Acne affects about 85% of adolescents and young adults. Adult acne is also more common than you think, affecting about 30% of women and 20% of men in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and beyond. Approximately 70% of all acne is caused from heredity or genetic factors. It occurs when the pores of the skin become clogged with oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria. Mild forms of acne, are blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples. Severe acne can mean hundreds of pimples that cover the face, neck, chest, or back and can present as solid, red bumps, filled with pus that can be painful and difficult to treat.
Apart from treating acne in the traditional way with topical treatments and oral medications for severe cases (see the related articles below), there are some helpful hints you can include in your treatment regimen that can help:
- Drink 4-8 glass of water a day – this will help cleanse your system.
- Avoid foods with excess sugar, salt and spice. These stimulate the oil glands, which is something you want to prevent.
- Always wash your hair first in the shower, then your face. Avoid getting shampoo lather on your skin. Be sure to rinse thoroughly to remove all residue from products.
- Avoid spraying perfumes or colognes on the sides of your neck where your glands are. Most products contain large amounts of alcohol, which stimulates the oil glands.
- When using hairsprays or hair gels, be careful not to direct the product on the facial area, especially the forehead.
- Exercise 2-3 times per week to reduce stress and increase the blood circulation.
- Within 30 minutes of exercising, always splash your face with water or cleanse with soap – this removes all surface oils and bacteria.
- Include a natural multi-B complex with minerals as a daily supplement for healthy skin. This can be added to your daily diet through protein drinks or powdered supplements. The Office of Dietary Supplements at the National Institute of Health states that inflammation of the skin is one sign of B6 deficiency.
- Taking 50 mg. of Zinc with meals 1-2 times a day will dry out oil glands internally at least 35%, which will help shrink the size of blemishes, reduce the appearance of red scar tissue and aid in healing.
- Vitamin A. The American Academy of Dermatology reports that vitamin A is vital to the health of both your skin and your eyes, and recommends including Vitamin A enriched foods such as citrus fruits, carrots, tomatoes, yellow squash, and pumpkin in your daily diet. Vitamin A can also be applied to the skin topically with creams to promote cell growth.
- Avoid supplements containing Bee Pollen, Ginseng, and Vitamin E in oil form since theses can stimulate the oil glands.
- For people with cystic acne, Vitamin B-5 (Pantothentic Acid) is an effective treatment for this severe form of acne. Vitamin B-5 is readily available at vitamin stores.
There are thousands of acne products, treatments, remedies, and medicines available. Finding the right treatment plan for combating your acne is a matter of trial and error. One thing is constant though, regardless of what type of acne you have – begin and end each day with a thorough cleansing routine. Keeping the skin clean and clear of oils and debris is the first line of defense against acne.