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Overpowering Acne: Through Sleep, Diet, and Hygiene
If someone asks you what causes acne in teens, what would you say? Maybe dirt or oil from your hands, or my favorite, “it’s hereditary.” Though these factors contribute to the emergence of acne, the most significant causes are hormonal changes within the body during puberty in teens.
Stress is a major underlying cause of acne and here’s why, increased stress causes imbalances in the body, adding on to the hormonal changes already occurring within the body. The changes signal an increase in acne-producing glands and a natural reaction of pimples and zits appear. Stress is both a cause and a result, it may cause acne through hormonal changes, but can also result from factors that us teens can control. Teenagers ignore their eating habits, don’t get enough sleep, and then also ignore their hygiene. These are caused by stress but also result in more stress and thus lead to acne.
A growing problem of teenage sleep deprivation is usually resulted by procrastination and unorganized agendas which leave the student with no reminders of upcoming due dates or events. Then, students are forced to work full days and nights on something that was supposed to be periodically managed. Specifically, inflammation and insulin resistance produces acne, which is majorly affected by sleeping patterns (Puusa). Lack of sleep increases the pro-inflammatory cytokines, or “inflammation markers,” in the blood (Puusa). Cytokines are high in proteins, and too much intake causes worse acne. Insulin resistance occurs when it becomes difficult for cells to take in glucose and can be slowed down with lack of sleep (Puusa).
The sleeping problems are interconnected with diet issues. Lack of sleep influences the hormones that regulate glucose metabolism and appetite. “Ghrelin is the hormone that stimulates our appetites and when you suffer from sleep deprivation, your body's levels of leptin fall while ghrelin levels increase...” (Puusa). With that information we see that with this problem, teens eat more but are not satisfied. Also, with the excessive amount of stress build-up, teens like to eat more junk food and then aren’t getting the proper nutrients. Without crucial nutrients, the natural hormonal regulation system cannot function properly leading to chronic hormonal imbalance, a main acne contributing factor (Walden). So ultimately, stress leads to sleep deprivation, and also an unhealthy diet.
I know it is being repeated many times, but this factor of stress really has a great impact on teen lives and is mostly the reason for all the problems. Let’s face it, teenagers STINK. I mean literally stink. But it’s not our fault is it? No, actually bad hygiene is also a result of stress, sleep deprivation, and unhealthy eating habits. With the unorganized lifestyle, adolescents seem to ignore their bodies well being and this contributes to clear skin. Along with hormonal changes, acne can be worsened with extra dirt or bacteria entering from dirty hands. A healthy body is also important because it’s able to protect itself and adjust to challenges through internal mechanisms (Britannica 2006).
Teens search for creams and ointments to stop breakouts, but the best cure is to organize a schedule and plan the school year. How might this idea help? Well, by maintaining a set schedule it is easier to manage sleep, diet, and hygiene, which are the three most evident factors that contribute to a healthy body, including skin. Schools emphasize organization a lot too, but this is for one’s own convenience. It isn’t necessary to only put assignment or test dates on a calendar; parties, events, and personal reminders would also be important in this layout. With an organized calendar, us teens can plan things accordingly and the factor of procrastination would also be slowly removed. But more importantly, a calendar will manage time so there is more time for sleep, and focusing on diet and hygiene. By creating a manageable schedule, teens can master a healthy body and keep up with hygiene because they will have more time with organization.
Kokoska, Robert (13 Feb. 2006). The Crucial Connection between Hormones and Acne. Retrieved from http://www.buzzle.com/editorials/2-13-2006-88757.asp
Walden, Mike (2005-2008). Vitamin For Acne Supplements: EXPOSED. Retrieved from http://www.holisticacnetreatments.com/vitamin-for-acne.
Puusa, Seppo. "Sleep and Acne." Retrieved from http://hubpages.com/hub/sleep-and-acne.
(2006). Health. Sirs Discoverer