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Acne is a chronic skin disease that affects teenagers and young adults. Although many treatments are available for acne, such as benzoyl peroxide, antibiotics, etc., these treatments do not cure acne but only suppress the symptoms. The acne lesions often recur despite good treatment adherence. In addition to this, other factors cause breakouts, such as menstrual cycles in women and stress levels, etc. Therefore, a healthy lifestyle is essential for anyone who has acne or wants to prevent it from occurring.
Acne is caused by several factors, which are discussed below:
1) Hormones: Androgen’s hormones are responsible for acne. These hormones cause oil glands to produce sebum, an oily substance that moisturizes the skin and hair. On puberty, the levels of androgens increase, stimulating these glands to secrete more oil on the face leading to pimples. This hormonal process is called ‘Seborrhea’ or ‘Oily Skin.’ Seborrhea can occur in women with menstrual cycles due to fluctuating hormone levels. As women age, the level of estrogen decreases, which is why older women tend to have drier skin compared to younger ones
2) Stress/Psychological factors: Psychological stress often results in increased oil secretion on the face, leading to acne. Recent studies show that high-stress levels can cause sebum overproduction, which is why some girls get acne around their menstrual cycle. The hormone cortisol present in saliva has been studied to see its association with acne. The cortisol levels were usually normal in patients before bedtime. Still, during early morning hours, there were a sharp rise in cortisol levels at 4:30 am, similar to peak cortisol release times after 1 hour of waking up, which possibly contributed to increased oil production and acne formation due to stimulation sebaceous glands.
3) Poor hygiene: Washing your face often does not prevent you from getting pimples. It makes it worse because when you wash your face, the particles of dirt and oil removal irritate the skin as it stimulates sebaceous glands more to produce sebum. In addition to this, harsh soaps may lead to inflammation which worsens acne.
4) Cosmetics: Many women use makeup daily, and some even apply these products before going to bed at night. It has been seen that cosmetics increase the production of oil on your face, thus worsening acne. Makeup can be classified into two types: Oil-based and water-based. The best way is not to wear any makeup until your acne goes away, increasing cortisol levels in your body. You can also try using noncomedogenic or less comedogenic cosmetics which do not clog pores and theoretically do not cause acne.
5) Clothing: Tight clothes, mainly made of synthetic fibers, may lead to friction and increase acne formation. Sweat blocks pores and makes it hard for the sebum to come out, thus worsening the problem. Sleeveless shirts and skirts would be advisable for such patients.
6) Caffeine: Caffeine is found in tea, coffee, chocolate, and even certain sodas. It stimulates sebaceous glands to produce more oil which can lead to acne formation.
7) Dietary factors: Some foods have been seen to affect the hormonal balance leading to increased acne formation. These are as follows:
8) Sugar- A high sugar diet leads to insulin resistance that causes the adrenal gland overproduction of hormones, resulting in sebum overproduction. Insulin also increases testosterone levels, thus increasing the amount of oil on your face.
9) Milk products– Some people believe that excessive consumption of milk products results in higher sebum production leading to breakouts, but this has not been proven yet.
10) Lack of sleep: Lack of sleep may cause sebum overproduction leading to increased acne formation.
11) Oral contraceptives: Oral contraceptives lead to sebum overproduction, and this may worsen the condition.
So, all these factors need to be kept under consideration while treating acne. A proper diet plan which includes healthy food items is essential for clear skin. Other medications are prescribed based on the severity of each case of acne. For example, if you have mild acne, a topical treatment can be used, which needs to be applied to the affected area at night and washed off in the morning. If you have moderate acne, then both oral and topical treatments are prescribed. Oral contraceptives may be recommended for those patients who suffer from severe acne. Changes in lifestyle and habits help in preventing acne. So it is essential to living a healthy life and avoid all the factors that contribute to acne formation.
The following steps will help you achieve this:
1) Drinking lots of water – Keeping yourself hydrated helps your body function generally by transporting nutrients throughout your body and flushing out toxins through sweat. It also helps keep your skin clear and glowing.
2) Eating healthy- Start your day with a nutritious breakfast containing fruit, whole-grain cereal or bread, milk, and yogurt. Whole grains also contain certain essential fatty acids. Avoid eating fried items because they lead to an increase in oil production on the face. Include fresh vegetables and fruits in your diet as they are rich sources of antioxidants that help fight free radicals, thus preventing aging and cancer-causing cells from building up in the body. Also include lean proteins like egg whites, nuts, beans, and legumes, which improve digestion and boost metabolism, ultimately leading to weight loss, reducing stress levels.
3) Getting rid of stress- Stress is one factor that leads to an increase in oil production and acne formation. Relaxation techniques like meditation, yoga and pranayama help reduce stress levels, thus leading to average sebum production.
4) Sleeping well- A good night’s sleep gives you twice as much energy as a cup of coffee does. It also improves your skin tone by flushing out toxins through sweat during sleep, nourishing your skin from within. Your skin repairs itself when you are sleeping, so sufficient rest is essential for clear skin.
5) Drinking green tea: Drinking at least 10 cups of green tea daily reduces the amount of excess sebum on your face resulting in decreased acne formation. Green tea contains catechins which help in killing the bacteria causing acne.
6) Using apple cider vinegar- Mix a few drops of organic unfiltered apple cider vinegar with water to make a toner which you can use over your face after washing it. The acidic nature of ACV acts as an antibacterial agent and lightens acne scars.
7) Sunbathing: Getting some sunlight every day helps improve body serotonin levels which boost mood, reduce stress, and increase energy levels helping you lead a happy life without any skin conditions affecting you.
8) Exercising- Do not engage in strenuous physical activity because this may increase oil production, leading to increased production of hormones by the adrenal gland resulting in breakouts. However, exercises like yoga, jogging, cycling, and walking help keep stress levels under control resulting in clear skin.
9) Showering regularly- Make sure to shower at least once every day using medicated cleansers that contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Showering also enhances the penetration of medications through the skin, making them more effective.
10) Using an anti-acne serum/night cream- Use topical products that treat acne breakouts by killing acne-causing bacteria and unclogging pores. You can ask your dermatologist for recommendations to buy anti-acne products depending on your skin type.
11) Using sunscreen- Sun damage leads to increased production of free radicals making the skin age faster. Sun exposure also leads to hyperpigmentation on the face. So wear sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher every time you step out so that your skin remains healthy and smooth.
12) Using acne medication – If simple lifestyle changes are not enough to treat your acne, ask your dermatologist for medications like tretinoin cream 0.025%, which reduces acne formation by sebum production exfoliating dead cells from the top layer of the skin, and reducing bacterial growth.
13) Avoiding smoking- Smoking has been linked with various skin conditions like premature aging and skin cancer, among others, so avoid smoking if you want to keep your skin smooth and flawless.
How can a healthy lifestyle prevent acne?
Adopting a healthy lifestyle like improving your diet, lowering stress levels, exercising regularly, getting adequate sleep, etc., can prevent acne because these factors help prevent hormonal imbalance, which is the leading cause of acne formation. A healthy lifestyle will also provide you with clear skin that you have always wished for.
A healthy lifestyle can prevent acne. Hormonal imbalance is the leading cause of acne formation as it leads to an increase in oil production and clogging of pores. Adopting a healthy lifestyle helps prevent hormonal imbalance by keeping stress levels low, promoting good sleep, etc. A healthy lifestyle also provides your skin with the necessary nourishment and hydration that it needs leading to clear skin.
What is the relationship between a healthy lifestyle and acne treatments?
Though having a healthy lifestyle is necessary for clear skin, combining this with your acne treatment routine is advisable. For example, undergoing laser therapy twice every week will not give you maximum results if you eat junk food regularly. It is also an unhealthy habit that can expose you to various skin-related issues. So, suppose you are undergoing acne treatments that include laser therapy, microdermabrasion, chemical peeling, etc. In that case, it is advisable to improve your lifestyle by adopting healthy dietary habits and leading a stress-free life. This will provide you with maximum results compared to following an unhealthy lifestyle, making these treatments less effective on your skin.
When should you start following a healthy lifestyle?
The sooner, the better! If you have acne, it is time to adopt a healthy lifestyle as quickly as possible. You can consult a dermatologist first if you need more information about changing your lifestyle to get clear skin. Your lifestyle has a significant influence on the efficacy of acne treatments. So, by improving your lifestyle, you can speed up recovery from acne breakouts compared to following an unhealthy lifestyle. If your lifestyle is healthy, it will also enhance the overall health of your skin, which means that you do not have to rely solely on topical acne treatments.
How to start a healthy lifestyle?
It is not difficult to adopt a healthy lifestyle as all you need to do is make small changes in your daily routine, improving your overall health and helping you get rid of acne breakouts. You can also follow some simple guidelines like drinking six liters of water every day and following a healthy diet. Water helps flush out toxins from your body, while a healthy diet provides your skin with essential nourishment and hydration.
The benefits of adopting a healthy lifestyle are magnified when you follow this routine and acne treatments like laser therapy, microdermabrasion, etc. If you have been wondering why your acne treatments have not been effective, it is time to make some changes in your lifestyle. You can consult a dermatologist who will guide you on the diet and lifestyle changes that you need to bring about to get rid of breakouts once and for all.
With lifestyle changes, you can opt for homeopathic acne treatment:
Homeopathic treatment for acne consists of a mix of natural herbs and chemicals that have been used for centuries to get rid of acne breakouts. If you are wondering how these remedies work, it is enough to say that they promote faster healing from acne while providing your skin with hydration and nourishment.
In homeopathic acne treatment, natural ingredients are combined in various ways to treat acne from within. You do not have to worry about the side effects of homeopathic acne treatment, as most people well tolerate all these supplements. The best part is that this type of treatment treats the root cause of your acne, which means faster recovery with lesser skin issues in the future. You can opt for homeopathic acne treatment to get rid of your problem with minimum side effects. If you wonder how to choose the right kind of homeopathic doctor for acne treatment, you can book an appointment through OHO Homeopathy now!