Acne is a problem that most of us face. Seeing pimples, blackheads or whiteheads on or around your face could be annoying. At times, you might not be able to help yourself in popping out that zit. Extracting those pimples, however, might not necessarily remove it. To understand how to deal with acne properly, it can help to know the following.
What exactly is acne?
Acne, which is scientifically known as acne vulgaris, is a skin infection that happens when pores get clogged up by oil from the skin itself, and/or by dead skin cells. Oil from the skin, which is called sebum, can protect skin from harmful bacteria. Glands produce the sebum in our hair follicles, which are called sebaceous glands. When the sebaceous glands get stimulated by hormones, the sebaceous glands tend to produce more sebum. The excess sebum then clogs the skin pores, causing acne.
Kinds Of Acne
It has not yet been determined what exactly causes acne, but there are many factors as to what may trigger it. Bacteria can grow in the areas where our hair follicles are clogged by sebum, causing the appearance of whiteheads or blackheads, which are known collectively as comedones (singular, comedy).
Comedones that are closed by the skin and are whitish are called whiteheads. Blackheads, on the other hand, are comedones that are opened. The reason why they are black is not that of dirt inside them, but because of oxidation, or it’s been exposed to oxygen.
In some cases, however, the build-up of bacteria can grow big enough to break the follicle wall underneath the surface of the skin. When that happens, the bacteria can spread to other areas of the skin, causing the development of bigger comedones, or pustules and/or papules. These types of acne are buried deep into the skin and could be harder to remove.
Pustules can be yellowish since they are filled with pus. Bigger papules are called nodules, while pustules develop into cysts. They form under the surface of the skin and cannot be regularly removed, and require the help of a trustworthy dermatologist.
What causes Acne Growth
When puberty begins, boys and girls start to produce a high level of hormones. Hormones are a significant factor in the growth of acne and this particular hormone is called androgen. Testosterone is one of these androgens, and they specifically signal the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum, thereby encouraging the production of more acne.
Your Everyday Habits
Before a severe breakout of acne can begin, it is best to prevent it from happening in the first place. Some of the following tips may be familiar to you already, but it helps to be reminded of them.
Here are ten everyday habits to avoid acne.
- Clean your face
Cleanliness is an essential factor in preventing pimples from appearing. Be sure to wash your face twice a day. However, washing your face more than that might hurt the skin so do not over do it. Wash the outer area of your face near or on your hairline and the jaw area; these areas of the face are oftentimes overlooked.
Gently wash the face. Use a mild soap and warm water to avoid skin irritation. Don’t forget to use either a soft cloth or your hands when washing. If you use something abrasive like an exfoliating glove or a rough towel, it may damage your skin.
Always make sure to rinse your face thoroughly, then dry it with a clean towel. Make sure that after using the towel, either wash it with soap or put it in the laundry. Same goes for the soft cloth you used for your face to avoid bacteria growth.
After washing your face, you can use a moisturizer. Some medicine for acne can cause the skin to dry or peel, so look for an effective, water-based moisturizer. Be sure to check the label for “non-comedogenic.” This type of cream can prevent new pimples from appearing.
- Avoid touching your face
Try not to touch your face too often, as the germs on your hands can spread quickly. What’s more, touching your face can irritate the skin, and cause it to be more inflamed. Popping out acne can provoke it to populate even more.
Avoid extracting your pimples with using your fingers. By doing this, the bacteria can easily spread underneath the epidermis causing pimples to grow bigger. Squeezing the pimples can also scar your skin, leaving it exposed and prone to infection.
Finally, try to avoid putting your cell phone on your face often, as your phone could have more germs than your hands have. Same goes for land phones, face towels, or anything else that is being in contact to your face. If you are not sure whether the item is clean or not, it’s best not to rub that particular thing on the face.
- Watch out for sunlight
Contrary to the myth that sunlight could get rid of pimples, sunlight can cause your skin to dry up and produce more pimples. The sun gives off ultraviolet (UV) rays, which can cause more redness and inflammation on your skin. Don’t stay under the sun too often, especially between 10 a.m. & 2 p.m., when the sun is at its hottest.
When you go out in the sun, wear protective clothing, such as a shirt with long sleeves, pants, sunglasses, and a hat with a wide brim. Either that or use an umbrella or a sunscreen when going out. The most effective of which is a broad-spectrum sunscreen, which can protect you from all kinds of UV rays. Apply it 20 minutes before going out. As with your moisturizer, look for a “non-comedogenic” label on the sunscreen, to avoid pimples to break out.
- Keep your hair clean
Try to avoid applying excessive hair products on the hair as these can spread to your face and plug the pores in certain areas. If you do use any hair products, then apply it prior to washing your face to remove any extra hair products that may have gotten on the skin.
Make it a habit to read the shampoo labels to find out if it contains ingredients that might irritate the skin. Again, look for “non-comedogenic” on the label of your shampoo or any other hair products to prevent all sorts of acne.
Studies show that stress may be connected to the growth of pimples. Find out what triggers stress at work and from home life. Don’t be afraid to open up to a trusted friend, or a family member about things or events that is bothersome.
Exercise is another way to cut back stress, detox the skin, and strengthens body and mind. Since exercise increases blood circulation, it provides skin cells with more oxygen and clears away waste. Adjust your schedule to include regular exercise. Although, do shower after cooling down from a workout. By doing this sweat will not stick to the skin which can inhibit bacterial growth from the pores.
- Watch what you eat
“You are what you eat,” is what we were told. Eating what is right will dictate the status of your health which includes your skin, hair, and nails. Your diet may or may not play a part in the appearance of acne but some beg to disagree.
Some doctors agree that chocolate, or other fat-rich foods, do not affect the growth of pimples. However, there are still some particular foods that can trigger breakouts. Examples are food which contains a serious amount of oil (i.e., fried foods, mayonnaise, butter), and food with milk or other dairy products. This may be true at some degree, however, what needs to be monitored is the amount of sugar that is in the food.
Sugar causes the blood sugar in the body to rise. Anything that contains starch is also a trigger since it immediately transforms itself into sugar once it goes into the system. Try not to overeat with sugar-based and starch-rich food as it can provoke more than just acne growth, it may also induce type 2 diabetes or other related diseases. Opt for more fruits and vegetables in your diet.
- Keep your beddings clean
When you sleep, all the dirt and oil on your face can leak onto your pillowcase. If you are serious about preventing acne, then consider this to be a habit. Change and wash your beddings, pillowcases, and blankets regularly.
Also, wash your face before going to bed. This will help remove all the dirt that accumulated on the face the whole day which will help keep your pillows clean until the next time you change it.
- Choose the right makeup
Some makeup can clog your skin pores and prompt acne growth. Not all makeup is hypoallergenic and uses minerals as ingredients. Makeup usually contains toxic ingredients that can harm the skin. Reading the label will always help in choosing the right product for your face.
If and when acne starts to appear, try to avoid wearing any kind of cosmetics on your face. Always wash the makeup off when the day is over to help the pores de-clog and breathe. Once more, look for “non-comedogenic” on the label of your makeup. Make sure that your makeup is oil-free, with no unwanted chemicals or dyes.
For those who are suffering from acne, these are helpful tips in treating this skin disorder. a good example is keeping your sheets clean. Over-the-counter medicine can also be beneficial but may have a few side effects, such as peeling or drying.
Ointments or creams containing benzoyl peroxide are used for treating mild acne, but you may need to apply it repeatedly to keep acne away. It may also take time for the medicine to come into effect.
Other non-prescription treatments include topical retinol gel (that prevents acne from forming at all), alcohol or facial toner (which are disinfectants), natural and herbal treatments, and certain ointments that have salicylic acid and sulfur as ingredients, to name a few.
If you think your acne is becoming a severe problem, or if you want to learn more about acne, then it might be time to consult a dependable doctor or dermatologist. There are also plenty of articles and tips on how to avoid acne on the Internet, so feel free to search for more ways to fight pimples.
Acne can be a big problem for most of us. It can make take away confidence, prompt depression, or cause low self-esteem. If you think acne is causing you problems in your social life, talk to someone who can help you overcome this. Better yet, visit a dermatologist to help cure the skin disorder.
Seriously dealing with acne to treat and prevent it is the key. Developing these habits and incorporating it into everyday life will bring results that will definitely help. Expect that the results may not appear in a week or two, but in doing this you will surely benefit from living a happy and healthy life. You won’t regret it for sure,