Get enough rest and reduce your stress.
Stress stimulates the adrenal gland and in the acne-prone individual, the adrenal gland promotes oil production which leads to clogged pores.
Stay away from foods, vitamin supplements and sports drinks/bars containing iodides.
Iodized salt, seafood, fish, seaweed, fast foods and dairy products (cows lick iodized salt licks) and especially kelp tablets (some people take these for thyroid support) are a part of this list. Contrary to popular notion, chocolate and greasy foods (unless they contain salt, which most do) do not aggravate acne. Stay away from "high androgen" foods. These are found in peanuts, peanut oil, peanut butter, corn oil, wheat germ, shellfish, organ meats, sweetbreads, beef and liver. These contain hormones that exacerbate acne.
Some swimming pool disinfectants contain Iodides and Chlorine, which can remain in the water, causing skin problems for frequent swimmers.
Many swimmers find that the combination of hot and humid weather, the physical exercise of swimming and the chlorinated pools, can cause major acne flare-ups.
Instead of picking, rub ice on pustules and pimples for about five minutes, twice a day. Try to catch them when they are first forming and they most likely will go away. After icing try applying Astara Blue Flame Mask or Rhonda Allison Perfection Clay as a spot treatment and leave it on all night.
According to the results of a number of clinical trials, zinc has been shown to be useful in treating acne.
Some research has found zinc to be as effective as antibiotics in reducing inflamed acne. Research indicates that the form of zinc taken maybe important. Studies have indicated that zinc monomethionine is more easily used by the body than either zinc sulfate or zinc gluconate. It is usually best to take zinc with food. Recommended dosage for supplements vary (50-100 mg) - but some research suggests that it is probably best to take no more than 100 mg per day as a dietary supplement (excessive zinc intake may lead to deficiencies in other vitamins and minerals. It is best to take this with food and not on an empty stomach.
Use fragrance-free detergents such as Cheer Free, All Free & Clear, Tide Free or Arm & Hammer Free.
Do not use fabric softeners and/or fabric softener sheets in the dryer, especially on pillowcases as they cause a waxy residue that can clog pores on acne-prone individuals. Avoid low-estrogen birth control pills, Norplant, Provera, and Depo-Provera.
Also progesterone hormone replacement Premarin can be problematic. If you have polycystic ovaries, they will cause hormonal changes and breakout. See handout about birth control pills for more information. Also, the taking of birth control pills may delay the onset of acne and once off them, you may experience the acne you would've had before taking them.
Do not use cosmetics OR hair products that contain pore-clogging ingredients.
These ingredients cause microcomedomes to form in certain individuals resulting in various lesions ranging from clogged pores and blackheads to inflammatory pustules. If you have doubts about yours, let us see the ingredient listing. Isopropyl myristate, cetyl alcohol, sodium lauryl sulfate, laureth-4, natural Vitamin E, most natural oils, cocoa butter and D & C red dyes all agitate acne. Benzoyl Peroxide medications found at cosmetic departments may contain isopropyl myristate and laureth-4 or oils that impede the active ingredient of benzoyl peroxide.
Watch out for "oil-free" products.
They contain synthetic oils (fatty acids), D&C red dyes and detergents that can aggravate acne. See the handout on Pore Clogging Ingredients in Skin Care for a complete list.
Limit sun exposure and use a sunscreen.
Although sun exposure causes desirable scaling and drying, it also damages the follicle, exacerbates hyper pigmentation, causes skin cancer and premature aging and can cause "solar acne" later in life, as well as "Acne Majorca" also caused by sunlight. Warm climates with heat and humidity can exacerbate acne.
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WHAT IS YOUR ACNE TYPE? At SKIN REJUVE we break acne into 3 distinct types. In order to effectively treat your acne you will need to determine which type of acne you have.
NON INFLAMED ACNE – BLACKHEADS AND CLOSED COMEDONES/PEBBLES UNDER THE SKIN
Non inflamed Acne is characterized by congestion of the skin that looks like blackheads and underground pebbles (also known as closed comedones). Non inflamed acne sufferers have very few actual pimples – five or less on each side of the face- and they never become inflamed. Most individuals who suffer from Maturation Arrest Acne(closed comedones/pebbles under the skin) fall into this category. However, there are those with Maturation Arrest Acne that also deal with inflammation. If this is you then consider yourself the type 3, Combination Acne, listed below.
Characteristics of non inflamed acne
Dull sluggish appearance
Blackheads & underground pebbles most predominant; few or no inflamed pimples
Skin is generally not sensitive or reactive to products
Some of our favorite products for clearing non inflamed acne are: Face Reality Mandelic Scrub for Face & Body Face Reality Acne Scrub for Face & Body
INFLAMED ACNE - INFLAMED PUSTULES AND CYSTS
This type of acne consists of mostly inflamed lesions and is usually quite sensitive, unless you have been using benzoyl peroxide for a long time. The good thing about this type of acne is that it usually responds quickly to proper home care. Ice and benzoyl peroxide are your best friends!
Characteristics of inflamed acne
Hot/warm to touch
More pimples, pustules and inflamed lesions with very few non inflamed
Skin can be sensitive and reactive to products
May have cystic acne
Some of our favorite products for clearing inflamed acne
Face Reality Acne Wash Face Reality Salicylic Antiseptic Wash Face Reality Mandelic Serum 8% Face Reality Acne Med 5%
COMBINATION ACNE - INFLAMED AND NON INFLAMED
As the name implies, combination acne is a mixture of the two types of acne outlined above. With Combination Acne pebbles under the skin easily becomes inflamed and turn into inflamed lesions.
Characteristics of Combination Acne
Hot/warm to touch
Pimples, pustules, blackheads and closed comedones (pebbles)
May have cysts
Skin is can be sensitive and reactive to products
BIRTH CONTROL AND ACNE Birth control for acne simplified
Birth control pills, IUDs, implants and shots are widely used today and prescribed often as a means to control acne. Most forms of birth control can have the potential to cause acne and weight gain in those susceptible. Typically birth control is divided up as estrogen or progestin dominant and have varying degrees of androgenic (testosterone like) effects. As a general rule of thumb, those with the potential for higher androgenic symptoms should be avoided for people prone to acne because they promote breakouts. As an acne sufferer it is important to speak with your doctor about selecting a form of birth control that is higher in estrogen and lower in androgen potency.
The most commonly prescribed in this category are:
It is best to avoid the following that are high in androgen activity and low in estrogen, which are some of the following:
Ortho Tricyclen Lo
Only you and your doctor can determine what form of birth control is right for you. The above is just a basic guideline that should be used to initiate a conversation between you and your physician. If you are considering using birth control, it is important to know that it can be associated with a high risk of blood clots, weight gain, nausea, mood changes, depression and breast tenderness. Serious side effects include strokes, digestive issues and embolism.
Finally, it is entirely possible to treat acne without using birth control. If you have no underlying health issues that require you to be on birth control and are considering using birth control only to control your acne, please feel free to talk with one of the estheticians to get some additional perspective on how we can help you with the use of topical products and treatments.
*Although the Paragard/Copper IUD does not contain any hormones, we have observed that is has aggravated acne with our clients.