As back-to-school approaches, stress levels may rise, and teens are more likely to develop acne. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, more than 40 percent of adolescents have acne or acne scarring. Teenagers are more susceptible to acne because of their hormone levels and stress. Crystal Wellman, a master aesthetician and owner of Crystal Clear Acne Clinic, shares five tips to reduce acne flare-ups this school year.

“Most teenagers’ acne clears up in the summer months as their stress levels decrease,” affirmed Wellman. “Unfortunately, the anxiety of going back to school brings back their acne conditions. If possible, it’s best to limit your stress, but it is not always easy.” Keep in mind these five tips to reduce acne:

  1. Don’t touch your face with the front of your hands. Your hands touch everything and carry lots of germs, and can spread the germs to your face and cause clogged pores. Constantly touching a pimple will lengthen the healing time and can spread acne to other parts of your face.

  2. Don’t pop your pimples. Remember, bacteria are contained in that pesky acne spot and they can spread, causing more acne. It’s best to be patient or leave popping pimples to a professional.

  3. As sports seasons and your gym classes start up, you’re producing more sweat in your workouts. Sweat irritates skin and adds to the increased rate of acne. Be sure to take a shower, or at least wipe off your face immediately after playing your sport.

  4. Wash, but don’t overwash your face with harsh chemicals and scrubs that may leave your skin irritated. For optimal skin care, use a gentle exfoliator and toner.

  5. Eat healthy. It’s not an easy feat for a high school or college student, but eating certain foods can help your pores. Avoid bread and refined grains.

Milk products keep your skin healthy. Drink water. Staying hydrated helps your skin heal faster. The best step is to visit an acne specialist to determine the best treatment for your acne.

Have a great school year!