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As the weather warms, we’re breaking out of our shells and spending more time outside.
But for some people, the longer time outdoors – whether gardening or working out or playing sports or any other activity – and increased sweating might also lead to another, less desirable, type of breakout.
Whether you call them pimples, zits or acne, the pink bumps, occasional lumps, and blackheads and whiteheads of acne are more than just a part of growing up. For millions of Americans, acneis not simply a teenage phenomenon, but a persistent annoyance throughout life. For many others, the inflamed and irritated bumps can cause not just teenage embarrassment, but lifelong scarring.
Treating acne centers on a few basic principles: First, be gentle with the skin; next, address the inflammation; and, finally, deal with the abnormalities that lead to the development of those pesky blackheads and whiteheads.
In addition, one of the most important aspects of care is knowing what not to do. Picking, rubbing, scratching, squeezing and scrubbing are all bad ideas, and I usually suggest that patients throw out their loofah sponges or washcloths.
If you step back for a moment and think about the causes of acne, this makes sense; despite the admonitions of generations of mothers, acne is caused not by dirt or diet, but by inflammation and increased production of an oily substance called sebum.
Since inflammation is such an important root cause of acne, doing anything that has the potential to increase inflammation and irritation – like scrubbing, rubbing or picking at the areas – actually has the paradoxical effect of making the acne worse, not better.
- FOODS AND ACNE
I am often asked about what foods should be avoided by people with a tendency to develop acne.Theoretically, diet does not play a major role in the development of acne lesions, and the old warnings about chocolate and soda causing acne are probably not really relevant for most people (though, to be fair, the original study denying the relationship between acne and chocolate was very small and sponsored by – yes, you guessed it – the chocolate industry).
That said, for a minority of people, certain foods actually do exacerbate acne; everyone responds differently, so people should monitor what their triggers are and avoid known ones.
- FACE WASHING
- How to wash your face: Gently!
The only tools you need are a water source, your hands and soap. I favor an antibacterial bar soap, though other special washes designed for acne should work just fine.
For most people, fancy toners and expensive multi-product systems are unnecessary. Rinse water onto your face, lather the soap onto your (clean) hands, gently soap your face, then gently rinse off with water.
You can then pat your face dry with a towel. Incidentally, these directions apply to those who have acne on the chest and back – gentle washing followed by patting dry with a towel. No vigorous towel drying, please.
Prescription medicines for acne fall into three broad groups: creams to address the causes of the problem, antibiotic pills to treat the inflammation and, in advanced cases or when scarring is a major problem, an oral medicine, which has a powerful effect on acne but may have serious side effects.
Our mission is to provide useful information that motivates you to take action to improve the health of your skin: MAY 24th, 2017 by Admin