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The importance of Skin Health

The importance of Skin Health

Acne is a condition that seems to go hand in hand with the teenage years with studies showing that up to 85% of 12–25-year old’s will have acne at some point in time, with males being affected in more cases than females (1). Unfortunately, there isn’t one single cause (or cure) for acne and it appears that it is a combination of environmental, hormonal, dietary, and genetic predispositions that determines an individual’s risk. In some cases, it is mild, but for others, it can become severe to the point that it affects their quality of life. Because the skin on our face is what we present to the world, it makes sense that acne is associated with low self-esteem, poor self-image (including poor body image), and increased levels of anxiety.

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At Bioteen, we want teen’s to feel their absolute best and so we have sourced the best quality ingredients to heal the skin from the inside out.

Acne and mental health (short and long term)

A teen’s skin is so much more than just skin. The association between skin health and how teen’s feelings about themselves is overwhelming and acne can have a profound effect on a teen’s body image.

Body image is the representation that a person has of their own body, including how desirable they feel in the context of their peers, family, and other relationships (2). Body image is fragile and can easily be disturbed having a knock-on impact on a teen’s social life. One study found that up to 45.7% of teens with acne experience social phobia (compared to 18.4% of those without acne) and those with acne also reported that they were bullied more (3). Having a social phobia can have far-reaching impacts, not only on your social life but also on school and family activities. In fact, another study showed that school work and other personal activities (like hobbies and relationship building) were affected in up to 21% of teens with acne where teen’s avoided these activities due to embarrassment (3).

Read more about how Relaxify can help your teen manage their moods

Anxiety and acne have a bidirectional relationship

This kind of social anxiety can be crippling for a teen and this stress can feed into a vicious cycle. It can lead to skin ‘picking’ which leads to further inflammation, scarring, hyperpigmentation, and more image-related anxiety. To add fuel to the fire, stress can have a huge impact on the skin barrier function and wound healing meaning that when teens are stressed, their skin is predisposed to more lesions, and they heal more slowly. As we said, this all forms a vicious cycle.

Interestingly, the severity of acne doesn’t seem to correlate with the severity of the emotional impact where even mild cases can have a huge impact. However, gender and duration of acne do seem to play a role where girls may be affected worse than boys, and the longer your teen experiences acne, the more likely they are to suffer from adverse mental health effects. In these cases, it is always better to act sooner, rather than later and remember that prevention is also better than the cure!

Learn more about how anxiety affects teen’s here

Improved diet and long-term health

When teen’s feel anxious or down, they may turn to comfort eating, which usually encompasses a variety of high-sugar and high-fat processed foods. Although indulging in comfort food can definitely make them feel better when this becomes the default, then it can displace more nutritious foods and lead to clinical (with symptoms) or subclinical deficiencies (without symptoms) which can have a knock-on effect on the health of the skin. High sugar and fat foods can also interfere with insulin signaling, which in turn activates sebum or oil-producing cells, and releases a cascade of cytokines that contribute to acne-related inflammation all of this exasperating the skin. As you can see, acne, stress and a poor diet all feed off one another and although optimising the diet is only one aspect of the treatment, it can make a marked difference (1).

A more balanced and nutritious diet and supplement regime, not only helps to control anxiety and related symptoms but also gives the skin all the nutrients it needs to heal. If we can manage to break this vicious cycle, we can help improve a teen’s self-confidence and subsequently their self-image. It goes without saying, but when these two aspects are improved, things start to fall into place. Although this isn’t the first thing most teen’s think about, as parents it may also help to know that adopting healthy dietary habits now sets your teen up for long-term health potentially meaning less heart disease, diabetes, and cancers in their future.

Read about Bioteen’s 5 Pillars of Wellness here

The bottom line

At the end of the day it is very likely that teen’s are going to struggle with some form of acne at some point in their young lives. While it has several contributing factors, changing their dietary regime may be the key to breaking the vicious cycle of acne and anxiety. At the end of the day, we really are what we eat, and making sure that your teen has the best quality nutrients and nutraceuticals is the cornerstone to good health now and for years to come. At Bioteen, we‘ve made it our mission to make sure that we have a range for every teen’s needs, coupled with expert advice and practical solutions.

References

  1. Stamu-O’Brien C, Jafferany M, Carniciu S, Abdelmaksoud A. Psychodermatology of acne: Psychological aspects and effects of acne vulgaris. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology. 2020;20(4):1080-1083.
  2. Dalgard F, Gieler U, Holm J, Bjertness E, Hauser S. Self-esteem and body satisfaction among late adolescents with acne: Results from a population survey. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2008;59(5):746-751.
  3. Nguyen C, Beroukhim K, Danesh M, Babikian A, Koo J, Leon A. The psychosocial impact of acne, vitiligo, and psoriasis: a review. Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology. 2016;Volume 9:383-392.
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