Fighting Acne hard? Let it not ruin your face anymore!
You’ve been waking up every day touching your face trying to feel for new bumps and then storming into your washroom hoping that it’s not a new zit this time! And BAM! You have it already staring real bad just to leave you wondering how these wicked pimples make way to your pretty face overnight. Acne gives many of us a spate of faux pas at some point of our lives.
And it sucks BIG TIME! Period.
If you are stranded with all the relatable and convoluted stuff about it on the internet, PLEASE STOP RIGHT NOW! Because, as long as you ‘think’ of acne as a disease, it will remain to be one. I say that out of my experience throughout my teen life.
I’ve been to the dermatologist earnestly pining for a ‘miracle’ treatment only to be pacified with temporary relief including topical lotions, anti-bacterial creams and soaps, exfoliating gels and a bit of needle-popping, too. That used to be around 2004, I remember, when dermabrasion & chemical peels weren’t really the in-thing.
I often asked my dermatologist if a diet rich in oily content could be an aggravation. “NO” was what he would reassure me with. However, the truth dawned quite later on me.
Well, if you’ve been battling acne for quite a while, it could be a sign that
- your hormones are pranking you; OR
- you should change some of your habits; OR
- you’re just stressed up!
Acne in adolescence is really very common. So, it’s literally a ‘coming-of-age’ thing! That’s prominently due to hormonal turbulence that happens in your body then, especially with the menstrual cycle in females. The androgens have most of the role to play here. Anything that triggers excessive androgen production (meant to be out of the normal proportion in both, males and females) could be causing a breakout.
As the French physician, Anthelme Brillat-Savarin coined the phrase, “You are what you eat”. I’d want to hold on to my version of it – “You are what you eat, think and sleep.” You mess it up when the balance between all 3 of these is lost.
Although a large number of physicians may deny to recognize the connection between diet, stress and acne, the fact prevails because acne is not just skin-deep. It expresses itself out of something that’s been going on inside the body.
I’d want to add MY testimony to this as well.
How could the ‘ingredients’ of your anti-acne medication claim to reduce it, but the ‘nutrients’ you ingest with your food not seem to affect it at all? Sounds reasonable enough?
Now this, obviously, impels us to amend our lifestyle and diet.
Here are super simple things that helped me BIG DEAL:
1. I WATCHED MY SWEET TOOTH:
A high glycemic diet often aggravates acne. It produces a lot of insulin which triggers high androgen production.
Result – Worsened Acne.
I curbed my urge to binge on pastries, white bread, processed fruit juices, carbonated drinks (including soda) and other desserts. Basically, eat healthy.
2. ADIEU, OILY FATS!
Acne is superficially a result of excessive sebum which is already irking your skin with all that extra oil. Saturated fats can trouble you further. I avoided whole milk, cheese and the goddamn fried food.
3. THOSE FRUITS & VEGGIES:
Apples, oranges, tomatoes, carrots, spinach, raisins, almonds, peas and lentils. They are rich in antioxidants and Omega-3 fatty acids which help fight acne. Up their intake. For those of you who are non-vegan, boiled or barbequed mackerel could be a delightful anti-acne treat.
4. I WATCHED MY WEIGHT:
It’s always advisable for anybody, especially the younger folks to maintain a weight that falls well within the normal BMI range (18.5 to 24.9). Fluctuations in one’s weight are, many a times, responsible for perturbed hormonal activity, therefore, kindling acne.
5. NO DIRTY HANDS, PLEASE!
We often tend to rest our faces on our hands, which are, most of the time, not clean or germ-free. So, just avoid doing that.
HEY! I certainly don’t advocate OCD here, neither am I wheedling you to put your cabinets through torrents of sanitizers!
6. THE DIVINE DROPS:
Many of us just quench our thirst with ‘sips’ of water. Water is an underrated panacea for various ailments that flushes the nasty toxins out and replenishes the body. After resolving to rid acne, I discovered how wrong I had been in having just 2-3 glasses of water every day. Increasing water intake helps visibly reduce the inflammation. And as I always say, make sure you fill yourself with at least 8 glasses of water daily!
7. SOME SLEEPING BEAUTY:
BELIEVE ME! Sleep deprivation just fuels acne. All the above will fail should you not sleep at least 7 hours of sound sleep. This subjects your body to some extra stress leading to hyperactivity of the sebaceous glands causing more and more of those zits.
Learn how to snub social media addiction from sleep here.
Sandalwood paste helped big time! It is known to act by drying out the pimple formation with its anti-bacterial properties.
NOTE: Please don’t fall for powdered sandalwood as it has no effects. If you have access to sandalwood bars, it’d be great.
9. KEEPING THE PHONE AWAY:
Time to think if most of the above points still don’t seem to help you ease the condition.
Most of you would never contemplate your smartphone to be the culprit behind your breakouts. But, it is, indeed, the DIRTIEST thing around you!
Your smartphone harbors the worst hoard of dust, oil and germs; so holding it most of the time pressed over your cheek is only going to invite more and more acne. Make a habit of frequently cleaning your screen with a soft, clean and thin cloth every time.
10. NO BLEACH:
Prominence of facial acne often renders the skin quite sensitive to various substances, including bleaching creams (both chemical and herbal). Hence, avoid bleaching your face because that could trigger another devastating breakout. All the more, bleach just makes the unwanted hair look golden instead of black/brown (Sorry for that personal dig at bleaching!).
How to confront Acne emotionally?
I totally stand by you during your struggle with acne for I know what it exactly feels like. You could read this to know how I confronted acne on an emotional front.
“Your immune system is constantly eavesdropping on your internal dialogue.”
– Deepak Chopra, author, public speaker and alternative medicine advocate
Believe it or not, our body manifests itself by its intricate maneuvering with the mind. All the physical habits may drastically dampen your efforts if attacking the problem mentally is not your first step.
Take it from me, just 2 of these awesome things will put your shrinking confidence in place:
ACCEPT THE CHALLENGE:
Learn to accept acne as a phase that will pass either naturally or have to be fought. Rather, believe that it is but a phase.
So what, if there are these people who comment on your appearance?
You are what ‘you’ feel about yourself, not others. For a while, focus on all the goodies about you, be it your skills, your wit, intelligence or that killer smile! Acne can never take them away from you. NEVER. Stop thinking that others are going to keep noticing or staring at your face all the time, the way you do in the mirror. Come on, it’s certainly not THEIR face that they’re going to worry so much about.
PATIENCE, my friend, patience:
Make infrequent visits to your mirror. Ogling at your healing face is really not going to take you anywhere. Changes are well noticed over discrete observations than frequent ones.
Wait no further to say ‘good riddance’ to acne FOREVER!