Pimples? Acne? All You Need To Know To Solve These Problems!

Posted: August 12, 2019

From home remedies to heavy duty dermatologists, people suffering from acne have tried it all. Here’s the story of one such person with tips for you!

Acne! I am sure most women out there dread this word. As did I!

When I hit puberty, I would often see one or more pimple on my face. It was like the pimple would sooner or later get another friend along, ‘Why are you going alone? Let me also come along…’

You would see the first pimple disappearing and boom! There is another one waiting for you, it was one of the most annoying things to experience, especially when you were already celebrating the loss of the earlier pimple and the chances of getting a pimple would increase close to my periods.

This went on for about 11 to 12 years and I would bear it somehow because everyone around would say “ye toh jawani ki nishani hai’’ (These are the signs of youth). I still laugh when I hear this because it is the most hilarious correlation ever.

While I had friends who were also jawan, I never saw them struggling with acne and wondered [with a grumpy face] as to whether ‘Ye jawani ki nishani mujhe hi kyu aarahi hai’. (Why am I the only one who has these signs of youth?)

Not to forget the marks and blemishes left behind by these pimples. It was the one moment I would dread the most. No one likes to see a mark on their face and pimples would end up leaving several marks. Which meant you needed to find a solution for these marks! Disheartening!

What exactly is acne?

Before we move ahead, let us know what acne is all about! We have hair all over our body and yes, we are blessed with hair on our face as well. When the hair follicles get plugged with dirt, oil and dead skin cells, that is when you see a pimple springing up and dancing all over your face.

Just to let you know our skin has oil glands or sebaceous glands which secrete sebum (an oily substance). So too much of sebum would end up giving you a pimple or acne. There are various types/forms of acne and I had the cystic one, once upon a time. [smiles]

As time passed, I took it in my stride without complaining a lot since I am blessed with oily skin. What’s more, no treatment seemed to work on my skin.

Gharelu nuskhas and whatnot!

Be it gharelu nuskhas (home-made remedies),  various cosmetics available in the market or even doctor’s medicines, everything just failed when it came to my skin.

However I did try to keep my skin clean, avoided harsh chemicals and even make up. Since I knew nothing suits my skin, using anything is ultimately going to lead to breakouts, I shunned it all and just kept my face clean.

All of this went on well till I turned 24 and decided to take up a job after completing my M.Sc in Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics.

As a Nutritionist, one needs to look presentable and that’s when I started applying make up. Coupled with erratic work schedules, truck loads of work exposure to screen light (sitting in front of the computer for hours together), make up and stress led to a severe bout of acne.

I did go to a doctor and began taking medication, chemicals peels and even started applying a medicated face wash recommended by the doctor, but all in vain.

A trip to Dubai didn’t help either!

During this period, I decided to go to Dubai for a vacation and thought maybe that would resolve my acne problem. (Yes, I left my job because my health seemed more important at that point in time).

While I had thought that heading to Dubai would resolve my acne issue, it only worsened day by day. The Dubai climate wasn’t helping either. It lead to severe acne and anything I applied did not seem to work. No face wash, no neem ke patte ka face pack could do any wonders for my skin, unfortunately!

Somehow I braced through the entire situation and returned to India. To add to my misery, I caught chicken pox from my nephew who caught it while I was there. Since I had never had chicken pox, I was highly susceptible to it.

I was in pain and my self esteem hit a new low. I was enclosed at home for the next few days and all I did was cry thinking as to why has this happened to me! And what would people say about me. I wondered how I would face people or even meet new people. There were several questions in my mind.

New doctor and another new treatment!

Nonetheless! Once better, I was off to another doctor who is pretty well-known in Mumbai. Yes, I have been to different dermatologists and spent hell loads of money on my skin.

He saw my face and immediately understood what I was going through. Now began the real struggle.

For the first two to three months, I was put antibiotics and ointments. After these, I was put on Isotretinoin and that was (and still remains) one of the worst phases of my life! Isotretinoin began drying my skin and making it sensitive.

Even a prick or a scratch lead to bleeding or scarring and I really did not know how to deal with it. I was given lotions and creams to deal with the drying skin. And I kept applying it at least three to four times a day. The Isotretinoin dose kept on increasing as did my misery.

Something finally worked!

However that phase passed and all I had to apply was maintenance ointments and creams to dull the blemishes!

And by God’s grace my skin is really well behaved and the chances of having a pimple/acne has reduced drastically. I may get one during periods or so, which isn’t severe. [Touchwood]

So all the pain I endured during the journey was worth it and the doctor turned out to be saviour in my case. Usually for some and even for me, acne reduces drastically post 25!

SO DON’T LOSE HOPE EVER!

What I learnt during my struggle

But there is one thing I realised during this journey: you have to be strong and deal with things which put you down in life.

Also a lifestyle change really helps when you are down with a skin condition. While on medications I did adopt these habits or lifestyle changes. These can help you as well if you are suffering from acne.

Tips from a nutritionist and fellow acne sufferer

  • The secret to glowing skin is to drink at least 12-15 glasses of water daily.
  • Eat fresh fruits and vegetables, rather than the canned ones.
  • Include oats, quinoa, brown rice in your diet. (Avoid too much of gluten)
  • Consume foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids (walnuts. sunflower seeds, flax seeds, fish)
  • Avoid foods made with refined flour and keep a tab on your salt and sugar intake (Sugar and refined flour can increase inflammation and aggravate the problem).
  • Avoid fried and fatty foods (Can again lead to inflammation).
  • Go slow on dairy and dairy products ( Milk doesn’t suit my skin).
  • Keep stress at bay and try to meditate or do yoga. (Calm yourself as it can calm your system and lower cortisol levels).
  • Sweat it out in the gym (This actually helps, just make sure you wash your face after working out and do not touch your face without washing you hands post going to the gym).
  • Sleep well (This is the key – not getting enough sleep can wreak havoc on your skin)
  • Reduce screen time (Avoid using the phone, laptop or Tabs/iPads too much, the radiation is not good for your skin).
  • Avoid applying any face pack or cream without consulting your doctor.
  • Don’t touch or pop the pimples, it can actually lead to more pimples.
  • Use a make which is meant for oily skin and is non-comedogenic.
  • Let your skin breathe and always invest in a good face wash, moisturiser and night cream meant for your skin (preferably gel based and not oil based, if you have oily skin).

So take care of your skin and if you are suffering from hormonal imbalance see a doctor and get the necessary tests done in order to know the cause of your acne!

Picture credits: Pexels 

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A Nutritionist,Clinical Dietitian,Speaker,health/fitness blogger who runs a nutrition website named NutriBond

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