Getting to the root causes of acne

Wednesday June 6, 2012

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/6/6/nation/11421817&sec=nation

By LEE XIAN
newsdesk@thestar.com.my

KUALA LUMPUR: Grandma’s advice to stay away from oily foods, chocolates and nuts to keep acne at bay is well-intentioned, but it does not hold much water in science.

Instead, findings show that it is in fact stress, smoking and facials which cause and worsen acne.

A clinical practice guide (CPG) which explains the causes of acne and prevention tips has been developed by Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL) Department of Dermatology for public use.

“Foods with a high glycemic index (GI) such as glutinous rice, wholemeal or white bread, fried mee hoon and macaroni, water­melons and too much of teh tarik or glucose increases the development of acne,” said HKL director Datuk Dr Zaininah Mohd Zain at the launch of the CPG yesterday.

Instead, she urged for the consumption of foods high in fibre such as fruits, yoghurt and oats, as well as plenty of water.

Facial therapy, turned to by many people to improve their acne condition, may not have the desired effect.

Dr Zaininah said poking, pressing, prodding and picking at acne could lead to further inflammation of the pimples and might cause permanent scarring.

“Oil-based cosmetics should also not be used as it clogs the pores and leads to further break-outs. To maintain healthy skin, the most important thing one can do is to allow it to breathe,” said Dr Zaininah.

Dermatology department chief Datin Dr Asmah Johar said topical treatment could help manage the blemishes or one could seek the advice of a dermatologist.

She added that young adults should also avoid using too many skin care items because many of the products contained harsh chemicals which could damage the skin.

A study conducted by the Ministry of Health shows that 67.5% of adolescents aged 13 to 18 years old are affected by the problem.