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Tips on How to Prevent Acne

Updated on July 30, 2009

Acne can be a very embarrassing problem to deal with, primarily because it commonly occurs in one of the most “un-hideable” areas of the body—the face. Technically defined, acne is a skin condition that occurs due to alterations in the sebaceous glands (part of the makeup of our hair follicles), and it shows itself in a range of forms—they can vary from something as simple as raised bumps or lesions with a reddish tint (such as pimples) to full-blown inflamed pustules. The most common areas where acne occurs include the face, shoulders, upper chest, and back (as a side note--a slang word for acne on the back is “bacne”). The technical term for acne is “acne vulgaris”—which makes it sound even worse, wouldn’t you agree—but most people know it by the common name of “acne”. Some slang words for acne include zits or pimples.

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Once acne shows up on your face, the first reaction is normally outrage (LOL) or embarrassment—you’re already thinking about how you’re going to look to the other people that you’ll encounter through the day, and if the acne is bad enough, you won’t even want to leave the house in the morning. I know from experience, having had a pretty bad bout with acne through my teenage years, that living with acne can be grueling, and trying to figure out how to prevent acne can many times seem like a futile effort. The problem most of the time is the fact that we don’t really think about it until it shows up, but a lot of times the way we’ve been living our lives and the way we’ve been eating have been setting the stage for acne to appear long before it showed up.

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Preventing Acne: “Head It Off at the Pass”

Since this article is more about acne prevention than acne treatment, we’ll talk about some practical steps you can take to help prevent acne from rearing its ugly head (or maybe “heads”—no pun intended). And in order to talk about acne prevention, we have to discuss nutrition, which is one of the most vital elements of skin health.

Proper nutrition is a vital element of keeping your skin healthy, and when your skin is healthy, it’s much more difficult for acne to appear. Many times our skin erupts into pimples and acne because it’s being under-nourished. Your skin needs an ample amount of vitamins & minerals, and a generous amount of water in order to remain healthy. Since the old saying is true that “you are what you eat”, this holds especially true when it comes to keeping your skin healthy. So here are the main “ingredients”, if you will, to keeping your skin healthy and keeping the stage set to stave off the “acne monster”:

  1. Drink TONS of water. I mean as much of it as you can stand. Water is the number one most vital element of healthy skin. Our bodies are 70% water, so it just makes sense that you would need lots of it to maintain your skin’s vitality and supple look. Skin problems many times originate with dehydration, so it’s a very good idea to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day.
  2. Stay away from the fried foods. The oil in those foods can wreak havoc on your skin’s normal oil production, and can throw off the whole natural balance of oil (or, technically speaking, “sebum”) secretion in your glands. This can be a precursor to those eruptions in the skin known as acne.
  3. Other oily foods such as chocolate can affect the skin as well, when consumed in abundant quantities. Let’s be real—who ever consumes chocolate in moderate amounts? But do your best to eat these types of food in moderation.

Discipline: A Key to Acne Prevention

The most difficult part of preventing acne is implementing the discipline to just do those things listed above and keep on doing them. Real skin health starts from the inside out…trust me on this one. I made the same adjustments that I described above, and within only a few months, my skin completely cleared up. Now I do understand that everyone’s body type is different, and the chemical makeup of everyone’s skin is slightly different, but these tips can apply to almost everyone, and if practiced consistently, can make a positive impact on your skin’s overall health.


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