Acne is a cause of consternation for people of all ages. Whether you’re a teen or approaching retirement, spots and pimples can flare up and cause you to feel stressed about your appearance.
Unfortunately, getting down to the root cause of your acne is not always that simple. There are plenty of hormonal and environmental factors at play when it comes to acne that may be causing the issue.
It’s impossible to identify a single cause of your acne, there’s a good chance that hormonal imbalances are involved. Hormonal acne in adulthood occurs when your body produces too much sebum (the oily substance in skin glands). This results in clogged pores which, in turn, causes spots, cysts, whiteheads, and blackheads.
It’s important to recognize that hormonal acne affects nearly 80% of the population at some point in their lives. People’s hormones shift constantly, meaning that the oil produced by your skin pores could just be higher than usual for no particular reason.
If you want to reduce your risk of suffering from hormonal acne, you should address stress and a lack of sleep. If you have these factors under control, your hormonal acne may be caused by other factors that only a doctor can address.
Hormonal acne affects most adult Americans at some point in their lives. However, the myth persists that poor hygiene can cause acne. There is no evidence to support the claim that acne is caused by poor hygiene, as the cause of acne typically occurs under the skin’s surface.
However, having acne does mean that you should actively improve your general hygiene. Spots and pimples cause small ruptures on the surface of the skin and may lead to infection. You may reduce your chance of picking up infections by washing your pillow covers and sheets more regularly and taking care not to touch your face if you haven’t cleaned your hands.
Keeping a clean environment applies to your phone, too. We all use our devices frequently throughout the day, so learning to properly clean your phone is important. Safely and effectively cleaning your phone’s screen is particularly important if you are making calls throughout the day, as you may unwittingly spread bacteria from the surface of your phone into open sores on your face.
Stress reduction and better sleep are among the best ways to reduce hormonally induced acne. But how, exactly, are you supposed to bring down your stress and get a better night's sleep?
You can improve your general wellness and reduce acne flare-ups by taking part in healthy activities like moderate or gentle exercise. This is particularly important if you do not currently have an exercise regime, as getting your body moving can help improve your mindset and break cycles of harmful behavior.
Once you form some kind of exercise habit, try to improve your diet. A better diet alone will not reduce your acne, but it can reduce stress in your body. In the long run, lower stress can lead to more mild breakouts and reduce your risk of future acne. In general, a healthy balanced diet should consist of:
- 5 portions of fruit or vegetables
- A few portions of starchy foods like potato and rice
- A variety of proteins based on preference and lifestyle (e.g. beans, eggs, milk, meat, fish)
- 6 to 8 cups of fluids
- Minimal alcohol
A healthy balanced diet always looks simple on paper. In reality, the best diet is one you can stick to and gives you a range of nutrients that you need to reduce stress and repair your body.
Pimple popping is a popular cultural phenomenon that will not help your acne clear up. If anything, popping your pimples will lead to scarring as your skin is broken and may become infected.
If you feel the need to pop a pimple before a big date or interview, you can follow the advice of dermatologist Dr. Michele Green to pop your own pimples:
- Wash your hands and face thoroughly
- Apply a warm compress to help your pimple form a head
- Squeeze gently with our fingers or clean gauze. Try not to use your nails.
- Wash your hands and face again
There’s no need to pop your pimples as doing so will not get bacteria out or help the spots clear up sooner. However, if you just can’t resist the urge, do your best to stay safe by washing your hands and only pressing gently. If it doesn’t pop easily, it isn’t ready yet.
Acne flare-ups are usually caused by hormones and a build-up of oil-like sebum. You can reduce your risk of acne by getting to the root cause of hormonal imbalances. Usually, this means you should aim to improve your overall well-being and eat a healthier diet. If your symptoms don’t improve, it may be worth visiting a dermatologist who can help you clear up your skin.