Why Acne Can Worsen in the Summer

 Why Acne Can Worsen in the Summer

Acne is a common skin problem that can be caused by many different triggers. Knowing which triggers can cause flare ups can help you to take preventative measures to stop them from occurring. The dermatologists at the Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute are here to help you learn more about acne, acne causes, and acne treatments.

How Acne Is Caused

Nearly everyone at some point in their life has been affected by acne. Most are likely to have experienced it in their teenage years, but it is not uncommon to experience it in your 20s and 30s too. Acne is caused by a change in hormone levels, which is why it is most often experienced as a teen when those changes are occurring. As hormone levels rise, extra oils and excess skin cells are produced. They cause blockages in the oil glands and result in acne. Other causes of acne include excessive sweating, medications, diet, and stress.

Excessive sweating from the hot sun in the summer or exercising can cause clogged pores and can cause acne to worsen. The heat and sweat cause a buildup of oils resulting in whiteheads and blackheads. It is recommended that after you come in from a hot day in the sun or from exercising, you shower to avoid the buildup from occurring. Certain medications such as those with corticosteroids commonly result in acne as a side effect. A bad diet or a diet fueled by empty carbohydrates can also cause a blockage of the pores. Lastly, too much stress can cause your pores to clog up and produce excess oil, resulting in acne. If you have acne, it is important to see a dermatologist who can help provide acne treatment options.

Acne Treatment

Acne medications work by helping to reduce oil production, the main cause of acne. Treatments can include topical medications, oral medications, or facial therapies. Common topical medications include retinoids, antibiotics, and salicylic acid. Retinoids are applied nightly, and the sun should be avoided when it is being used. Antibiotics may be prescribed to help reduce inflammation and redness that occurs from acne. They should be used in conjunction with benzoyl peroxide for the best results. Products that include salicylic acid may also be used in more severe cases of acne.

Oral antibiotics are mostly used in moderate to severe cases of acne and are not meant to be used long term. Oral contraceptives can also help to clear up acne but can only be used by women. Oral contraceptives are a long-term solution.

Facial therapies such as light therapy or chemical peels are effective in acne removal and clearing up acne scarring. Light therapy involves applying a medication to your skin and then sitting under a UVB light. Chemical peels use salicylic acid to help improve acne and acne scarring. Several treatments will be needed to continue seeing results. Many of these treatments can be combined or tried separately to see what works best and provides the best results.


Summer is right around the corner, and we don’t want your acne to flare up. If you have questions and are in Bloomington, Illinois or the surrounding areas, complete this form and a dermatologist from the Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute will be in touch.

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We look forward to serving you. Please let us know who you are and what kind of skin care services you looking for, and we will be in touch to schedule your appointment.