The Complete Guide To Acne Breakout And Skin Health
Acne breakout is sure to happen at some point in our lives and whether it comes from factors such as hormones or stress, they are not a critical issue. Nowadays there are lots of home treatments and ways in which one can get rid of acne.
An acne breakout is a very common disease that gets more dangerous in adults. It occurs whenever the pores of the skin get clogged with oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria.
Main Causes Of An Acne Breakout
Here are the main causes of an acne breakout:
An imbalance in your hormonal glands may be the primary cause of acne. To be more specific, a sudden rise in androgen levels can lead to acne breakouts. And this is the exact thing that happens with adolescents, who are more prone to an acne breakout.
Also, the hormonal changes that appear in a pregnant woman can lead to acne.
Some doctors claim that if one of your parents had severe problems with acne during their life, you’re also exposed to them.
3. Certain Medications
Medications that can rise your androgen levels should be avoided. These include androgen and lithium-based medications.
The place you’re living in is the trigger for either your health or your sickness. Keep your house clean, avoid polluted areas, and periodically get a breath of fresh air while hiking or jogging in the park.
Eating too many foods with a high glycemic index might be the cause of your breakouts. These high GI foods are:
- White bread;
- Corn products;
- White rice products;
- Bran flakes;
- Instant oatmeal;
Living a stressful life with problems and mentally demanding jobs is not the best way to acne-free skin. What’s worse is that stress leads to acne, and acne can lead to anxiety, depression, and social withdrawal.
If you’re using a lot of cosmetic products to hydrate and lighten your skin you should be careful and avoid the greasy ones. They may be the cause of your acne breakout.
Did You Know That…
…60 Million Americans have active acne. That’s almost 20% of the population.
…80% of adult acne cases occur in women. That’s because women have a higher level of androgen hormones than men.
…40% of those suffering from acne do nothing to treat it. That’s because in some cases it’s self-healing. But this doesn’t happen in all cases of acne breakout.
…75% of people between 11 and 30 years old will develop acne. That’s because we all have acne-causing bacteria living on our skin.
…90% of people seeking acne treatment showed 50% improvement in 3 months.
…The most common areas of the body affected by acne are the face, chest, and back.
Types Of Acne Breakout
Even though you call it just acne, the breakout on your skin can be of 6 different types:
They are very small and stay under the surface of the skin.
They are really visible, rise to the skin’s surface and look like black dots. You should avoid scrubbing the blackheads on your skin.
Papules are small, tender pink bumps that are visible on the surface of your skin.
They are red at the bottom with pus on top.
The large, painful pimples deep in the skin are called nodules.
Cysts are much like nodules, but they are filled with pus. This type of acne breakout can cause scars.
Top 3 Acne Myths
Here is the most untrue advice people are following to get rid of acne breakouts:
1. Avoid eating chocolate and drinking soda, because they are causing an acne breakout. FALSE
2. Wash your face a hundred times a day to prevent acne. FALSE
3. Pop the pimples to make them disappear faster. FALSE
Acne Prevention Tips
Even though acne can’t be totally avoided and we might get it at some point in our life, here are the tips that help prevent acne breakouts:
1. Eat Healthier Foods
We already covered this. High glycemic index foods are not an option. So what should we eat? Go for foods that have a low glycemic index:
- Whole wheat bread;
- Oat products;
- Converted rice;
- Sweet potato;
- Lima/butter beans;
- Fruits, except melon and pineapple;
- Non-starchy vegetables.
2. Exercise Daily
Exercise regulates hormone levels, delivers oxygen to skin cells, and carries cellular waste away. So get your daily dose of exercise to prevent acne breakout as much as possible.
3. Find Ways To Deal With Stress
Stress is the culprit for most of the 21st century’s diseases and illnesses. So being able to manage stress nowadays is like finding a cure for aging.
Do yoga or tai chi, meditate, try deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation, go get a massage; do anything that could help relax and relieve the stress.
4. Get More Sleep
Every hour of sleep loss increases psychological stress by 14%. And you already know that stress means acne breakout. So make sure you sleep enough, at least 7-8 hours per night should help you fight acne.
5. Hydrate From The Inside Out
Drinking 2 liters of water daily greatly increases blood flow throughout the body and skin during the entire day. If your skin is glowing, acne won’t pop!
Acne breakouts can be treated! It’s not science, it’s just common skincare. If your skin is healthy, you won’t have to deal with acne. Below you can find the best self and medical treatments for acne:
1. Home Remedies
The internet is full of home remedies for acne breakout and picking the best one might give you a headache. We’ve already covered this subject in a previous article, so it might be worth checking it out below:
2. Over-The-Counter Topical Treatments
Most over-the-counter products that fight acne breakouts may contain the following active ingredients in different concentrations:
- Resorcinol – works best for whiteheads and blackheads.
- Benzoyl Peroxide – cleans the infected pores.
- Salicylic Acid – treats swelling and inflammation, and it works best for whiteheads and blackheads.
- Sulfur – is a great antibacterial agent that works best for whiteheads and blackheads.
- Retin-A – helps to unplug the blocked pores.
- Azelaic Acid – stops oil eruptions at the base of the hair follicle and reduces the growth of the bacteria in the infected area.
3. Prescription Topical And Oral Treatments
In more severe cases of acne breakout, the dermatologist will prescribe medication such as:
- Oral antibiotic – reduces the growth of the bacteria in the infected area.
- Intralesional corticosteroid injection – treats an inflamed cyst to avoid scarring.
- Isotretinoin – treats a severe cyst.
- Oral contraceptives – treat the acne breakout in some women.
- Topical antimicrobials – reduce the growth of the bacteria in the infected area.
4. Cosmetic Procedures
If prescription treatments didn’t work, there are some cosmetic procedures you can follow to get rid of acne. Here are the main cosmetic procedures for acne treatment:
- Light therapy – kills the acne bacteria by exposing the affected skin to blue and/or red light.
- Heat therapy – similar to light therapy, but the bacteria is killed by exposing it to heat instead of light.
- Steroid injections – mostly used for painful cysts.
- Chemical peel – removes dead skin cells that clog the pores and form whiteheads or blackheads.
- Extraction – mostly applied to cysts, but pay attention that a cyst extraction leaves scars.
Although these cosmetic procedures might look handy, they’re painful too. Or at least some of these methods have side effects such as:
- Too light skin tone;
- Thinner skin;
- Visible blood vessels.
Acne Alert Signs
Always consult with your doctor regarding any health issues you might have. This is the golden rule of prevention.
Now if you’re stubborn and want to try a home remedy to get rid of acne, bear in mind that there are some signs that alert you to get professional advice. You should see your dermatologist if:
- Over-the-counter and self-care measures haven’t helped after several months of treatment.
- Your acne is getting worse after a few days of treatment.
- Scars develop after acne clears up.
If one of your parents had severe acne and/or scaring you should also seek for dermatologist’s advice. In most cases, severe acne breakout is hereditary.
Hopefully, this crash course to understand, prevent and treat acne breakouts will be your guide throughout your journey to clear things out with acne.