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Teens with acne told not to wash often

Oct. 7, 2012 at 11:40 AM

DALLAS, Oct. 7 (UPI) -- A U.S. dermatologist advises teens plagued with acne not to wash their faces too often -- in fact, that may make it worse.

"Don't wash your face too often," Dr. Kent Aftergut of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas said in a statement. "Acne isn't caused by dirt, so frequent washing won't help, and scrubbing instead may irritate your skin to make acne even worse."

Those affected should wash no more than twice a day using a medicated face wash containing salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide -- available in products purchased over-the-counter -- Aftergut recommended.

However, a dermatologist could prescribe more powerful treatments for acne that doesn't clear up, Aftergut said.

Aftergut said recent data showed teens who eat a diet high in dairy products and sugar might worsen acne. High sugar consumption can also stimulate the body's production of certain chemicals that drive acne and milk contains hormones that can do the same, Aftergut said.

Teens need some dairy to provide calcium and vitamin D so dermatologists don't recommend stopping these, just consuming in moderation and maintaining a balanced diet, Aftergut said.

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