According to the American Academy of Dermatology, acne is the most common skin condition in the United States, affecting fifty million people.
If you have acne, you probably get your share of unsolicited advice about how to take care of your troubled skin. You’ve heard it all from “don’t eat fatty foods” to “exfoliate daily with a homemade oatmeal face scrub.” And you’ve probably tried everything, too hoping to find that one magic cure.
There’s No Miracle Cure for Acne
Sadly, there’s no miracle cure for acne. What works for one person might not work for another, which is why much of the advice you receive doesn’t help your skin. The reason why is because there are many different causes for acne including hormones, excess oil production, clogged hair follicles, bacteria, even medication & stress.
Diet & Acne
The jury is still out on whether diet affects acne. Some studies have found a connection between acne and a high glycemic diet. Sugar and processed carbohydrates spike blood sugar. Over time, this causes insulin resistance, which then affects sebum production.
One diet that has gotten a lot of attention in recent years because of its effects on longevity is the calorie restriction diet. But despite its many benefits, studies have yet to demonstrate that caloric restriction helps with the treatment of acne.
However, most experts seem to agree that the standard American diet isn’t great for your skin. If you have troubled skin, its best to play it safe and eat healthy. This means avoiding sugary and fatty junk food as much as possible.
Skin Care Tips for Acne Prone Skin
The American Academy of Dermatology suggests that you wash your face twice daily. This is especially important if you have oily skin with hair follicles that tend to get clogged. Regular cleaning removes excess oil and prevents clogged pores and hair follicles.
When you wash your face, do it gently, don’t scrub. Scrubbing your skin only irritates it and makes your acne worse. Use a good oil-free moisturizer with SPF protection after washing. Don’t forget to wash anything that touches your face regularly like pillowcases and hats.
Some dermatologists recommend using retinol-based products which are made from vitamin A. These products get rid of dead skin cells and work to prevent clogged pores. There are many over-the-counter, retinol-based skin care products from which to choose.
If you have tried several over-the-counter products and nothing seems to be working, it’s time to see a dermatologist. He or she will diagnose the cause of your acne and prescribe treatment accordingly. The treatment could be topical antibiotics and/or oral antibiotics for acne that is caused by bacteria, or maybe even a stronger, more effective prescription version of a Retinol-based product to treat excess oil production.
Having acne prone skin is a common problem that affects millions of people; it’s particularly distressing for teens. And all of the unsolicited advice from well-intentioned people can make the emotional impact even worse. However, acne is a medical condition and, like any other ailment, is totally treatable. Ongoing treatment coupled with proper skin care can reduce the physical and emotional toll of living with acne prone skin.