TEENAGE STRESS AND ACNE
‘ZIT WARRIORS’ - ON THE WARPATH!
IS IT A CASE OF “I HAVE ACNE BECAUSE I AM STRESSED”? OR IS IT “I AM STRESSED BECAUSE I HAVE ACNE”?
Yes, it sucks! And no, it is nothing like that one pimple that simply popped up on your lip that one time you landed up kissing some weirdo at a party!
This is a real struggle and acne at any age (including adults), can be quite traumatising.
Whether it is comforting or not to know that many people out there suffer from acne in one form or another, there are some who cannot even remember ever having clear skin at all.
With imminent Matric Farewells and as importantly, Preliminary Matric exams looming, stress, anxiety and excitement levels go through the roof. Mommy Wellness decided it is a good time to provide a bit of background and hopefully, some helpful advice to our teenagers and parents about how teenage stress and acne often go hand in hand.
THE TEENAGE YEARS – STANDING THE TEST OF TIME
As they say: “THIS TOO SHALL PASS”
Teenage years are a crucial phase in life. This is the time when both emotional and physical changes are experienced, marking the start of puberty.
Skin matures gradually with the growth of a teenage body. Unfortunately, maturing skin does not keep up with the process due to an excess production of sebum, which is an oily substance which lubricates the skin, often causing acne.
WELL ‘PICKING’ (PARDON THE PUN), IS OUT OF THE QUESTION AND SADLY SO IS ‘CHOOSING’
Acne takes on a few different forms and is certainly not fussy about its next victims.
When skin pores are clogged, whiteheads appear due to excess sebum and dead skin cells and those awful little (sometimes big), blackheads are caused through oxidization of debris inside open pores.
Another form of acne are papules, which occur after whiteheads, and after sebum and bacteria cause inflammation under the skin.
Cystic acne is more severe when dead skin cells and sebum clog the skin deep down and form an infected bump filled with pus.
HORMONES – THEY MOAN A LOT!
Often, ‘raging’ hormones (not what we want to hear, but there it is), can also be the cause of stress during teenage years, as can sweating. Sweat is waste and contains fatty materials and salt which worsens the clogged pores, leading to acne breakouts. Then even worse, bacteria start multiplying due to the heat which is produced during sweating.
Hygiene is of obvious and paramount importance and regular showering helps reduce the clogging of the pores. Clean, clear water is always good when It comes to cleansing and clearing skin impurities.
As with all problematic issues, Mommy Wellness suggests seeking the advice of a Doctor if acne becomes a problem, particularly if stress-related, which often can be the case during teenage years.
Mommy Wellness has put together a few pointers which may be helpful:
Seeking advice from Skin Care specialists and support from parents can to a large degree, relieve overcoming the problem, making the whole process of dealing with acne much easier.
Treatments are available and a few precautionary measures can be put into place to help ease and sometimes even eliminate the problem.
Most important: Always bear in mind the skin type.
- KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR HIDDEN CAUSES OF ACNE
Excessive consumption of processed food can lead to acne breakouts. Donuts, ice-cream and cake etc. contain plenty of sugar and can cause inflammation.
- A HEALTHY SKIN REGIME GOES WITHOUT SAYING
Drawing up a healthy skin program and sticking to it, is the secret. The most effective treatment is to wash your face twice a day – Immediately upon waking up and then just before going to bed. Always use sunscreen before any outdoor activities. Oil-free sunscreens are readily available for acne-prone skin.
- GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP IS HIGH ON THE LIST OF PRIORITIES
Put down those phones and get off those tablets!
Technology is often the reason why teenagers are sleep deprived. Lack of sleep causes the secretion of more sebum, which in turn can cause acne.
During sleep, rejuvenation of the body takes place, forming new cells and naturally resulting in skin looking healthier.
- WATCH YOUR DIET!
This can be quite tricky as everyone is different, and what triggers one may not necessarily trigger everyone.Certain foods like pasta, white bread and white rice are inclined to trigger insulin, causing oil glands in the skin to produce more oil, which in turn can induce acne.The good news is that foods which have been proved beneficial to the skin, such as baby marrows, un-processed fruits, veggies and whole grains contain a range of complex carbohydrates, which all help in the prevention of acne development.
Unfortunately, the choice will be trial and error, as some foods agree with certain people, but can be the cause of an acne outbreak in others.
When uncertain, it may be wise to consult with a Dietary Practitioner who will usually provide a general outline of do’s and don’ts, specifically formulated for the individual.
- GENTLE EXFOLIATION AND MOISTURISING IS A MUST
Bearing in mind that most teenage skins are rather sensitive, it is a good idea to explore the various options of natural exfoliation, which are gentle and not as harsh on the skin as the over-the-counter beauty products. (Try a mixture of ground oatmeal and brown sugar).As the skin is already oily, it may seem strange that moisturising is imperative. Moisturising stops the skin from producing more oil, which would mean more acne, and that’s the last thing we need.Always use a sunscreen that is at least SPF40.
- GENES PLAY A PART TOO
A genetic ‘acne background’ is often passed onto the next generation. Genes play a major part in the development of acne as they determine sensitivity to hormones and other factors of the environment.
- SORRY, BUT MAKE-UP IS NOT A BFF
We are all fascinated by the amazing range of glamour and beauty products available, often believing that they are or could be a ‘quick fix’ to the acne problem. Unfortunately, wearing makeup can come with its own problems and side effects, and when used with acne, can worsen the condition.Makeup is inclined to clog pores, encouraging blackheads, whiteheads and pimples.If you have the need to wear a little light makeup, always be aware of the ingredients.
Mommy Wellness has some amazing Teen packages which include stress release.
Take advantage of our 20% discount on advertised rates. Go to http://mommywellness.co.za/urban-teen-wellness/, choose a suitable pampering session for your Teen and book an appointment.