• Causes of Acne: How does acne happen?

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    Hair, oil and skin cells sometimes clump together to form a hard plug on the pores. Bacteria inside results in swelling, the plug breaks down – and there it is, it’s only now that the pimple becomes visible. But remember: that pimple didn’t happen overnight. It most likely took weeks to manifest and whatever you do now to heal won’t help, as it is too late. Before you can put an end to acne, you’ve got to go back to the beginnings and practice prevention.

    What triggers acne breakouts?

    Heredity and hormones mostly determine your complexion. Apart from the hereditary background, dermatologists have linked acne to the following combination of factors:


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    Hormones

    Hormonal changes during puberty, the female menstrual cycle, pregnancy and menopause can increase oil production and trigger acne breakouts.

    Hygiene

    Heat and sweat can create a breeding ground for bacteria, clogged pores and body acne. Backpacks, tight clothes and non-breathable or synthetic fabrics can also trigger breakouts.

    Stress

    Stress and acne often go hand-in-hand. As tension builds, the body emits stress hormones, which increase the production of oil in your sebaceous glands. Habitual stress can slow the healing process and weaken your immune system, allowing blemishes to persist.

    Environment

    Not only the sun’s UV rays are harmful for your skin.  Smog and dust can irritate your skin and even bacteria from objects you come into contact with can cause inflammation – holding that phone to your chin all day can flare up acne!

    Cosmetics

    Oil-based makeup such as foundation can block pores and disrupt a smooth complexion, especially if you leave it on overnight. Oily sun-block and heavy body lotion can also stir up pimples.

    Medications

    Medication such as oral contraceptives and male hormone therapy for women can have side effects that destabilize hormonal levels and cause breakouts.

    Diet

    What you eat is not always related to a breakout but some people have allergies to certain foods and this is a cause of skin eruptions. Sushi, sea salt and shellfish are full of iodides, which can also trigger breakouts.  You can only be sure that you are sensitive or allergic to an ingredient by eliminating it from your diet and observing potential changes or by having a blood test for food sensitivity. (to be continued)

     

     

     


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    • Question: since sea salt is full of iodides then what salt is “healthy” to have?

    • Iodine is beneficial and necessary for our body; sometimes it can lead to an exacerbation of breakouts. Not all types of skin react to iodine, but if you have a certain sensitivity, it’s best if you limit your intake of anything containing iodine: sea food, bakery products, eggs, milk etc.

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