How Stress Affects Acne, Coping with Adult Acne and Baby Acne
Does your acne flair up after an emotional upset? When you become stressed at work, are you more prone to skin outbreaks? For many years dermatologists have argued over the correlation between stress and acne.
While it’s true that heredity can play a role in your chances of developing acne, many physicians now realize this troubling condition can also be related to other factors such as stress or a poor diet.
It’s no secret that stress can have a negative impact on your immune system. No matter what type of illness you suffer from, a great deal of stress can either worsen your condition or increase the amount of time it generally takes your body to heal and recover.
When people experience stress or emotional turmoil, the body often reacts by producing an overabundant amount of hormones. Male hormones especially have a great impact on the sebaceous gland. If the gland becomes overactive, the body then produces too much sebrum. After the pores become clogged with sebrum, acne is very likely to occur.
In addition to aggravating current acne breakouts, stress can also cause an overall decline in the appearance of your skin. Besides affecting sebrum production, an unhealthy amount of stress may cause the adrenal glands to produce cortisol. The cortisol then is released into the sebaceous gland and produces a greater amount of oil in the skin.
Even if you’re currently taking a prescription or over the counter treatment for acne, reducing your stress level can help to improve your overall skin condition. The following tips are helpful for reducing stress in order to combat acne. By following some of these suggestions, not only will your acne likely improve but you can also achieve better overall health and wellness.
• Exercise is perhaps one of the best known methods for reducing stress. In a matter of minutes, you can alleviate excess tension and anxiety. Unfortunately many people view exercise as an unpleasant task. By altering your negative ideas associated with exercise, you’ll be more likely to participate in healthy vigorous activity.
• Too much caffeine can often result in a high level of stress. By reducing your intake of sodas, coffee, tea, and other stimulants, you can both calm your body and prevent other common negative side effects such as headaches or an increase in heart rate.
• Watch your diet. Try to eat as many healthy and natural foods as possible. A diet containing the proper amount of fruits and vegetables can have the most positive impact on your health. Many people regularly consume high amounts of sugar and processed foods on a daily basis. This can lead to stress and other behavioral problems, especially in younger people and teens. By changing your eating habits, you can improve your acne and many other common ailments.
• Try to get outdoors on a daily basis. Just a small amount of time outside each day can have a positive affect on your body. Sunshine exposure is responsible for stimulating the production of Vitamin D which promotes healthy skin. A short walk several times a week is all that is needed.
Whether you decide to treat your acne with traditional or alternative medicine treatments, by alleviating a great deal of stress, you can increase your chances of achieving healthy skin and a glowing complexion.
Beyond the Teen Years – Coping with Adult Acne
For many teens, coping with acne is a daily part of life. Often the psychological effects of this condition can be very difficult for a young person to deal with. The embarrassment, loss of confidence or self esteem can have a negative impact on many aspects of a person’s life, including their relationships with others.
If you’re well beyond your teen years and still experiencing acne outbreaks, you probably have several additional concerns, including the cause or source of your acne. While a large percentage of acne patients are teenagers, many adults also suffer from frequent outbreaks or blemishes on a regular basis too.
This is especially true for women. Although equally troubling, adult acne may require different types of treatment methods than those used for younger individuals. As the number of acne cases in adult women continues to grow, there has been increasing interest in the correlation between hormones and acne.
Acne caused by a fluctuation of hormones generally doesn’t occur until a woman is well into her twenties. Unfortunately, this type of acne can persist for many years, sometimes even until a woman reaches menopause.
Luckily there are many treatment options available for adult acne. Depending upon the severity of the condition, your doctor may prescribe a number of medications including antibiotics and topical creams that contain retinoid.
Oral contraceptives have also been effective in reducing or eliminating acne symptoms in adult women. If you’re not currently taking birth control, it’s a good idea to discuss both the benefits and risks of this type of treatment with your doctor. While oral contraceptives are believed to reduce your chances of developing other conditions such as osteoporosis and many types of cancer, they can cause harmful side effects in some cases.
What many women fail to realize is how you cleanse your skin can have an impact on acne outbreaks too. While it may be tempting to scrub your skin clean, a more gentle approach is recommended.
Harsh scrubbing will often aggravate your skin and cause redness. Instead lightly wash your face with a mild cleanser that contains glycolic acid or a similar ingredient known to reduce excess oils.
Cosmetic products should also be chosen with care. Although it’s not necessary to refrain from wearing makeup, you’ll want to use as many noncomedogenic cosmetic products as possible.
Whether in the form of creams, lotions, or oils, noncomedogenic or non- occlusive makeup products will not block your pores and increase your chances of an acne outbreak. For women with dry or aging skin, there are even special moisturizing non-occlusive creams to soften your face.
While sun and outdoor air are both beneficial in promoting healthy skin, the use of acne medications or ointments can often make you more sensitive to sunlight exposure. In order to avoid sunburn or redness, be sure to use a sunscreen block that’s appropriate for your skin type.
Although adult acne can be quite embarrassing, especially for adults thirty or older, there are a number of successful treatment options available. Often the hardest task is locating the medication or product that works well for you.
For best results, seek the assistance of a physician or dermatologist first. By treating your acne in its initial stages, you can decrease your chances of future outbreaks and eliminate or reduce symptoms before they become more serious.
Baby Acne – Acne Neonatorum
When you think of babies, you probably envision soft, smooth skin. Fortunately, most babies are born with a fresh, flawless complexion – but even among infants, skin disorders can occur. While you don’t commonly hear people talk about baby acne, it’s an actual condition that usually first appears in little ones within two to three months after birth.
Baby acne, or acne neonatorum, is generally confined to the facial area and often appears as red colored lesions on the cheeks. In some instances, the acne may cause blackheads, papules, or pustules to form on your baby’s skin. Although this can be quite alarming to new parents, thankfully most baby acne conditions will completely disappear by the time your baby is six months old.
A hormonal imbalance is the primary culprit of baby acne. During pregnancy, a baby is exposed to a higher level of hormones. After birth, the body must adjust to the change and maintain a healthy hormonal balance.
As a result of this adjustment, in some cases acne will appear. Unlike other types of acne, acne neonatorum will not cause scarring. Once the outbreaks have ceased, your baby’s skin should remain undamaged from this temporary condition.
Studies have shown that male babies are more prone to acne than females. This isn’t surprising, since after birth your son will experience a much lower level of estrogen hormones in his system. As the body adjusts to this change in hormones, baby acne may periodically disappear only to flare up again a few weeks later.
If your child experiences an outbreak of baby acne, there’s no reason to panic. Acne neonatorum is actually a rather common problem in infants. Nearly 1 out of 5 babies will experience some form of baby acne during their infancy. Since scarring is not an issue, your first priority should be your baby’s comfort.
In an attempt to conceal outbreaks, many parents will try applying various lotions and oils to their baby’s face. You should avoid this temptation and instead use a very mild soap and warm water to cleanse your baby. In many cases, the use of lotions can actually aggravate and prolong the condition.
You should only seek your doctor’s assistance if extreme or severe cases of acne occur. After examining your child, the doctor may choose to prescribe benzoyl peroxide or some type of retinoid cream to help ease the symptoms. Although this can be very effective in healing acne, prescription medications or ointments should be a last resort for treatment.
For parents that are overly troubled by this condition, there are safe over-the-counter treatments that may help ease your baby’s discomfort. Many doctors will recommend using an anti-itch cream such as hydrocortisone. Just remember to apply the cream sparingly.
Too much lotion may damage your baby’s delicate skin and cause excess peeling to occur. In dealing with baby acne, both time and patience are required. As your child ages, baby acne conditions will disappear on their own.