by: Gina Charles D.O.
If you made through your adolescent years unscathed by the trauma associated with having acne, consider yourself extremely lucky. However, if you’re one of the countless people who suffered with bad acne either in junior high or high school, then file this frustrating skin condition under “things from my childhood that should never make a come-back.”
What causes acne?
What doesn’t cause acne? Everything from your diet, oily skin, environmental pollutants to allergies and stress can influence your propensity for developing adult acne. However, the main cause of acne is a bacteria called propionibacterium acnes, which live on the skin. When sebum or oil mixes with dead skin, these bacteria become trapped and form a plug. What follows is inflammation that results in pimples, blemishes and dreaded acne scarring.
Skin Care Tips to Unplug Pores:
- Use a cleanser on your pores with these key ingredients: salicylic acid (exfoliates and removes the layer of dead skin cells) or benzoyl peroxide (kills bacteria that causes acne and reduces flares) or alpha hydroxy acids (exfoliates skin).
- Switch to a quality skin toner that will help reduce appearance of blackheads
- Moisturize with a lotion containing salicylic acid or zinc (reduces inflammation) or retinol (derivative of vitamin A – unclogs pores and makes skin appear brighter)
- Reduce your exposure to sun damage by wearing sunscreen year round
- Exfoliate twice a week (Clarisonic® makes a really good mechanical exfoliating brush)
- Try a weekly sulfur mask to unclog pores
- For fresh pimples, spot treat with a dab of tea tree oil (kills bacteria and reduces inflammation) or salicylic acid
5 Simple Ways to Prevent Acne:
- Wash and change your pillowcases weekly
- Cleanse your makeup brushes weekly
- Do not touch your face throughout the day
- Wipe your cellphone with antibacterial wipes
- Avoid squeezing or “popping” your pimples no matter how tempting it is.
Try a “Pore Diet”:
- Avoid eating and drinking foods high in carbs
- Drink at least 8 glasses of water daily
- Do consume foods high in omega 3 fatty acids and zinc (beans, nuts, whole grain)
- Incorporate some fresh fruits and vegetables into your daily meals
Key advice: give your new skin care regimen and diet time to work before you abandon them all together.
Living with acne, especially as an adult, can be embarrassing, frustrating and sometimes life altering but it doesn’t have to be a life sentence. If you find that all your attempts at treating acne to be ineffective, consider scheduling an appointment with your primary care physician or dermatologist for medical treatment.
Dr. Gina Charles (Dr. G) is a Family Medicine Resident Physician in Harrisburg, PA. She is also a Makeup Artist for brides and cancer patients, Skincare Professional, and Global Philanthropist. Dr. G aims to enhance natural beauty, promote self-esteem, and provide information about various skin conditions.
For more info, visit her Website: www.drgmakeupartist.com
Facebook @Dr.G Makeup Artist
Information in this article is for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended to provide medical consultation or serve as a substitute for medical advice provided by a physician or qualified medical professional.