ZocdocAnswersDoes dehydration have anything to do with acne?

Question

Does dehydration have anything to do with acne?

I work outside all day and sweat quite a bit. Lately, I've had some bad acne on my neck and back. Could being dehydrated be making me break out? Does dehydration have anything to do with your skin?

Answer

You are on the right track here with linking your sweating and working outside all day to the recent worsening of your acne. However, it is not the dehydration that is causing the problem. Rather, the sweating and outside work is leading to an increased accumulation of skin secretions, dirt, and dead skin debris on the surface of your skin, which is subsequently clogging your pores. The clogged pores are what turn into acne if the blockage is not released. In order to solve this problem, it may be enough simply to pay better attention to skin hygiene - bathing or showering and gently exfoliating your skin every night after returning from work. If this does not work, you may want to add a comedonolytic ("debris remover") chemical to your skin care regimen. Common comedonolytics include benzoyl peroxide and salicyclic acid; these can be found in multiple over the counter acne creams and preparations. If these methods don't work, then I would suggest that you go to see your primary care doctor or your dermatologist who will be able to suggest stronger, prescription strength acne fighting medications. Good luck dealing with this issue!

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