Dr. Germain Contributes to Health.com Feature on Acne- *Sneak Peak

Dr. Germain was asked to give her take on age old Acne Myths for an upcoming freelance article on Health.com.  Here is a sneak peak of her contribution. Make sure to visit Health.com in the next few weeks for the full article written by Germain Dermatology friend and women’s health writer, Keira Aaron.

Can Chocolate cause acne?
“Yes. However, it is not the chocolate itself (not the cocoa powder) but all the other stuff that is added to make the chocolate taste good. Sugar itself, or any food with a high glycemic index, can increase acne. High glycemic index food increases insulin-like growth factor 1 which cause increased keratinization in the follicles and also is an inflammatory which has detrimental effects on acne prone individuals.” 

Can Sunscreen clogs your pores?
“Yes. Many people say that sunscreens make their acne worse. They can clog pores, but usually it is the chemical sunscreens that increase acne due to irritating the skin. Look for products that have physical blocks (zinc oxide and titanium dioxide) in a sheer base.  Look for ingredients such as dimethicone, cyclomethicone and glycerin and look for added antioxidants like green tea. Green tea can actually decrease the keratin build up in the follicles which can improve acne.”
Can Toothpaste heal a zit?
“Toothpaste can dry out a pimple because it has some ingredients (like baking soda and hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, menthol, triclosan) which are antibacterial and drying.  That being said, I would not recommend it because it can be irritating if left on the skin for long periods of time and there are acne preparations and blemish creams that are designed for spot treatment that are much more effective.” 

Can Your period make you breakout?“Yes. Your hormones change over the month and right before your period, ratios of hormones change in a way the increases the probability of acne.  Also, 15% (a surprisingly high percentage) of the female population has polycystic ovary syndrome which can cause severe fluctuations in acne lesions and formation of nodules and huge cysts.” 

Don’t forget to visit Health.com for the full story on Acne Myths, contributed to by our own Dr. Germain, as well as many other great articles for your health and skin. And thank you to Keira Aaron for thinking of us for the feature!  

Higher BMI Can Affect Acne

This time of year everyone begins to stress about holiday eating and the lovely pounds that come with it. How much can you gain and be ok with, how much do you need to loose before the family feast arrives… it’s an ongoing battle and you’re not in it alone.
But, did you realize that being (medically) overweight could actually increase your acne? According to Allure Magazine, “In a study of 2,878 volunteers, all ages 18 or 19, researchers found that women (but not men) who had a BMI over 25 were significantly more likely to have moderate to severe acne than those who had a BMI less than 25, even after accounting for differences in diet… The link did not appear to be influenced by mental distress (which is known to affect both skin and body weight).”
“The most recent study highlighting a link was published this month in The Archives of Dermatology and included roughly 3,600 teenagers. The researchers looked closely at their weight and its relation to their skin, factoring in several variables that could also play a role, including age, puberty and diet. High-sugar junk foods like candy and soda are not only linked to weight gain, for example, but are also known to worsen acne.”
“Researchers have proposed several explanations for the link. One is that an excess of androgens caused by obesity provokes acne.” (Testosterone, for example is an androgen.)  “As for why girls would be more greatly affected than boys, it is possible that having bad skin and being overweight cause them greater psychological strain, which in turn prompts the release of stress hormones that only worsen the problem, some researchers suggest.” NewYork Times Well Blog, by Anahad O’Connor.
Maybe a little food for thought to be a touch more conservative with the holiday goodies? Over-eating, and eating badly, doesn’t just affect your muffin top- it can also have serious health effects as well as possibly increasing your acne.
If you suffer from moderate to severe acne we suggest you come in to see Dr.Germain or our PAs for a consultation. They can help find a link to what causes your acne, and how to control it. There may be many factors that contribute to your break-outs, and we will get to the bottom of it!