Updated 18 July 2014

Prevention of acne

Although it is difficult to prevent acne, certain things that could aggravate the condition should be avoided.


All of the following may aggravate acne:

  • greasy or oily cosmetics, namely preparations that leave your face shiny following application
  • antiseptic soaps
  • antiseptic scrubs
  • granular scrubs such as Brasivol
  • exfoliating implements such as Buff-Puff
  • topical cortisone-containing preparations such as Neo-Medrol lotion
  • squeezing of skin lesions
  • scratching of skin lesions
  • picking of skin lesion

There is no scientific proof that dietary supplementation or avoidance of certain foodstuffs in the diet improves acne. An exception to the rule is iodised table salt which may aggravate acne.

The benefit of sunlight exposure is limited.

Reviewed by Professor H.F Jordaan, MBChb, MMed (Derm)

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