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Change of Seasons Can Mean More Acne

As if we didn’t have enough to worry about – hormones, diet, genetics, stress and whatever else triggers our acne breakouts – now we have to worry about the seasonal influence. According to a recent press release from the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS), alterations in skin care routines and additional moisturizing can lead to an increase in breakouts and redness during the transition into the colder months.

To help people avoid an increase in acne this fall, and keep the skin looking healthy year-round, the ASDS recommends the following tips (with my commentary in italics):

Follow all directions for prescribed medications. Laser treatments and oral medications that fight bacteria and lighten excessive oil production are a few ways to phase out blemishes. Maintaining an appropriate skin regimen helps them be effective. This includes following directions and schedules prescribed by your doctor. Be patient—it may be six to eight weeks before you see improvements with prescription or over-the-counter remedies.

Ms. DistressedDerma: Of course this is a no-brainer but I know that many of us don’t always follow through. I’m using Retin-A Micro now and I am extremely tempted to stop treatment because not only is the acne worse but my skin is peeling off in ribbons -really it’s gross. As an adult it is devastating to not only have acne breakouts but to have my skin coming off as I speak or meet with clients. At times I don’t know what is worse: the problem or the cure. For now I’m hanging in there but my self-esteem is at it’s lowest. I am doing everything I can to avoid social circumstances :(

Eat a balanced diet. Research shows there is no direct link between eating greasy or sugary foods (including chocolate) and breakouts. However, food allergies may trigger acne for certain people. For these people, avoiding such foods may help to reduce pimples. Healthy lifestyle choices such as a balanced diet, exercise and stress management will really help your skin.

Ms. DistressedDerma: My personal experiences have shown that diet is a factor in whether or not my skin is clear or blemished. Sugar, refined flours (bread , pasta, donuts, etc) are blemish triggers for me.

Relax. The hormone that the body produces in response to stress is a known acne trigger and can cause a flare up. Try to develop techniques to help manage stress and avoid last minute deadlines.

Ms. DistressedDerma: Easier said than done…most often you hear that from people with beautiful complexions. I always thought that if their skin condition mirrored mine that they would be as equally stressed about it as I am. However, I do agree that stress is a big influencer of how severe the acne is – the more stressed I am the more I get. In future postings I will report on how Yoga and Meditation are working for me…so stay tuned.

Choose oil-free cosmetics. When choosing cosmetics it’s important to find the right kind for your specific skin type. Look for the words “non-comedogenic” on the label, choosing products that are oil-free and won’t clog pores will help prevent future problems. Some concealers even contain benzoyl peroxide, which helps to fight acne while also disguising it.

Ms. DistressedDerma: This is a MUST and it should be relatively easy to do because most cosmetics today are non-comedogenic. When using medicated cosmetics think about the possible interactions: benzoyl peroxide on skin being treated with Retin-A will burn and turn red.So use care when mixing topical medications.

Don’t fight acne alone. If you have tried to get rid of acne on your own and you’re just not getting the job done, get help. A dermasurgeon can help to get you on the road to clearer skin.

Ms. DistressedDerma: Agree 100%. In my case I had to find a dermatologist who would treat me seriously. Some of them think that a few pimples and csytic acne is not serious. Yes, I know there are very severe cases of acne and mine ranks in the mild category but I don’t suffer mentally and emotionally any less than someone with a very severe case. If your current dermatologist isn’t taking your treatment seriously than by all means find one that will. Remember, it’s your skin not theirs and you are the one who has to deal with the problems that acne comes wrapped in – so find a dermatologist who meets your needs.

Don’t scrub. Many people associate acne with a dirty face, so they scrub their face with harsh soaps that sometimes contain irritating detergents that can increase breakouts. Wash your face twice a day using a mild soap and water and pat dry.

Ms. DistressedDerma: I’ve been bad and have been scrubbing. I know I shouldn’t but my skin is so dry and peeling terribly from the Retin-A Micro that if I don’t scrub I will have huge icky flakes on my skin. I know that it’s bad and I think that I may have caused some smaller breakouts because of it. My skin is also so sensitive from using retin-a that the scrubbing has torn some areas . I’ve sworn off scrubbing and will be giving away my Oil of Olay Peel set.

Don’t pop pimples. Popping a pimple increases the chance of further infection. Squeezing pimples actually pushes bacteria further into pores, which causes redness and swelling and may cause permanent scarring.

Ms. DistressedDerma: Avoiding that but I guess it means little if I just scrubbed the top layer of skin off – I guess that’s as bad as picking at the blemishes.

Don’t let scars get you down. Acne scarring can be emotionally devastating. Fortunately, treatment options continue to evolve.

Ms. DistressedDerma: Again, this is probably coming from someone with clear, perfect beautiful skin. I for one can’t avoid feeling sad and ugly because I don’t have pretty skin. It’s bad enough having to deal with the acne but add to that the aftermath, meaning the scars. I know that my case is mild and I do stress and get depressed because of it so it irritates me to hear anybody say that you shouldn’t let it get you down – because it does. And I can’t even begin to imagine how awful it must be for somebody suffering with a severe form of acne.

(Back by popular demand – Seasonal Skin Care post. Original posting: October 2006 by Ms. distressedDERMA)

Submitted by Ms. distressedDERMA on Saturday, 15 September 2007


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6 Responses to “Change of Seasons Can Mean More Acne”

  1. 1

    GlamBlush :: Links, Links, and More Links Says:

    […] at Distressed Derma -> Seasons are changing, so is your skin’s pH balance. Find out how to battle autumn […]

  2. 2

    Jeni – Savvy Skin Says:

    Hi. Welcome to the Beauty Blog Network. woohooo!

  3. 3

    ms. distressedDerma Says:

    Hi Jeni,

    Thanks! I am excited to be part of the Beauty Blog Network. It’s an amazing group of beautiful women with great blogs.

  4. 4

    YogaTrader Says:

    I would agree that stress is a major factor. Mental stress and fatigue can trigger a variety of inflammatory responses in the body – acne can definitely be one of the most noticable side effects.

  5. 5

    Getting Rid Of Acne Says:

    Stress is indeed a factor, but i dont think it has as big of a part as believed. Eat well, and take care of yourself, see a dermatologist, as it is the best move you can make!

  6. 6

    AcneScars Says:

    Stress is the major factor of acne.The best acne treatment is seeing doctor.But i believe the other home remedies.i dont know but i believe that they are very helpful and useful for acne scarring..

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