Acne can be annoying and once there’s a breakout, it can be difficult to control them. When our hair follicles become plugged with oil and dead skin cells, it leads t acnes. Acne results in whiteheads, blackheads, or pimples. While teenagers undergoing hormonal changes usually are prone to acne, it can happen to anyone at any age. Dr Rohit Batra, Dermatologist and Dermatosurgeon, at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi, talks about how to prevent acne breakout during winter, dos and don’ts, and how to treat acne if you have one.
Why we are more prone to acne breakouts during winter
During winters, the air has very little moisture thus making our skin dry too. To compensate for the drier condition, sebaceous glands start secreting more sebum which provides moisture to the skin. Too much sebum results in the clogging of pores, thus resulting in acne, shares Dr Batra. Some studies suggest that less UV light exposure results in a shift in the bacterial population on the skin’s epithelium and in the immune system which might be the cause of acne. Cold weather can act as a form of physical stress so for anyone suffering from a chronic inflammatory disease of the skin, stress will aggravate the inflammation.
Skincare tips to take: How to prevent further acne breakouts?
Cleansing your face regularly will help to get dirt particles off your face thus preventing the clogging of pores.
Moisturizing your face with moisturizers that have humectants such as glycerin, allantoin, propylene glycol, hyaluronic acid, etc. will make your skin moist thus preventing breakouts.
Exfoliate to remove dead skin cells and unclog your pores and remember not to overdo it as it will result in the excessive drainage of essential oils from your skin, making it too dry and further leading to breakouts.
Staying hydrated, exercising, and getting fresh air will improve your skin’s health.
Provide the right nutrients and nourishment to your skin and reduce your stress.
Acne: Diet changes to make
Studies have shown that a high-glycemic index is related to the occurrence of acne. Thus, maintaining a low-glycemic index is recommended. Having a balanced diet will help you to treat your taste buds whilst also providing all the nutrients your skin needs to be healthy.
Are women more prone to acne than men?
Acne has no gender or age bias. Anyone can get acne; in fact a baby as young as one day to an adult in 90s can get acne. But women are more vulnerable to acne than men due to hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle or because of the birth control pills.
Treating acne: Dos and don’ts
Things to do:
- Cleanse, exfoliate and moisturize your skin.
- Follow a healthy lifestyle such as exercising regularly and eating right.
- Stay hydrated to flush out toxins from your body.
- Get fresh air to rejuvenate your skin and keep a check on your sun exposure as too much sun time is not good for your acne.
- Seeing a dermatologist. They will treat the acne right and after analyzing the cause will provide a solution that kills the cause as well.
Things not to do:
- Do not touch your face as it leads to bacterial transfer onto your face resulting in acne and do not pop or squeeze your acne as it will lead to skin inflammation and scarring.
- Do not overdo any of the skincare products and don’t use oily cosmetics.
- Do not be harsh on your skin that is do not over-cleanse, over-exfoliate, or over-moisturize.
- Do not take long hot showers or too much indoor heating.
- Do not use products with strong fragrances as it could lead to skin irritation.
- No, home remedies, please. Visit a dermatologist if you are suffering from acne. Doing self-treatment can make the acne worst. So, don’t apply oils on the scalp, creams or milk, and other greasy substances on the face to avoid acne flares.
(Dr Rohit Batra is a Dermatologist and Dermatosurgeon, at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi)
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