Your Diet and Acne: What to Know
If you’re like most men and women, you have woken up one day to find your face or back sporting some new “spots.” These new “spots,” more commonly referred to as acne, can physically be embarrassing, but also take a toll on us mentally. The dermatologists at Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute are here to give you advice on how you can combat acne and restore your confidence.
Acne is defined as a chronic skin condition that occurs because of a buildup of oil and dead skin cells. As the buildup continues it displays itself in the form of a pimple, whitehead or blackhead. These pimples, whiteheads and blackheads often appear on the face, chest, neck or back.
Is Your Diet Causing Acne?
With nearly 50 million Americans affected by acne each year, you must be curious as to what the cause is for this many people to be affected. Unfortunately, the answer isn’t black and white. There are many different causes and reasons for the appearance of acne. Some reasons include age, hormones, medications, diet and more.
Most who experience acne have it before they are 25 years old. As we age though, our hormones change. Changes in our hormones can trigger flare ups and skin inflammation resulting in acne. Also, certain medications that contain androgen or lithium may also cause acne flareups. Lastly, what we eat may trigger skin inflammation. To avoid triggering acne it is best to avoid foods that contain refined carbohydrates, high fat and high corn or soy oil, food or drinks with added sugars, dairy products, and chocolate. It is recommended to pay attention to when you have acne flare ups and try to tie it back to what you ate that day or a medication you took recently. This will help you avoid future flare ups.
Acne treatment can vary based on the severity of acne you have. In addition to paying attention to your diet, there are many other treatment options available. Mild acne can be treated with over-the-counter medications including gels, soaps and creams.
If you have sensitive skin, creams and lotions will work the best. If you have oily skin, alcohol-based gels will work best. These medications often include salicylic acid, sulfur, Retin-A, and/or benzoyl peroxide. These ingredients help to kill bacteria and break down blackheads and whiteheads.
If you are experiencing moderate to severe acne, your treatment options will look a little different. One option is a corticosteroid injection. This will help prevent acne scarring and reduce skin inflammation. Another option is prescription strength oral antibiotics. You will often start with a high dose and work your way down to a lower dose as the acne clears up. Topical antimicrobials are also an option. These unclog the pores and prevent acne from developing.
Your diet is not the only cause of acne, but plays a significant role in having it. If you are in Bloomington, Illinois or surrounding areas and are experiencing consistent acne and are looking for a treatment plan, contact us. The dermatologists at Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute want to give you the proper treatment to help restore your confidence.