Sunday, January 21, 2018

Acne Treatment – How to Decipher What Is Best for You

September 13, 2010 by  
Filed under Health Issues, Healthy Living, Parenting Advice

Acne is a common skin disease characterised by pimples, blackheads, whitehead, pinheads, large papules and possibly scarring. Breakouts occur most commonly on the face, neck, back, shoulders and chest.

Acne is most common during adolescence, affecting more than 96% of teenagers, and often continues through into adulthood. In adolescence, acne is usually caused by an increase in male sex hormones, which is accrued by both genders during puberty. Thankfully acne diminishes for most people over time and usually decreases and even disappears towards the end of their teen years. However this will be different for everyone and for some people it will take much longer to be totally clear.  In fact some people have some form of acne through to their mid thirty and even into their forties.

Treatments for the Skin

There are quite a few myths relating to the causes of acne and its treatment. However here are a few everyday tips of how to manage and even cure acne without radically changing their day-to-day lifestyle.

The first thing most people do when they have a breakout is to race down to the local pharmacist and buy a scrub or wash believing that will remove the breakout.  Well the fact is it may remove it temporarily but over time it will dry the skin and ultimately increase production of sebum and oils to replace what has been taken away.  So avoid these aggressive type scrubs.

What can you do with breakouts?

Apply ice to the reddened are.  Use some rose water to cleanse and then pat a little cornstarch or baking soda mixed with water over the area.  Not only will this soothe the spots but also draw out the infection and ease the pain and discomfort from the pimples.

Another good trick is to apply cucumber to the affected area.  This is an easy method of reducing breakouts and at the same time is quite inexpensive.  Place a cucumber into the blender and then apply it to the skin as a facial mask.  Leave for 30 minutes and the skin will feel fresh and clean without leaving any dryness to the skin.

 Avoid makeup as this can clog the pores of the skin causing more breakouts.  Often people try to cover the breakouts with makeup however it doesn't help to remove the offending acne.  

 Do not squeeze a pimple especially if it is above the mouth line.  While it isn't common I recall a young school girl who did this which resulted in acute meningitis (inflammation of the coverings of the brain) and subsequently died.  So avoid even touching the reddened areas as hands have oils and bacteria on them and will only add to the problem. Squeezing pimples can also cause acne scars, so well left alone.

For regular cleansing use rose water which is said to have anti-bacterial properties and is frequently used as a hand wash.

 Inner Health – how to treat and prevent further acne breakouts

Drink lots of water as the body needs to be well hydrated.  This advice is so often given but rarely followed and is such an easy fix.  A more common drink is milk in milk shakes and other forms however if there is an allergy to dairy then this drink will only aggravate the problem.  So drink at least 2 litres of water a day!

Overeating is another problem.  Teenagers get hungry and eat quickly to satisfy their hunger but it doesn't allow the brain to register that the body has been nourished.  So they keep eating so the body releases more hormones to help digest the food and as a result more pimples.  So eating small amounts and often is a good trick and avoid foods that aggravate the situation (see below).

 Foods to avoid

Avoiding dairy and gluten is often a good place to start.  Fatty foods is not particularly good either.  It is a good idea to steer clear of foods rich in sugar as these can cause problems too.

What about chocolate?  It has been said that chocolate causes pimples.  There are a number of factors relating to chocolate that are not good for people who have acne.  The first one is dairy, especially if the person has an intolerance or allergy to dairy.  Secondly, there is a high content of caffeine in chocolate (cocoa) that causes acne.  Thirdly, there is quite a high content of sugar and as mentioned above the body needs to release hormones to digest this and that affects the acne.  So not only avoid chocolate but also any food or drink that has a high sugar and caffeine content.

Food for Thought

Follow the 3 x 5 rule of 3 pieces of fruit and 5 servings of vegetables a day and these should include green leafy vegetables especially broccoli.

Eating at least 3 fish meals a week is generally a healthy protein choice, as it is lower in saturated fat, and has less total fat and calories than a comparable portion of meat or poultry.

Take a multivitamin daily to help supplement the daily intake of essential nutrients.  Unfortunately due to a number of reasons our food today does not have these essential nutrients even if we are following a really good eating program.

 Does Fasting Work?

It has been suggested that fasting will cure acne and to a certain extent this may be true.  However one would need to consider the consequences of such behaviour and the ramifications such as developing other health problems. Certainly restricting ones intake can possibly provide some relief such as a fruit breakfast, a salad lunch and steamed vegies and fish for dinner with copious amounts of water during the day would be far more beneficial than fasting.

 Food Allergies

Allergies can quite often be one of the major contributing factors for skin problems.  Foods containing dairy and gluten (found in flour) are frequently culprits.  Most young people love milk shakes and eat flour based products such as doughnuts, bread, cakes and all those yummy foods.  Sometimes giving up these foods is one of the hardest things for young people to do.  However for severe acne sufferers they will do this and a whole lot more to break the pattern of consistent painful breakouts.

 Knowledge is powerful

With a problem such as acne it is a good idea to keep up to date with as much information as possible.  For regular updates subscribe to the regular newsletters provided by

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