Wednesday, June 05, 2013

6 things nobody ever told me about acne

I've had acne for around six years now, and I tell you, I wish I meant the brand. My acne isn't particularly bad, but I do always have spots, and blackheads and everything else. But throughout all of the hundreds of trips I've taken to doctors, homoeopaths and Google, there are a couple things that nobody ever told me about acne. I just had to discover them the hard way.

1. Sugar can be a cause of acne. It has been clinically proven that almost cutting sugar (including carbohydrates - this is called your glycemic index) from your diet can reduce acne to a complete minimum. This has something to do with cells and enzymes, but you're not here to read science, so I'm not going to give it to you. If you want to research it a little more, check out the sources I'll pop at the bottom.
Anyway, please don't completely cut out sugar, as a, that is practically impossible and b, totally not healthy. But next time you see the bag of sugar-coated sweets, take one instead of three.

2. You can see a dermatologist! Crazy as it sounds, I spent 4 years with my GP before being referred to a dermatologist, where I was greeted with medication that actually worked! Totally worth a look into.

3. Your skin has a 100-day cycle. What this means is that skin cells being formed right now wont reach the surface of your skin for about 100 days, or three months. When you apply a cream or gel that is supposed to clear out your acne, you've got to stick at it for at least 100 days to see some results! Also, keep your eyes open for 'magic' creams on the shelves of your pharmacy - if it swears to get you acne free in a week, it's totally lying. Sorry.

4. Dairy is really quite horrible. Believe it or not, I was only told this about two weeks ago! Dairy slows your metabolism and when you think about it, cheese is basically a hunk of fat. A lot of people are slightly intolerant to lactose without realising it. If you have other problems like asthma or eczema, switching to skim  goat's milk could be a good idea. If you don't want to completely lose dairy, stick to skim milk and low-fat products.

5. Don't pick! So, every kid with a spot has been told not to pop it, but nobody ever told them why. As my dermatologist explained to me, spots can explode outward, yes, releasing impurities, but it can also explode inwards, which creates scars and  spreads the puss back into your system to create more spots in the surrounding area. Totally not worth the risk.

6. Acne can be caused by inflamed hair follicles. Ask your doc for some diagrams, but basically sebum builds up inside the area that your hair sits in, underneath the skin. When this becomes blocked, it causes little lumps and bumps, but when it becomes infected is where those second-heads come from! Keep your face clean from bacteria, wash day and night and try not to touch your face!

We all hate acne, don't let it get you down, as after all, beauty comes from within. I wish you the best of luck with your clear skin quests!

If you want to take a more indepth view on what you can do about your acne, check out these articles on here and here, some from Dr. Oz here and here, and take a look at Dr Mark Hymen here.

I'd love to know your experiences or any other tips you have, the more the merrier!


P.S. Thanks to my Doc, Dermatologist, and all the homoeopaths and alternative practitioners I have seen over the years, plus all the people in stores like Lush and Neal's Yard for all of their help in informing me and putting me on the track to a cure. Maybe it'll work next time... 

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