6 Common Skin Problems (And What to Do About Them)

Acne 1 of 7

No doubt you've experienced the horror of a zit popping up in the middle of your forehead on picture day--it is estimated that around 80% of people between 11 and 30 have experienced acne in some form at some point in their lives. This makes acne the most common skin problem, but also among the least serious.

What is it? Acne has a range of seriousness and forms (blackheads and whiteheads are not as serious; papules, pustles, nodules, and cysts indicate a more serious outbreak). All forms of acne are caused when the skin's passageway to the oil glands is clogged. This can be caused by:

  • excessive oil production
  • wearing clothes that are too tight
  • exposing the skin to other sources of bacteria, such as a dirty telephone or pillowcase
  • dead skin cells that clog pores
  • bacteria called P.acnes

How to treat it: Treatment of acne depends on the severity. Over-the-counter treatments, such as those made by Clearasil and Clean and Clear, can be used for mild cases. Prescription topical treatments prescribed by a doctor are used for mild to severe cases, and a prescription pill or combination of pill and topical treatment is used for the most severe cases.

You can prevent or lessen the seriousness of an outbreak by:

  • not picking at the lesions
  • keeping your stress in check
  • using skin products that do not clog pores

Diet and hygiene do not affect acne outbreaks, which is good because I refuse to believe that chocolate could be a culprit behind such a thing!