Chronic acne can be frustrating and even a bit embarrassing. But it can also be a tell-tale sign of health mistakes you’re making. If you’re experiencing an outbreak, here are eight things your skin may be trying to tell you.

  1. You’re dehydrated: When you don’t get enough water, your body reacts by kicking oil production into overdrive in an attempt to compensate for dry skin and subsequently causing an outbreak.
  2. Your diet needs a makeover: Prime nutritional suspects behind acne outbreaks include high glycemic index foods like processed and refine carbohydrates and, for some, dairy products. If you’re experiencing an outbreak, your skin may be hungry for more fresh fruits and vegetables.
  3. You need to lay off the caffeine: Too much caffeine can wonk up your hormones and inflame your skin.
  4. You need to curb the cocktails: Alcohol can dry out your skin, kicking up the oil production and causing an acne outbreak.
  5. It’s time to get physical: Working up a good sweat is the equivalent of getting a mini-facial. That’s because perspiration causes pores to dilate, allowing sweat to sweep out trapped dirt and oil that otherwise can cause acne. Just be sure to wash your face well after a workout.
  6. You may have an allergy: Symptoms of an allergy can range from mild symptoms to major anaphylactic shock. Acne is one of those symptoms, particularly in those with an intolerance to dairy products.
  7. Your air is polluted: Studies show that exposing your skin to airborne pollutants, like cigarette smoke, car exhaust and dust can cause or worsen acne. Wear a protective moisturizer daily and consider buying an at-home air filter, particularly if you live in an urban area.
  8. You need a break: When you’re stressed out, your body releases stress hormones including cortisol, which can boost your skin’s oil production and lead to an outbreak. And if you’re slacking on the beauty sleep, it can limit blood flow to the skin and collagen production.

If you experience chronic acne despite your best efforts at skin care, Metropolitan Dermatology can help. We’ve got four current locations in Clark, Kearny, Teaneck and Staten Island, with additional locations opening in Kearny, Jersey City and South Plainfield this year.

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