Sometimes it may seem like your skin is impossible to manage, especially when you wake up and find a spot on the end of your nose! The odd blemish can be zapped with a drop of Tea Tree oil but if your face is covered with angry red spots you may have a problem complexion!
Acne skin can be, demoralizing and considered unsightly. The acne sufferer’s follicles react differently than those of a person with clear skin and eruptions must be controlled until the person reaches their burn-out phase. For some people this is as they move from teen years to adulthood, for others the problem doesn’t start until the mid-twenties or menopause.
There is a myth that Acne is caused by dirty skin and hair touching the forehead. Acne cannot be scrubbed away, its impactions extend deep beneath the surface of the skin, and they are not dirt. Some people may confuse blackheads with dirt, but a blackhead is actually thousands of dead skin cells which have collected in the follicle along with the skin’s own oil and other natural debris. The dark color comes when this mass pushes to the surface and is exposed to the oxygen in the air. Since acne impactions develop deep below the surface, cleansing cannot reach them. It’s the sebum oil, from the sebaceous glands that creates the problem—not the oil from hair.
Too many sufferers have been told that acne is just a part of being a teenager and it will go away when they grow up. Acne can strike at any age, and subside at any age. Untreated acne can lead to permanent scarring, both emotional and physical. This can be a sensitive issue for adult acne sufferers. Acne is a skin condition that occurs one follicle at a time, and scarring takes place one follicle at a time. It’s caused by ‘p. acnes’ bacteria trapped in the follicle with sticky sebum and a build up of dead skin cells. Some of the key triggers include the following:
- Hormones produced at puberty stimulate the sebaceous glands to enlarge and to produce sebum.
- Increased sebum production mixes with bacteria and dead skin cells that have been shed from the lining of the follicle, causing breakouts.
- Increased shedding of dead skin cells occurs more rapidly during puberty. Sticky skin cells mix with sebum to form a plug in the follicle – the beginning of all acne lesions.
“Plugged” follicles are a breeding ground for bacteria. Some p. acnes bacteria are normal but too much will produce chemicals that can cause inflammation in the follicle and surrounding skin.
If there are breakouts on the forehead the entire forehead should be treated. Those who only suffer from occasional or sporadic stress-related acne can do effective spot treatment. When working to bring acne under control keep in mind that it took time to develop and will take time to eliminate the symptoms. If the appropriate acne routine is used daily significant changes will notice in about a month. For some it may take two to three months to achieve good control. There are effective natural ways to control eruptions.
ICE – The best way to relieve pain and reduce redness is icing a lesion directly until the redness subsides. You can freeze some water in a paper cup. Tear away the top end of the cup to expose the ice and place on the lesions, twice daily.
Salicylic Acid – can be effective in breaking up clogged follicles without triggering breakouts. Other acids like glycolic and lactic acids will worsen breakouts. Salicylic acid is oil-loving, so will penetrate the clogged oil glands where the ‘p acnes’ bacteria is breeding.
Aveda has created and patented the only natural salicylic acid acne range on the market. Their salicylic acid is made with organic Wintergreen essential oils, and the Aveda Outer Peace blemish relief range also contains Tamanu, Amla, Boswellia and Saw Palmetto as well as certified organic Lemon, Tea Tree, Rose and Geranium in a range of facial foaming cleanser, cooling masque, spot relief and balancing lotion.
Supplements – are helpful when there are not enough nutrients in the diet. Acne suffers need a blend without additional Iodine as this can be an acne trigger. The GlyMed Acne Supplement Formula has Burdock for deep cleansing of the blood, Zinc plus vitamins E and C for anti-inflammatory and healing benefits.
Wash your face twice a day with warm water and a specialist acne cleanser. Gently massage the face with circular motions. ‘Don’t scrub’… scrubbing can cause skin to become irritated.
Protect skin from the sun – A suntan may worsen acne, not improve it!
Exercise daily – Regular exercise is good for the whole body, including skin. Try Yoga, Thai Chi or Qigong mind body balancing exercises.
Relax – Stress can also be a trigger. It’s important to take time to look after yourself to be aware of creating balance and harmony in your life, so try to chill out as much as possible. The art of relaxation is to build time into your lifestyle where you can create a space to feel the mind body connection whether it is through relaxation classes, mindful meditation, guided CD’s or your chosen relaxing hobby.
It is true that when we express the art of relaxation fully we can be cool, calm and collected even in the most tumultuous situations. Learn to let go… and relax. Your whole wellbeing will benefit.