I often work with my patients to help them achieve personal skin care goals. Through the use of naturopathic facials, microcurrent and LED therapies, diet and nutritional advice, supplementation, and selected skin care products, most of my patients see dramatic improvements in their skin. Despite the fact that the majority of my patients are beyond their teenage years, one of the most common areas of conversation is acne. To help you better understand the blemishes that continue to ail many of us, here are answers to some of my most common questions.
Do adults get acne?
Unfortunately, adult acne is very common. A survey of more than 1,000 adults published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that 61 per cent of women suffering from acne were over 30. While your acne may look different from when you were 16, it's very normal to still struggle with problem skin into your 30s, 40s, and 50s. There can be a number of reasons why you may be breaking out as an adult. Stopping the birth control pill, entering menopause, or post pregnancy can cause fluctuating hormone levels that trigger breakouts. High stress levels and nutrient deficiencies can also be contributing factors. If you have problem skin, no matter what your age, it's important to seek a tailored skin care program to ensure you are putting your best face forward.
Is acne is caused by poor hygiene and dirty skin?
The truth is, cleaning the face by scrubbing your skin with abrasive products can strip the skin of its natural oils and therefore increase irritation and dryness of the skin. Over washing your skin can actually cause breakouts.
If you struggle with breakouts it's important to find the right skin care products that can help you address problem skin, specifically starting with a good cleanser. I often see people using products that are too harsh for them, which change the natural ph of their skin - leading to more breakouts. Look for a very gentle cleanser, preferably one that is not cream based for best results. My favourites right now are the clear skin probiotic cleanser or the stone crop gel wash.
Should I avoid chocolate?
Let me be the first to tell you that it's not the cocoa that can impact your acne. Instead, it's the sugar and dairy that's often added to your favourite chocolatey treat. In fact, I often see a very strong correlation between food sensitivities and problem skin. Food sensitivity testing indicates which foods create inflammation in the body when you consume them. Because acne is an inflammatory process, consuming foods that you are sensitive to can definitely worsen acne. If you struggle with acne and problem skin, come in for food sensitivity testing. You may find that chocolate is not the culprit causing your breakouts.
Is the Birth Control Pill the only solution for hormonal acne?
Many people believe that because they suffer from hormonal acne ~ breakouts that worsen around the menstrual cycle, or acne that comes on around 13 years of age ~ their only treatment option is the birth control pill. Wisely, most women don't want to take synthetic hormones on a daily basis to control their acne. The good news is you can effectively achieve hormonal regulation with natural herbal therapies that can work wonders, not only for problem skin, but for PMS too, with no unwanted side effects.
What is the best treatment to prevent breakouts?
When treating acne I typically like to do a treatment combining a gentle facial peel, micro-current and LED light therapy. The facial peel exfoliates the top layer of the skin, which increases cell turnover and prevents the pores from clogging. It also helps to re-texturize leaving the skin smoother and more radiant. The micro-current really helps to reduce inflammation, promote healing, and regenerate tissues. Finally, the LED blue light therapy kills acne-causing bacteria without harming the skin improving skin clarity and reducing future breakouts.
While problem skin may be a reality for many people, you can fight back. Now that you understand some of the common questions, come visit me at the clinic to create a tailored skin care plan.
Yours in good health,
Dr. Tamarah Chaddah, Naturopathic Doctor