This time of year is common for teenagers to have more frequent facial acne breakouts since they are mostly indoors with less exposure to the sun than they had during the summer months. Exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet light has some anti-inflammatory effects on acne, so teens usually experience less acne in summer than during the school year. Not to mention, studying for that dreaded calculus test or writing a 10 page history report, which are sure ways to increase stress hormones and lead to inflammation in the skin.
For those of us who are beyond high school and only have nightmares about walking into chemistry class unprepared, we still have the stress of the upcoming holidays to disrupt our hormones and lead to those annoying acne breakouts. I have been plagued my whole life with stress breakouts and boy are they annoying!
The question remains, short of running away on a vacation to Hawaii, what can we do about our stress acne?
Here are some basic tips:
1. Do NOT wash with a harsh scrub or pick at any pimples! These activities will only irritate and inflame your skin and can lead to scarring!
4. Try an over the counter treatment with Benzoyl Peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide has some antibiotic benefits as well as anti-inflammatory benefits. One example is Neutrogena On the Spot treatment or Clean and Clear Acne Control kit.
5. Remember, if you are an athlete , it is important to shower off, or splash your face with water immediately after sweating.
6. Many people don’t realize how much oil is in hair conditioner. If you are breaking out along hairline or on your back, be careful to wash your hair off to the side or switch conditioners altogether.
7. There are a variety of prescription products that can be helpful. Retinoids such as Retin-A micro can help unclog pores and also reduce shiny, oily looking skin. Topical and Oral Antibiotic treatments can help reduce inflammation, and some Birth Control pills can help women who have breakouts during pre-menstrual time or menstrual time.
8. Lately there has been a lot of discussion about the influence of diet on acne. One of the most interesting concepts that is being investigated is whether dairy products increase inflammatory acne because of the hormones that are in those foods. It might be worth conducting a personal experiment if you have stubborn acne and go for a month limiting your dairy intake. Be sure to take a vitamin D and calcium supplement if you cut dairy completely out of your diet.
9. A new product called No-No is gaining popularity. I have not used it myself, but I have a new friend, Grace Gold, who is an expert beauty blogger from NY, and she believes that it really works! Here she is discussing it on the Today Show!
10. Lastly….RELAX and REDUCE YOUR STRESS!! Find an activity you enjoy…Yoga, dancing, reading, anything that will relieve some of that predictable seasonal stress!
Let’s all make an early new years resolution to find better ways to relieve our stress and take better care of ourselves and our skin! If we start now, we will all begin 2012 with bright glowing skin and feeling great!
I have been asked if I receive any financial incentive to mention products in my newsletter/blog and the answer is no. I only comment on products that I have used myself or that I recommend to patients because they have unique benefits.
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May the color changes of the season lead to the creation of many happy memories for you!