Acne is a common skin condition that occurs when the pores on your skin get clogged with excess sebum (oil) and dead skin cells. Clogged pores cause blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples. Pimples are pus-filled bumps on your skin that may or may not be painful. Acne is caused due to the excess oil secreted by several glands that empty your hair follicles (small tube-like structures holding the hair strands). This excess oil may block your pores, causing pimples, and may trigger an inflammatory reaction leading to pain and swelling. Stress, hormonal changes, poor diet, and unhygienic personal habits can increase your risk of developing acne. It is believed to be a cause of major concern since acne can be aesthetically unappealing, which may hamper your confidence and self-esteem. However, acne can be effectively cured through a proper diet, regular exercise, and several treatments which are discussed further in the article.
Acne can be treated by medications, cosmetic procedures along with diet and lifestyle modifications effectively. Our expert dermatologists have elaborated the methods for treating acne and pimples.:
● Topical medications
- These are applied externally and are available in the form of gels, creams, and ointments.
■ Retinol and retinoid-like drugs
- You must apply these formulations, preferably at night, since they can cause increased skin sensitivity.
- They prevent clogging of your hair follicles.
- These products kill excess bacteria and reduce inflammation and redness. They are often used in combination with retinoids and should be applied in the morning.
■ Azelaic acid and salicylic acid
- These possess antibacterial properties that kill bacteria and control inflammation. These acids can also be used to manage skin discolouration caused by acne.
● Oral medications
- These are used to treat moderate to severe acne.
- Oral antibiotics help to reduce bacteria and should be used only till the prescribed duration.
■ Oral contraceptives
- These contain estrogen and progestin hormones (female sex hormones) that reduce the androgen levels, reducing sebum production and acne.
■ Anti-androgen agents
- These agents block the effect of androgen hormones on the sebum-producing glands.
● Steroid injections
- Infected acne lesions can be treated with steroid injections that help reduce inflammation and pain and eventually shrink them.
● Chemical peel
- This procedure utilises different chemical solutions, such as salicylic acid and glycolic acid, that help treat mild acne.
- These help to improve the overall texture of your skin.
Best Diet Tips To Cure Acne
According to several research studies, changes in certain dietary habits can significantly reduce acne symptoms and can also prevent it. The following are the most-evidence based tips curated by our experts at Kosmoderma Skin, hair and Body Clinics that can help you in controlling acne through diet.
● Avoid excess blood sugar fluctuations
- Foods high in sugar content will increase your sebum production by increasing the production of the IGF-1 hormone (a hormone that is responsible for managing the effects of growth).
- It is important to follow a low sugar and a high-protein diet.
- Avoid foods like:
- White bread
- Ice creams and candy
- Sugary beverages
- Refined sugar and processed foods
- White pasta
- Include proteins in your diet through:
- Lean meat like fish and chicken
- Poultry like eggs
- Grains, nuts, and seeds
● Try to cut out dairy and whey protein
- Excess dairy products can contribute to acne development through insulin secretion and the production of the hormone IGF-1.
- Whey protein is a product found in milk that can worsen your acne.
- Limit your intake of dairy products like milk, yoghurt, cheese, and butter.
- You may also choose low-fat dairy products to curb your acne.
● Eat a well-balanced, whole, nutritious diet
- An anti-inflammatory diet is one of the best ways to treat and prevent acne naturally.
- Opt for Omega-3 fatty acids such as fish and chia seeds to control acne.
- Include green leafy vegetables and fruits in your diet that are rich in antioxidants to help control your acne symptoms.
- Drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water every day to flush out excess toxins from your body and to keep your pores clean.
Link Between Exercise And Acne
Exercise can have a positive approach if you are suffering from acne since it is an excellent tool for combatting breakouts. Physical activity helps control your blood sugar levels, which helps flush toxins and bacteria from the pores.
- Moderate exercise is important, which can improve your quality of sleep and reduce your stress levels.
- Exercise can help decrease inflammation and improve the blood flow to your skin cells.
- The following exercises can help control your acne breakouts:
- However, ensure not to overdo it and follow proper post-exercise hygiene measures (taking care of your skin) to prevent the worsening of acne. This could be attributed to the excess sweat produced during your workout regimes.
- Avoid exercise supplements to increase muscle mass, which can cause acne flare-ups due to the production of excess androgens (male hormones responsible for reproductive health and development). Androgen can increase the production of IGF-1 hormone, which can clog your pores leading to acne breakout.
Acne is the most common of all skin conditions that can negatively impact your mental health and self-esteem. You must consult our expert dermatologists (a doctor specialising in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases related to the skin, hair, and nails) at Kosmoderma to help treat your acne when diet and exercise alone cannot cure them. Remember that acne is temporary and will go away with the right treatment designed for your skin. Book your consultation today!