Acne is one of the most commonly experienced skin conditions. It is especially prevalent during puberty but reduces its frequency and severity as we get older. Acne is also generally harmless and usually improves over time or with at-home acne treatment.
However for a small minority, acne may suddenly reappear in adulthood. Others may also experience acne breakouts during moments of stress or hormonal changes. Acne during the formative teenage years might also be distressing for some, especially in more severe cases.
For those who need a bit of support in dealing with acne, we have put together a list of lifestyle changes you can adopt to combat breakouts.
1) Reduce Stress
The root cause of acne lies in sebum overproduction. One of the main triggers for sebum production comes from hormonal changes. This is why acne breakouts happen during puberty, and sometimes during pregnancy as well.
Stress can cause all kinds of physical changes in the body. Most notably, hormones like cortisol and androgens are released into the body. These hormones stimulate oil glands and hair follicles, causing a build-up of sebum which eventually leads to acne.
Stress-induced acne usually develops in the same areas as normal acne and can happen at any age. If you find that you often get breakouts when you are stressed, it is advisable to visit a skin dermatologist at a registered clinic in Singapore for professional advice.
There are also many ways to reduce stress and decrease your chances of developing acne in the first place. Some methods include exercise, meditation, connecting with loved ones, good sleep routines, involving yourself in hobbies, or counselling.
2) Prioritise Sleep
Having adequate sleep is one of the best ways to reduce cortisol levels. For those who lead naturally busy and stressful lives, getting 8 hours of sleep every night can go far in improving concentration and reducing stress.
The easiest way to get more sleep is to get into bed early. But there are also other habits to adopt that can optimise your sleep cycle. A consistent bedtime routine allows your brain and body to power down, and make it easier to fall asleep. This works especially well if you are able to go to bed and wake up at the same time everyday.
Limiting caffeine intake, nicotine, and alcohol can also be useful. These substances affect sleep quality and duration. Avoiding exposure to screens before bed has also been shown to improve sleeping habits.
3) Good Facial Care Routines
Good skincare routines are an essential part of an overall acne treatment regime, but it is important to understand how they work. Washing your face with a gentle cleanser twice a day removes excess dirt or oil.
However, doing too much can actually make things worse. Acne is an inflammatory condition and going overboard can exacerbate skin irritation. You might also end up stripping the protective barrier around your facial skin, leading to more breakouts.
4) Change Your Diet
The food that you eat has a profound effect on body function. Foods like refined carbohydrates, fried foods, and sweetened carbonated drinks can cause or increase inflammation.
Your diet can also affect hormone production. Milk and sugary foods can cause spikes in insulin levels, which in turn can alter the production of other hormones that affect the skin. In general, it is better to avoid snacks, fast foods, sugar, and food with a high fat content.
Acne in severe cases can lead to scarring and lower your quality of life. While not preventable, you can combat acne by making small changes to your lifestyle, which might also have other long-term benefits.
As a skin clinic based in Singapore, Thomson Specialist Skin Centre provides a wide range of dermatological services that use evidence-based acne treatment options. Contact us today to learn more about our services and set up an appointment with our team.