Zinc and Acne

Zinc and Acne <image> | Pimples. | YoDermThe truth about zinc and acne

The debate over zinc and acne has stirred controversy over the internet, some promising a magical acne cure and some arguing little to no benefits. Digging further into the medical research on zinc and acne, studies showed that taking zinc orally can improve your breakouts but the effects were very small. For the topical application of zinc, no studies could find any benefit to helping with acne breakouts.

Topical zinc doesn’t work:

While zinc is essential for maintaining healthy skin, it is not effectively absorbed by through the skin. Three peer-reviewed studies showed that topical zinc lotion is ineffective at treating acne. So make sure to avoid zinc creams that promise to clear your skin… they don’t work.

Oral supplements work:

Zinc pills are another story. By supplementing your diet with some extra zinc, you may be able to help clear your skin in a number of ways.

  • Zinc boosts your immune system which can help your fight off the infection inside of your pore.
  • It also acts as an anti-inflammatory subduing any redness or swelling associated with pimples.
  • Some believe that acne is a symptom of a zinc serum deficiency, so by upping your zinc intake you reduce your pimples

One study in particular provides evidence that acne improved with oral zinc supplementation. It was performed in the 1970′s, but it did show that zinc was effective at treating severe and inflammatory acne.

Best practices for zinc and acne:

Do not rely on zinc as your primary acne treatment, but rather take a zinc supplement to help your skin heal quicker and to decrease inflammation:

  • Take 20-40mg zinc supplement pill on an empty stomach everyday. If you experience any of the side effects mentioned above, decrease the dosage until it is tolerable.
  • As zinc decreases your copper absorbtion, you should also take 2mg of copper everyday. Take the copper pill later in the day, also on an empty stomach.

Don’t take too much!

A prevalent mistake when taking zinc supplements is to take too large a dose. The maximum daily dosage should be no larger than 40 mg/day, but even this can cause harmful side effects so be careful about your intake. What are the side effects?

Side effects of zinc:

  • Nausea
  • Vomitting
  • Anemia
  • Diarrhea
  • For males, an increased risk of prostate cancer
  • Decreased copper absorption (which is essential for your muscles and nervous system)

*These affects only apply to orally consumed zinc. No harmful side effects have been found for topically applied zinc. (But remember, topical zinc won’t help your breakouts!)

References

  1. Strauss, J., D. Krowchuk, J. Leyden, A. Lucky, A. Shalita, E. Siegfried, D. Thiboutot, A. Vanvoorhees, K. Beutner, and C. Sieck. “Guidelines of Care for Acne Vulgaris Management.” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 56.4 (2007): 651-63. Web. <//jaad.org/article/S0190-9622(06)02346-2/abstract>.
  2. Mitchnick, M., D. Fairhurst, and S. Pinnell. “Microfine Zinc Oxide (Z-Cote) as a Photostable UVA/UVB Sunblock Agent?, ??, ?.” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 40.1 (1999): 85-90. Web. <//jaad.org/article/S0190-9622(99)70532-3/fulltext#section6>.
  3. Bowe, Whitney P., Smita S. Joshi, and Alan R. Shalita. “Diet and Acne.” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 63.1 (2010): 124-41. Web. <//jaad.org/article/S0190-9622(09)00967-0/fulltext#sec6.3>.
  4. Cochran, RJ. “Topical Zinc Therapy for Acne Vulgaris.” Int J Dermatol (1985): n. pag. Web. <//jaad.org/medline/record/ivp_00119059_24_188>.

 

Lemon Juice and Acne

Lemon Juice and Acne | YoDerm Blog | Pimples.

The truth about lemon juice and acne:

Many believe that lemon juice is the miracle cure for acne. We looked into the details of using lemon juice as an acne treatment and have brought you the results: how it works, the pros and cons, and how to use it if you want to give it a try.

How lemon juice helps acne:

Lemon juice does have some acne fighting qualities and can be a cheap way to try and clear your skin. Here are the primary benefits of lemon juice and acne:

Reduces oil: The acid in lemon juice has mild astringent qualities. The astringents work by constricting the body tissues and pushing the oil out of your skin.

Kills bacteria: The citric acid of lemon juice also acts as an antiseptic. Since bacteria have a difficult time adjusting to acidic environments, the lemon juice can help reduce the number of bacteria that are living inside or on top of your skin.

Cheap: All it costs you is a couple of lemons and some cotton balls to apply it.

Reduces redness: Many find that applying an astringent like lemon juice greatly reduces the redness caused by acne.

Scar therapy: Some believe lemon juice is a natural way to reduce scars caused by acne. There is no clinical research to support this claim, however.

Negatives of lemon juice for acne:

While there are a few potential benefits to using lemon juice, there have not been any studies to actually prove it’s acne fighting capabilities. Additionally, there are several side effects that you should watch out for if you decide to try it out.

Dry skin: If you have dry or normal skin, the lemon juice may cause excessively dry and flakey skin.

Painful: The acid in lemon juice may cause your pimples to sting or possibly even bleed.

Lightens skin: Astringents like lemon juice can cause your skin to lighten where you’ve applied it.

Not for dark skin: Those with dark skin should avoid using lemon juice as an acne treatment as it can cause dark spots to appear where applied.

Better alternatives: If you’re looking to manage the P. acnes (bacteria) in your pores, there are proven options available that are far more effective than lemon juice. An antimicrobial like benzoyl peroxide is not only an effective way to reduce acne causing bacteria, it is also a more effective exfoliant. This allows the medicine to more easily penetrate your clogged pores and remove the bacteria inside.

How to prepare and apply lemon juice:

If you still want to give lemon juice a try, these are the best practices:

Wash your face: Gently rub lukewarm water and a mild soap on your skin using your fingertips. Wash with warm water and allow your skin to dry for 5-10 minutes.

Create treatment: Cut a fresh lemon in half and squeeze each half into a bowl.

Apply treatment: Dip a cotton ball into the freshly squeezed juice. Dab the wet cotton ball to your affected area. A small stinging or itching sensation is normal. If the stinging is unmanageable add water to the solution to dilute the acidity.

Wait 20 minutes and rinse: Allow the lemon juice to dry, letting your skin absorb all of the acid. After 20 to 30 minutes rinse your face with warm water. Apply moisturizer if necessary.

For those with moderate to severe acne:

Lemon juice might deliver some minor benefits to your acne, but it cannot be the primary treatment for moderate to severe acne. It is important that you apply more effective medications, like topical retinoids.

Get An Online Dermatologist To Treat Your Acne Now.

YoDerm is the only way to get a prescription medication safely and legally online. Each of our dermatologists are board-certified and will treat your acne within 24 hours. If you’re struggling to get clear, click here, and let us help you.

Get 10 Steps To Clear Skin for free

Since you made it to the end of this article, and since we are in the giving season, I’m giving away a free copy of our new ebook, 10 Steps To Clear Skin, to all of our readers (that’s you)! Normally this book is $79 (after reading it you’ll see why), but it’s free for you: Click Here

References

  1. Russell-DeLucas, Carolyn. “How to Clear Acne With Lemon Juice.”LIVESTRONG.COM
  2. “Lemon Juice (applied Topically).” Reviews. Acne.org
  3. Internal sources.

 

Coconut Oil and Acne

Coconut Oil and Acne

The truth about coconut oil and acne:

Some believe that coconut oil is a miracle cure for acne. While coconut oil does have some acne-fighting qualities that will help your skin, the truth is that there are better options easily available. We’ve taken a closer look at the relationship between coconut oil and acne to understand how it works and if it’s an effective acne treatment.

Coconut oil has two acne fighting properties:

  1. Coconut oil contains two natural anti-microbials: Capric acid and Lauric acid. Anti-microbials fight acne by killing the bacterial infections that occur within your pores. Benzoyl Peroxide (the active ingredient in Proactiv, Acne Free, and most Neutrogena cleasers) is another example of an anti-microbial used to treat acne.
  2. Coconut oil is also rich in vitamin A, a nutrient essential for healthy skin. Vitamin A helps your skin by efficiently regulating your skins shedding process called keratinocyte desquamation. Acne commonly arises when this process is not performed properly.

But… Coconut oil falls short

There are more effective substitutes for anti-microbials and vitamin A:

Anti-microbial: Most dermatologists believe benzoyl peroxide is the most effective anti-microbial cleanser to decrease your acne. Try this proven cleanser first, as it is also available at almost any drug store. If you find that BPO (benzoyl peroxide) irritates your face, there are many other OTC products that will be softer on your skin and more effective than coconut oil. If you find benzoyl peroxide is not improving your acne, you may need a prescription medication, which can only be obtained from a dermatologist.

Vitamin A: Your skin will not benefit from Vitamin A unless it has been turned into retinoic acid. This does not occur directly in the skin, so applying it topically is a relatively inefficient way to increase your vitamin A consumption. Instead, the best way to get your vitamin A is to consume foods high in A (like eggs, carrots, sweet potatoes, and spinach) or to take a supplement.

What it comes down to:

Everyone’s skin is different. If you have very mild acne and highly sensitive skin, coconut oil may be a good option for you as a light anti-microbial. Some people report coconut oil as being highly comodegenic (acne-causing) but the results seem to differ widely. For most, a proven cleanser like benzoyl peroxide is most likely your best bet.

If you have moderate to severe acne:

Coconut oil might deliver some minor benefits to your acne, but it cannot be the primary treatment for moderate to severe acne. It is important that you apply more effective medications, like topical retinoids.

Fortunately, topical retinoids are not hard to obtain. All you need is to do is consult with a dermatologist, who will write you a prescription for the medication.

About us: YoDerm is the only way to get a prescription medication safely and legally online. Each of our dermatologists are board-certified and will treat your acne within 24 hours. If you’re struggling to get clear, click here, and let us help you.

References

1. “How Does Vitamin A Help Your Skin?” LIVESTRONG.COM.
2. Thomson, Julie R. “Vitamin A: Skin Friend Or Foe?” The Huffington Post. 18 Aug. 2011.
3. “Coconut Oil.” Reviews. ACNE.ORG
4. “Organic Coconut Oil for Acne – Acne Skin Site.” Acne Skin Site.

 

Baking Soda and Acne

Baking Soda and Acne

Baking Soda & Acne:

Not only is baking soda an essential ingredient in most cakes and baked goods, but some believe this powder is an effective agent in clearing acne. Here we look at baking soda and acne: its benefits and its limitations.

The benefits of baking soda and acne:

Baking soda is very versatile. Besides fluffing up your pastries and pancakes, it is also an antiseptic and has anti-fungal qualities. So how does it help your skin? Well baking soda is a very effective exfoliant in that it removes the dead skin cells from the surface of your skin. This can even help your skin tone and decrease some redness.

Baking soda is a great exfoliant choice if you are avoiding chemicals or synthetic products. It is all-natual: the chemical compound is sodium bicarbonate which can be found dissolved in many mineral springs. In fact the egyptians used it thousands of years ago for washing and bathing.

Finally, baking soda is extremely cheap. You can find it at your local grocery store for under $5.

The negatives of baking soda and acne:

Baking soda may help reduce some symptoms of acne like redness, but in no way does it treat the cause of acne (over-production of oil and bacterial infection). Therefore, it will not decrease your likelihood of breakouts or decrease their severity.

Also, baking soda, like many exfoliants, can cause overly dry skin. If you are prone to dry skin, baking soda is probably not for you.

Lastly, applying baking soda to any open sores will be painful. These could include razor-burn or nicks from shaving, cuts and scrapes, or pimples that you’ve recently popped.

What this means:

If you want an exfoliant that is all-natural, easy to find, and relatively cheap, baking soda could be just what you’re looking for.

If you’re looking for a way to reduce your acne severity or your frequency of break outs, baking soda just won’t cut it. If you have very mild acne, over-the-counter products like benzoyl peroxide should do the trick. For those with moderate to severe acne, a dermatologist appointment is most likely necessary.

If you want to give it a try, here are the best practices:

  1. Create a paste to apply to your skin. Mix 1/3 tablespoon of baking soda with a full tablespoon of water (you don’t need much).
  2. Test for an allergy: apply a small amount to your arm, let is sit for 5 minutes and make sure no reaction occurs.
  3. If all seems well, use your fingertips to lightly massage the paste onto your face. Continue doing this for about a minute or two.
  4. Let the past sit on your face for 5 to 10 minutes. It may dry, but don’t worry, it’s still working. Don’t let it sit for much longer or you may risk getting a minor chemical burn.
  5. Use lukewarm water and your bare hands to rinse off your face. Pat dry with a soft towel.

Baking soda is the bee’s knees when it comes to a natural exfoliant, but for treating acne, look elsewhere.

Does Drinking Water Help Acne?

Does Drinking Water Help Acne

The truth about water and acne:

Drinking plenty of water benefits your body in many ways, and one in particular is healthy skin. While water is not the cure-all to your acne problems, a steady flow of H20 will help your fight against breakouts. So, how does drinking water help acne?

How drinking water helps acne:

About 70% of your body is water. Much of this is the fluids circulating through your body including blood, lymph, mucus and others. These fluids serve two primary purposes for your organs: (a) to carry nutrients and vitamins, and (b) to flush out toxins and waste products. As your skin is the largest organ of the human body, it is affected when you don’t drink ample amounts of water. Those toxins, bodily waste, and even bacteria can be trapped within your skin without adequate hydration to flush them out, which can increase your likelihood of acne.

“Skin cells require water to function properly. Dehydration causes damage, accelerated aging, and inability to heal properly,” says Dr. M. Christina Lee, a dermatologist from Walnut Creek, CA. “All skin conditions and diseases would become worse in a body not receiving proper nutrition or adequate hydration.”

Water is better than the alternatives:

Drinking water also helps your acne in an entirely different way. When you are quenching your thirst with H20, you stay away from consuming other high-glycemic beverages which may affect your acne like soft drinks and milk. By substituting out these other drinks, you improve your overall diet as well as your skin.

8 Glasses a day keeps the doctor’s away:

The Institute of Health suggests that adequate intake of water for females is 9 cups a day and for males is 13 cups. This comes out to roughly 11 glasses of water every day. Drink up, your body (and your skin!) will thank you.

Water isn’t a miracle cure:

Drinking water, however, is not the cure-all for pimples. Hydrating helps your skin self-moisturize and cleanses your cells of built-up waste, but It does not directly affect your oil production. For many, over-production of oil is the main cause of their acne. To combat excess oil, treatment is necessary. For those with very mild acne, some over-the-counter products might be all you need. For those with moderate to severe acne, a prescription medication may be necessary, which can only be obtained through a dermatologist.

In conclusion, staying well hydrated has major benefits for your skin. It fights dryness and gets rid of unnecessary toxins. This can definitely help clear up your acne, but for some it will not be enough to rid yourself of breakouts.

If you have more than the occasional pimple…

Drink all the water you can, but it cannot be the primary treatment for moderate to severe acne. It is important that you apply more effective medications, like topical retinoids.

Fortunately, topical retinoids are not hard to obtain. All you need is to do is consult with a dermatologist, who will write you a prescription for the medication. If you don’t already have a dermatologist, or if you want a more convenient way to get consultations, take a look at our online dermatology service (only available in California).

Get 10 Steps To Clear Skin for free

Since you made it to the end of this article, and since we are in the giving season, I’m giving away a free copy of our new ebook, 10 Steps To Clear Skin , to all of our readers (that’s you)! Normally this book is $79 (after reading it you’ll see why), but it’s free for you: Click Here

References

  1. Staff, Mayo Clinic. “Water: How Much Should You Drink Every Day?” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 12 Oct. 2011
  2. Lee, M. Christine. HealthTap. “I heard that water helps your skin conditions. Is this true?”
  3. Staff, ZocDoc”How Does Drinking a Lot of Water Help Your Skin?” ZocDoc.

Does Tanning Help Acne?

Does Tanning Help Acne <image>

Tanning and acne

Some people believe that tanning beds and excessive sun exposure helps to clear acne. The American Academy of Dermatology, however, states that tanning beds have not been scientifically proven to decrease acne. Research also found that tanning increases your risk of the deadliest skin cancer, melanoma.

Tanning may appear to help acne

The relationship between tanning and acne has been widely studied, but is commonly misunderstood. While we all know that tanning is unsafe and unhealthy, many people believe that tanning is a magical cure for acne. Tanning may have short term effects on your skin that look like they are helping your acne. These effects, however, are only short term and will have far more negative effects than positive benefits.

  • Tanning can reduce your acne for a short time because the UV ray exposure causes dry skin, which may reduce the oil that causes acne. However, after you tan, your body will compensate by producing too much oil, which causes even more acne outbreaks.
  • Tanning may temporarily camouflage your acne by hiding the redness. However, the tanning only hides your acne for a short period of time and it does not actually heal it.

Tanning and acne medications

Tanning has detrimental effects if you are taking acne medications that cause photosensitivity. Photosensitivity is common in acne medications, and causes your skin to become ultra sensitive to the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays (i.e. sunlight and tanning beds). If you are tanning while taking acne medications, you become more susceptible to sunburns, premature aging, and skin cancer.

Acne medications that cause photosensitivity:

  1. Accutane (isotretinoin)
  2. Benzoyl peroxide
  3. Some oral contraceptives
  4. Some oral antibiotics, such as tetracycline and doxycycline
  5. Retin-A (tretinoin)
  6. Differin (adapalene)
  7. Tazorac (tazarotene)
  8. Many others.

Ask your dermatologist to find out if your acne medication causes photosensitivity.

Sunscreen and acne

It is important to always use oil-free sunscreen if you want to avoid acne outbreaks. Noncomedogenic sunscreens will not clog your pores or cause acne.

For Those with moderate to severe acne

Tanning may be able to hide your acne temporarily, but it won’t actually treat and heal your breakouts. If you have moderate to severe acne, it is important that you apply more effective medications, like topical retinoids.

Fortunately, topical retinoids are not hard to obtain. All you need is to do is consult with a dermatologist, who will write you a prescription for the medication. If you don’t already have a dermatologist, or if you want a more convenient way to get consultations, take a look at our online dermatology service (only available in California).

Clean your Phone, Save your Skin!

imageFact: Oil and bacteria are both a cause and consequence of acne. You breakout because you are producing too much oil, and this in turn produces bacteria. The build up of oil and bacteria causes a pimple.Treatment helps get rid of this excess oil, but your skin keeps producing oil all day! This oil ends up on anything and everything that touches your face. What item do you hold against your face multiple times per day? Your phone! Not only is your phone oily, but according to a study from the University of Arizona, cellphones have 10 times more bacteria than most toilet seats. This alone should inspire you to clean your cell!

Follow these easy steps to keep you phone and face clean:

 

What you’ll need:

  • Microfiber cloth, like the one that comes with glasses.
  • A solution of 40% Isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) and 60% water
  • A cotton swab or q-tip for harder to reach places like your microphone (and your keypad for non-touch screens)

What you’ll do:

  1. Turn off your phone.
  2. Do not soak, but dampen the microfiber cloth with the alcohol-water solution.
  3. GENTLY wipe down your screen, the back, sides, etc. Leave no area untouched.
  4. Use a moistened cotton swab or q-tip for the harder-to-reach places, like your microphone (or key-pad for non-touch screens)
  5. After your satisfied with your phone’s freshness, let it to sit for a couple of minutes to allow the alcohol to evaporate.
  6. Turn it on and enjoy your phone’s newly earned sparkle. :)

What you won’t do:

  • Do not use any glass cleaner with ammonia, like Windex. These harsh chemicals will damage an LCD screen display over time.
  • Do not use a paper towel. It will scratch your screen even if it’s wet.
  • Do not directly spray anything onto your device. You risk wetting and damaging the circuitry inside the phone.

Now that your device is clean and clear, your face will hopefully follow suit!!

References

  1. https://tlc.howstuffworks.com/home/how-to-clean-your-cell-phone1.htm
  2. https://reviews.cnet.com/4520-10166_7-6209355-1.html
  3. https://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/how-to/tips/4220886