Acne can be a discouraging skin condition especially when outbreaks happen right before an important event. With the start of a new school year upon us, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Yazan Alghalith,offers tips on helping you clear up troublesome acne to ensure a successful start to the new term.
Although hormones and stress are key factors in acne development, skincare is as well. Other factors like progesterone or testosterone production also play prominent roles in advancing the acne condition. Teenagers often deal with a combination of stress and hormonal acne production, and it’s often difficult to distinguish between the two. Acne commonly appears on the forehead and cheeks; however, hormonal acne typically develops on the patient’s chin.
What causes acne?
A variety of factors lead to acne, with an increase in oil production for teenagers playing a major role in that age group. Although many false claims exist, major contributors include the following.
Plugged Oil Ducts
When the skin’s oil ducts are clogged with dead skin cells and oil, whiteheads and blackheads form causing an inflamed skin tone and a bumpy texture.
When a teenager experiences puberty, the skin will increase in skin cell production, inflammation, and oil production – all of which lead to acne. With puberty, a big surge in acne-causing hormones like androgens trigger your oil glands on the upper chest, shoulders, back and face to produce more oil. Hormonal changes during a female’s menstrual cycle can flare acne as well, often along the jawline.
Acne can come from your family as well. If either of your parents dealt with acne issues as teenagers, there’s a good chance you will as well.
Bacteria and inflammation
There are certain bacteria on the skin which thrive in oilier areas like the mid-face and chest, and can trigger inflammation. These are another driver of the pink, annoying acne bumps.
What Worsens Acne
- Skipping skincare regimens before school
- Thick or oil-based makeups, such as liquid foundations
- Allowing the remnants of a sweaty face to remain for long periods
- Constantly wearing tight hats for extended periods of time
Here are some helpful hints from Dr. Alghalith, to help prevent acne breakouts during the school year:
Let’s face it, school is stressful with all of its social and study pressures. However, keeping your mind and body active can minimize your stress levels. Staying ahead of your studies and finding positive, energetic friends can help. Also, playing a sport or physical activity you enjoy is a great stress release. These activities will also help your brain function better, too.
A healthy skin care regimen will go a long way to help reduce or eliminate those embarrassing acne outbreaks. At Burt & Will, we have an extensive arsenal of skincare products designed to treat your acne condition. These medical grade acne products will help ensure you have the best school year possible with the clearest complexion possible.
The Right Diet
Sometimes the right diet is not what you eat, but rather what you don’t eat. While the science behind the perfect acne diet isn’t crystal clear, there are some general measures which are both healthy for you and could help cut back on the pimple outbreaks.
A few things to cut back on if acne has you down:
- High-Glycemic Foods – Food which your body breaks down quickly to trigger blood sugar production will cause inflammation and hormonal changes, both of which encourage acne. Foods like white bread, pasta, processed cereals, white rice, chips, cakes, and cookies. On the contrary, consider eating low glycemic foods, such as high fiber fruits, green vegetables, whole grains, lentils and sweet potatoes. These tend to also be better for your heart.
- Sugar – Unfortunately this is rampant in all those sweet treats – the candies, canned sodas and many energy drinks. Take a look at the nutrition label and you’ll be shocked at how much manufacturers can pack in a little can!
- Dairy and cow’s milk – This is a little softer of an association, but the thought is milk spikes blood sugar, which increases inflammation and insulin levels, which then heightens the production of sebum (skin oils). Most commercial milk comes from pregnant cows and contains hormones which may trigger sebum production.
Seek Dermatologic Treatment
A visit to a qualified dermatologist is important to ensure you get the best possible skin care and avoid those stubborn acne breakouts. It’s important to treat acne early as scarring can happen from even minor blemishes. With the best medical-grade skincare, prescription medications, and fine-tuning of your home routine, even the worst acne can be brought to its knees. You have enough to worry about with the school year – we’ll help make sure acne isn’t on that list.