What’s Causing Your Acne?

Acne Acne is incredibly common, even in adults. So if you thought that growing out of your teenage years would also mean that you’d no longer have acne, think again. Regardless of your age, you deserve beautiful skin!

To choose the best course of action to reduce your acne, consider the cause. Perhaps your diet, daily medications, and activities affect your skin more than you think. Some factors may be in your control, so it’ll be up to you to decide if altering your lifestyle is worth reducing your acne.

Consider the following list of common causes:

Eating too much dairy – Greasy foods and chocolate aren’t the culprits like you may have thought. Dairy and other food products with a high glycemic index have been shown to cause acne. (But avoiding greasy foods couldn’t hurt your health either!)

Using irritating cosmetics – Most products on the market were developed to not cause acne. However, your skin is different than anyone else’s skin. When you’re buying makeup, lotions, or shampoos, read the labels for ingredients that have a history of irritating your skin.

Washing your face too often – You may think that cleaning your skin more will help you avoid acne. But too much exposure to water dries out your skin, making it more susceptible to developing acne.

Taking certain mediations – You’ll likely not be able to change the medication you take entirely, but your doctor may have other options for you to try. If you’re taking corticosteroids, lithium, or a barbiturate, consider other options if possible.

Maintaining constant contact with your skin – If you play a sport that involves chin straps, helmets, or fitted clothing, your skin can become irritated especially when you sweat. Exercise is great! But be sure to take care of your skin when you’re done.

Experiencing constant stress – Stress can either cause or exacerbate acne. In an effort to both reduce acne and live a happier life, start trying exercises that will minimize stress.

As a side note… if your face does break out, avoid touching the area. It’ll make the breakout worse!

Acne may still develop even if all of these common causes are eliminated. But we’re confident that addressing these causes will help in some way. Let us know if you have any other questions about severe acne.

8 Tips for Home Skincare

Skin CareHealthy skin can feel like a blessing. Our environment affects our skin on a daily basis, sometimes leaving it dry or irritated. As much as it seems as though we have no control over how our skin looks and feels, you can have the skin you want!

Seeing a dermatologist can be incredibly helpful in developing a skincare plan, as skin varies from person to person. But taking care of your skin at home is the first step.

Here are a range of tips, from lifestyle to products, to keep your skin healthy:

  • Avoid harsh cleansers – Your skin needs a soft touch to stay smooth. Use facial and body scrubs sparingly. And be sure that your soap is pH balanced to prevent reactions to acidic or basic solutions.
  • Toss the toner – In the past, toner was used to balance the pH levels of your skin after using unbalanced cleansers. Now, many more products are already balanced, eliminating the need for toner. And who needs more products?!
  • Choose fragrance-free soaps and lotions – More than you may realized, your skin reacts to the fragrance in your skincare products. Especially if you have sensitive skin, skip the floral or fruity concoctions.
  • Be gentle with your skin – Too often we get into routines that may or may not be good for our skin, sometimes leaving out important skincare habits. Keep these ideas in mind:
    • Use warm instead of hot bathwater.
    • Limit bath time to avoid drying out your skin.
    • There’s no need to shave your legs daily.
    • Lubricate before and moisturize after shaving.
  • Use sun protection – Sun exposure expedites the aging process of the skin. It can also cause skin cancer. Be sure to avoid being in the sun midday, reapply sunscreen every two hours when exposed, and wear clothing that covers your skin.
  • Eat healthy – Fresh and healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein are great for maintaining skin that appears younger.
  • Quit smoking – While smoking causes a slew of additional health issues, the habit rapidly ages the skin. Smoking narrows the blood vessels at the surface of the skin, creating wrinkles and depleting the nutrients your skin needs to stay healthy.
  • Keep stress to a minimum – Stress affects your skin health more than you might think. High stress levels cause breakouts and leave your skin susceptible to other skin conditions.

Watch What You Eat and Stop Your Rosacea from Flaring Up

RosaceaWhile each person has different triggers that will spur their rosacea, there are some triggers that you might want to avoid. This blog will help you be aware of foods that commonly act as rosacea triggers and help you be aware of how you can discover your own personal triggers.

It’s Time to Quit
Smoking and alcohol are common rosacea triggers. If you suffer from rosacea and are a smoker, it’s time to finally cut back and eliminate cigarettes from your life. Alcohol is also a important to cut back on, especially types such as beer, vodka, bourbon, gin, and even champagne.

Cut Back on the Romance
No, having a nice romantic evening in shouldn’t cause your rosacea to flair up—unless, that is, you are sharing some red wine and chocolate with your significant other. As sad as it is, these two romantic symbols are very common rosacea triggers, so stay away if you want your skin to stay calm for the big night.

Turn Down the Heat
Foods that are hot, both thermally and in their spice palates, are more likely to cause a flare up. This includes hot drinks as well. This means you may want to stay away from the Indian and Thai food—and the Mexican and the Chinese. Soy sauce is also off limits.

But I Thought That Was Healthy?
There are so many foods, including dairy, avocados, spinach, various types of beans, citrus fruits, eggplant, tomatoes, raisins, bananas, and many, many more that have been heavily associated with rosacea. In short, anything and everything could cause it, especially when individual factors come into play.

Discover Your Own Triggers
While this is a good list of foods that may trigger your rosacea, it is nowhere near complete. For example, you might be able to eat some of the above foods without a problem, whereas something on this list might give you the worst reaction of all. Your skin condition is a very personal thing, and therefore we can’t give you a list of what will or will not make your skin red and itchy.

You can, however. Keep a food diary and track it along with your rosacea. If you notice a trend that some food is causing or contributing to your flares, cut that out of your diet.

Acne: More Than Just Whiteheads and Blackheads

AcneIf you suffered from mild acne as a teenager, you know all about whiteheads and blackheads. But did you know that there are many other types of acne as well? If you didn’t, consider yourself lucky that you have never had to deal with a more serious type of acne. Here are some other types of acne that are a little more serious than the typical whiteheads you encounter regularly.

Inflammatory Acne
The main difference between blackheads and whiteheads and inflammatory acne is that with inflammatory acne, the body is trying to fight an infection. Instead of being surface-level dirt trapped underneath the skin, these infections are big and red and very painful. They are often very deep underneath the skin, which is why they hurt so much and often produce so much pus. If you have a more serious type of acne, you need to get professional treatment early on.

These types of acne include:

Although they don’t look like much, these are blackheads or whiteheads that become inflammed. They aren’t very painful and usually don’t contain a lot of fluid, but they are inflamed as your body is trying to fight off the infection.

So named due to all the pus inside of them, these are similar to whiteheads except infected and filled with pus. Pus is really dead white blood cells that your body sent to help fight the infection, so the more infection there was, the more pus there will be.

A large bump that is hard and firm, a nodule is deep under the skin and should be treated by a dermatologist. They hardly break the surface, but you can see and feel them deep under your skin.

Similar to a boil, a cyst is a huge pus-filled lump in your skin. It is considered the most severe form of acne. Because they are so large and are so full of pus, it is important to get these treated by a dermatologist. Do not try to pop and clean them yourself, no matter how many YouTube videos you have seen. Not only will it make a mess, you do not want to risk an even worse infection.

Common Skin Conditions

Skin ConditionsTo thoroughly take care of your skin, be sure to examine your entire body regularly for any abnormalities. You may have had birthmarks or other blemishes on your body for as long as you can remember. However, new or changing skin conditions can be indicative of a problem. Your best chance of eliminating an issue is early treatment.

To help you identify your skin condition, we’ve compiled a list of common skin growths:

Moles – Moles protrude from your skin. They’re typically brown or black. Many moles form before the age of 30 and can slowing evolve over time. You may have singular moles or moles that appeared in bunches. Moles can be removed for either medical or cosmetic purposes.

Freckles – Freckles are extremely common! They do not protrude but appear as dark spots on your skin. Especially fair-skinned patients develop freckles on the face, shoulders, and arms. Typically, they become darker during sunnier months. Freckles are not usually a cause for concern and do not need to be removed. However, freckles are indicative of frequent sun exposure. Keep an eye out for skin cancer warning signs.

Skin tags – Skin tags also protrude from your skin but are more like flaps than bumps. They’re the same color as your natural skin and often grown in your armpit, under your breasts, or in your groin area as you grow older. Typically, they do not pose a threat to your health but can be removed for cosmetic purposes.

Lentigines – Lentigines do not typically protrude from your skin. Like freckles, they are dark spots that appear as a result of sun damage. They do not always but could lead to skin cancer. A lentigo can be eliminated with topical medication or laser therapy.

Seborrheic keratoses – Seborrheic keratoses protrude from the skin. They are brown or black and may develop on your chest or back as you age. Unfortunately, there is no known cause for seborrheic keratoses, but they’re typically harmless.

Scheduling a consultation with your dermatologist is the only way to be sure whether or not your skin growth indicates a harmful medical condition. We’d be happy to help you figure it out!