Are There Any Special Concerns For Women Of Childbearing Age With Acne
Many topical and oral acne treatments are contraindicated during pregnancy. If youre a woman in your childbearing years, its important to discuss acne treatments with your healthcare provider and alert them if you become pregnant. Isotretinoin is known to cause severe birth defects and therefore, two methods of birth control are required while on this medication.
Hormone therapy is helpful for some women with acne, especially for those that flare-up with menstruation or those with signs and symptoms of excess androgen . Hormone therapy consists of low-dose estrogen and progesterone or a medication called spironolactone that blocks the effect of male hormones at the level of the hair follicles and oil glands.
How Does Sleep Deprivation Affect The Skin
Some research shows that sleep deprivation can manifest itself on the face. After examining sleep-deprived individuals, it was concluded that the subjects had more hanging eyelids, redder and more swollen eyes, as well as darker circles under the eyes.
Sleep deprivation is also often associated with skin changes such as paler skin, more wrinkles or fine lines, enlarged pores, and more droopy corners of the mouth.
Another study that consisted of 32 Korean women in their 40s showed that skin hydration was significantly reduced after as little as one day of sleep deprivation, and it continued to decrease throughout the six days, which is how long the second part of the study that consisted of sleep deprivation took to be completed.
Additionally, skin texture didnt change after only one day as skin hydration did however, it was significantly aggravated by the fourth day of sleep deprivation.
Furthermore, skin elasticity was the most affected by reduced sleep, and the pores also appeared bigger and more prominent alongside crows feet and frown lines also appearing deeper and more prominent.
Lastly, skin tone changed significantly, with the skin becoming paler, sallow, and more yellowish.
What Can You Do To Treat Or Prevent Oily Skin
Solutions for treating or preventing oily skin can range from a simple skincare routine to systemic prescription medications. The best solution for you will depend on how oily your skin is.
Lets take a look at some ways to manage excessively oily skin.
1. Establish a good skincare routine
A good skincare routine can help to keep your skin oil under control. Washing your face twice daily, and after exercise, with lukewarm water and a gentle cleanser can remove excess oil.
If you have very oily skin, you may be tempted to wash your face multiple times daily with an astringent cleanser or to scrub your face excessively. Avoid doing this as it can aggravate any acne.
When you select products to use on your face, make sure they are:
This applies to face washes, moisturizers, makeup, and sunscreens.
Gels are usually water-based and oil-free, so it may be worth looking for gel formulations of your usual facial products.
2. Topical retinoids
Topical retinoids are derived from vitamin A. Although there is no evidence to suggest that topical retinoids directly suppress sebum production, they are recognized to reduce facial pore size.¹ This is significant because larger pores have higher rates of sebum production.
You may want to consider getting a prescription for a topical retinoid if you are struggling with enlarged pores and oily skin.
3. Topical 2% niacinamide
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A Few Tips To Help Keep Your Skin Clear
Diet: Eat a healthy balanced diet containing low glycaemic index food groups with complex carbohydrates and omega-3 fatty acids. There might be a role for oral zinc supplements. It is best to avoid sugary, processed and refined food.
Make up and hair products: If you choose to wear make up, opt for mineral-based foundations, eg. La Roche Posay, Bare Minerals, Nude by Nature, Jane Iredale, Youngblood and Ultraceuticals. Wash your hair regularly with shampoo, especially if youre using hair products and if you have oily hair or scalp. Avoid using oil-based products on your face and beware of oil-based pomades and hair wax, especially near your forehead.
Regular use of a good quality broad spectrum SPF 30 and above ultralight sunscreen lotion: This reduces early onset wrinkles, pigmentation issues and in the long-term reduces your risk of developing sunspots and dangerous skin cancers.
Maintain a healthy weight and embrace exercise: Not only is this good for mental health , it also reduces levels of acne-causing hormones.
Cleanse Your Face Every Morning And Evening And Also Before And After Exercise
Excess oil has a tendency to trap dirt and bacteria in your pores, so its important to cleanse your skin and remove makeup at the end of each day. Sebum will also build up as you sleep, so gently cleanse your face in the morning. Finally, whilst exercise is good for your skin, dead skin cells, bacteria, and dirt can accumulate whilst youre in the gym, leading to workout breakout. Remove your makeup before exercising, and cleanse your face and body afterwards.
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Where You Live And The Time Of Year
While genetics and age drive the underlying causes of oily skin, where you live and the time of year can also make a difference.
People tend to have oilier skin in hot, humid climates. Youre also more likely to have more oil on your skin during the summer than you would in the fall or winter.
While you may not be able to pick up and move away because of your oily skin, you can adjust your daily routine during days of high heat and humidity.
Keep blotting sheets on hand to touch up excess oil throughout the day. A matte moisturizer or foundation can also help soak up extra oil.
Don’t Touch Your Face
It may seem like basic advice, but chances are you touch your face throughout the day without realizing it for example, resting your chin in your hands at your desk. Your fingers can spread dirt, oil, and other bacteria, creating an environment for breakouts to flourish. If you’re experiencing excess oil or acne in one concentrated area of your face, think about how often you may be placing your hands there.
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Sebaceous Gland Anatomy And Physiology
Aside from the free sebaceous glands on the vermilion lips , eyelids , areolae , and labia minora and prepuce , the duct of the sebaceous gland connects to the infundibulum of a hair follicle.1 These glands are highly concentrated behind the ear and on the face, upper chest, and back, which happens to be the same distribution as acne vulgaris.2 The major cells comprising sebaceous glands are sebocytes, and these cells disintegrate and release sebum via holocrine secretion. sebum is a viscous fluid composed of squalene, wax esters, triglycerides, free fatty acids, cholesterol esters, and free sterols.3,4
The rate of sebum production among different individuals is highly variable, and the explanation as to why this is remains to be fully elucidated. several factors have been described and can be used to help explain to some patients why their skin might be more oily than others . Men in general have higher sebum output attributed to higher testosterone levels, although sebum production does increase during ovulation in women, likely secondary to increased progesterone.8 sebum also varies according to ones environment and the time of year. several studies have described an increase in sebum production during the spring and summer and in more humid climates.9,10 In general, in terms of race, Chinese women display notably smaller pore size and lower density while Black individuals have enlarged pore size that can be attributed to higher rates of sebum output.11,12
Does Oily Food Cause Acne
There are many people who will point the finger at bad eating habits as the cause of their acne. Oily and greasy foods, chocolates and nuts may get a bad rep, but are they really the cause of your acne? You need to know the causes of acne to solve the confusion.
Acne is caused by the overproduction of sebum and oily substance that is secreted by the sebaceous and microscopic glands. This overproduction is often caused by fluctuation in hormones, pores that are clogged with bacteria or dead skin cells as well as inflammation. Many people believe that these issues can be linked to the foods they consume, like eating too many foods with bad fats such as greasy foods. While this is commonly believed by people, there is no evidence that supports these claims. Greasy foods may be bad for your heart, but there is little to no connection between the greasy foods you eat and your acne.
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Wash Your Face Twice Daily
One of the most effective ways to manage oily skin is by washing your face twice daily. Use a gentle cleanser with water every morning and night wash again after a vigorous workout. There is no need to wash more frequently since that could be irritating to the skin and produce more oil. When washing your skin, use gentle circular motions instead of scrubbing.
Why Is My Face So Oily Even After I Wash It
Overdoing your skin care routine On the flip side, washing your face or exfoliating too often can also make your skin oily. This can seem like an oxymoron, since the purpose of washing and exfoliating is to get rid of oil. But if you do this too often, you strip away too much of the oil from your skin.
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Systemic Treatments For Oily Skin
Isotretinoin. Also known as 13-cis retinoic acid, isotretinoin is an oral retinoid that has been proven to result in the greatest reduction of sebum among all other mentioned treatment options.38 As described above in the discussion of topical retinoids, 13-cis retinoic acid has also been proven to decrease the size and secretion of sebaceous glands.23,24 sebum production decreases by 90 percent during oral isotretinoin therapy and offers some much needed optimism for patients with severe seborrhea.38
One year after the completion of isotretinoin therapy, sebum excretion rates have been found to remain significantly suppressed for most individuals.39 A lower dose of isotretinoin is often employed when treating oily skin alone without nodulocystic acne, but this lower dose is clearly associated with a higher relapse rate.40 Overall, up to 17 percent of patients will require a second course of oral isotretinoin despite achieving the recommended cumulative dose of 120 to 150mg/kg.41,42
Regardless of the severity of their oily skin, all patients should be reminded that this sizeable reduction in sebum production does not go without adverse effects. Most commonly, patients will experience generalized dry skin, chapped lips, xerophthalmia, and secondary skin infections.38 Clinicians should educate their patients and provide tips to minimize these common side effects.
What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider About Acne
- What type of acne do I have?
- How severe is my acne?
- Do I need to see a dermatologist?
- Do I need a referral?
- What over-the-counter medications do you recommend?
- What prescription medications do you recommend?
A note from Cleveland Clinic:
Acne is the most common of all skin conditions and can have a profound psychosocial impact.
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What Should You Do If You’re Experiencing Both Dry Skin And Acne
Of course, with anything serious that’s skin-related, your first port of call should always be your derm or alternatively , your GP. “Tackling dryness and acne together is definitely challenging, and it’s usually best in this situation to get professional help early on. Experimenting with skincare products can easily make each of the issues worse.”
As is often the case when your skin is acting out, it’s sensible to strip your skincare routine back until your skin has calmed down. “General principles include keeping the skincare routine as simple and non-fussy as possible, using products that soothe and repair the skin barrier such as moisturizer and a mild creamy cleanser,” Dr. Kluk adds.
“Be selective with active ingredients targeting acne to reduce the risk of aggravating dry or irritable skin. For example, although they are great for acne, retinoids, salicylic acid, and glycolic acid are highly likely to irritate dry skin.”
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- How to choose moisturizer for your skin type
The alternatives, should you have them? “If you’re opting for over the counter solutions, niacinamide is an option that can be helpful for reducing greasiness, calming spots and inflammation and respecting the skin barrier. Lactic acid has gentle exfoliating and humectant properties, so is another potential option.”
Oily Skin Causes In Men
In general, men have a higher sebum output that is attributed to higher testosterone levels. During puberty, males produce up to five times more sebum than females. A hormone called dihydrotestosterone is the cause for overproduction of sebum.
Sebum production does not decline again until around the sixth to the seventh decade for men.
While other causes for oily skin in men are the same as for women, shaving may be a trigger. When trimming off the hair follicle beyond the skins surface, the secreted oil, which normally coats the hair, instead goes to the surroundings of the follicle, leading to a shiny and oily appearance.
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Can Acne Cause Scars
Acne does sometimes result in scarring. It happens when the acne penetrates the skin and damages the deeper layers. Inflammation makes the acne pores swell and breakdown occurs in the wall of the pore. Scarring can, of course, be a source of anxiety, which is normal. But before it can be treated, your healthcare provider will determine what type of acne caused the scars.
There are several available treatment options. Chemical peels, dermabrasion, laser resurfacing, microneedling and surgery can all be used to treat acne scars.
Habits That Could Be Making Your Oily Skin Even Oilier
You know how they say you cant have too much of a good thing? Tell that to someone with oily skin and see if they agree. We need oil to keep our skin soft and to maintain the barrier that keeps moisture in and environmental irritants out. But too much oil feels greasy, looks shiny, and leads to acne breakouts.
Suffice it to say, the instinct to try to scrub away all the excess oil messing with your complexion is strong. But heres the problem: Aggressively getting rid of the natural sebum, or oil, in your skin can actually cause even more oil to be produced. Tragic, we know. We spoke to several dermatologists, who showed us a bunch of ways that fighting oily skin can just make the situation worse. Here are nine habits making your oily skin even oilierand expert ways to stop the vicious cycle.
When your forehead is gleaming like a spotlight, its no surprise that youre tempted to wash it, and then wash it again, until all of the oil is gone. Overwashing your skin may feel like a short-term solution for removing the oil slick from your face, but in reality it is providing feedback to your skin that the oil is being stripped, Melanie D. Palm, M.D., San Diegobased dermatologist, cosmetic surgeon, and founding director of Art of Skin MD, tells SELF. In response, your skin thinks that this oil needs to be replaced, which results in over production of oil and irritation from overabundant cleanser use.
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Refined Grains And Sugars
People with acne tend to consume more refined carbohydrates than people with little or no acne (
Foods rich in refined carbohydrates include:
- Bread, crackers, cereal or desserts made with white flour
- Pasta made with white flour
- White rice and rice noodles
- Sodas and other sugar-sweetened beverages
- Sweeteners like cane sugar, maple syrup, honey or agave
One study found that people who frequently consumed added sugars had a 30% greater risk of developing acne, while those who regularly ate pastries and cakes had a 20% greater risk .
This increased risk may be explained by the effects refined carbohydrates have on blood sugar and insulin levels.
Refined carbohydrates are absorbed quickly into the bloodstream, which rapidly raises blood sugar levels. When blood sugars rise, insulin levels also rise to help shuttle the blood sugars out of the bloodstream and into your cells.
However, high levels of insulin are not good for those with acne.
Insulin makes androgen hormones more active and increases insulin-like growth factor 1 . This contributes to acne development by making skin cells grow more quickly and by boosting sebum production (
Fast food items, such as burgers, nuggets, hot dogs, french fries, sodas and milkshakes, are mainstays of a typical Western diet and may increase acne risk.
A separate study of 2,300 Turkish men found that frequently eating burgers or sausages was linked to a 24% increased risk of developing acne .
Why Do I Have Acne
Acne is most commonly linked to the changes in hormone levels during puberty, but can start at any age.
Certain hormones cause the grease-producing glands next to hair follicles in the skin to produce larger amounts of oil .
This abnormal sebum changes the activity of a usually harmless skin bacterium called P. acnes, which becomes more aggressive and causes inflammation and pus.
The hormones also thicken the inner lining of the hair follicle, causing blockage of the pores . Cleaning the skin doesn’t help to remove this blockage.
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