“Acne not only scars the face, it scars one’s self confidence too.”
– Dr. Nidhi Singh Tandon
ACNE is one of the most common skin problems across the globe and also one of the most important reasons for depression and low self esteem in young boys and girls. Generally considered a teenage problem, it can persist way beyond the teen years too into the adulthood.
Acne commonly known as pimples or zits consist of blackheads, whiteheads, pustules, nodules and cysts. While the most important underlying factor of acne is always hormonal imbalance, there are many factors that are responsible for acne.
STRESS AND LIFESTYLE
When a person is psychologically or physically stressed, the cortisol or the stress hormone springs into action and secreted more than what is required. Cortisol further increases the sebum or oil production.
Daily exercise is important to keep fit. If you have oily or acne prone skin or even a normal skin its very important to remove all the sweat dust and grime to prevent proliferation of germs. Don’t forget to keep your facewash and clean towel in your gym bag.
There are studies to prove that food with high glycemic index (GI) such as white rice, white bread, corn flakes, sugar etc can cause acne. These foods increase insulin production which in turn increases the androgens and causes acne.
Hormones or androgens in milk and milk products also cause increase in sebum or oil production causing acne.
If there is history of acne in your family you must take good care of your skin.
Wrong cosmetics for your skin type can cause acne. Using greasy and heavy products or oil based foundations can clog your pores. Do not forget to remove your make up before retiring to bed.
This is acne on the forehead and back caused due to applying hair gels and hair styling products. Most commonly seen in men. To avoid this wash your face after applying these hair products so as to wipe off any residue.
People in contact with certain chemicals or hydrocarbons, grease, heavy oils etc can devlop acne.
Certain medicines like phenytoin, steroids, iodides and anabolic steroids taken by atheletes and body builders can cause acne on the back, shoulders and chest.
Most women experience acne before their menstrual cycles.
There are also certain conditions that cause hormonal imbalance and in turn acne. One of the most important causes of adult acne is:
PCOS or Polycystic ovarian syndrome
PCOS is an endocrine disorder. It affects 6% of the population and is common in reproductive age group. Your dermatologist will prescribe certain tests to rule out the same. Stressful and sedentary lifestyle (irregular sleeping and eating habits, lack of exercise) is the main cause for this problem.
Irregular cycles, acne, hairfall or excessive and thick hair on the chin or jawline, weight gain are some of the manifestations to look out for.
Healthy lifestyle and weight reduction are the most important for PCOS management. In addition to this, your doctor will prescribe few medicines too.
TO BE CONTINUED…
(Stay tuned to find out the Dos and Don’ts of acne and medical treatments available for ACNE)
Thanks Dr Nidhi for sharing your knowledge with our readers.
Dr. Nidhi Singh Tandon
Consultant Dermatologist and Cosmetologist