Skin care is your first line of defense against acne and the effect it has on your skin. A myriad of medications, both over-the-counter and prescribed, can help with the blemishes and pimples associated with acne. However, a solid foundation of good skin care practices can be the difference between frequent blemish outbreaks and a more controlled and even skin appearance.
Stress has a strong relationship to acne and a profound impact. When under stress the body produces hormonal steroids, such as cortisol (a corticosteroid hormone frequently called hydrocortisone). Like other hormonal steroids (testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, etc.) these chemicals target the skin in a disruptive manner and acne flare-ups may coincide with increased stress.
While it is easy to suggest the avoidance of stress, this is not likely to be accomplished. Begin recognizing stress levels and potentially stressful events or situations. During these times, cleanse very thoroughly, using your cleanser three times a day rather than two. Increase the use of Skintactix products from once daily, to twice. Use the Green Tea Poultice more frequently. In short, step up the daily skin care regimen to offset the skin’s response to stress. When the stressful situation passes, return to the normal daily skin care regimen.
Research suggests that coffee (with or without caffeine) stimulates the production of cortisol (see the above section on stress) and acts just like stress. Coffee may be a promoter of acne and its consumption should be limited. Green tea or white tea are healthier beverage selections. When stress levels rise, it may be wise to reduce coffee consumption to achieve a reduction in cortisol levels which promote acne.
A good diet is an effective tool in controlling acne, especially fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants, combined with adequate protein. A healthy and well-balanced diet affects the health and efficiency of the body and that includes the skin. Every organ in your body relies upon the same vitamins, minerals and nutrients to function. Since the skin is at the end of the food line, it suffers greatly from an improperly balanced diet. Foods with high antioxidant content (colorful fruits and vegetables) are very helpful in promoting the healing of acne infections.
People who have tried numerous prescriptive and non-prescriptive acne treatments without success will probably succeed with Skintactix products. If not, the problem may be wheat-induced acne, which makes any acne treatment unsuccessful. Skintactix Acne Kits and diet modification successfully achieve control of wheat-induced acne in almost all cases. For more information on this subject please see the Acne & Wheat page.
Essential Fatty Acids
People who have tried numerous prescriptive and non-prescriptive acne treatments without success will probably succeed with Skintactix acne products. If not, and you have multiple whiteheads and/or blackheads, you may have a deficiency of linoleic acid (omega 6). This condition makes acne treatment unsuccessful because of excessive follicular congestion. Skintactix products and diet modification successfully achieve control of linoleic deficiency-induced acne. For more information on this subject please see the Acne & Essential Fatty Acids page.
A smaller segment of the acne population may react to milk and/or dairy products. Milk contains hormones which can promote the potential for acne infections. Hormonally induced acne frequently follows the chin and jaw line. If milk is a factor in the promotion of acne, you have probably tried numerous prescriptive and non-prescriptive acne treatments without success. You will probably be successful with Skintactix acne products because the products reduce the skin’s volume of dihydrotestosterone and sebum. If control is still difficult to achieve, limiting daily intake can be helpful. For more information on this subject please see the Acne & Milk page.
Taking an antibiotic may be an easy method of controlling acne, when it is successful, but there can be a huge downside. Science has known for years that frequent or extended use of antibiotics can damage the body’s natural immune functions. Research published in February 2004 by the University of Washington in conjunction with the National Cancer Institute was more specific. Of the 10,000 females studied, it was found that those who had used antibiotics approximately 500 days or more at any time over an 18 year period were twice as likely to contract breast cancer than females at large. The association between antibiotics and cancer was dose related, revealing the higher the total dosage (or volume over time) the greater the risk. While this study involved females, the antibiotic and cancer linkage would seem to be equally as applicable to males as well.
Long-term use of antibiotics to control or maintain control of acne may involve risks that should be considered in making decisions about acne treatment. Skintactix has given particular attention to providing effective treatment with no dangers and no side effects.
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Benzoyl Peroxide Cautions
Benzoyl peroxide generates free radicals in the skin. Its effect is similar to unprotected sun exposure. The redness of the skin (erythema), caused by sun exposure and benzoyl peroxide, is the result of free radicals. Repeated sun exposure or benzoyl peroxide use generates free radicals that damage the skin’s structure and cellular DNA, resulting in premature aging of the skin. The extent of the damage and aging from benzoyl peroxide is determined by the concentration of benzoyl peroxide and the frequency of application during use.
Use of benzoyl peroxide to control acne may involve side effects and risks that should be considered in making decisions on acne treatment. Skintactix has given particular attention to providing effective treatment with no side effects and no benzoyl peroxide. For additional information on this subject please see the Benzoyl Peroxide Skin Damage page.
Premature Skin Aging
As you will learn from the Acne and Skin Damage section on the left navigation bar of the website, free radicals promote the aging of skin. Acne infections require huge volumes of chemical processes to control the infection and repair and replace all of the skin components that are damaged or destroyed in the process. This generates volumes of free radicals that in general promote the speed of skin aging. People with moderate to severe facial acne tend to develop facial lines and wrinkles at an earlier stage than the population in general and may require an early skin anti-aging strategy. The control of acne is the first step in slowing the aging process. People with moderate to severe acne who have treated their skin with benzoyl peroxide tend to present skin aging at an even faster rate. For additional information on this subject please see the Acne & Premature Skin Aging and the Free Radical Damage pages.
A German study published in 2001 showed acne is 62% more prevalent in active smokers than in non-smokers. Additionally, a significant dose-dependent relationship was observed between acne severity and daily cigarette consumption.
The development adult onset acne following the initiation of hormone supplementation or significant modification of an existing program may be caused by the dosage. Speak with a physician about this subject and modifying the dosage so it does not promote acne.
Sebum Production Cycle
The skin produces its greatest volume of sebum and oil at approximately 1 to 2 o’clock in the afternoon and its least volume in the middle of the night. Therefore a thorough skin care regimen performed in the late afternoon or early evening is pivotal to effective acne control. Cleanse thoroughly.
Acne appears to have genetic linkage and people may get a better understanding of the possible extent of their condition by discussing this subject with their parents. Ask questions about the severity of their acne and the duration.
Like stress, there is a relationship to acne. The body increases its production of hormones, which indirectly stimulates the production of sebum and the subsequent chemical reactions that promote acne. Three to seven days before the cycle, step up the daily skin care regimen and return to the normal regimen at the end of the period. Use the Green Tea Poultice twice daily as per the instructions. If needed, consider reducing the consumption of milk and/or dairy products for the week just prior to the cycle. For more information on milk and acne please visit the Acne and Milk page.
In some instances oral contraceptives may reduce the severity of acne and in other cases they can trigger skin problems, including acne. If an oral contraceptive is contributing to acne, speak with the physician about “low-profestin” contraceptives or other options. Changing to low-profestin contraceptives has shown to reduce acne in some cases. An oral contraceptive containing ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel may provide benefits for moderate acne. For more information on female acne visit our Female Acne Issues page.
Linens & Headgear
Washcloths, towels, pillowcases, hats, sweatbands, etc. collect bacteria and return it to the skin each time the item is used. Change washcloth, towels and pillowcases every two to three days while achieving control of acne. Make sure headgear is clean and/or avoid the use of unnecessary items.
Hairline or Forehead Acne
A pattern of acne that basically follows the hairline may be caused by sebum and free fatty acids that are generated in the scalp and migrate onto the forehead. The condition can be reduced or eliminated by shampooing more frequently and/or selecting a shampoo specifically developed for oily hair. While hair may not be oily, this type of shampoo can reduce the sebum and fatty acids in the scalp. Glycolic Cleanser can be used as an oil reducing shampoo. Antibacterial Cleanser and Septicide Cleanser perform this function and kill P. acnes as well.
Rumors about unprotected sun exposure being beneficial in reducing skin oiliness and thereby reducing acne are ill-founded. Photons of sunlight produce free radicals within the skin, which promote acne and reduce the skin’s ability to heal and repair. People with acne should avoid sun exposure and use an effective UVA/UVB sunscreen. Skintactix Titanium Dioxide Sunscreen is spf 30 and has UVA/UVB protection.