Arm yourself with tips to treat and prevent acne – the bane of a pretty face.
Acne is the most common skin problem people of all races and ages suffer. But it is most common in teenagers and young adults. An estimated 80% of all people between the ages of 11 and 30 have acne outbreaks at some point, and some people even in their 40s and 50s get acne. In pregnant women, hormonal shifts like progesterone increases the sebum production, leading to skin breakouts and acne.
Here Dr Maya Vedamurthy, MD, RSV Skin and Laser Centre, Chennai, tells you all you want to know about acne – its causes, treatments and prevention.
X Acne is a chronic inflammatory disease of the pilosebaceous units, characterized by seborrhoea, formation of comedones, erythematous papules, pustules, nodules, cysts and scarring.
X Genetic factors, hormonal factors (higher levels of male/ androgenic hormones) polycystic ovaries, psychological stress and depression, excessive corticosteroids, high humidity and excessive use of cosmetics like foundation, moisturizers and pomades can cause acne.
X Excessive dairy products, meat protein and sugar in the diet can also be a trigger. Diet low in zinc or high in iodine can worsen pustular acne. Certain drugs like steroids and anti-tuberculosis medication can also cause acne.
Treat acne with:
X Topical antibiotics –Erythomycin, tetracycline, clarithromycin, doxycycline.
X Ointments – Clindamycin, benzoyl peroxide, azelaic acid.
X Topical retinoids – Retinoic acid, adapalene, tazarotene.
X Chemical peels and dermabrasion can also help.All the treatments should be done under expert guidance.
DIY TIPS TO TREAT ACNE
X Dilute tea tree oil with water, and apply on the affected areas.
X Drink green tea; it has anti-microbial and antioxidant compounds that can help fight acne.
X Apply honey on face. The natural probiotic and anti-bacterial properties of raw honey effectively reduces breakouts and prevents the formation of new acne.
X Mint has anti-acne properties which dries up the acne and cleans up the pores. External application of crushed mint leaves can lighten blemishes.
X Chamomile oil has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. When applied topically, chamomile oil can help reduce inflammation associated with acne, razor bumps or irritation.
X Aloe vera gel promotes healing and reduces scarring.
X Lemon acts as an exfoliant, skin lightener, and a disinfectant. Apply lemon juice to reduce the appearance of scars and prevent the formation of new pimples.
X Apple cider vinegar exfoliates the skin and treats acne.
X Wash your face twice daily with a gentle cleanser, to prevent pimples, blackheads and whiteheads.
X Avoid touching them frequently.
X Use water-based skincare products and cosmetics, or products marked as ‘noncomedogenic,’ which means they won’t clog your pores.
X Protect your skin from the harsh sunrays by using an oil-free sunscreen with an SPF 30.
X Pull your hair away from your face, as oily hair can exacerbate your acne.
X A balanced diet will keep you and your skin healthy.
X Relax, because stress can flare up acne.
X Choose oil-free cosmetics
MYTHS ABOUT ACNE
X Acne is something that only happens to teenagers.
X Acne is caused by lack of hygiene.
X Acne only affects the face.
X One should not wear makeup while suffering from acne.
X Acne is contagious.
X Exposure to the sun improves acne.
X To relieve acne, scrub your face really hard
X Don’t scrub aggressively.
X Don’t squeeze or pick pimples.
X Do not leave makeup on for a long time. Cleanse your face thoroughly before bedtime.
X Avoid direct sunlight.