11 Scientific Facts About Acne Every Woman Should Know

woman squeezing pimpleAcne is the most common skin disorder in the US. Unfortunately, about 40 to 50 million Americans suffer from spotty complexions. And clearing up your skin isn't as simple as washing your face and trying not to eat fries.

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Think you've got your acne knowledge, er, covered? Check out these scientifically proven facts and make sure.

1. Acne's not just for teens. Bummer! A growing number of women in their 30s, 40s, and 50s are struggling with acne. Hormonal imbalances and environmental toxins may play a role.

2. Pimples don't just contain "bad bacteria." They also include a strain of good bacteria that's trying to protect your skin. Scientists hope increasing it can help better fight breakouts.

3. No acne clears overnight. Despite what you might read on a package at the drug store, even mild acne requires at least a month to see a big improvement. And even after that, you need to keep treating the area so it doesn't come back.

4. Scrubbing doesn't help. You might be tempted to rub your skin raw to get rid of zits, but that actually makes acne worse. What's better: using a MILD cleanser in the morning, evening, and after sweaty workouts.

5. Greasy food doesn't cause acne.  But diet can affect your skin. One thing you should avoid if you're susceptible to spots? Dairy products.

6. Air quality can lead to breakouts. Pollution and high humidity are known offenders.

More from The Stir: 5 Natural Acne Cures to Clear Your Skin Up

7. Many acne patients don't take their meds. One survey found that 27 percent of people with acne didn't take the meds their MD recommended -- even when they were OTC lotions! The reasons included cost and just forgetting to follow instructions.

8. Too much B12 may cause breakouts. There's some evidence that high B12 levels disrupts a skin bacteria linked with acne. That said, until more research is done, experts caution against cutting back on the vitamin. (Low B12 can cause major health problems.)

9. Acne can have long-term consequences for your emotional well-being. We're not just talking scars on your skin. We're talking emotional scars: Depression. Anxiety. Low self-esteem. Sadly, these can all be the result of years of dabbing on zit cream.

10. Stress does affect your skin. It can't make pimples appear, which is good news. But if you've already broken out, feeling anxious and overwhelmed will make the inflammation worse.

11. And so does your period. If you're prone to acne, expect a breakout a few days before your cycle starts. Weirdly, the hormone changes you experience during pregnancy and menopause may actually make your skin better. So, hey, at least there's that!

 

Image via iStock.com/gpointstudio

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