With the exemption of those who are very blessed, almost everyone had acne at some point in their lives. Acne seems to flare up with the most rotten of timing. For some of us, this bane of teenage skin persists into adulthood.
There are a lot of factors that play a role in acne breakouts, including hormones, age, skin care regimen, and your lifestyle. Successful acne prevention starts by knowing the culprits of acne flareups.
The top acne causes
Typically, a new pimple begins to form due to the clogging of skin pores. Dead skin cells are normally shed and don't stick to our pores. However, when our oil glands create oil or sebum, these dead skin cells cling to our pores like glue. This is an ideal environment for bacteria overgrowth. Clogged pores are perfect little houses for bacteria, and causes inflamation in the form of a pimple.
What can you do to prevent an acne breakout in the first place? Here are the 5 triggers.
There are certain types of foods that make acne worse. These foods have an unusually high "glycemic index," which means that eating these foods will cause your blood sugar to spike. Say no to sugary foods. Bad fats found in junk foods also make acne worse, as well as dairy-based foods. The key is to avoid these foods, and eat a healty diet full of anti-inflammatory foods like green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, olive oil, berries, oranges, and fatty fish like salmon and tuna.
2. Your beauty routine
There is a particular type of acne called acne cosmetica. This is caused by pore-clogging substances in your cosmetics like silicons and oil. To be on the safe side, use products that are labelled non-comedogenic. Make sure to wash your makeup brushes regularly too.
Stress is never a good thing. This is very true when it comes to our skin. Stress releases the hormone cortisol, which is a testosterone-like hormone that increases our sebum levels. Stress also may cause people to pick at their breakouts more. This picking leads to scarring, which will take time, and the right products, to fade.
Androgens are male hormones which are present both in men and women. Androgens overstimulate the oil glands which clog the pores. Testosterone levels are higher compared to other female hormones like progesterone and estrogen during a woman's menstrual cycle. This is mainly why women typically have breakouts during the time of the month. Of course, we cannot do much to prevent this from happening. Nevertheless, it's often helpful that women understand that it's important to take special care of their skin before and during their menstrual cycle.
Yes, there are certain medications that can trigger acne. Lithium, which is normally used to treat depression and bipolar disorder, and steriods like anabolic steroids or prednisone, can trigger acne. If you started a new medication and experienced acne breakouts, consult with your doctor. Your medication might be the culprit.
Acne is not fun, but knowing the villains that cause it can be stopped.