Posted July 19, 2016 in Blog
The occasional pimple is a normal part of most people’s lives, but when random blemishes turn into an ongoing acne problem, it can be frustrating. Acne is notoriously difficult to treat yourself—and even when you’re doing everything right, it can feel like there is no rhyme or reason to your breakouts.
But did you know there are a number of surprising factors that are linked to acne? Looking into the causes may help you reduce the severity of your breakouts. Here are five likely culprits.
1. FOODS WITH A HIGH GLYCEMIC INDEX
If you suffer from cystic acne, you may want to think twice the next time you indulge in foods high in carbohydrates, such as white bread, potato chips, white rice, or sugary sodas. According the studies published by the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, patients with acne tend to have significantly higher glycemic index and load levels compared to the control group.
Watch the sugar and refined carbs, and if you are hypoglycemic or tend to have higher glucose levels, talk to a medical professional.
2. TRIGGER FOODS
While each person reacts differently to food, there are some common items on this list that are known to trigger the onset of acne for some people. So, if you can’t seem to defeat acne cysts, try eliminating some of the following foods two at a time to see if your skin improves.
Items containing dairy, such as milk, cheese, or butter, can increase levels of insulin in the blood, leading to hormonal changes that prompt the arrival of pimples.
Additionally, foods with high levels of carbohydrates and fats, including french fries, rice, bread, potato chips, pizza, or nuts, can trigger bad breakouts. That’s because fat and refined carbs can both increase sebum production in your skin and cause an inflammatory response.
Final word? It’s best to consume a diet rich in whole, unprocessed foods, including plenty of fresh vegetables.
3. HORMONAL CHANGES
When our bodies experience a major change, whether that is pregnancy, menopause, or even stress, normal hormone levels in the body can get out of whack—and these changes can result in acne. For example, androgens, the male hormones present in both genders, can contribute to pimple flares by overstimulating oil glands and increasing excess levels of sebum. These factors can clog the pores, resulting in irritation and inflammation.
A healthy lifestyle goes a long way towards mitigating hormone fluctuations. Exercise regularly, get enough sleep, watch caffeine & alcohol intake, and eat a whole food-based diet. Healthy fats like avocados and wild fishes such as salmon or mackerel are high in omega-3 and can do wonders for your overall health.
4. YOUR SKINCARE PRODUCTS & COSMETICS
The typical woman switches her skin care brands an average of five times per year. This may not sound like a problem, but skincare is not something you can be finicky with. Most products can take a month or more to start working—and if you’re switching products when you don’t see immediate results, you may actually be harming your skin. Additionally, it will make it that much more difficult to determine which products work best for your skin type and concerns.
Once you do find the right products for you, it’s important to use them appropriately. What works at night, such as more moisturizing products that contain oils, may not work for daytime use. Be sure to wash your face daily with a cleanser recommended for acne patients.
5. YOUR GENETICS
Unfortunately, if you have an immediate relative who struggled with acne, there’s a pretty good chance you will as well. How likely you are to respond to stress or hormone levels, inflammatory substances, sebum production, and your glycemic index can all be affected by your genes.
Though you can’t do much about the genes you inherit, you can find out from your family members what they did to make it better. And even if your relatives don’t have helpful advice, sharing your family medical history with your doctor can help guide your treatment plan.
WORK WITH A PROFESSIONAL TO COME UP WITH A CUSTOMIZED GAME PLAN
In addition to trying the above methods for lessening breakouts, working with a professional to clarify and nourish the skin can greatly improve its health and appearance. A customized mixture of professional skincare products and treatments can significantly change your skin for the better!
If you’re curious to learn more about how to treat acne, we invite you to contact us today. We would be glad to help develop a treatment plan tailored to your unique needs.