Why Old Pillows Cause Skin Breakouts

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Why Old Pillows Cause Skin Breakouts

* Experts recommend you change your pillow every 6 months

* Oil, Dust and Dirts are a contributor to acne and spots

Pillows are something we tend to get attached to and barely change. Think about how long you’ve had your current pillow for? Do you even know how long it’s been on your bed?

Considering that this is an item that comes into contact with us for up to 8 hours every day, some care should be taken. Do you wash your face regularly and take care of your skin? Are you still experiencing breakouts on your face? Are they particularly on the areas that are in contact with your pillow? Then this explanation might explain your predicament.

According to the founder and director of The Centre for Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery, Dr. David E. Bank, this condition is officially known as acne mechanica. Acne mechanica refers to acne that forms as a result of dirt, dust or oil transferring to your skin from an object or material coming into contact with your face. This dirt goes on to clog the pores on your skin and eventually, this leads to blemishes.

Taking an old pillow into consideration, and all the years its lives on your bed, this naturally leads to an accumulation of dirt, dust and oil from your face. The result of this accumulation can lead to break outs on your skin. Most people, however assume that this has more to do with the material used on the pillow or in the pillow. This may be the case for a small group of people with very sensitive skin, but in most cases, it is probably a case of acne mechanica.

Preventive Measures

How do you prevent this from happening? Replacing your pillows is very important to remove the build up of dirt, dust and oil from your bed.

Short term solutions are as follows:

  • Always avoid sleeping in make-up or with an oily face or very oily hair. All this dirt seeps into your pillow. If possible, you could try wearing something over your head when going into bed to reduce the dirt going into your pillow.
  • Use pillow cases on all your pillows. The protective layer offered by the pillow case reduces the amount of dirt that goes into your pillow. Ensure your pillow cases are made from natural fabrics and clean them every week to avoid any recurrence of acne mechanica from the pillow cases.
  • Wash your face regularly and particularly before sleeping. This will ensure your pores aren’t blocked and moreover, no dirt will go into your pillow.

For long term solutions, the two main questions are:

  1. Can pillows be washed? Some pillows can be washed but do check the care labels beforehand.
  2. How often should you change your pillow? According to the director of the Sleep to Live Institute in North Carolina you should change your pillows every 6 months.
  3. In case of persistent acne, be sure to consult your dermatologist on the best cleansing treatments for your skin.

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