Acne (or pimples, black heads, white heads) are the bane of any teenager’s life. Around three-quarters of 11 to 30 year-olds will get acne at some time. You see them first thing in the morning in the mirror. They are a point of ridicule by friends, family and even strangers. And it lowers one’s self confidence to a great extent. You find it difficult to face your friends and relatives and also attend social functions.
I believe acne is a part of growing up and maturation that is natural for everyone. They are usually considered a sign of onset of puberty which involves hormonal changes. This leads to changes in the activity of oil glands which is often the precursor to acne.
Having Acne! Does it mean not being clean?
Acne is a skin condition that involves the oil glands of the skin. Skin has pores (tiny holes) which connect to oil glands located under the skin. The glands are connected to the pores via follicles – small canals. Sebum, an oily liquid, is produced by these glands. The sebum carries dead skin cells through the follicles to the surface of your skin. Pimples grow when these follicles get blocked. These are termed as blackheads and white heads as per their appearance. In time, these oil glands with a blocked opening get inflamed and burst within the skin causing red and pus filled spots. This process is aided by bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes.
Washing the face multiple times does help in clearing the dust and grime that settles on the skin during the day. A deep cleansing face wash will help in unblocking pores as well as preventing further formation of acne.
What are the Risk factors for acne?
It has been found that oil based make ups, greasy hair, hot and humid climate, faulty diet, anxiety, stress and menstrual cycle have been related to causation of acne.
What kind of diet should be followed by a person suffering with Acne?
It has been found in studies across the world that Acne are more common in individuals who have a sweet tooth ie. Persons who eat lots of sweets, chocolates etc. However, it does not mean that acne do not occur in a person who does not eat sweets. There are no studies to date that show an oily diet or cheese will increase acne. Often youngsters with acne wonder why drinking tons of water during the day is not helping them get over Acne. Good quantities of water consumption can work to cleanse the system only to a certain extent, beyond which it becomes ineffective. This only strengthens the argument that acne is not caused by impurities in the blood. (I hope this explains why certain natural remedies which claim to clean blood impurities have not cleared Acne).
At Dr. Sunil Mishra’s Clinic, we advise eating a healthy balanced meal at regular times every day. The healthy balanced meal includes good amount of proteins, vitamins and minerals. This reduces the load of hormonal stresses on the body which is known to increase acne. Sleeping at regular hours with a sleep time of 6-8 hours every night helps tremendously in preventing acne. Daily exercise increases blood supply to the face which helps in clearing the bacteria from skin.