Saturday, August 4, 2012

Acne Advice

According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), acne is the most common skin disorders in the United States, affecting 40–50 million Americans at one time. Acne (acne vulgaris, common acne) is not just a problem for teenagers; it can affect people from ages 10 through 40. It is not unusual for women, in particular, to develop acne in their mid- to late-20s, even if they have not had breakouts in years (or ever). On the positive side, those few individuals who have acne into their 40s may well grow out of it.

Some common misconceptions:
*Acne can simply be washed away. Over-washing will further irritate the skin.

  *Food: Parents often tell teens to avoid pizza, greasy and fried foods, and junk food. While these foods may not be good for overall health, they don't cause acne or make it worse. Although some recent studies have implicated milk and dairy products in aggravating acne, these findings are far from established.  **see Dr. Mockros’ advice…

*Pimples should be squeezed. Picking and squeezing pustules will only make acne worse because picking can spread acne-causing bacteria and squeezing can result in pushing infected material deeper into the skin.

* Many people have read that Tea Tree is a beneficial essential oil for acne, so they rub it all over the face. This essentially burns the skin. It is okay to dab one drop with a Q-tip right onto a blackhead or a whitehead. Use very sparingly!

Help for acne:

*Washing once or twice a day with a mild cleansing bar or liquid will keep the skin clean and minimize sensitivity and irritation. Gathered From The Garden's Love My Face Wash is an all-natural wash that can be formulated for oily or problem skin. It does not contain sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate.
  * Use a gentle astringent/toner to wipe away oil. Gathered’s Facial Toner is very mild.

*Steaming and "deep-cleaning" pores is useful, both alone and in addition to medical treatment, especially for people with "whiteheads" or "blackheads." Gathered has a wonderful Facial Steam consisting of dried lavender, calendula and chamomile.

* Use warm compresses to help draw out the pustules, as well as to calm down the redness of pimples. When blackheads or whiteheads are picked or squeezed the skin can become red and irritated. To prepare a hot compress, fill the sink or a basin with warm water, then drop in a few drops of lavender essential oil. Swish the oil around in the water, then dip a clean washcloth into the water, and hold it on the face for a few minutes. Repeat several times. This can be done in the evening a few times a week. (using more than 2-3 drops in the water can end up burning the skin so less is better than more)

* Stress can make hormones flare up also. To help combat stress, you can take baths with calming oils added like Lavender. Adding 5-6 drops of an essential oil is enough. Swish it around in your bath water before entering the tub.

*Aromatherapy massage is also a wonderful stress reliever. Many adults have experienced the healing of massage. For teens it can be a very beneficial therapy on a lot of levels too. It helps them identify what a relaxed state actually feels like, so that they can try to recreate that state whenever stress is starting to build up. It increases their body awareness. Yoga is another beneficial therapy to try for combating stress.

* *Here is some good advice from Dr. Lacie Mockros (Minser Chiropractic Clinic): “When treating acne you need to look at two places, the skin itself--keeping the skin free of bacteria, and treating the gut. Most often we talk about diet and cleaning that up. We discuss avoiding certain triggers such as chocolate, refined grains, foods that can cause sensitivities (eggs, soy, peanut, milk and potato). To also work on cleaning up the gut we would recommend the good bacteria (lactobacillus acidophilus). Starting an Omega-3 FA is also very beneficial to help the skin heal and reduce inflammation. It is said in Eastern Medicine that the skin reflects the gut, if your insides are full of junk your skin will be too!” 

Thanks, Dr. Mockros!
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