Everything You Need to Know About Male Acne
You thought your days of acne were over when your voice deepened and you grew 2 feet in a year, but you are realizing that may have just been the beginning. Your face, back, chest, and neck seem to have come under attack and you want to stop it before you are reminded of when ‘school picture day’ was an automatic sick day.
Doctors do not know the exact cause of adult acne although they believe that it may be connected to over active sex hormones which cause the sebaceous glands to swell and increase the production of sebum (the oil that is secreted from your pores). This excess sebum causes blockages in the hair follicles and can lead to irritation and, in turn, acne.
Speaking of hormones… now would be a good time to introduce you to Androgens, the hormone that affects acne in males. Androgen levels are highest during puberty and generally stabilize once men reach their early 20s. However, although the fluctuations are less often and less severe, environmental factors can lead to sporadic spikes and flare-ups.
But we can’t just blame our hormones like we do for everything else, there are a variety of external forces that contribute to these unsightly blemishes:
- Dirt and pollution
- Certain prescription drugs
- Chin straps or tight clothing
- Your mama (yes, acne may be hereditary)
And finally, one of the most influential contributors to your post-mature acne: stress. When stressed, your immune system is compromised and your various body parts become more susceptible to bacteria, and not only the acne kind.
BATTLE OF THE SEXES
People may think that acne is acne and everybody gets it, but there are actually a few differences between males and females when it comes to your skin and age.
- Androgen in men vs. Estrogen in women
- Acne is more prevalent in women during adulthood
- During teen years, acne strikes males and females relatively equally
- A Survey at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine found acne to be most prevalent as follows:
- 50.9% of women versus 42.5% of men, between the ages of 20 and 29
- 35.2% women versus 20.1% men, between the ages of 30-39
- 26.3% women versus 12% men, between the ages of 40-49
- 15.3% women versus 7.3% men, ages 50 and older
EFFECTS ON SELF ESTEEM
- Depression and Anxiety (some chemical treatments have been known to create hormone imbalances and can lead to mood swings)
- Social withdrawal (missing a pool party because you are embarrassed about back or chest acne should be a thing of the past)
- Loss of confidence
- Media influences (causing an unrealistic belief in ‘good looks’ causing a lack of self esteem as a whole)
COMMON ACNE-INCREASING MISTAKES
- Popping Pimples
- Over exfoliating
- Indulging in fried foods and chocolate
- Using very hot water
- Eliminating Moisturizer
- Forgetting to use medication
- Using too much medication (It won’t clear your pimples faster)
- Looking for a quick fix
- Stopping treatment when acne is clear
- People always tell you how important it is to get 8 hours of sleep a night, and it is true, here is why. Relating to acne, it takes 7-8 hours of sleep for your skin to recoup and heal any damage done during the day.
- Remember Androgen from external sources? Dairy products, such as cows’ milk, have additional androgen hormones and can cause imbalances and breakouts. Knowing how the androgen works in your body can help you figure out how to counteract its effects and fix the acne problem.
- Eating antioxidant-rich cranberries, pomegranates, and blueberries will help your face and body heal faster; they also have other great perks, but that’s for another blog.
- Something as simple as changing your pillow case every couple of days to remove bacteria can have huge benefits for your skin.
- Shaving your face with a clean, sharp razor will reduce irritation.
- Cleansing immediately after sweating prevents clogged pores (the leading cause of acne)
NATURAL WAYS TO COMBAT ACNE
- Reduce inflammation with ice
- Tea Tree Oil
- Apple vinegar or lemon juice (will sting but work)
- Add zinc to your diet
- Baking soda
COMMON TREATMENTS FOR ACNE
I won’t beat around the bush here: Benzoyl peroxide is one of most effective topical treatment of acne but it must be used daily to be effective. Also, being that it is a harsh chemical that can cause irritation to your face and body it can sometimes take longer to relieve acne then natural alternatives. ZENMED’s Derma Cleanse Acne Gel (http://ca.zenmed.com/products/acne/Derma-Cleanse-Acne-Gel/), voted one of the top #10 acne products on the market by totalbeaty.com, is a chemical free, natural alternative to chemical treatments and equally effective.
Oil-free acne wash used twice daily, such as ZENMED’s Facial Cleansing gel (http://ca.zenmed.com/products/acne/Facial-Cleansing-Gel/) that is pH balanced and effective for cleansing oily and combination skin types, is often enough to treat mild to moderate acne.
Acne can also be caused from within. Whether it is the hormones or the diet that are causing your pimples to appear, there are treatments to stop the problem at the source. ZENMED’s Derma Cleanse Capsules (http://ca.zenmed.com/products/acne/Derma-Cleanse-Capsules/) are a genuine 100% natural, proprietary blend of herbal actives helps improve, eliminate and detoxify from within.
In Fact, the three items listed about (Derma Cleanse Acne gel, Derma Cleanse Capsules, and Facial Cleansing Gel) are sold as the ‘Derma Cleanse System’ (http://ca.zenmed.com/products/acne/Derma-Cleanse-System/) and is one of the most highly regarded and praised acne systems in the industry.
KICK ACNE’S BUTT
So, whether your acne is just a phase, or if you fear it might be only part of a bigger problem, it is important to get to know your body and learn what steps you can take on your own to help. As mentioned, ZENMED offers a variety of products for oily, combination, and dry skin and can help you forget your acne and step out of the adult-acne category for good.
*It is important to remember that acne treatments, including ZENMED and even dermatological acne prescriptions can take between 4-8 weeks to be effective.