Acne is one of the worst things that can happen to a teenager.
Acne can make you have low self esteem, force you to seclude yourself as you see your friends with unblemished skins carrying themselves confidently everywhere.
No matter how worse your acne is, there’s always a solution.
But first, you need to identify what is causing them. Read on to find out…
Depending on the Type of Acne, you have, there will be different things that you need to pay attention to to achieve clear skin.
Are you suffering from Light, Moderate or Severe acne?
1. Light Acne
You can treat them at home too. Soak a towel in steaming water. Squeeze to let go of the extra water and place the towel on your face. Your acne will now become soft. Now pop them out lightly. Do not press them too hard.
2. Moderate Acne
Papules and pustules are the most common type of acnes. Papules are red bumps on the skin. They develop when sebum and dead cells block your skin pores and cells around those pores get severely inflamed.
Pustules are papules with white heads on the top. Do not try to pop them or else you will be left with permanent scars.
Salicylic acid and Benzoyl peroxide solutions are commonly used to treat papules and pustules. While the former helps to get rid of dead cells, the latter kills bacteria growing inside those pimples.
3. Severe Acne
Do you have white and red hurtful bumps on your skin, especially on your cheeks?
Those are either nodules or cystic acnes. A pimple develops at first which traps sebum, dead cells and bacteria inside. All these together clog your skin pores. Then an infection flares up deep inside. These bumps are painful to touch and can leave a permanent scar if you try to pop them.
Androgens are said to responsible for cysts and nodules. That’s why men get them more than women. Girls get cystic acne when their androgens increase, especially when they are suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome.
Accutane or Isotretinoin is commonly used to treat nodules and cysts. Spironolactone also serves the same purpose. Creams or gels with Retinoid unclog the pores and help in faster healing.
How Many Times Should You Wash Your Face?
Washing your face twice a day is the healthiest for your skin. People with acne tend to be more finicky about keeping their faces clean. But this has an unwanted effect.
Your skin gets stripped of essential oil is secretes. Your skin glands produce extra unnecessary oil that clogs pores.
Moreover, the acid mantle, a protective layer of the skin made of oils and good bacteria breaks. Your skin becomes dry, itchy and irritated. Not something you would want!
Washing your face once a day is not a healthy habit as well.
Picking At Your Skin Will Aggravate The Acne
This is a dangerous habit you must get rid of. Popping a pimple might be beneficial at times, but not always.
The pus spreads over the nearby skin cells and clogs them.
To make it worse, the bacteria infect the neighbouring cells.
So a large surface area becomes vulnerable. Now the acne becomes more difficult to control.
Don’t Expose Your Skin To Sunlight
You must have heard that sunlight helps with the acne problem.
This is an absolute myth.
You know why?
Because the sun helps in generating more melanin pigment and as the skin gets darker, your acne don’t stand out.
Meanwhile, the sun has also dried up oil on your face, making your skin dry. The sebaceous glands now secrete more oil to protect the skin. Your pores get blocked, resulting in worse breakouts.
Acne gets inflamed by the warmth, resulting in hyper-pigmentation and your acne scars get darker.
Then how do you protect your already acne-prone sensitive skin?
Use SPF creams that are made for acne-prone skins. They are usually labeled non-comedogenic meaning they won’t block pores. It’s good to use them during daytime; even on cloudy days as UV rays can penetrate through clouds.
Read This, If You Swim
As you know, chlorine is used to keep pools clean. But as you swim, chlorine dissolves away oil from your face. The skin becomes dry and itchy, resulting in overproduction by the oil glands.
Does it mean you can never swim?
Absolutely not. Put on 30+ SPF cream (because sunlight and chlorine work together on your skin while you are swimming) before getting into the pool. Wash it off your face when you get out of the water.
Read This, If You Exercise or Hit The Gym
It goes without saying that workout helps in flushing out toxins by improving oxygen circulation through blood. We also know that sweating, which is unavoidable, mixes with sebum to aggravate acne.
Here are some simple rules to avoid acne caused by workout sweating –
Wash your face after workout. Do not put on any cream before workout.
Avoid warmer environment while exercising.
Are Your Sugars Higher Than Normal?
Do you know how higher sugar levels cause acne?
When excess glucose is present in your blood, the body pumps additional insulin hormone to reduce it to normal.
This extra insulin prompts more androgen (male hormone) secretion, which in turn causes hormonal imbalance and consequently acnes pop up.
Here’s a quick infographic on acne diet:
Want to use this Infographic? Just, copy and paste this code into your blog.
At a later stage, the body develops insulin resistance. Now more insulin needs to be pumped and your body is trapped in a vicious circle.
The best way to avoid high glucose level is to:
Cut down on eating sugary items, processed foods, sweet drinks etc.
Eat plenty of fresh vegetables and proteins.
Take 5-6 small meals a day.
If you do not know whether you sugar level is normal, get it checked at a clinic.
Higher blood sugar is accompanied by certain symptoms like frequent urination, blurred vision, unexpected weight loss, increased thirst and so on.
For Women: Absent or Irregular Periods? Read This
There can be several reasons behind irregular periods. If they are infrequent, you are likely to have PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. PCOS happens due to imbalance between Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH).
The most common symptoms include facial hair growth (due to increased androgen production), unwanted hair growth on other parts of the body, acute pain in the pelvic region during periods, weight gain etc.
It’s best to visit a doctor in this case. Doctors commonly recommend birth control pills to restore hormonal balance.
If You Have PCOS or Hirustism, Read This (Off Topic)
If you are aware that you have PCOS or Hirsutism, you must have visited a doctor already. If you haven’t, it is best to visit a doctor and get your treatment started immediately. Ovarian cysts can become big enough and need to be operated out.
Irregular periods due to PCOS can make it difficult to conceive in the future.
As of the hair growth, many doctors prescribe medicines with Danazol and Minoxidil. You can get rid of unwanted hair by shaving with a razor or electric shaver regularly (I say regularly, because you want to avoid stubble growth).
Sorry for straying off-topic, but I felt you should know.
Bloating, Gas, Indigestion, Abdominal Pain and Other Digestive Disorders Can Cause Acne
Bloating gas, heartburn and other digestive symptoms can have a negative impact on your skin. When digestive enzymes and hydro-chloric acid are not secreted enough, stomach finds it difficult to digest food.
Although the exact cause is not known, it is believed that undigested food causes stomach irritation that affects other organs and glands.
There are very simple ways to treat these kinds of digestive problems.
Start with having simple meals to find out what food items cause bloating gas and heartburns.
Avoid drinking carbonated drinks because carbonic acid disrupts the functioning of HCL.
Drink water one and half hours after a heavy meal, because you do not want to dilute your enzymes and make digestion difficult for them.
If You Suffer From Constipation
There is a close relationship between acne and constipation. When faecal matters containing toxins do not leave our body, a part of those toxins get released through skin pores.
Apart from that, our body also excretes extra estrogen through faeces. And when our body can’t eliminate it, estrogen gets reabsorbed resulting in hormonal acne. If your acnes are more on the jaw line and chin, it means you have hormonal acne.
Constipation can be cured by having plenty of fiber rich foods. Oats, muesli, raspberries, bananas, apples are rich in fibers. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water.
Drink at least 2 liters of water every day. It softens stool and helps in smooth bowel movement.
Emotional and Mental Stress Can Cause Breakouts
A recent research has found out that stress can worsen acne.
Cells producing sebum are linked to stress receptors. So when you are stressed out, more sebum is secreted and the existing acne get worse.
It’s natural to have negative emotions when you have acne.
You don’t feel like socialising or going to school because you fear you will be laughed at. You think pimples are enough for people to judge you.
The truth is, there is no reason why acne should interfere with your social life.
Having acne doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. If you are feeling too conscious about yourself, get your acne treated by a dermatologist.
The faster you heal, the faster your stress disappears.
Antibiotics Worsen Your Acne? Read This
There are two reasons why acnes can worse with antibiotic intake.
One reason is you are allergic to certain chemicals like sulfurs and cyclins (they are present in many acne-controlling antibiotics).
The other reason is that after a prolonged period of acne-eliminating antibiotics course, more powerful bacteria grow on your skin which are resistant to the antibiotics.
The best way is to let your skin heal slowly by application of topical medicines; not to mention developing healthy eating habits and lifestyle correction.
Acne Located In Hair Line, Jaw or Forehead?
If you have acne on your forehead, it could be because of your bangs causing irritation to your skin. If you are using too much of products on your hair, acne will likely appear n your forehead.
Another cause of pimples on this region is stress.
Do not put too much of product in your hair. If you do, avoid its contact with your forehead.
If you have acne on forehead during exams due to stress, keep salicylic acid cream handy.
Bottom line is, stress induced pimples can be gotten rid of easily and you need not worry about them too much.
If you have acne on your jaw line and chin, hormonal imbalance is behind it.
Doctors are likely to recommend Spironolactone tabs to lower your testosterone levels.
However, healthy eating habits and light exercise can save you the trouble of hormonal imbalance.
But, What to do, if you have…
…Acne On Other Areas As well
Although facial acne is the most common type of acne, around 60% of acne prone people get them on their back, chest and ears.
If you have acne on your ears, drink plenty of water because acne on this area is caused by imbalance in the kidney. Avoid carbonated beverages for better results.
Your back and chest also have sebaceous glands just like your face and that’s why acne appears here too.
To prevent back and chest acne breakouts, try wearing clean cotton clothes that are not too clingy. Carry light bag packs to avoid unnecessary friction on your back. Over the counter creams containing salicylic acid, resorcinol etc can get rid of back acnes easily.
Before You Go!
There’s no need to be ashamed of yourself because of acne. Statistics shows around 80% of people aged between 11 and 30 get acne.
After reading this Guide, you now know what has gone wrong to give you such distressful acne.
Don’t let your breakouts ruin your life. With proper treatment and patience, you are bound to get back your flawless skin.