Managing Your Acne During the Winter Months

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Acne impacts a person’s life on many levels. It impacts their appearance, their self esteem and it impacts the way that they are perceived by others. An acne breakout can take the form of blackheads, pustules, cysts or a combination of all of these.

It’s particularly challenging to manage acne during the winter. Outdoor cold coupled with dry heat from homes, businesses and cars can cause moisture loss and make skin tight and dry.
That dryness stimulates the oil glands to produce more oil. The excess oils subsequently accumulate and solidify in the pores mixing with dead cells on the surface to form waxy plugs. Add bacteria and the tops of those plugs oxidize and turn black causing blackheads. Further infection can lead to pustules and cysts.

Daily cleansing and hydration is crucial in winter months.
Here are a few Tips for those with acne prone skin

Skin Care Tips:
Use an exfoliating cleanser with AHA’s or Salicylic Acid–but no beads or gritty substance. (Use one with hyaluronic acid so it doesn’t sting or irritate your skin.)
If you use Retin A or topical acne medication, use a gentle cleanser without acids or exfolients.
Use a water based moisturizer, with high percentage of moisture binding hyaluronic acid. – Use it AM and PM to keep skin healthy and hydrated .
Wash and rinse your face in cool water not hot.
Don’t use fabric softener.. use a clean wash cloth every day.( Rinse first to remove detergent residue)
Use a gentle enzyme mask once or twice a week to lift dead cells and loosens congestion.
Apply a dot of pure tea tree oil on pimples or pustules to kill the bacteria and fungus.

Lifestyle Tips:
(Use a humidifier at night or put a pan of water on radiators to keep moisture in the air of your bedroom. If you don’t have a humidifier make sure your window is cracked just a bit to allow for ventilation.)
Don’t rub skin and avoid tight turtlenecks that rub. Friction can cause an outbreak of pimples.
Don’t touch affected areas unless your hands are clean.
Don’t squeeze acne cysts as the infection could spread.
Keep hair out of your face and wipe your cell phone with alcohol often to kill bacteria.
Don’t use topical or oral steroids—they’re known to aggravate acne.

Dietary Tips:
Drink 8-10 glasses of water a day.. every day.
Eliminate sugar, juices, cow’s milk and soda from your diet for a month to see if your acne improves.
Avoid alcohol, caffeine, butter, cheese, cream , fatty fried foods and hot and spicy foods.
Avoid processed foods and those containing iodine like fish, kelp and onions.
Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables… especially ones with zinc like shellfish, whole grains and sunflower seeds.
Take acidophilus to keep your digestive system healthy.
If you have questions or would like a consultation, call 610-269-7009.

Stay beautiful,
Millie