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Why Are Some Acne Itchy?

Updated: Jun 12

Acne can occur in different areas of the body, including the T-zone, jawline, chin, cheeks, and even the back. Each area may exhibit various types of acne, such as whiteheads, blackheads, and inflamed acne. It's important to understand the different types of acne and their characteristics.

While acne is commonly associated with healing difficulties and inflammation, it's worth noting that some individuals also experience itch. This can cause additional discomfort and distress. This article aims to shed light on the causes of itchy acne and provide guidance on how to address it effectively. Understanding the underlying factors and implementing appropriate strategies can help alleviate the itchiness associated with acne.

An irritated woman scratching her red face


Causes of Itchy Pimples

Experiencing itchy skin alongside visible symptoms like pimples and redness can add to the pain, discomfort, and stress associated with acne. Understanding the causes of itchy acne is crucial.

Acne occurs due to excessive sebum production in the skin, which can be triggered by factors such as hormonal imbalances and dryness. This overproduction of sebum creates an environment favorable for the growth of acne-causing bacteria, like Cutibacterium acnes. The combination of excess sebum, dirt, and bacteria can clog pores, leading to the formation of comedones. As the condition worsens, these comedones may become inflamed, resulting in pustules and potentially cysts.

Itching often occurs due to a lack of moisture in the skin. Dry skin has a compromised barrier function, making it more susceptible to external irritants. When acne is accompanied by itching, it indicates that the skin's barrier function is further diminished due to dryness.

Dry skin is more sensitive to external stimuli, increasing the likelihood of itching. In addition to acne, other conditions such as heat rash, hives, or eczema may coexist, and seeking dermatological treatment is recommended if symptoms persist and do not improve.

How to deal with itchy pimples

Itchy acne is generally more likely to occur when you have dry skin. Being more vulnerable to external stimuli, dry skin usually has a reduced barrier function. Taking steps to prevent dryness and reduce inflammation can relieve discomfort caused by itchy acne.

While many people focus on removing excess sebum to address acne, it is important to note that excessive removal care can be counterproductive when dealing with itching. To prevent dryness and alleviate itching, it is crucial to maintain a healthy balance between the skin's moisture and oil levels.

Incorporating moisturizing steps into your daily skincare routine after cleansing is essential. Use a toner, milky lotion, and cream to provide hydration and nourishment to your skin. If you prefer a more streamlined approach, you can opt for an all-in-one product that combines the benefits of a lotion and cream in a single application. This minimizes the need for excessive touching or layering of multiple products, delivering sufficient moisture to the skin while reducing potential irritation from applying multiple products.

2. Cooling

Itch can be calmed by soaking the skin in cold water and gently wiping it with a tightly wrung hand towel or towel.

If itch persists despite moisturizing and other self-care measures, you may want to consider using medication. Drugstores and pharmacies sell over-the-counter medications that can be used to reduce itching and inflammation suitable for itchy acne.

If a pharmacist is available at the store, you should consult with the pharmacist to select the right product. It is also advisable to visit a dermatologist or doctor about your skin condition and obtain medication that matches your symptoms.

Schedule a consultation today and start your acne recovery journey today.

Tips for preventing itchy acne

This section will cover the different preventative measures for itchy acne. Incorporating these measures into your daily life could help prevent itchy acne from further worsening or forming in the future.

1. Prevent dryness with daily moisturizing care

Acne is caused by excessive sebum secretion, but dry skin with little sebum may also be sensitive and prone to acne. To achieve trouble-free skin, be aware of the need to maintain a balance between the skin's moisture and oil content. To achieve this, it is important to prevent dryness on a daily basis through appropriate skincare. Daily skincare should deliver sufficient moisturizing ingredients to the stratum corneum to achieve moist and trouble-free skin.

Woman with clear skin applying facial cream on her cheek

2. Review skincare items

If you are keeping up with a moisturizing skincare routine but are still experiencing acne and other skin problems, the ingredients in the cosmetics and skincare items you use may not be suitable for your skin. Use products that are paraben-free, alcohol-free and non-comedogenic especially if you have sensitive and acne prone skin.

3. Improve lifestyle habits

Disruptions in lifestyle habits can affect hormone balance and lead to excessive sebum secretion. If you are aware that you are suffering from nutritional imbalance, lack of sleep, or constipation, these may be the cause of your acne. All of these lifestyle factors play a part in causing an imbalanced gut and skin microbiome, causing skin diseases such as acne and dry skin. A well-balanced diet, moderate exercise, stress reduction, and adding probiotics to your diet could help regulate the gut and skin microbiome over time. Additionally, allergy testing to learn about your condition and taking vitamin C and B supplements to make up for lacking nutrients can also be effective.

Prevent acne by preventing dryness

Dry skin is a significant factor that can contribute to itch. It's essential to maintain a well moisturised skin as it builds a strong skin barrier and good skin resillence. Using skincare products that are high in moisture can effectively keep the skin well hydrated throughout the day.

Furthermore, maintaining a balanced hormonal and microbiome environment is crucial for healthy skin. This balance can be influenced by diet and lifestyle factors. Pay equal attention to your food choices and sleep habits, in addition to maintaining a clean and moisturized skincare routine.

It's important to note that inappropriate acne treatments can delay recovery and potentially lead to acne scars. If self-care measures do not show improvement, it is recommended to seek professional advice from a dermatologist or doctor promptly. They can provide tailored treatments or prescribe medication that is best suited to your specific skin condition, helping you achieve the desired results.


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