What Medication Aggravates Acne?

What Medication Aggravates AcneThe human body constantly experiences chemical reactions. Because of this, there are certain medication that aggravates acne breakouts. However, since these prescription drugs are needed to counter other health conditions that people have, they cannot be avoided altogether just to stop the breakouts.

Medication that Aggravates Acne

Anticonvulsants or lithium which is prescribed for bipolar disorder are two of the drugs which have acne as the possible side effects. Other drugs such as corticosteroids, DHEA supplements which are taken as anti-aging hormones, androgenic steroids, and barbiturates along with medications which contain iodides and bromides used for cough medications can result in true acne or breakouts which look like acne but are technically not acne.

According to Lisa A. Garner, who is the professor of dermatology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, acne cases are not usually related to the drugs that people take. However, there are instances of drug-related acne particularly in teens as well as adults.

Also, according to Dr. Garner, most of the drug reactions from these medications are not exactly acne—just acne-like breakouts which are called as acneiform drug eruptions.

Medications that Cause Acneiform Drug Eruptions

One example of acneiform drug eruption is when a person is advised to take corticosteroids for treating poison ivy. The patients may experience acne-like breakouts on the back and chest, but these can also appear on the face.

What makes acneiform eruptions from drugs different from true acne is that true acne looks different in the sense that people get big or small pimples, whiteheads, and blackheads when it’s true acne. Acneiform eruptions tend to have consistent-looking red papules which are usually small in size. Also, such eruptions can happen to people who have no previous history of acne.

Drugs that Cause True Acne Breakouts

While not all drugs cause true acne, there are indeed medication that aggravates acne. Although most of the time the causes of acne may greatly vary from one person to another, it has been observed that those who are on hormone-affecting drugs can experience acne breakouts more often. One of the most important factors that affect the acne breakouts is having an increase in the hormone androgen—the male sex hormone which is present in both men and women.

Women who are taking hormone-replacement drugs due to hormonal imbalances or because of the need to counter menopausal symptoms may have breakouts if the prescription drugs they are on have testosterone. When this is the case, this is not just acneiform or drug-induced breakouts but it’s true acne and more often than not, women who get the breakouts have already previously been affected by acne. For men on the other hand, those who are taking androgenic steroids for muscle-building purposes may also experience true acne breakouts.

When you are on medication and you notice an increase in your acne or a stronger breakout compared to those you have before, you may ask your physician or dermatologist about possible solutions to still get the same effect from the drugs without having to deal with the breakouts as well.

3 Reasons Why Fast Food Can Cause Acne

3 Reasons Why Fast Food Can Cause AcneNo matter how conscious you are of your health, there are always days when a big fast food meal brings the term “comfort food” into mind. Especially on a particularly bad day, the taste of salt and grease can sometimes take your stress level down a few notches. Doing this every once in a while is okay and understandable. But doing this too often is a completely different story altogether. Especially for those who care a lot about how they look, fast food can actually have a very big impact on how your skin looks.

Fast Food and Acne

Here are some reasons why fast food causes acne and other skin conditions:

  • Salt may be good using the right kind and in the right proportions. However, fast food is always swimming in salt, usually the bad kind. Salt is basically part sodium and part chlorine. Sodium causes your skin’s ability to retain water to rise considerably which is why you may look a little bloated after bingeing on sodium-rich food. It also causes the skin to dry up, causing your glands to react defensively and produce more oil than necessary just to help rehydrate the skin. Too much oil will trigger the growth of acne as the oil traps in dirt and bacteria inside your skin’s pores.
  • A regular fast food menu will always have high glycemic content. When you say that a diet has high glycemic content, this means that the amount of carbohydrates in your meals have a great impact on blood sugar levels. Unfortunately, almost everything you see in a fast food menu has high glycemic content. Burgers and sandwiches are prime suspects, and so are wraps and burritos. A lot of side dishes like onion rings and fries are also rich in carbohydrates, and so are desserts like pies. Because high glycemic content causes insulin levels to shoot up, this could also be a trigger for acne. An increased level in insulin also means a heightened possibility of inflammation, which is one of the major triggers of an acne attack.
  • Of course, if there’s one thing that makes fast food mouthwatering, it’s the grease that comes with it. The juicier that your burgers get, the more grease you consume as well. That excess oil that enters your system only adds to the already rich deposit of natural oils that your skin has. Moreover, it also clogs up your arteries, affecting the flow of fresh oxygen into your system.

Bottomline is, the healthier your diet is, the clearer your skin will also be. The knowledge that fast food causes acne should make you more aware of what you eat and how to make up for it. Although it is okay to eat fast food once in a while, make sure you compensate with exercise and a healthy lifestyle. Prioritize food that will supply much needed vitamins and minerals into your system and will keep your body processes seamlessly running. Just remember that fast food may be delicious for now, but the thought that fast food causes acne and a lot of other skin and health conditions could be something that you would have to deal with for a long time.

Steroid Injections and Acne – How It Works

Steroid Injections and Acne – How It WorksDon’t you just despise those huge, massive, and inflamed acne breakouts? Not only are they nasty-looking and painful but it also seems like they take forever to go away. Most people who get them wish they had magic wands to wave and make the pimples vanish in a flash but sadly, all they have are OTC acne treatments and other anti-acne medications.

If you suffer from monstrous acne breakouts and you want to know of a good way to help them go away more quickly you may just find your answer in cortisone injections. Not a lot of people think of steroid injection for acne scars and acne since they tend to reach for creams and serums first but those who have tried a steroid injection for acne scars and acne swear it is the proverbial magic wand.

Steroid Injection for Acne and Acne Scars

The technical term for this procedure is intralesional corticosteroid injection but to acne sufferers they are simply “steroid shots,” “cyst injections,” or “cortisone injections.” The steroid is called cortisone which is a natural chemical released by the body in response to inflammation. However, the cortisone produced by the body is short-acting so it doesn’t bring about the quick healing desired by people.  It is for this reason why it is sometimes better injected directly into an inflamed area so that it works faster. Cortisone is a known corticosteroid which is produced by the adrenal gland. Even if it is referred to as a “steroid,” do not mistake it for “anabolic steroids” since those are drugs used by body builders and athletes to increase athletic performance and strength. While a cortisone reduces inflammations, anabolic steroids actually bring about harmful side effects.

How It Works

Cortisone injections are often used to help remedy nodules, cysts, and deep papules. People who go through this type of acne treatment can look forward to a diluted form of corticosteroid to be injected directly to the blemish area. The doctor will take a needle and push it in deep to reach the root of the problem. If you do not like needles, do not fret because a very tiny needle is used and not only is the process very quick but it is also painless. The pain you feel will not even amount to that of an ant bite.

Once you get the cortisone injections, you can expect the inflammation to go away very quickly. At least, much more quickly than if you were to depend on OTC anti-acne medications and other medication for acne. Wait a few days and you will see the acne soften and eventually flatten out; some people even say that their acne breakouts go away after just a week.

Not only will steroid injections remedy your acne problem faster but they also lessen the chances of you developing scars. If you are prone to hyperpigmentation and scarring this may be the best for of treatment for you. People who have keloid scars and hyptertrophic scars may also turn to cortisone injections to remedy their problems.

Possible Side Effects

Cortisone injections may sound like a gift from the heavens but it does come with its downsides. For instance, if you go to an inexperienced doctor and he uses too much cortisone, the fat around the pimple can atrophy. The area around the skin will look depressed.

It might seem alarming but the depressions go away, though it may take several months. There are times though that the loss of tissue becomes permanent. If you want to try out cortisone injections, you should talk to your doctor first and consider the pros and cons carefully.

3 Exercises for Acne-Free Skin

3 Exercises for Acne-Free SkinYour acne breakouts may be caused by a lot of factors. But have you ever considered your lifestyle and how it is contributing to the health of your skin? Exercises for acne work by balancing the hormones in your body and one of its main effects is by increasing endorphin levels which in turn reduces stress. Stress results in breakouts and even worsens the inflammation of your acne. When you are less stressed, you will have a healthier skin and less acne breakouts.

The Best Exercise for Acne

As with most acne treatments and medications, the best exercise for acne will be dependent on how you will go through with it. Basically, the concept behind exercising for acne to go away is to have a more active body which will lead to sweating and natural detoxification. This is apart from the hormone-balancing effects that acne has.

You don’t have to go far from home or spend on a gym membership just to have the best exercise for acne! Here are 3 exercise options which can ultimately lead to healthy, glowing skin:

  • Running – This is a great way to have a healthy overall exercise for your body and at the same time to get your daily dose of sunshine. You can run in the early hours of the morning just when the sun starts rising. Fifteen minutes would be enough to sweat out some of the accumulated toxins in your system. If the sun is high when you get out though, make sure you wear protective clothing and a hat or sports cap to protect your face from the sun. Wearing SPF moisturizer can also help if your skin is particularly sensitive.
  • Yoga exercises – You can enroll in a yoga class of your choice to get the hang of having yoga properly before you proceed to just having yoga at home. Yoga is a stress-relieving way to reduce acne. The breathing techniques combined with the physical exertions of yoga promote natural detoxification while simultaneously reducing your stress levels. If you prefer, you can simply purchase an instructional video or watch online for free to have the yoga exercises you need at home!
  • Cardio exercises at home – If running isn’t something you prefer to do because of the need to be outside to do this, you can simply do cardio exercises right in the comfort of your home. Think about marching in place, performing jumping jacks, using the jumping rope, or performing squats or lunges. All of these can help you sweat and get rid of acne-causing toxins in your system.

Making the Best Exercise for Acne More Effective

When you’ve figured out which acne-busting exercise is best for you, consider the following tips to make it more effective:

  • Keep your face away from your hair to avoid irritation.
  • Wear comfortable clothing with breathable fabrics.
  • Shower after exercising.
  • Hydrate to replenish lost moisture.

By following these tips, you can have clearer skin just by exercising!

How a Glycemic Diet Affects Acne Growth

How a Glycemic Diet Affects Acne GrowthAre you having problems with your acne? Does it seem like you have tried every acne remedy in the market yet nothing seems to be working? If that is indeed the case, you may want to take a look at your diet and exactly what it is you are putting in your body. Experts say that your diet plays a huge role in the condition of your skin and that it is one of the best ways to ensure that you have less breakouts and better skin as a whole.

So what exactly are you eating? Do you stuff your body with lots of junk filled with oil and refined sugars? Do you enjoy fatty foods that fill your body with toxins and other unhealthy components? Perhaps you are unknowingly eating “healthy” food that exacerbates your acne breakouts? For those of you who are ready to finally kick acne to the curb, you may want to try out low glycemic diet for acne.

What is a Low Glycemic Diet for Acne?

A low glycemic diet for acne means you watch what you eat and weed out food and drinks that contain high quantities of sugar. In fact, you should watch out for food and drinks that have a high glycemic index because the studies say that sugar and milk make acne breakouts worse.

As the consumption of sugar and dairy has increased over the last century, so has the number of people that suffer from acne. These days, approximately 17 million people suffer from acne in the US and they cost the health care system about $1 billion per year.  Also, about 80 to 90 percent of teenagers suffer from acne in varying degrees.

The pimply population believes that it all has to do with what they slather and do not slather onto their faces but it has, in fact, more to do with what they eat. A couple of large and controlled trials have found that cow milk causes acne and worsens its severity. There are also other large and randomized prospective controlled trials (the gold standard of medical research, you know) that state people who consume large amounts of sugar and a high glycemic load diet had more acne than other people. This means those of you who love your white bread, white rice, pasta, sugar, and other flour products might have to totally revamp your eating habits. In case that seems extremely prohibitive to you, there is one silver lining and that is dark chocolate doesn’t cause acne.

What should You Eat?

If you must eat your cereals, try to go for sugar-free muesli or porridge. You can enjoy some breads like pumpernickel or sourdough rye bread. If you enjoy your vegetables, avoid high GI ones like pumpkin and parsnips, and load up on green beans, lettuce, and mushrooms instead.  The rule is this: if the food you are about to consume has a GI (glycemic index) of 55 and above, then it’s best if you avoid it.

Red Clover for Acne—How Does it Work?

Red Clover for Acne—How Does it Work?Red clover or Trifolium pratense bears a dainty pinkish blossom which is not just a pleasure to behold—it is also a beneficial natural ally for your acne concerns! This herbaceous perennial plant is usually used as an ingredient for herbal teas, but did you know that you can also use red clover for acne? Apart from being famous as a fertility herb, red clover also has several other uses and for those affected by acne, here’s your chance to use it in order to have clearer facial skin.

Red Clover for Acne—Does it Really Work? How?

There are a lot of herbal remedies for acne, but you may often overlook red clover for acne since it is more known as an herb used for fertility purposes. Red clover has a great amount of necessary nutrients which makes it a great tonic for your overall system. This way, it becomes a good internal nourishing ingredient which can fight the causes of acne from the inside of your body. It contains vitamins B, C, and E, with the last two being great vitamins for your skin! It also has coumarins, lecithin, flavonoids, magnesium, choline, and other nutrients and minerals which contribute to an overall healthier body.

Acne can be caused not just by external irritants but also by accumulated toxins and harmful substances in your system. Blood impurities may manifest on your skin and turn its health downhill. One common manifestation of having blood impurities is having acne breakouts. Red clover for acne helps by being able to detoxify your system. It helps the liver function better, giving you healthier blood which is free of toxins. It also acts as a natural diuretic which also helps excrete various impurities from your system.

Other Effects of Red Clover

Detoxification is something you should do every once in a while not just to have a clear face, but to have an overall clear system which is more protected from various diseases. Because red clover acts as a great natural blood-purifying herb, it also has wonderful effects to prepare for pregnancy especially for detoxifying pollutants in the body which were acquired prior to conception. Because of this effect of red clover, it can be an excellent natural solution for those who are affected by cyclic acne.

Also because of its diuretic effects, it can help flush out the uric acids from your system through the bladder and the kidneys. Red clover for acne also has anti-inflammatory effects which can help lessen the redness and swelling of your existing acne, while also lessening inflammation you experience in your chest and lungs. When consumed, it can stimulate your digestive fluids which help with proper elimination that can in turn contribute to having clearer skin.

How to Enjoy the Benefits of Red Clover for Acne

If you would like to see these effects that red clover has for your skin as well as your overall health, there are different ways on how you can consume it! You can add some red clover to your fresh salads and enjoy it as a snack. You can also add it to honey or drink it in tea form for a healthy and naturally detoxifying drink.

It is also available in capsule or tincture form. However, it would be wise to seek the advice of professionals before you make use of any of these red clover products. Also, remember to purchase only from suppliers who are known to give high quality natural products. This way, you are rest assured that you get your money’s worth and that the products you are using are the most natural ones you can find.

3 Best Acne Solutions for Men

3 Best Acne Solutions for MenLike women, men also have their skin concerns, and acne is one of those things. Acne affects people from all age ranges and at some point in their lives, young men may have to deal with mad acne breakouts. For some, these breakouts last only a few months, but there are times when they stay on for much longer. When this happens, knowing the best acne treatment for men is something that can really be of use.

The Best Acne Treatment for Men

Men have different skin care needs compared to women, and while there are tons of different anti-acne solutions for women, men should use those which are specifically made for them. Their hormones are completely different from those of the women, and the products designed for men are made to specifically address their particular skin needs.

If you are looking for the best acne treatment for men, you can try out the following suggestions to see noticeable improvement on your skin:

  • Exposed Skin Care – Known as the best acne treatment for 2013, Exposed Skin Care works great for both men and women because of the natural ingredients that it uses along with the chemical ingredients. The Exposed Skin Care system is a complete solution to cleanse your face and kill acne-causing bacteria. Because of the natural ingredients, even men who have more sensitive skin will benefit from Exposed Skin Care.
  • ActivClear – ActivClear is a fast-acting anti-acne cream which can be your go-to solution when you want to get rid of acne faster. The main active ingredient is tea tree oil which is known as a great natural acne remedy. Add to that zinc sulfate, some vitamins, and protodioscin which is found in the herb Tribulusterrestis and you have a great acne solution. What’s great about ActivClear is that not only does it clear up your already existing acne, it also prevent further breakouts because of its antiseptic properties.
  • Benzoyl Peroxide creams – This is a more generic advice when it comes to choosing the product you will be using to treat acne. Products which contain 2.5% of benzoyl peroxide can zap out acne. These products can also be used as a spot treatment especially if you only have a few problem areas instead of several overlapping pimples on your face.

Extra Tips to Avoid Acne Breakouts for Men

  • See if your shaving cream is behind your acne breakouts. If you changed the product you’ve been using and you notice a breakout, revert to the old one to see if your skin matches it better. The same applies to your aftershave.
  • Make sure you use clean razors or electric shavers. Bacteria may be lodged into the blades so pay attention to the facial care tools you use. Also, practice careful shaving habits to avoid lodging bacteria into the follicles of your skin.
  • Shower after hitting the gym and have a steady skin care routine so your skin will not experience sudden changes which may lead to breakouts.
  • Have a healthy diet to provide your body with the natural nutrients it needs for you to have healthier skin.

Consider the acne treatment products mentioned above and fit them into your skin care routine. Combine them with the tips for fewer breakouts and you will see the results you’ve always wanted!

Benefits of Garlic on Acne

Benefits of Garlic on AcneWhen you think of acne, what goes on inside your head? Do you think of a powerful weapon against vampires? Perhaps you are thinking of a spice that makes the most wonderful stir fries and other Asian-inspired dishes. Whatever you might be thinking it is safe to say that you probably never think of using garlic on acne.

Garlic is more than just a food flavoring and a weapon against mythical creatures. It can also be used to remedy acne. Garlic has many wonderful properties and components that make it especially effective in cleaning up breakouts. If you want to know why you should use garlic on acne, just check out the benefits below.

Reasons to Use Garlic on Acne

Garlic has antioxidants. One of the major reasons why you should use garlic on acne is because it has tons of antioxidants. The human body is filled with free oxygen atoms that go around the body just “stealing” electrons from healthy cells and this causes devastating and irreparable damage.

Admittedly, there are lots of other spices and food that you can get antioxidants from but why turn to garlic? The reason is simple and it is because garlic has the strongest antioxidants of all. It contains a compound called allicin that decomposes into the very best type of antioxidant sulfenic acid.

Garlic has antibacterial properties. If the fact that it has antioxidant properties won’t convince you to use garlic on acne, perhaps its antibacterial and anti-fungal properties will change your mind. Garlic is a super-food, hence the reason it has all these wonderful properties. Apply garlic on acne and it will kill acne-causing bacteria so you do not have to deal with breakouts and the ones you have now will heal faster.

Garlic improves blood circulation. Do you know that poor blood circulation can lead to imbalances in the body that can result in acne breakouts? When you take in garlic you essentially help the body function better and you can enjoy clear and smooth skin as a result.

Ease of Use

Now you know the many benefits that you can get from garlic and you also know how effective it is to fight off acne. It is time for the best part: using garlic to remedy acne breakouts is very cheap and easy! Sure, it might really smell but you will get used to it and the benefits it will bring to your body and skin will be worth it!

One of the easiest ways to take in garlic to fight off acne is to mix it with V8 juice or water. All you need to do is crush a couple of garlic cloves and mix it with a glass of juice or water. Drink it all up and make sure to brush your teeth afterwards to prevent bad breath. Drink this brew once or twice a day and you will not only enjoy better overall health but you can also look forward to clear and smooth skin with fewer acne breakouts.

Proper Skin Protection Techniques to Reduce Acne Breakouts

Proper Skin Protection Techniques to Reduce Acne BreakoutsWhen you cleanse your face and follow a good routine to keep it healthy but you still have acne breakouts, the situation can get frustrating. However, have you considered having an extra layer of protection? You may be lacking certain techniques which can help protect your skin from acne. While these tips may require more effort from your end, you will be rewarded by having clear skin.

Protect Your Skin from the Sun

There are a lot of reasons behind having breakouts, but did you know that the sun is one factor you may be overlooking? You get exposed to the ultraviolet rays of the sun which is bad for your skin—especially if you have acne-prone skin.

You cannot avoid exposure to the sun, though. Even more so when you commute or walk to work early in the morning. While morning sun is great since it is gentler, excessive exposure can cause breakouts. Try out these protection tips:

  • Use an umbrella – Do not underestimate the power of umbrellas when it comes to protecting your skin. When used for sun protection purposes, choose a black umbrella or those which have darker colors. It will absorb most of the sun’s energy, thereby lessening the impact on your skin.
  • Use an SPF facial moisturizer – When you apply your moisturizer in the morning, use one with at least SPF 15. The higher, the better when it comes to protecting from harmful UV rays. You will also especially benefit from this tip when you use lemon juice from your face the night or day before since lemon juice can make you quite photoreactive. Best use protection to avoid skin damage.

Internal Skin Protection Techniques

Now that we’ve covered two of the top protection techniques against the sun, it is time for tips for internal protection. Try out these helpful methods to protect your skin from acne:

  • Load up on your vitamins – Essential vitamins for healthy skin include vitamins A, C, and E which all contribute to healthy skin cell and collagen production while being able to regulate oil levels too. You can get these vitamins from fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Enjoy the antioxidant-rich foods – Berries, particularly those with a deep blue or red color are packed with antioxidants that help fight internal causes of acne. Mix them into your morning smoothie or on top of your pancakes.
  • Hydrate – Overproduction of oil can be from dehydration and is the skin’s reaction to preserve its own moisture. Avoid this and protect your skin from being dry or oily by drinking enough water on a daily basis.
  • Exercise – Take at least 15 minutes from your schedule to exercise. You can balance your hormones from within by setting time to exercise and you also promote sweating which will flush out harmful toxins. Just remember to keep your hair tied back and away from your face to avoid irritation.

Exert a little more effort to try and include these tips to your daily routine, and be surprised with the clearer skin you get to have by knowing the right protection techniques!