These simple steps will help you prevent and even cure acne

These simple steps will help you prevent and even cure acne
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     We've all experienced spots but we hope we'll lose them in our teenage years.  But not everyone is so lucky and adult acne blights the lives as many of us
     Not only that it mainly affects women.  But fear not, this guide will help you avoid and even cure acne What causes it?  Many factors, including the change of hormones during the menopause, genetics, medications like steroids or a stressful lifestyle
     Diet and cosmetics can aggravate flare ups, but most acne is a result of one of three things: overactive hormones, overactive sebaceous glands or a bacterial infection
    Many factors can lead to acne (Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto) What can we do about it?  Eat well
    What you eat may not be the direct cause of adult acne problems, but it's wise to eat a healthy, balanced diet of foods that promote skin health
     Follow our guide below for the best things to eat and avoid… DO  ● Eat foods packed with vitamin A, like sweet potato, carrots, salmon and mango
    Vitamin A helps to prevent dead skin cells clogging pores, and plays a key role in reducing inflammation in the body
     ● Stock up on foods high in vitamin C, such as broccoli, spinach, kiwis and oranges
    Vitamin C is needed for the growth and repair of tissues in the body, including the skin
     ● Eat foods that contain zinc, like red meat, asparagus, almonds and eggs. Zinc plays a role in immune function, wound healing, and has anti-inflammatory properties
     ● Use herbs and spices in your diet. Turmeric helps to reduce inflammation in the body, while thyme and oregano are anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial
     ● Eat a diet rich in essential fatty acids, such as mackerel, walnuts and chia seeds
    Omega-3 fatty acids act as a natural moisturiser for our skin, and promote the production of anti-inflammatory compounds
    Eat a healthy, balanced diet (Image: Getty Images/Blend Images) DON'T  ● Go overboard on milk and cheese
    Some studies have found a link between dairy products and acne, so try to switch in dairy substitutes like almond or oat milk
     ● Drink more than the recommended 14 units of alcohol a week. Alcohol can affect hormone levels in the body, which could trigger further breakouts
     ● Tuck into lots of food containing refined carbohyrates, like cakes, white bread and pasta
    These can cause blood sugar levels to spike, which can affect your hormone levels
    Switch your skincare  Everyone's skin is different, so it's about finding a routine that works for you
     Avoid harsh, acne-fighting washes, or overwashing your skin, because this can strip it of essential oils and make spots worse
     If your skin is oily, look for products that contain the words 'oil-free', 'non-comedogenic', or 'water-based'
    Make sure you don't use products that are too oily (Image: Getty Images/Science Photo Libra)  If you want to fight wrinkles and acne at the same time, then moisturisers containing vitamin A can be helpful for skin renewal and healing
      Reduce stress  We all know stress can cause a breakout from time to time.  But chronic stress can lead to increases in hormones like cortisol, which in turn leads to an increase in oil production and acne
     Try to reduce stress levels by making time for things that you find relaxing, such as going for a long walk, reading a book, or practising yoga
    Try yoga to reduce stress (Image: Getty Images) Try a treatment  There are many over-the-counter products available, with pimple-busting ingredients like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide, or visit your GP to talk about the best treatment options
      Acne can be calmed down with oestrogen therapy at menopause or with antibiotics, or you may be referred to a dermatologist
     In severe cases, a medication called Roaccutane can be prescribed.  It contains isotretinoin, a substance related to vitamin A, and works by switching off overactive oil glands
     However, it comes with side effects, including liver problems, depression and dry skin, so always discuss options with your GP
    80% of people with adult acne are women (Image: Getty Images/Tetra images RF) Daryll Hannah Baker chose not to let spots define her
     I'd never had perfect skin, but one day in 2014 I woke up with bursting red spots all over my chin that looked awful, and were extremely painful
     I became so paranoid about my skin I refused to let my husband see me without make-up
     The spots chipped away at my confidence, leaving me with huge self-esteem issues
    For months I tried to manage the symptoms – but nothing seemed to work.  I finally booked an appointment with my GP who referred me to a dermatologist
    I was given a 24-week course of Roaccutane, and now my skin is clear.  For me, this has been miraculous, and has cleared my skin right up, but it is not the treatment for everyone
     If adult acne is getting you down, go and speak to your doctor.'
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