If you've suffered with acne, you know it can be painful, embarrassing, and scarring. Fortunately, most types of acne respond to treatment. Seeing your dermatologist is the first step in healing your acne, but what else can you do, other than begin taking medications? There are three habits that can work wonders to help support acne treatment, and make it even more effective.
Most people are aware that exercise is great for your heart and lungs, but did you know it does wonders for your skin? Chronic acne is primarily caused by the buildup of skin oil, called sebum. When sebum collects in your pores, bacteria can proliferate, and result in a blemish. By exercising, you are clearing out your pores from the inside and the outside.
While you're working out, blood flow increases to your entire body, including your skin. Increased blood flow helps your skin cells get rid of their waste in a healthy manner, to be filtered by your liver and kidneys. Sweating also helps flush out your pores, preventing the buildup of sebum.
To exercise for healthy skin, aim for activities that that promote lean muscle growth, like yoga and resistance training. If you don't think you can get a good sweat in doing these activities, you're mistaken! Give them another try. Do this 5 times a week, and you're on your way to healthier skin. One word of caution: don't let your exercise routine increase your risk of skin cancer. If you're going to work out in the great outdoors, wear a sweat proof sunscreen.
The old adage is true. You really are what you eat, and that includes your skin.
Science doesn't support the theory that greasy foods or chocolate cause breakouts, but what science can tell you is that a lack of crucial vitamins and minerals can wreak havoc on your complexion. Most of those vitamins are found in fruits, vegetables, animal products, and dairy products.
- Vitamin A is the most widely recognized beneficial compound for your skin. You can get vitamin A by eating yellow or orange root vegetables like carrots, or in animal products like organ meats, egg yolks and vitamin A fortified dairy products.
- Zinc is like vitamin A's best buddy, and supplementing your zinc intake can help increase the amount of vitamin A your body can absorb from foods. Seafood and beef are the best sources of zinc, but you can also get it from nuts, like cashews and almonds.
- Essential fatty acids, especially omega-6 and omega-3, are vital to skin health. Without enough of these nutrients your skin may become more prone to dryness, uneven oil production, and, yes, acne. Most people get plenty of omega-6 from cooking oils, salad dressings, and baked goods. The trick is to get enough omega-3 by eating more fish, or taking a fish oil supplement.
The stresses of everyday life are unlikely to contribute to breakouts, but if you find yourself noticing more acne before finals, or a job interview, your acne might be responding to stress levels. You will never be able to remove stress from your life, but you can change how you manage it.
Eating well and exercising regularly can both help your brain react better to stress. Other things you can do include meditation, participating in a hobby you enjoy, and making time for friends and family.
Your skin is your first line of defense against the sun's harmful rays, pathogens in the air and on the things you touch, and it's also a big part of how the world sees you. No one has perfect skin, but if you're struggling with acne, talking to your dermatologist and taking a few steps to better your skin's health will go a long way in keeping it healthy for years to come.
To learn more, be sure to visit http://desertdermatology.net/.