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The Real Deal on Zits

No matter how many nasty zits you pop, they keep coming back. Acne can show up on your face, neck, chest, back, shoulders and even your upper arms. It's not just teens who get pimples - even your parents can get them! The bad news is, teens usually have to put up with it for several years. The good news is, you'll eventually grow out of acne.

Birth of a Blemish

Acne shows up as whiteheads, blackheads and painful bumps called cysts. It usually begins around puberty, when both guys and girls produce more hormones. This increased hormone production causes the oil glands of the skin to get bigger in areas where acne is common. Cells that are close to the openings of oil glands block the opening and a buildup of oil happens under the skin. Bacteria, which normally don't bother your skin, feast on this oil, multiply and cause areas close by to become red, swollen and full of pus. And that is how your average pimple is born.

The Good News

  • Acne isn't caused by your diet. Scientific studies show there's no connection between eating junk food, like chocolate and fried foods, and those awful zits. But, stocking up on healthy stuff like fruits and veggies can definitely help clear up your skin.
  • Acne also has nothing to do with poor hygiene. Acne isn't caused by dirt, so scrubbing your face really hard will only make pimples worse! The best approach is to gently wash your face with a mild soap (Cetaphil works really well) and then carefully pat your skin dry.

The Not So Good News

Acne starts at around age 11 for girls and 13 for boys. Acne is hereditary, so if your parents had acne when they were young, the chance is greater that you will too - what a bummer! If this is the case, visit a dermatologist who will be able to prescribe a temporary drug to get your breakouts under control.

Check out these tips on zapping your zits!

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How Do You Get Rid of Zits?

  • I pop 'em.
  • I ignore them.
  • I use acne-fighting cleansers and creams.
  • Zits? What zits?

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