How To Actually Improve Your Skin
If you want to help any acne outbreaks, you should instead wear plenty of sunscreen when you go outside. It will prevent your skin from getting any redder, and overall, it will prevent the UV rays from damaging your skin further.
A little sunlight is fine. But if you plan on spending more than 15 minutes in direct sunlight, you should use sunscreen. Outside of that, you can try spending as much time as possible in the shade and wearing long-sleeve clothing.
You also want to practice adequate hygiene. That means showering once a day and no more. Taking multiple showers can lead to your skin drying out. And once a day, you should exfoliate.
And of course, drink plenty of water. Its your best friend when it comes to great skin health.
Kell, Nicole. Can the Sun Cure Your Acne? UT Austin, 4 Jun. 2019.
Ultraviolet Radiation. American Cancer Society, 10 Jul. 2019.
Dermatological Treatment Options For Acne Scars
If you want to pair your skin care products with something extra, you can ask your dermatologist about treatments designed to reduce acne scarring. Professional options use fractionated treatments of the scar . These options include radio-frequency microneedling, mechanical microneedling and fractionated Co2 Laser, explains Dr. Khorasani. These treatments help with the appearance of acne scarring which is caused by a change in the architecture of collagen fibers in our skin:
- Radio-Frequency Microneedling: RF microneedling is a non-surgical aesthetic procedure that targets acne scars and stimulates the production of new collagen. Its also used to tighten the appearance of the skin.
- Mechanical Microneedling: Tiny needles are inserted into the skin to break up scar tissue, stimulating the replacement of this lost tissue with healthy, normal collagen.
- Fractionated Co2 Laser: Facial resurfacing with fractional lasers can be one of the most effective skin care treatment options for facial scars.
Acne, at any age, can be infuriating and take a real toll on your confidence, but there are options available . Are you currently struggling with acne? Let us know in the comments below or on social media!
Pro Tips To Protect Your Acne
Believe me, I understand how the frustration of acne can drive a person to desperate measures. Especially if its a problem that youve been dealing with for years!
But instead of risking unsafe sun exposure to treat your breakouts, focus on an acne-fighting skincare routine and use these tips to protect your skin from the ravages of UV radiation.
Wear sunscreen ALL THE TIME. We recommend seeking out a water-based sunscreen to avoid pore-clogging oils. Aim for an SPF of at least 30.
Dont try to absorb vitamin D from sunlight. You can get plenty through diet alone. In fact, its the BEST way to ensure your vitamin D intake! For extra help, check out our comprehensive list of 99 Clear Skin Foods for a cheat sheet of the best vitamin D-rich ingredients!
Dont DIY light therapy. If your acne is stubborn or severe, and youre desperate to try a light-based solution, dont just lay on a beach towel in your backyard. Youll soak up dangerous UV rays and probably get walked on by fire ants. Instead, schedule an actual light therapy appointment. Modern light therapy uses no UV rays and is much safer than sun exposure.
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Does Sun Exposure Help To Prevent Acne
Acne is a plague among teenagers, and many who are older also suffer. Can sunlight and vitamin D play a role in preventing it? Perhaps so. A new study shows that vitamin D deficiency was detected in 48% of patients with acne, but in only 22.5% of healthy controls . This would indicate that sun exposure has a prophylactic effect on acne. The level of vitamin D was also inversely associated with the severity of the disease, meaning that it was probably the mechanism, perhaps by strengthening the immune system, by which the disease was thwarted. Improvement in the inflammatory lesions caused by the acne was also noted with a vitamin D supplementation program.
This reminds me of a young man, with terrible acne, who attended our health institute in Sunny Southern Utah. Our area is blessed with about 300 days per year of sunlight. After three months, his acne disappeared. Sunlight is known to cure psoriasis, eczema and other skin diseases. Why not acne? Of course, our nutrition program may also have helped him.
One more reason to safely embrace the sun.
Lim SK, Ha JM, Lee YH, Lee Y, Seo YJ, Kim CD, Lee JH, Im M. Comparison of Vitamin D Levels in Patients with and without Acne: A Case-Control Study Combined with a Randomized Controlled Trial. PLoS One. 2016 Aug 25 11:e0161162.
How Phototherapy Works
Light therapy works on mild to moderate acne. You get this treatment at your dermatologist’s office about once a week.
Your doctor will tell you to stay out of the sun and avoid tanning beds for a week or more before your treatment. You might also have to stop using some of your skin-care products.
You may get special medicine before your treatment to make your skin more sensitive to the light. Doctors call these medicines âphotosensitizers.â They include aminolevulinic acid and methyl aminolevulinate .
During phototherapy, you sit in front of an LED light panel for about 15 to 30 minutes. These lights may be blue, red, or both blue and red.
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Is Sun Good For Acne
If youre constantly battling pimples due to acne, its tempting to try just about anything to get rid of them. Some people believe lying out in the sun will help. The thinking goes that sunlight will dry out the oil in the skin and/or prevent oil production, resulting in clearer skin.
Sounds logical, right? After all, excessive oil production often plays a role in acne development, along with other factors such as bacteria and hormone imbalances. But in fact, the dehydrating effect the sun has on the skin ultimately does more harm than good, said Sydney VanHoose, a board-certified advanced practice registered nurse at Waters Edge Dermatology.
Sitting in the sun can make it seem like your acne is improving at first, but it leads to more breakouts later, said VanHoose.
Whats more, if you dont use sunscreen or cover up with protective clothing when youre outdoors, youre exposing yourself to UV rays that could make other complexion issues worse, and even lead to skin cancer.
How Should I Care For My Acne
Effective sun protection is essential for acne-prone skin, especially if you are undergoing medical acne treatment or have recently had a chemical peel or laser treatment which heighten skins sensitivity.
A sensible attitude to sun exposure, combined with the regular and thorough application of a superior sun protection product specially formulated for your skin type and condition will help to give your skin the care it needs. Find out how in acne-prone skin: why does it need special sun protection?
The Eucerin Sun range includes:
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Learn More About Treating Acne
Want to get rid of acne for good? While there are hundreds of myths and unproven treatments out there for acne, there are also real, working treatments that can help you remove acne and keep it away for good.
Can The Sun Help With My Acne
Many people believe sun exposure dries out acne-causing oil, thereby curing breakouts. Additionally, getting a tan can temporarily camouflage the blemishes on your face. While that strategy will work in the short run, exposing your skin to too much sun will eventually backfire, causing more breakouts in the future. Heres why:
- Flaky skin from a sunburn builds up more dead skin cells that clog pores and cause more breakouts.
- Sun exposure causes unwanted skin inflammation.
- The sun can cause dark spots and scarring to appear after pimples heal.
- Sun exposure puts you at a higher risk of skin cancer and premature skin aging.
- If youre taking certain medications for acne, your skin can be more sensitive to UV light, making it burn faster.
- Sunbathing leads to sweating, giving bacteria a place to thrive and causing more breakouts.
So, while a little sun exposure can temporarily reduce acne, you should adopt more effective methods to keep your breakouts in check.
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When To See A Dermatologist
It can take time to see results from treatment. If treatment works, you may start to see results in six to eight weeks. Complete clearing can take three or four months.
If you dont see any difference in six to eight weeks, you may need a dermatologists help. With a dermatologists help, virtually every type of acne can be successfully treated.
Have a skin, hair, or nail problem?
Discover the benefits of seeing a dermatologist.
ReferencesBikowski J. A review of the safety and efficacy of benzoyl peroxide emollient foam in the management of truncal acne vulgaris. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2010 3:26-9.
Brand B, Gilbert R, et al. Cumulative irritancy comparison of adapalene gel 0.1% versus other retinoid products when applied in combination with topical antimicrobial agents. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2003 49:S227-32.
Del Rosso JQ. Management of truncal acne vulgaris: current perspectives on treatment. Cutis. 2006 May 77:285-9.
Eichenfield LF, Andrew C. Krakowski AC, et al. Evidence-Based Recommendations for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Pediatric Acne. Pediatrics. 2013 131 Suppl 3:S163-86.
Leyden JJ, Del Rosso JQ. The effect of benzoyl peroxide 9.8% emollient foam on reduction of Propionibacterium acnes on the back using a short contact therapy approach. J Drugs Dermatol. 2012 11:830-3.
You Can Still Stay Under The Sun Only If You Dont Have Allergies
The sun can also cause acne to worsen. It can make your skin dry, which prompts it to produce more sebum, leading to more breakouts. The longer you stay in the sun, the more damage the skin will suffer. It is not the case for those who have healthy skin, however. A little sun exposure in the summer is fine if you have no allergies. However, it can cause a severe allergic reaction, which can worsen their condition.
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Does The Sun Get Rid Of Acne
The sun is an excellent source of Vitamin D, but you should be wary of its side effects. It can damage your skin, causing blemishes, as well as increase your risk of developing cancer. However, it can also help you get a tan. Use sunscreen to protect your skin from the suns harmful rays, and make sure you use non-comedogenic products, so your pores do not get clogged.
How The Sun Triggers Breakouts
After youve been in the sun, the epidermis starts to dry and thicken, VanHoose explained. When this happens, your body responds by producing even more oil to compensate for what was lost and that can lead to more breakouts.
This effect doesnt occur immediately, which may be why people dont realize the connection between sunlight and worsening acne. Another source of confusion is the fact that dermatologists sometimes recommend light therapy to treat acne however, the blue light used in this FDA-approved treatment is very different from the suns rays. It kills acne-causing bacteria without damaging the skin the way UV light does. Sunlight does not kill P. acnes.
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Many People Say They Experience Fewer Breakouts And Spots After Being In The Sun And On Holiday Is There Much Medical Truth In This
There is an element of truth within this as the UV light from the sun does have mild antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. However, some people can find that their acne can get worse in the sun, particularly if they are using thick sun creams that block the pores and lead to acne breakouts. Its important to use a sheer sunscreen if you are prone to acne, such as Skinceuticals Brightening SPF or Zo Skin Health Obagi Daily Sheer.
Sunlight And Your Breakouts
At first, sun exposure can definitely make your complexion seem clearer and more even, but this is a short-term illusion, my friends. In the long term, all that sunshine can make your breakouts even worse!
First, that miraculous decrease in oiliness triggers a response from your sebaceous glands. To rehydrate your skin, they start pumping out extra sebum to compensate. So after a few days, your face is greasier than ever!
All that drying sunlight also results in an influx of dead skin cells. If you have acne-prone skin, youre probably battling excess skin cells already, so the last thing you need is an extra helping.
When these excess cells mix with the brand new oil slick across your face, they all get stuck together into sebum plugs that clog your pores, paving the way for more acne breakouts.
To make matters worse, sun exposure can cause healing blemishes to leave behind dreadful souvenirs like dark spots and scarring. So even though the breakout may be gone , youre never really free of it!
And if youre on any kind of prescribed medication for your skin problems, you may be at extra risk. Many acne medications and facial treatments make your skin sensitive to the suns UV rays, causing sunburns to appear extra fast and extra toasty.
Ultimately, if you try to treat your acne-prone skin with excessive sun exposure, youll end up doing more harm than good! And thats not even addressing the next issue…
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Sun Protection For Acne Prone Skin
A bottle of sunblock with adequate protection.
Instead of staying under the sun, you should be protecting yourself from it.
Sun protection is essential, first and foremost, because it reduces the risk of skin cancer. Studies have proven that regular sunscreen use helps prevent melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma, two common kinds of skin cancer.
Additionally, shielding your skin from the suns UV rays can help to avoid inflammation and sunburn, which increase your risk of acne breakouts.
Proven medication against acne, such as isotretinoin and tetracycline antibiotics, also make the skin more sensitive to sunlight. Not using sunscreen while taking these would make sunburn, hyperpigmentation, and even skin cancer more likely.
Lastly, accumulated sun damage is known to age the skinits the number one culprit behind fine lines and wrinkles!
As you can see, the benefits of sun protection simply cannot be denied.
Therefore, the potential but unproven benefits of the sun for acne cannot outweigh the possible risks that sun exposure poses. At the end of the day, its certainly better for your skin to be protected from the sun instead.
However, finding the perfect sunscreen can be difficult, especially for those with acne-prone skin. Here are some tips to consider when looking for the best sunscreen:
Can The Sun Worsen My Acne
A woman closes her eyes underneath the sun.
The bad news is, excessive sun exposure is actually bad for acne and is possibly making your breakouts worse.
When sunlight dries out the skin, it doesnt help get rid of acne it actually does the opposite!
When your skin is dehydrated, it tries to compensate for the necessary oils on your skin that it lacks. The result? Your sebaceous glands end up overproducing sebum, putting you at risk of worse acne breakouts!
Did you know? Your risk of having a breakout increases even more when you get a sunburn.
Sunburn refers to red, painful skin that develops after too much exposure to UV light. This causes skin irritation and inflammation, which effectively counteracts sunlights potential anti-inflammatory effects. Whats worse, sunburn ultimately causes the skin to peel. This causes dead skin buildup, which, coupled with sebum overproduction in dehydrated skin, clogs the pores and leads to more breakouts.
Sunlight is also known to worsen post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation , which appears as dark spots on the skin. In fact, UV protection is absolutely necessary to lighten PIH and other acne marks.
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Getting The Balance Right
So how can you enjoy the benefits of the sun while ensuring your skin is adequately protected from damage? The most important and effective way of protecting your skin is by wearing daily broad-spectrum sunscreen. If youre concerned about sun protection adding additional oil to your skin, then make sure you invest in a formula suited to your skin type. There are now a multitude of sunscreens to try that are matte and non-comedogenic and suitable for blemish-prone skin.
La Roche-Posays Anthelios range has been tested via clinical studies carried out in-vivo on subjects suffering from sun intolerances, particularly those caused by UVA rays. This showed that Anthelios products all have a high PPD factor. Anthelios Anti-Shine Face Mist, for example, is suitable for oily and blemish-prone skin and suitable for skin that is prone to sensitivity, sun-intolerance or prickly-heat and provides Exceptionally high broad, photostable UVA/UVB & Infrared protection.
Its also important to note that wearing sunscreen doesnt stop your body from absorbing that all-important vitamin D. Just 15 minutes of time outside, in addition to a healthy balanced diet, will give your body the amount of vitamin D it needs.
*Survey conducted on 267 dermatologists by La Roche-Posay in the UK, July 2019. The efficacy has been proven by a file of 16 clinical studies carried out by world-renowned expert dermatologists.
+A+A study of 78 consultant dermatologists Jan-March 2021. For more info
Acne Medications And Sun Sensitivity
Many common acne treatments cause photosensitivity with increased risk of sunburn, blistering, or rash with sun exposure or using a tanning bed. Your skin will incur more damage when exposed to ultraviolet light.
The types of acne medications that produce sun sensitivity include:
- Alpha hydroxy acids, often found in over-the-counter acne skin care products
Acne treatment procedures such as microdermabrasion, chemical peels, and laser treatments also may cause photosensitivity.
The mechanism of sun sensitivity for most of these treatments is that they increase skin cell turnover or remove skin cells mechanically, thinning the skin. This reduces the ability of the skin to protect against ultraviolet light damage.
Some of the drugs, such as the antibiotic doxycycline, absorb UV light and are chemically transformed in ways that then transmit this energy to the skin, causing damage.
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