Almost everyone can probably say they've woken up in the morning with one or two unsightly pimples at some point in their lives, likely multiple times. These spots are a symptom of acne, a condition that can affect people much more severely than a couple of pimples. Studies show it affects over 40 million Americans to some degree, including between 79% and 95% of 16- to 18-year-olds. So how can you clear up your acne?
Your skin is the largest organ in your body, stretching over an average 22 square feet and acting as your first defense against temperature, sunlight, and dangerous bacteria. So when studying the causes of acne, dermatologists have their work cut out for them. Scientists tend to agree on four main contributors to acne:
There are more indirect factors that can affect acne breakouts by affecting any of these contributors. For example, wearing a lot of makeup can result in more clogged pores than usual. Inflammation and oil production are both affected by hormones in the body, which can change due to stress, smoking, or the consumption of medications such as lithium and steroids.
While it's commonly believed that your diet has a direct impact on acne breakouts, the details are less clear.
It's been suggested that following a low-glycemic diet, which would be high in fresh vegetables, beans and fruits, may result in fewer acne breakouts. Dermatologists conclude this is most likely because eating low-glycemic food reduces the amount of spikes in blood sugar you experience. Blood sugar spikes cause higher insulin production and can lead to inflammation, which in turn clogs pores in your skin and provokes breakouts.
Despite these findings, scientists haven't found conclusive evidence that high-glycemic foods, such as potato chips, fries, and sugary drinks, cause acne. Most studies do show a correlation, but don't prove causation. So while it's true that diet modifications may help reduce acne, if you want clear skin you should consider a good skin care routine and acne medication.
If you find the acne medications or diet modifications aren't quite working for you, there is another option: laser treatment. Acne laser treatment is a pulse-based light technology that sheds the top layer of your skin, bringing fresh skin to the top. Laser treatment is an effective way to reduce the appearance of acne and the scars it can leave behind. In addition, treatment usually takes less than an hour, with not more than two weeks of healing time.
If you're tired of the impact acne can have on your self-esteem, book an appointment today to take your first steps towards clear skin.