By some estimates, somewhere around 60 million people suffer from active acne. Most of those are young adults and about 25% of those people will actually have long-term scars as a result of severe acne that goes untreated.
Needless to say, acne can be a real problem for some people and a constant source of anxiety for many others. Many people are not aware that the everyday habits they engage in can be causing or exacerbating their acne.
Your skin is the most important (and one of the most sensitive) organs in your body. Here are some little-known acne-fighting tips to keep your skin clear, beautiful, and healthy.
Clean Your Face Regularly
The most important thing you can do to prevent acne from taking hold on your skin is to wash your face. Every time you go out into the world, exercise, sweat in any way, swim in a pool or lake, or expose your skin at all to the elements; dirt and oil can become trapped in your pores.
Other than genetic factors, these are the primary vehicles for acne to form. Even sleeping on dirty sheets or other surfaces can make your facial skin dirty. It may not look dirty but trust us, it’s there.
Each morning when you wake up, wash your face with a gentle exfoliator. Then do the same each night when you go to bed. Develop a routine habit of this and you should start to see improvement of existing mild acne and prevent new acne from forming.
Clean Your Phone
This sounds silly but our phones are some of the dirtiest objects we use each day. Some people say they are even dirtier than our money because we use our phones in all situations. We use them when we are eating, when we are in the bathroom, after we’ve handled other dirty objects, etc.
With that said, no consider the fact that you put your phone to your face at least a couple times each day. If you have never cleaned your phone, all of the things you touched in the time before you put it to your face are on there.
A good tip is to keep some wipes that are labeled as antibiotics. Choose something that kills germs and keep it in your car, at home, and at your place of work. Make a habit of wiping your phone screen down at least once a day.
If cleaning your phone is not practical, try using devices that allow you to use a phone function without touching your face. For example speakerphone, Bluetooth headsets, or the headphones that came with your phone are all good options.
Washing your skin is great but keeping it moisturized is even better. Moisturizers keep pores in your skin open and make it less likely that dirt and oil will become trapped in your skin. Moisturizing after you’ve washed your face in the morning and at night is a good routine to follow.
It is a common myth that hot water or steam opens the pores in your skin and cold water makes them close. In reality, your pores are not activated by temperature. Hot water has a tendency of making the outer layers of your skin swell which can make them look open but that is not why they are opening.
Heat causes enlargement of the capillaries near the surface of your skin and makes the area swell. In other words, hot water does nothing for you and cooler water is easier on the skin.
Plan a Healthier Diet
What you eat has a lot to do with what your skin looks like. You can help prevent acne by simply avoiding certain foods. While every person’s body and metabolism are different, here are some basic things you should avoid eating too much of:
Sugar: This is probably the worst for your skin. Some studies have shown that sugar has some sort of link to breakouts and consuming a lot of it can throw your body off balance. Keep track of your sugar intake. If you notice a breakout hours or days after consuming a lot of sugar, it’s best to steer clear.
Fast food: This is probably not good for anyone anyway but for acne sufferers, fast food can be a big no-no. Much of this kind of food is high in fatty acids and oils which make their way through your body and into your skin.
Wash Your Pillowcase
You would be surprised at how much a person can sweat in their sleep and we all do it. Even if you wash your face, shower, and moisturize before bedtime, your pillowcase and sheets accumulate dirt and oil overnight. Sweat builds upon our bodies and then it has no other place to go than into our bed linens.
Make a point to wash your pillowcases as often as you wash your other clothes. Change your pillowcase at least every couple of days to a clean one. This is one of those strategies where if you’ve tried a lot of other things to prevent acne, this may be yet another opportunity to avoid getting your skin dirty.
If you’ve tried many of these and failed, do not beat yourself up. Sometimes acne requires professional care and there is no way around it. Some people are predisposed to developing severe acne and require medical intervention. If you have chronic mild or severe acne and you haven’t done anything about it yet, these tactics are great places to start.
We are all products of our environment and the same principle can be applied to our skin. Make changes in your daily habits as a first step in combating your acne before contacting a professional or using more aggressive treatments. You may be able to save yourself a lot of frustration and money by simply doing things a little different in your everyday life instead of adding treatments that may not be necessary.
*Photo courtesy of Karolina Misev with www.cushyspa.comLear More
The skin is the largest organ of the body, so it’s essential to teach your child some important tips to maintain a healthy complexion. Establishing a solid skin-care routine will help prevent certain issues in the future. Kids are constantly exposed to high levels of dirt and germs, so it’s crucial that they learn how to properly care for their skin. Starting early will ensure that they will continue caring for their skin into adulthood. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
Find the Right Products
There are numerous soaps, creams, lotions, and other skin-care products on store shelves. When caring for your child, it is important to avoid items that contain chemicals like sulfates and parabens. Finding a brand that targets sensitive skin is best. Reading labels will help you to choose a line of products that will work well for your child.
Bar soaps can be incredibly drying, so it is wise to uncover a face wash that is gentle but removes excess dirt and oils. Kids do not want to use products that are sticky or heavy. A mild soap will prevent redness and dryness.
Besides the soap, it is important to understand the right water temperature to use. Although many people believe that hot water is best for pores, it is actually better to use lukewarm water. Hot water often disrupts skin’s natural oils.
Preventing Dry Skin
It is essential to moisturize your child’s skin, especially since dryness is a common issue with youngsters. Vaseline is an excellent product that does not cause irritation but will prevent dry skin conditions.
Many parents do not realize that it is not necessary to bathe young children every day. Taking a shower or bath three times a week is enough to keep your child clean without harming his or her skin. Also, it is best to avoid hot water. Teach your child to rub gently with a soft washcloth or sponge instead of scrubbing too hard as well.
In the summer months, chlorine or salt water may cause the skin to dry, especially if he or she spends a lot of time swimming in the pool or at the beach. Applying a gentle moisturizer and washing off the salt or chlorine is the key to maintaining healthy skin.
Many children do not like drinking water. However, it is an essential part of their diets. As parents, you must make sure that your kids drink enough water to remain hydrated, especially during the warm months of summer. This is usually the time when children are running wild and sweating. Besides serious health conditions, dehydration can cause the skin to become very dry.
Two easy ways to get children to drink more water is limit their choices (offer them milk or water instead of adding other drinks) and add fruit for a little more flavor! Click here to read more tips on this from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
In the winter, children enjoy playing outdoors in the snow. However, it is crucial to keep their skin protected. Always cover their hands and faces so that the wind does not cause burning. Even if it seems to be overcast, sunscreen is essential as well. The sun’s rays reflect off of the snowy conditions and can still cause a sunburn. Since a home’s heat is commonly running full-time during the winter months, the air can be extremely dry. It is wise to run a humidifier indoors so that moisture is restored to the atmosphere. This will guard skin as well.
Things are a bit more complicated during the spring and summer months. These are the seasons when the sun is the strongest. It is vital to use sunscreen on your children at all times. When choosing a product, it is important to look for an SPF of 30 or more. Also, it should protect against UVA and UVB rays. If your child will be swimming, a water-resistant product is recommended.
For maximum sun protection, it is best to apply sunscreen approximately 30 minutes before your child will head outside. Make sure to cover all areas of his or her body, including the hands, neck, ears, and shoulders. Dermatologists advise using an ounce of product to cover the body and reapplying every two hours. Protecting from burns will help to avoid signs of aging in the future and will guard against the development of skin cancer.
The Teen Scene
During the teen years, acne becomes common. Learning how to keep skin clean and choosing the right products will keep breakouts to a minimum.
Normal skin should be washed with a mild soap each day. Dry skin should be cleansed and moisturized to maintain a healthy balance. Oily skin should be cleaned with soap and water. Certain products are available to help dissolve oil as well.
When pimples form, it is crucial to never pop them. Bacteria may spread, or scarring may result. If acne is severe, products that contain benzoyl peroxide may help.
When you want to take the best care of your child’s skin, consult with the experts at our office. We will take time to explain more tips that will help you ensure the healthiest skin for your family. We tend to patients of all ages. If your child is suffering from a skin condition or simply wants to learn a proper skin-care routine, contact us to schedule a consultation today.Lear More