5 Ways Students Can Avoid Stress-Induced Acne
Students everywhere, regardless of their major, can all agree on one thing: regardless of how organized or smart you are, when exam time hits health flies out the window. Fruits and veggies are replaced with chips and caffeine. Sleep becomes a luxury. Worry settles in. And while pulling an all nighter might prove beneficial to your grade, it definitely takes a toll on your skin.
It’s no coincidence that breakouts tend to occur during periods of anxiety and stress. You see, when the brain senses that the body is in panic mode, it releases a hormone called cortisol. This process then leads to the formation of an oily substance known as sebum, which causes blockage around the hair follicle and results in blackheads, whiteheads and/or pimples. So how can students avoid adding acne to their list of concerns during mid-terms or finals? Here are five suggestions from dermatologist Dr Goulko.
1. Get Some Shuteye. Freaked out the night before a big test? Totally understandable. However, foregoing sleep to cram in last minute details into your brain is not the smartest course of action. Instead, close the books, call it a night, and rest at least 7 hours. You will feel so much more at ease the next day.
2. Exercise. There are only so many hours in a day and you want to spend most of them with pouring over your notes. However, tucking yourself away into a dark corner isn’t going to do your body or skin any favors. Set aside 15 – 30 minutes for a brisk walk or some yoga. Not only will the increase in circulation carry more oxygen to your skin cells, but physical activity releases endorphins as well, which will elevate your mood. At least half an hour of exercise is recommended a day, dermatologists suggest it will make your skin look healthier and more revived.
3. Practice Good Hygiene. Exhaustion is no excuse for not washing your face. Practice the same skin care routine you would any other night. Remove your makeup. Use a gentle, oil-free cleanser. Most importantly, don’t skimp on the moisturizer. Stress tends to lead to dull and dry skin so hydration is key. Many dermatologists will recommend to purchase the right creams, cleansers, and moisturizers before a big test, so that way they are available once you need them. There are skin care products, recommended by dermatologists, with potent, active ingredients, like 15% Glycolic Acid, Retin-A, Azulen and much more that can be provided to you by your dermatologist. Be prepared ahead of time by having these products ready for when you need them most! Dr. Goulko consults with her patients for the dermatological treatment that best suites each individual.
4. Eat properly. Step away from that slice of pizza in the student lounge. Don’t join your friends in ordering cheese fries from the local diner. Don’t stroll by your dorm’s vending machine when your body craves a Snicker’s bar or cold Diet Coke. As easy as sugary, salty foods are, they will wreak havoc on your skin. Instead, sip on water and, when dropping by the campus cafeteria, choose a meal that’s rich in nutrients and fiber. A salad filled with dark greens such as kale, spinach and leafy vegetables? A delicious red apple? A green tea? All are great options! If your school doesn’t offer healthy options, at the very least invest in some D3 and fish oil pills.
5. Suggestion of an Expert. Sometimes, regardless of how diligent you are, your skin might decide to rebel. If you find yourself dealing with stress-induced flare-ups, dermatologists recommend to always keep individually packaged clindamycin and disinfectant pledgets to use as needed. These medicinal pledgets will help you maintain your healthy skin until you have a window within your study session to see your dermatologist. Aside from prescribing acne medication, Dermatology and Laser Surgery Center also offers a variety of treatments such as organic seaweed facials, that will help relax your skin and alleviate inflammation. Best of all, you can sit down with your dermatologist to discuss an anti-acne program that best suits your needs.
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