Preventing & Controlling Acne

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Expert

From Dr Hannah Sivak
Acne flares are caused by:
Changing hormone levels in adolescent girls and adult women 2 to 7 days before their menstrual period starts
Oil from skin products (lubricants or make-up) or grease encountered in the work environment (for example, a kitchen with fry vats)
Pressure from sports helmets or equipment, backpacks, tight collars, or tight sports uniforms
Environmental irritants, such as pollution and high humidity
Squeezing or picking at blemishes
Hard scrubbing of the skin
Stress.
Q and A.
1) How does stress affect the skin? The nervous system and the peptides that neurons release as intercellular messengers (neuropeptides), are also involved in the acne process. We cannot modify psychological stress (only you can do that) but we can alleviate stress to the skin itself, by avoiding strong surfactants, alcohol-containing toners, and protecting the skin's beneficial bacterial flora.

2) Diet does not seem to affect acne.

Objectives: Decrease sebum production, prevent the formation of comedos and prevent the transformation of comedos into actual acne lesions.
How?

· By slowing down conversion of precursors to the form of testosterone that binds to the androgen receptor in the skin,

· controling sebum synthesis and secretion,

· normalizing keratinization (preventing the exfoliated keratinocytes from sticking together and closing the pore),

· decreasing inflammation,

· and killing acne bacteria without decimating the normal bacterial flora of the skin.

Take Home Message

Take home message

1) Keep pores “unplugged” and starve the acne bacteria, by controlling sebum secretion with the help of our T-zone serum. Nobiletin inhibits synthesis of the type of fats (triglycerides) that is food for the acne bacterium and slows down proliferation of fat cells.

2) Normalize keratinization and prevent the exfoliated keratinocytes from sticking together. Go for our Acne control cream (with retinyl acetate, white willow bark extract) which will also reduce inflammation. Chemical exfoliation may also help. Try our alpha/beta exfoliator once a week for 4 weeks and use Biore strips or similar after rinsing.

3) Decrease inflammation with our Acne control cream. Avoid topical steroids, the most common topical anti-inflammatory, with prolonged use they will cause skin atrophy and “steroid acne”. For “flares”: SpotEnder is effective and fast but good for your skin.

4) Avoid benzoyl peroxide, which will kill bacteria but will also age your skin and increase the probability of skin cancer. If you are using tea tree oil, an essential oil with antibacterial properties, be careful too, because essential oils are potent solvents and you may end up with hyperpigmentation. If your dermatologist prescribes topical antibiotics, make sure you don’t “stay” on topical antibiotics for years; they will damage skin structure and appearance.

5) For women: talk to your GP. Your GP will make sure that there are no underlying problems showing themselves as acne, i.e. only tests ordered by your doctor can tell you whether your acne is “normal”, caused by the hormonal turmoil of adolescence or the menstrual cycle, or whether it is a symptom of polycystic ovarian syndrome or other health problems that cause an excessive production of male hormones.

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