Michigan Center for Skin Care Research, Dermatologist in Michigan
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Michigan Center for Skin Care Research, Dermatologist in Michigan
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Acne Q & A

The exact cause of acne is unknown but a number of factors contribute to flare ups, including genetics, hormonal changes and stress. Evidence suggests there is a link between diet and acne, especially diets high in carbohydrates and dairy products. Diet should not be used as a sole treatment for acne but low-glycemic index diets, along with other proven acne treatments may help.


Is acne caused by what I eat?
The exact cause of acne is unknown but a number of factors contribute to flare ups, including genetics, hormonal changes and stress. Evidence suggests there is a link between diet and acne, especially diets high in carbohydrates and dairy products. Diet should not be used as a sole treatment for acne but low-glycemic index diets, along with other proven acne treatments may help.

I wash my face often but I still get acne. Why?
There are multiple factors involved in the formation of acne lesions. One factor involves hair follicles unrelated to dirt, therefore acne can’t be simply washed away. Constant washing with products containing abrasives or exfoliators can do more to inflame acne. However, acne washes that include benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and sulfur compounds can improve acne lesions.

Does stress lead to acne breakouts?
Studies have shown that stress can worsen inflammatory skin conditions. Stress can cause the nerve endings in the skin to release chemicals that lead to inflammation, which may worsen acne. Stress reduction techniques, along with proven acne treatments recommended by your dermatologist may help.

What is the best way to treat acne?
There is no single best way to treat acne. Most first-line treatments include medicated face wash, topical antibiotic creams or lotions, and topical retinoids. When topical therapy is ineffective, or acne is severe or cystic, oral antibiotics and oral isotretinoin may be prescribed.

How can a research trial or clinical study for acne help me?
Finding the best combination of topical and oral medications can be time-consuming and costly. Participation in a clinical study offers you no cost, closely monitored treatment, provided by highly skilled research staff and physician investigators to ensure safety.