Mostly kids and adults between ages 12 to 30 will have acne at some point. Acne in children often begins in puberty. But it can happen at any age. We have to understand first What is Acne and causes for acne?
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What is Acne and causes for acne?
- Acne is a disorder of the hair follicles and sebaceous glands. It is a condition where hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. There are many causes for acne, it occurs when pores of your skin become blocked with oil, dead skin, or bacteria. It causes pimples, blackheads or whiteheads. acne can be found almost anywhere on your body. Acne in children mostly develop on face, back, neck, chest and shoulders. It is most common among teenagers, though it affects people of all ages. Researchers determine that heredity plays a role in the ability of follicles becoming acne resistant in teenage years. Risk of having acne is higher if parents had it in their teens.
Acne in Babies:
Newborn baby acne is a common condition which appears within the first few months of birth. Causes for acne in babies is the hormones that pass from the mother to the baby during pregnancy. Though new born baby acne is harmless and goes away on its own without any kind of treatment.
Acne in Teenagers:
More than 80% of teenagers have this common skin problem known as acne. It’s important to know ‘how our skin works’ to understand acne. The pores in your skin have oil glands. When a child hits puberty, there is an increase in sex hormones called androgens. These excess hormones cause oil glands to become overactive, enlarge and produce too much oil or sebum which blocks the pores or hair follicles with skin cells. Types of pimple in teens include: Whiteheads (small and under the skin), Blackheads (visible and black on surface), Pimples or cysts (seen clearly, painful, full of pus and cause scars if not treated carefully).
Also check, How does sugar cause acne?
Acne in Adults:
Adult acne is not much different from teen acne. It usually occurs after 25 years of age. There can be many causes for acne behind this sudden change including unhealthy diet- junk foods, deep fried eatables (how does sugar cause acne?), heavy make-up (which clogs the pores of the skin), hormonal imbalance (which enables production of excess sebum), release of stress hormones, bacterial infection and inflammation (what are some anti-inflammatory foods?). Applying a layer of cinnamon powder mixed with honey can help with treating the scars. Potato juice mixed with lemon juice also works similarly.
Studies suggest that following a healthy diet can help to cure acne in children. Foods rich in complex carbohydrates, zinc, vitamin A and E, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants are effective in reducing pimples on children’s face.
FOODS FOR TREATING ACNE:
- Having whole grains and less of processed food and flours reduces risk of developing acne in children. Our modern diet is loaded with highly refined carbs like cookies, white bread, cake, pasta, pizza donuts, chips etc. (what happens when we eat such foods?) A quick look at the food label GI index can reduce chances of getting pimples on children’s face. High GI index indicates the food is processed. Rich sources of complex carbs are whole grains, legumes and whole fruits and vegetables.
Studies support the fact that eating foods rich in zinc may be useful in preventing and treating acne in children by decreasing the production of oil in the skin. Researchers believe that zinc shields the body cells from any external bacterial or viral attack on them. (what are other sources of good bacteria?)It is easy to include zinc as a part of a varied diet. Dairy products, nuts, pumpkin seeds lentils etc are good sources of zinc.
- Vitamin A acts as antioxidant and fights free radicals (what are they?). This helps to slow down cell ageing and keeps skin looking younger. Vitamin A plays an important role in helping new cells grow and stay healthy by healing acne and scars. Food rich in vitamin A which can help in preventing acne in children are yellow/ orange pigment plants such as carrots, sweet potatoes and green pigment plant food like spinach, broccoli (how to keep the vitamin A in food safe during cooking?)
- This is also used as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant (What are they?). As vitamin E oil is fat soluble vitamin, it allows for quick absorption into skin sebum to heal pimples on children’s faces and also reduce scars. It also helps the skin to lock moisture and promotes the production of collagen which strengthens the skin and may help with skin elasticity and hydration. All nuts and seeds, especially walnuts and sunflower seeds, corn, olives, avocado, soybean, fortified cereals are considered as foods high in vitamin E.
Omega-3 fatty acids:
- They can regulate the skin oil production and improve balanced hydration. A diet rich in omega-3s may help to prevent or reduce the severity of acne. It reduces inflammation on the skin too, which research states, may positively result in reduction of acne in children. Flax seed, chia seeds, walnuts, soybeans and fish like salmon, tuna, sardines are rich sources of this fat (Is fat good or bad for the body?).
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