WHY IS YOUR SKIN OUT OF BALANCE?
At Bak Probiotic Skincare, we often talk about how good bacteria helps to rebalance your skin.
But why does your skin get out of balance in the first place? How does it feel, and not least, how does it affect the look of your skin?
This is actually some quite complex questions to answer briefly, and often very different from person to person as well, but dermatologist Hans Lomholt, who is associate professor at Aalborg University, has agreed to give some general answers on the most typical skin issues people struggle with, what they consist of and why we get them.
Typical skin issues
Some of the most common skin issues people struggle with are acne, which many of us will know as more or less severe outbreaks of pimples, rosacea, which can cause redness and pimple-like irritations, and eczema, which causes itching, irritation and scaling in the skin.
”First of all, we don’t know what causes acne. But we know some different factors which can contribute to the development of acne”, Hans Lomholt says and continues:
“One important factor is that you may be genetically disposed for it. Furthermore, the male hormone plays a role and since this is rising during puberty, it is probably one of the reasons why acne for many people occurs during this time.
Most people with acne have an increased production of sebum as well, and this, and a closure of the sebaceous glands, provides increased breeding ground for the skin bacteria Cutibacterium acnes, which seems to play a part in the disease.”
Acne often starts in the teen years and ebbs out in the early 20ies.
And if you feel alone in your fight against the pimples, you might find comfort in the fact, that this is far from the truth. In fact, circa 80 % of all humans will struggle with acne to some extend at some point during their life.
And since the condition is something many of us have intensely studied experiences with, there are a lot of myths and misconceptions out there on why the pimples arise and how to get rid of them.
”I think the most common misunderstanding about acne is, that it is some sort of unclean or dirty skin and that it’s therefor a matter of cleansing the skin. But acne has nothing to do with dirty skin as such”, says Hans Lomholt.
“Nothing indicates that cleansing the face is worsening acne per se, but the effect just isn’t that significant.
In some cases, peeling will have some effect, but many people will just end up spending a lot of money on products before they’ll find something that works.”
”There are different well tested medical products targeted acne out there. Most of them is prescription, but some, like benzoylperoxid, is available over the counter. If your acne is bothersome, you should see a doctor and get an effective treatment”, says Hans Lomholt.
If your acne isn’t that severe, you might be able to do something about it by yourself – for example via your diet.
”It isn’t very well researched yet”, says Hans Lomholt, “but there are some data which points to your diet and that it may have a part to play. For example, connections between the intake of skim milk products and rapidly metabolizable carbohydrates such as candy and soda and worsened acne has been detected.”
So it might be worth a try to minimize the intake of these food groups if you want to combat your acne.
“Furthermore, stress can worsen acne as well, so to slow down and avoid stress might be helpful as well”, Hans Lomholt says.
Red, itchy and scaling skin with a tendency to little bumbs and water blisters. Does that sound familiar?
It will for many people, since eczema is one of those skin issues, many people will experience to a greater or lesser degree during their life.
Why you get it can be due to different things. You can be allergic to something or you can be what is defined as an atopic, which means someone who have or have had atopic eczema, and therefor has a more sensitive skin.
”Some gets dandruff eczema, seborrheic dermatitis, in which a reaction to our normal Malassezia skin fungi plays a part. This typical causes eczema and dandruffs in the scalp, the brows and around the nasal wings”, says Hans Lomholt and continues:
“Atopic eczema is most common in childhood. For many it will disappear as they get older, but many will experience that their skin keeps being more sensitive later on as well. For some it will disappear during puberty and then reappear in adulthood and for some, they will struggle with it throughout life.
For people with atopic skin, the skin barrier will often be less dense, which makes it extra sensitive to irritation and itching. The eczema may occur as outbreaks on the hands while it for others occurs in the face and around the eye area.
If the eczema is due to allergy, the best you can do is to avoid the thing(s) you are allergic to. Otherwise, eczema will often be treated with hormone lotion, Hans Lomholt says.
“This will calm the irritation- and the immune system which is what is triggered with eczema.”
In general, however, it is important, that you keep your skin well-moisturized with a good lotion if you have a tendency to eczema.
“If you can keep your eczema at bay with a good lotion, that’s the best”, says Hans Lomholt.
Rosacea is a disease which most often occurs around the 40ies to 60ies. It is characterized with red bumps and irritations which looks a bit like acne but is often followed by a redness in the skin, where things such as sun, spicy food and alcohol can make it flare up.
Some, most often men, will experience that their rosacea will appear as rhinophyma, which is a condition where the sebaceous glands on the nose will be greatly enlarged and make it almost deformed. For some rosacea might affect the eyes.
”Like with acne no one knows exactly what causes rosacea, but we know a range of sub-mechanisms which is involved”, says Hans Lomholt.
”Again, the genes plays a part. And then there is some changes in the congenital immune system. People with rosacea have more of a certain mite, which is called demodex-mite, in the skin. We all have that, but people with rosacea will typically have more. We don’t know if it is the mite that causes the rosacea or if the increased number of mites is a consequence of rosacea.”
Often rosacea will be treated with medical lotions, or if it is very severe, with pills.
Many who struggle with rosacea will know what triggers their condition, and in that case, you should take your precautions, says Hans Lomholt:
“If you are triggered by sun, you should of course use a good sunscreen. Is it alcohol you will need to minimize your intake and so on. Avoid the trigger factor, to put it short.”
“Many will also benefit from a good lotion”, says Hans Lomholt, but points out, that people with rosacea often struggle to find a lotion which their skin can tolerate, since they have an increased sensitivity in blood vessels and nerves. It might therefore be necessary to try out different kinds.