TOPICS.
NOTE: for occasional pimples use SPOT TREATMENT. For many of you this will be sufficient. End of story.
For those who have more going on, let’s review the issues involved.
If your skin has become recently unstable, with redness and some pimples this is your guide.
When a rashy like breakout with some pimples occurs suddenly on very smooth skin it is always alarming. The clinically descriptive name for what just happened is “inflammatory acne.” 95% of acne is inflammatory and can be mild or extreme.
Not to worry, there are simple, inexpensive solutions for most situations and you do not need to wake the dermatologist at 3 a.m..
It is important to discover the cause. You want to eliminate that cause, first and not get involved in a skin war with it.
Here are the most common causes:
- Topical products
- Work /environment changes
- Radical dietary change
- Unusual emotional stress
Let’s look at these one at a time.
Inflammatory acne is most often caused and aggravated by topical products. These include makeup, acid peels, acid cleansers, scrubs and leave-on topicals from sunscreens to moisturizers.
If you have recently applied something new that is your most likely cause. Sometimes, though, old products change their spots and you have a new and improved something that no longer works. Or, the product has been applied frequently and its formula has sensitized your skin.
Makeup is the most common cause. It may be laden with bacteria. Or, it is just clogging your skin. Use very light powders, avoid liquid makeup at all cost.
The onset of puberty can cause a rapid increase in the amount of cells per square millimeter of your skin. Things are crowded and dirt can settle in quickly and cause problems. Washing regularly helps. There is a lot going on in adolescent skin and it is worth the time to become familiar with the many issues in our REFERENCE TOPICS.
Birth control changes are a big cause. The orally dosed meds that are only a few times per month seem to cause more problems than the more frequently dosed pill. Anti-depressants are stealth acne growers. Rash is common. Talk to your doctor, see if there are other choices.
If you work in a restaurant, especially a fast food restaurant, there is a high content of oxidized fatty acid aerosol in the air. This can settle on your skin and be a landing zone for bacteria. Other workplace problems occur if particulates are constant OR fragrance compounds. Fragrances can set up a cascade of response that sensitizes your skin. One day you sneeze and suddenly have a skin rash on your face. Rosacea is more common that inflammatory acne in this situation. Stay clean, wash your hair, your bedding, your clothes to stay ahead of the game, but no need to become Howard Hughes.
Known or unknown illness will often show up on the skin. The skin is a window into the body and if a virus or bacteria has taken up lodging, your skin may become unstable with odd breakouts, all over, at random and in no particular area.
RADICAL DIETARY CHANGE
A sudden switch for better or worse in your diet can set off a number of problems on your skin. Diet is often wrongly accused of causing skin problems, especially dairy. As we note in the ACNE section in REFERENCE TOPICS the effect of dairy on adolescent skin, one way or the other, was negligible in study after study with large populations. But the sudden change, often accompanied by digestive disorders, or just chronic digestive disorders, will often bring out inflammatory acne.
UNUSUAL EMOTIONAL STRESS
Not the fun filled throw yourself around the room because you are overdrawn today at the bank stress, but the low level, grind your teeth, day by day burn will often lead to an immune response, with allergies and inflammatory acne, rosacea like looks the consequence.
So now that you have some notions of what could be at cause, let’s look at a simple solution.