Understanding what triggers your acne is one of the best ways to get it under control. After all, it may be something really simple that, if altered or omitted, could make those pesky zits disappear.
I remember as a teenager it seemed that whenever I would go out in the sun whatever breakout I had would dry up and go away. I later on realized that for every one that disappeared, two more would pop up! The calm before the storm, if you will. Over drying the skin, such as when we go out in the sun, will actually cause the pores to purge more oil to compensate for the loss. In addition, UV rays actually aggravate already damaged skin, not to mention damage the collagen layers below, aging you before your time.
According to studies, acne tends to flare up most in the months of Nov and Dec. They are not sure why but they speculate that it may have something to do with the start of school and the stresses associated with it. Acne is more severe in climates that are hot and humid. Humidity causes swelling of the outer layer of the skin and creates a breakdown in an already vulnerable, follicle wall (pore). Pollutants in the environment can also cause acne flair ups as dirt and oil are more prevalent and invade the skin.
Stress attacks the weakest link. If acne is that link, you will experience a breakout or a flair up and either have a delayed reaction or an immediate reaction. A delayed reaction can take as long as 3 months to make its way to the surface which is why it seems that the breakout occurs well after the stress is gone, making it difficult to pinpoint why the breakout is happening in the first place. Stress activates the adrenal glands to produce extra hormones which in turn, leads to a flair up.
Keep the chocolate, reduce your salt and seafood intake. These two things contain Iodine, and although you may not have noticed the link or even acknowledged that when you eat these things you had a flare up, but large amounts can actually induce acne in anyone. Let us not forget about food containing hormones! Buy organic if you can, or from your local farmer’s market. Maybe acne has been more prevalent since sushi came to town? Just a thought. For more information on how diet can effect your skin check out my Garbage in, Garbage out blog post.
Overproduction of the male sex hormone, androgen, stimulates the sebaceous (oil) glands causing impaction, or clogging of the pores. Fluctuations in hormones levels can also cause breakouts which is why, too much or too little, can cause your skin to freak out. If you are experiencing acne mainly across your chin, your problem may be hormonal.
This can go both ways. Since acne is influenced by hormones, when you’re pregnant, lets face it… you’re like a walking hormone, it is not uncommon to have breakouts durng the first 3 months of pregnancy and all of a sudden have the best, clearest skin, ever. Or the opposite can occur even in individuals who have never suffered from acne before, they now are juggling pregnancy and hormonal acne breakouts.
So you have a zit, and what’s the first thing you think of doing? Covering it up! Trying to conceal blemishes to feel beautiful because acne has your self esteem in the dumps can be a really bad idea. Oils in our skin are enough to reek havoc and cause a breakout without the assistance of added oils from cosmetics to those, already, active pores. Some acne, known as Acne Cosmetica, can be directly linked to the use of cosmetics in people who, otherwise, would never have had an acne problem in the first place. For more on bacteria and its effects on makeup check out my Whatcha got in the bag toots!?! blog post.
Picking at your acne is only contributing to the problem and, essentially, making it worse. Along with the possibility of scarring, when you pick at lesions incorrectly, that are not ready to be extracted, you are more than likely breaking the skin and causing trauma along with spreading bacteria onto, and into, the skin.
Keep in mind that I have only listed a few of the most common triggers and to get a full assessment of your condition you should visit a Dermatologist in your area.