Acne is an affliction that plagues some 40 million to 50 million Americans, and if you think it is just teenagers who suffer from this malady, you are mistaken. Though teens make up the majority of persons afflicted with acne (80% of people aged 11 to 30), some people do not have an acne outbreak until their 30s and/or are still battling acne into their fifties!
For some people who breezed through puberty without a single pimple and now are either seeing a dermatologist or trying every over-the-counter remedy to battle their condition, the reason is simple – most likely the acne is stress-related. Stress is triggering the inflammation and resultant pimples. It’s difficult to eliminate stress once you reach adulthood… college, first job, working on a career, relationships, first house, children – even traffic. The list is endless and stress affects both men and women.
Acne for men or women
The acne malady in women is relatively easy to diagnose because women have it worse than men due to several factors: 1) hormones; 2) they usually wear makeup; and 3) they may not only have the career, but they are, in most cases, the primary caretaker and nurturer of the offspring.
For women, as to the acne malady, the most problematic trigger is wearing makeup. While most women won’t leave the house without wearing makeup, there are instances where women apply foundation or other makeup products early in the morning and it is there clogging up their pores many hours later. Sure… those women are still looking great, BUT… they may have attended a workout session at the gym and arrived home, makeup still in place, but still clogging their pores. Many women admit that they go to bed still wearing their makeup. That makeup is slowly seeping into the pores of the tender facial skin and staying put until washed off, perhaps a solid twenty-four hours after application. A quick face wash and then onto that clean facial canvas goes another round of makeup… so when does the skin ever get a chance to breathe? Well, eliminating makeup is sure a viable option, but, it goes without saying that most women are not willing to trade in products which serve to enhance their beauty and go au natural.
And hormones – well, unfortunately that is not under any woman’s control… it is what it is. If a woman decides to throw motherhood into the equation, there is not just the stress of mastering the work-life balance, but now factor in motherhood and the hormonal changes and added stress – no wonder why many women, with formerly clear skin and flawless complexions, now find themselves battling acne flare-ups and consulting with an expert like this top dermatologist right here in Short Hills, New Jersey.
Battle acne flare-ups
Of course you cannot totally eliminate stress from your life, and, often a product or hormones become a woman’s private battle as it relates to skin conditions, but, men and women can try to thwart acne flare-ups and further aggravating skin conditions with a few simple tips.
Monitor your diet
Scientists have spent years to determine what triggers acne in some people, besides the hereditary factor and stress. They have wisely come to the conclusion that certain food and beverages can indeed cause inflammation in the skin which leads to acne problems. Below you will see some of the items which may be considered acne triggers.
First and foremost, eating healthy not only benefits your skin, but your overall health as well. So, by enjoying a diet consisting of produce (fruits and vegetables), whole grains (in breakfast foods and breads), legumes (all varieties of beans), nuts (Brazil nuts, walnuts and almonds are best) and lean meat in moderation, you benefit your overall well-being and your skin.
But, although the above items are healthy choices, everyone tends to stray off that healthful path occasionally, and, if those forays are treats that are in moderation, it will not affect your overall health, but to be avoided if you are interested in reducing, if not eliminating, acne are:
- Cow’s milk because it spikes blood sugar. This increase in insulin levels is a two-fold problem: it leads to inflammation and pimples plus an increased production of skin oils.
- Sugar because it similarly creates a spike in blood sugar which could trigger an acne outbreak without hours. Sadly, sugar is found in many of the treats we enjoy like soda, candy and junk food. They all must go if you wish to enjoy clear skin. Milk or dark chocolate can also aggravate your skin, despite dark chocolate’s many oxidants and other health benefits.
- High-glycemic foods are more culprits that break down quickly in the body and wreak havoc with your blood sugar levels causing an insulin spike and triggering an acne breakout. These highly processed and “white” foods are to be avoided: processed breakfast foods and white bread, white rice, treats made with white flour like cookies and cakes, plus salty snacks like pretzels and potato chips. Substitute those items with low-glycemic foods like fruits and veggies and whole grains.
- Fast food creates inflammation in the body, so if you must go for convenience sake, swap the burger and fries with a salad. (Make a Whopper or Big Mac a once-in-awhile treat.)
Going forward, begin incorporating more fish, fresh fruits and veggies, as well as whole-grain products into your meals and snacks then secure a consultation with a dermatologist to tackle the acne problem head-on. Besides keeping your hair and face scrupulously clean, a dermatologist will suggest a regimen of skin-cleansing products that is tailored to your skin problem.