Teenage is that phase of life which marks the gradual change from childhood to adulthood. Teenagers today are faced with a number of issues like depression, academic problems, peer pressure, substance abuse, hormonal changes to name a few. All these take a drastic toll on the largest organ of the body i.e THE SKIN. One such dermatological condition which is troublesome during the teens is acne (pimples).
Acne is an inflammatory condition affecting the oil-secreting glands(sebaceous glands) of the body.
What causes Acne?
Acne is multifactorial in its causation. It can be due to:
1) Diet: There has been a lot of debate regarding diet is a contributing factor to acne. Recent studies have implicated its definitive role. Milk and other dairy products, chocolates, whey proteins, sugary foods (foods with a high glycemic index like rice, cornflakes, aerated drinks, ice creams, pastries) are known to aggravate acne.
2) Cosmetics: Oil-based thick, heavy foundations, concealing creams, certain moisturizers, hair gels and hair sprays are the common culprits in causing acne. They block the skin pores leading to the comedone formation (1st stage of acne). The lesions are usually seen over the cheeks and chin region. They usually don’t appear immediately after applying the product and in some cases may even take a couple of months before it is noticed.
3) Hormonal changes: It is very common amongst teenage girls. Many of them usually notice a pre-menstrual flare-up of acne lesions.
4) Certain medications (oral/topical) can also trigger acne/acne-like lesions.
TIPS TO TAKE CARE OF ACNE PRONE SKIN:
1) Keep your face clean by washing at least twice daily. Always use a mild, gentle facewash/cleanser by gently massaging in circular motions (avoid being too rough)
2) Never squeeze or pop your pimples no matter how big or ugly they are. This would avoid scarring and pigmentation once the pimples heal.
3) Never touch your pimples or for that matter your face repeatedly with your fingers, as the fingers contain a huge volume of microbes which would only lead to an aggravation of acne. Ideally, wash hands with a sanitizer before touching the face.
4) Always remember to remove any form of makeup before sleeping.
5) Use water based non-comedogenic (won't clog pores) products (be it moisturizers/foundation/ concealers). Also, avoid using hair sprays/ styling gels.
6) Wash hair regularly to keep the scalp clean of any sebum.
7) Dietary changes:
- Drink at least 3 litres of water every day to keep skin well hydrated.
- Foods rich in anti-oxidants like beta-carotene, selenium, lycopene and vitamins which are usually found aplenty in fruits and vegetables to be had generously
- Zinc has an anti-inflammatory effect and is good for acne-prone skin. Zinc-rich foods are whole grains, almonds, cashews, walnuts, seafood, fish, egg, meat and chickpeas.
- Foods rich in omega – 3 fatty acids like flax seeds, quinoa seeds, walnuts, seafood, soybeans are also very beneficial for reducing acne.
LASTLY, BEFORE TRYING ANY MEDICATIONS/PRODUCTS, ALWAYS CONSULT YOUR DERMATOLOGIST, BECAUSE YOUR SKIN DESERVES THE BEST!