The Sunny Side of Adult Acne (Seriously!)
Written by: Sabina Rebis MD
Finding acne on your face years after graduating high school stimulates an inward groan of annoyance in just about any of us. But what if your battle with acne had a sunny side?
A study published in the The Journal of Investigative Dermatology last September found that adults who previously suffered from acne may be genetically gifted with cells that age more slowly, and have better protective mechanisms against programmed cell death. Longer telomeres, the sequences of DNA that protect chromosomes (or the replicating machinery of cells) from deterioration (aka. aging), were found to be more prevalent in the white blood cells of subjects who suffered from adult acne.
Dermatologists have already noted that wrinkles and skin thinning often appear later in people who have experienced acne, but the thought was that increased oil production was the reason for this. Now the answer may be in the genes. Yet no matter how exciting it may be to anticipate a slower aging process, acne sufferers still have to deal with living in the moment from day to day. Be it on the day you’re finally supposed to go out on that hot sushi date or rock the board meeting presentation -- a breakout is never a welcome surprise. So, if you’re prone to fickle skin past your Sweet Sixteen…
Try your best to keep hands away from your face: Touching your forehead or resting your chin in the palm of your hand is an easy way for clingy bacteria and oil residue to be transferred to the areas like the T-zone where pimples often crop up.
Be liberal with the hand sanitizer. Carry a portable bottle of hand sanitizer to get rid of palm-loving bacteria and wipe your cell phone down every once in a while. Holding your cell phone to your face is another easy way to provide a canvas for bacteria to work with.
Eat the right foods. Foods rich in vitamin A, like broccoli, carrots, and mango will help keep your skin clear and complexion fresh. Retinol is the active form of vitamin A found in the blood, and helps the skin repel bacteria more effectively.
Relax. A rise in the stress hormone cortisol also increases the activity of those sweat and oil glands, which are tenured pros at oil production. Overactivity of these glands leads to clogged skin pores, and breakouts, fast.
Ref: Acne and telomere length. A new spectrum between senescence and apoptosis pathways.’ By Ribero et al is published in The Journal of Investigative Dermatology on 28 September 2016.
Sabina is a physician and health writer based in NYC, the Hamptons, and Westchester. Find her on www.themodelofhealth.com