Although pumpkin carving is over and Jack-O-Lanterns are being chucked into the garbage, pumpkin is still in the season making its big debut on your kitchen table. Whether you prefer pumpkin cookies, pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, or pumpkin soup— there’s something nostalgic to be said about this yummy vegetable. But, did you know that pumpkin is good for your skin as well? Especially if you have acne.
What’s In Pumpkin That Makes It So Good for Your Skin?
You have heard it at least once, and you can expect to hear it for the rest of, well, forever: antioxidants are great for your skin! Pumpkin contains a high amount of antioxidants like Vitamin A and Vitamin C which are notorious for soothing your skin while also boosting collagen production— a win, win for acne sufferers everywhere.
Additionally, pumpkin also contains zinc which works to control oil production and assist with healing the skin as well.
How Can You Use It?
There are two ways that you can use pumpkin: the DIY way or the over-the-counter way.
For the DIY lovers and money savers out there, using pumpkin on your face is beyond easy. All you have to do is make a quick pumpkin puree by cooking pumpkin. Let it cool, and blend it to a soft consistency. Then, you can just apply it directly to your skin before bed. Let it sit on there as a face mask for about 20-30 minutes. This will give it a long enough amount of time to settle into your pores.
For those who have less of a DIY desire, you can find pumpkin skin care products at most all-natural grocery stores or pharmacies. Just make sure that pumpkin is one of the leading ingredients and you’re good to go.
Acne. That word strikes abject terror into the heart of your teenager.
Yes, that single word, clinically known as acne vulgaris, is way scarier to a teenager than The Grudge 3. Acne can ruin a young person’s life, at least in their minds, or surely cause a crimp in their self-esteem. What causes this scourge of youth?
What’s behind those zits?
If you break it down, acne really simple comes down to the sebaceous glands at the base of the hair follicles. The sebaceous glands produce oil, keeping the skin and hair lubricated and moist. Acne forms when the hair follicles under your skin clog, trapping the oil beneath the skin. Acne is most typical on the face, back, neck, shoulders, and chest. It appears as occluded pores (blackheads or whiteheads), red bumps (pimples), pustules, or cysts.
The condition isn’t serious — although don’t tell this to your 16-year-old daughter in the midst of a breakout — unless the acne is cystic. Those cysts can scar the skin and are generally the reason for pockmarks on adult faces.
Causes of acne
Despite every high school student in the world pleading for a cure, acne is still somewhat of a mystery. Doctors believe it’s due to a combination of factors. The rise in the male sex hormone androgen in teenagers of both sexes is thought to be the primary cause. When androgen levels increase the oil glands enlarge and produce more oil.
Genetics also play a role. Some people are simply more prone to the condition, and this is thought to have genetic tendencies. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can trigger acne outbreaks, even if you got off easy as a teenager. Certain cosmetics and medications cause breakouts for some people, as well. Research has not proven any link between foods such as chocolate or junk food and acne.
When we’re approaching a patient with acne, Dr. Jones and the whole team realize that every case is unique. For that reason, our treatments vary. We use antibiotics, Accutane®, prescription topical medications, hormone therapy, microdermabrasion, Obagi Skin Care products, Retin-A, and laser treatments.
Acne can be very stressful for your teen. Call Dr. Jones at 405.418.5400 and let’s see how we can get rid of it.
Lasers are effective for zapping the occasional stormtrooper and Klingons, but Dr. Jones also uses them for smaller targets, zits. Yes, in his practice, he uses the Alma Laser, combined with Levulan Kerastick topical applications to combat acne.
What causes acne?
Acne basically is caused by your sebaceous glands running amok. These glands produce oil and send it to the surface through hair follicles (not just the bigger hairs you can see). This oil keeps both the skin and the hair from becoming like the Gobi Desert. When teenagers are full of raging hormones, higher levels of testosterone make the sebaceous glands overproduce. This overproduction clogs the follicles, blocking the pipeline to the surface. The glands with all of this extra oil are now prime places for bacteria to multiply. Bacteria cause inflammation and…wait for it, blemishes/zits/whiteheads/blackheads.
How does Dr. Jones zap those zits with lasers?
Lasers work on inflammatory acne that shows itself in whiteheads and blackheads, along with cystic acne. The premise is that the laser energy excites porphyrins, which live inside acne bacteria. When these little dudes are excited they damage the bacteria wall, killing the bacteria. Less acne bacteria equates to less inflammation. Lasers also reduce the sebum being overproduced by the sebaceous glands.
Dr. Jones combines the laser’s bacteria-killing properties with the topical treatment Levulan Kerastick for more dramatic results. The topical medication is applied prior to using the laser. The make the bacteria cells more sensitive to the laser energy, resulting in more effective bacteria elimination.
Lasers are only one of Dr. Jones’s approaches in the ongoing teenage battle with acne. If your teenager is suffering through this self-esteem killing problem, call us at 405.418.5400 and let’s start treating their acne.