Why is Your Skin Acting up in Quarantine?
Dr. Amna Ahmar is a dermatologist with a Masters in Clinical Dermatology from the University of Cardiff, UK and trained by The American Academy of Procedural Medicine, USA for aesthetic procedures and laser therapies. She founded her practice, Cleo Clinical Care, in Lahore which is making waves in Dermatology and Aesthetic practices in Pakistan. We asked Dr. Amna to talk about why our skin acts up in stressful times and what is the best solution to beat the odds and keep it healthy and glowing.
How’s your skin doing in lock down? Is it challenging you every day with new behavior? Do you see a zit one day and a dry patch the next? During this time of social isolation, Cleo Clinical Care has been actively helping and guiding everyone to relieve skin related issues.
The most pressing problem prevailing in everyone’s minds right now is – what will tomorrow be like? There is general stress due to uncertainty of the times we live in. This reaction is somewhat normal, anything that disrupts your life in such a big way can throw your body out of balance. The stress leads to our body preparing to tackle it by increasing levels of the CRH hormone. CRH increases our Cortisol level, which prepares our body for stressful environments and at the same time it stimulates oil production that triggers breakouts.
Another reason we can get dull, tired, ruddy and an angry complexion is our disturbed routines. A change in daily routine shatters our body’s system. We sleep at odd hours and binge on unhealthy snacks. Our current way of quarantine living is less than ideal for maintaining good skin. While bringing yourself back to a healthy routine is important, some damage control can be done with the right skincare routine.
Staying indoors doesn’t mean we avoid sun block. In this time of social isolation don’t forget to keep applying your daily sunblock. You may not be getting as much sun — or even seeing the sun — as much as you normally do. Still, you shouldn’t forgo sunscreen. UV rays do reach you through open windows and can be harmful for your skin. So unless you’re living in a window less cave, wear sunblock.
When the skin is irritated its important to hydrate the skin and protect the skin barrier. Otherwise, you’ll end up with more inflammation. Even if you’re breaking out, keeping your skin moisturized will actually help heal blemishes faster. Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water and look for a gentle cream or facial lotion without fragrances or harsh chemicals. My suggestions include: Physiogel Calming Relief lotion, Cleo Moisturizer, Kiehl’s Facial Cream.
Tips for acne prone skin:
Daily cleanse – wake up and cleanse with a Salicylic acid based face wash. Let the lather/foam stay on your skin for 20 seconds and then wash off. Cleo Acne Wash is a cleanser with 2% Salicylic acid, which helps in reducing the oil build up. Neutrogena also makes face washes with Salicylic acid. Over the counter Benzyl Peroxide creams can be used, till you can meet your Dermatologist. This ingredient lowers levels of acne causing bacteria to reduce inflammation and dries out the pimple. Use Duac Gel or Acne Zap creams by Cleo Clinical Care.
In conclusion and above all, try to keep calm by believing in yourself and working on reducing anxiety by watching positive, authentic news and not following the media that sensationalises the situation. Meditate now and then. With full protection one can also go out for a walk. Pray for humanity – as there is light at the end of the tunnel.