Teenage years are probably among the most memorable and exciting times of your life. You get to experience a lot of firsts: crush, emotions, and sensations. You get to widen your perspective on things and you begin to mature physically and mentally. Unfortunately, it is also the time when you will have the lowest self-esteem due to the inevitable acne.
While few may not experience it or may not have as extensive an acne as others, most teens will have red acne. What’s worse with red acne is not just the color but the texture, as well. Often, aside from the redness, acne tends to be raised making them highly noticeable.
Teens are not just the ones suffering from acne, though. Clinical studies reveal that nearly 55% of the adult population in the US between the ages of 20 and 40 suffer from acne, as well.
With this many people suffering from acne, it begs the question: is acne that difficult to prevent? Are there ways to get rid of it permanently?
What causes red acne?
There are two general types of acne—inflammatory and non-inflammatory. As the name implies, inflammatory acne is reddish and raised. Non-inflammatory acne, though not readily visible, can become inflammatory acne on certain conditions.
Acne is caused by a lot of factors with over secretion of sebum being one of, if not the, most significant. Sebum feeds P. acnes, a type of bacteria that normally lives on the skin and is instrumental in controlling the population of harmful bacteria and keeping the skin healthy.
Oversecretion of sebum promotes a rapid increase in the population of the acne bacteria. In addition, excess sebum can mess up with how dead skin cells normally flake off from the skin causing them to pile up. Dead skin build up blocks the pores and traps sebum inside it. This does not prevent the sebaceous gland from producing more oil, though. As the amount of sebum inside the pores builds up, the bacterial population also increase as they feed off the oil.
Acne bacteria release compounds, as a result of sebum metabolism, that irritates the skin. This also activates an inflammatory response from the immune system of the body that results in, not only red acne, but raised ones with occasional pus as their tips.
Tips on preventing acne
What better way to get rid of acne than to find the cause of it and deal with it from its root?
Acne is irreversible once it starts. It only ends when the process is finished. That is when the acne heals on its own. Once the process begins, all you can do is speed the healing process up. That is why preventing is way better than a cure for acne.
Here are some tips that would help you gradually get a clearer skin.
Adopt a healthy diet
One of the causes of acne is insulin resistance due to high sugar content in the diet. Sugar doesn’t always mean sweet. Carbohydrates, for instance, are turned into sugar in order for the body to use it for energy.
Foods that are high in simple carbohydrates tend to cause a rapid increase in the blood sugar level compared to complex carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates can be found in most processed foods that we have. Examples of which are fast foods. They contain high carbohydrate content that the body readily absorbs.
Complex carbs, on the other hand, in the form of vegetables, do not cause a rapid spike in the blood sugar. This is because carbohydrates are mixed with fiber, minerals, vitamins and other nutrients. This delays the body’s absorption of the carbohydrates.
The increase in blood sugar causes an increase in insulin. Prolonged exposure to insulin can cause the cells to divide faster than usual. In addition, as insulin resistance slows down the metabolism of sugar, glucose stays longer in the blood. Sugar, when not used, is toxic to cells and adds up to the irritation the skin experiences.
The increased cell division of the skin in the face increases the likelihood of having blocked pores and developing acne.
In addition, consider limiting your consumption of oil. In order to produce sebum, the body needs the raw materials which are provided for by greasy food.
Don’t eat dairy
Dairy products have components in them that mimic the hormones responsible for increased sebum production. It also makes the skin more prone to irritation thus you get more red bumpy acne as a result.
Get enough sleep
The body doesn’t function optimally when it doesn’t get enough sleep. One of the effects of sleep deprivation is decreased tolerance to stress. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body produces cortisol, a stress hormone, that stimulates the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum.
That is why you easily get greasy whenever you are tired. In addition, sleep deprivation makes you crave sugar—another factor that influences acne.
A dry skin is an easily irritated skin. This causes the skin to produce more sebum to protect the skin from further damage. Although most experts suggest 8 glasses of water a day, the most reliable determinant of your need for water is your thirst.
Water keeps your skin hydrated. It also allows dead skin cells to flake off naturally. It might not look like it but drinking water will help you get rid of your red acne.
Adopt a healthy skin care regimen
A good skin care regimen is simple, can be done fast and doesn’t irritate your skin. This involves washing your face, cleaning out leftover dirt and residue and closing the pores using toner.
One point to remember, though, is you only need to clean your face once or twice a day. Anything more than that will irritate your skin and cause acne breakouts, instead.
Acne, a condition that affects 60 million people in the US alone, is best remedied with prevention than cure. A cure may allow an acne to heal fast but it will still leave something worse than the acne itself—scars.
There are many ways to prevent acne—most of them are so simple, you only need to incorporate them into your daily routine. Over time, with enough and correct preventive measures, you will get a clearer skin that will last permanently.