Acne is a common skin condition that affects people of all ages. While the exact cause of acne is unknown, several factors can contribute to its development, including genetics, hormonal changes, diet, and certain medications. One potential cause of acne that is often debated is dry skin. So, does dry skin cause acne?
There is no definitive answer to this question as acne is a multi-factorial condition with many potential causes.
However, some studies suggest that there may be a link between dry skin and acne. One study found that people with dry skin were also likely to develop acne. Another study found that using a moisturizer to alleviate dryness can help to reduce the severity of acne.
What are the causes of dry skin?
There are many potential causes of dry skin, including:
- Weather: Cold, dry weather can strip the skin of its natural oils, leading to dryness.
- Hot showers: Taking hot or long showers can remove the natural oils from your skin, making it more prone to dryness.
- Harsh cleansers: Using harsh face and body cleansers can strip off your skin’s natural oils, thereby increasing your risk of developing dry skin.
- Medications: Certain medications, such as those used to treat conditions like psoriasis (e.g. acitretin) or acne (e.g. retinoids), can cause dry skin.
- Skin conditions: Some skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis, can cause the skin to become dry.
- Age: As we age, our skin produces less oil, which can lead to dryness.
- Heat sources: Wood-burning stoves or central heating can make the air dry out, causing dry skin.
- Dehydration: Drinking less than you should drink for your gender can cause dehydration, which in turn can cause dry skin.
- Genetics: Some people are just genetically prone to having dry skin, even in the absence of other potential causes of dry skin.
Before we look at ways to manage dry and acne-affected skin, let’s quickly talk about acne and how it’s linked with dry skin.
Anyway, what is acne about?
Acne is a skin condition that is characterized by the presence of pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads. Papules, pustules, nodules, and cysts can be seen in moderate to severe forms of acne.
Acne occurs when the hair follicles become clogged with sebum (an oily substance produced by the sebaceous glands) and dead skin cells. The presence of bacteria, e.g. Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes), can also contribute to the development of acne.
There are many potential causes of acne, including genetics, hormonal changes, diet, and certain medications. As for whether dry skin causes acne, it is often debatable but studies have demonstrated a link between dry skin and acne.
So, does dry skin cause acne?
How does dry skin cause acne?
Dry skin can cause acne because it can lead to the overproduction of sebum. When the skin is dry, it can send signals to the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum in an attempt to moisturize the skin. However, this excess sebum can end up clogging the hair follicles and leading to the development of acne.
How can you manage dry and acne-affected skin?
If you have both dry skin and acne, it is important to manage both conditions to achieve clear, healthy skin. Here are some tips on how to do so:
1) Use a gentle cleanser:
Choose a face or body wash that is gentle, non-foaming, and soap-free. Avoid using harsh cleansers that can strip the skin of its natural oils and make dryness worse.
2) Avoid hot or long showers:
Hot water can remove the natural oils from your skin, so opt for lukewarm water instead. Try to keep showers short (i.e. no longer than 10 minutes) to avoid further drying out your skin.
3) Use a moisturizer:
Apply a moisturizer to your skin after cleansing, while it is still damp. This will help to replenish lost moisture and protect the skin from further drying out. Be careful when using occlusives for dry skin, such as shea butter and lanolin, as they can clog your pores and increase your risk of acne. Use moisturizers with emollients (e.g. fatty acid and ceramide) or humectant (e.g. aloe vera and hyaluronic acid) instead.
3) Choose non-comedogenic products:
Look for skincare and makeup products that are non-comedogenic, meaning they won’t clog pores. This is especially important if you have oily or acne-prone skin.
4) Drink plenty of water:
Water helps to keep your skin hydrated from the inside out, so make sure you’re drinking enough each day. The recommended daily intake is 8 glasses of water for women and 10 glasses for men.
5) Use a humidifier:
If the air in your home is dry or during winter, consider using a humidifier to add moisture back into the air. This can help to prevent your skin from drying out.
6) Use sunscreen:
Make sure to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 when you go outside, even on cloudy days. Sun exposure can dry out your skin and make acne worse. See examples of broad-spectrum sunscreen suitable for dry acne skin
By following these tips, you can help to manage both dry skin and acne, giving you the clear, healthy skin you deserve.
7) Anti-acne skin care product:
There are many anti-acne skincare products available on the market. If unsure of what product suits your dry and acne-affected skin, consult with a skincare specialist or dermatologist to choose one that is suitable for your skin type and needs.
When you have moderate to severe acne on dry skin
Prescription medication may be necessary to get your acne under control. If over-the-counter treatments haven’t worked for you, talk to your dermatologist about your options.
Some prescription medications that can be used to treat acne include:
- birth control pills.
Your dermatologist may also recommend other treatment options, such as laser therapy or chemical peels.
If you have moderate to severely dry acne skin, it is important to see a dermatologist for treatment. With the right treatment plan, you can achieve clear, healthy skin.
Bottom line: All about dry acne skin
As there are so many possible factors that can cause or trigger acne, dry skin can potentially cause a breakout, though the exact relationship is not fully understood.
Potentially, your dry skin can trigger the overproduction of sebum to compensate. If you have both dry skin and acne, it is important to manage both conditions to achieve clear, healthy skin. Be sure to use a gentle cleanser, avoid hot or long showers, moisturize regularly, apply sunscreen regularly, stay hydrated, use a humidifier if the weather is dry and choose non-comedogenic anti-acne skincare products.
Consult a dermatologist for prescription-strength products or treatment plans, if over-the-counter products don’t work, or if you present with moderate to severely dry acne skin.
Thanks for reading! We hope this article helped answer the question, “Does dry skin cause acne?” We’ll appreciate your comment in the comment box below.