How to Know What Causes Your Acne Year-Round
Acne is a dreaded condition that affects most people at some point throughout their lives. But while it can be quite common during adolescence, acne doesn’t solely affect teens. Adults suffer from acne outbreaks just as frequently. Plus, acne isn’t just for humid, sweaty summers. It can stick around all year. Here are some of the possible causes of your year-round acne.
What Are Common Causes of Acne?
Hormones and Stress
Hormonal changes are one of the most common reasons for acne. This happens especially for women during menstruation and pregnancy, but it can happen to just about anyone. Hormonal fluctuations can occur due to environmental or medication changes, in response to stress, and as a result of exercise. When our hormones fluctuate, they then cause a host of bodily changes that can impact our pH balance, blood circulation, and sebum (oil) production. Excess sebum, especially in conjunction with sweat, dirt, and bacteria, can cause clogged pores that will eventually develop acne breakouts like pimples or pustules.
Additionally, both emotional and physical stress can cause acne on an ongoing basis. This stress can be emotional, mental, or physiological, coming from any number of sources. Commonly, work, financial, and relational stressors are cited, but even athletes who are training or students immersed in studies can become stressed beyond their skin’s capacity to cope. Plus, environmental stressors like air pollution or variances in routine – like sleep deprivation or bouts of illness – can cause undue stress. Any of these factors can then have biological ramifications like sebum overproduction (and resulting acne.)
Foods and Other Irritants
Contrary to common belief, greasy foods do not actually cause acne themselves. Instead, it’s the transfer of oil from greasy foods (which are often finger foods) from the hands onto the face. Despite our best efforts, we still cannot avoid touching our faces while or after eating these foods and before getting the chance to wash our hands. This is one root cause of acne around the mouth and chin especially.
Skin irritants can also cause breakouts. The human body has a natural protective barrier, but this can be damaged or permeated with certain irritants like harsh chemicals, cleaners, and soaps. Additionally, shaving and waxing can irritate the skin and cause it to develop pimples, as bacteria and oil invade the skin’s barrier.
Acne Treatment Options
The first way to treat your year-round acne is with a high-quality skin care line formulated for acne-prone skin. Also, be sure to avoid greasy foods, harsh chemicals, and other irritants, and wash pillowcases every other day in hot water to kill bacteria.
Exfoliation is critical for both treating acne and preventing it. While having an at-home exfoliant is helpful, getting regular dermatological treatments from time to time can be immensely beneficial too. Exfoliation in a clinical setting will help you reach deeper layers of the skin and do a more thorough job than you’re able to at home.
Microdermabrasion treatments are excellent surface-level treatments for sloughing off dead skin cells. They’re quick and easy with no downtime. For a more thorough acne-reducing treatment, you might consider getting regular chemical peels, which can penetrate the pores at greater depths, and with specialized chemical formulas that can help zap and prevent breakouts.
Contact Vanguard Dermatology
If you’re located in the greater New York City area and you need help managing your acne, contact Vanguard Dermatology today for an appointment with one of our board-certified specialists. We can assess your condition, make the appropriate treatment recommendations, and perform any therapies in our office.