Often, too much of a good thing can turn out to be bad thing. And, oily skin is a good example of this irony. This is something you would certainly understand, if you’re suffering from oily skin problems. Acne scars and enlarged pores treatment, are common topics that people suffering from this condition, are constantly checking out on the internet.
Oil is essential for the skin’s health and appearance. Our skin needs some oil to stay naturally moisturized, and healthy. For a moment, close your eyes, and imagine your skin deprived of oil. It’s a scary picture that confronts you…dry, scaly, leathery-textured skin that is unattractive to the look and feel. Apart from keeping it supple, and imparting an attractive sheen to skin, oil also keeps aging at bay, by preventing wrinkles from forming easily.
Conversely, you face nightmares, if there’s excess of oil in your skin. Apart from a shiny, greasy complexion, people with oily skin tend to suffer breakouts on the face. Left untreated, excess oil can clog the pores, leading to accumulation of dead skin cells and black heads, pimples, acne, and other skin issues. Pimples’ removal and acne removal figure among the most popular treatments contemplated by people with oily faces.
How does skin get oily?
At the root of oily skin problem, are the oil-producing glands that go into ‘over-drive’ mode and produce more than the necessary quantities of oil required by the skin to stay healthy and look good. Known as sebaceous glands and located in the skin, the oily glands produce an oily substance known as sebum. Sebum is secreted along with sweat, playing the role of protector, and nourisher to our skin.
Now, in normal times, this sebum lubricates the skin, and prevents loss of water from the skin through evaporation. As a result, the skin stays healthy, elastic, and attractive. However, when there is a malfunctioning of the sebaceous glands, excess sebum is secreted. The result is, overly shiny skin, clogged pores, and the problems associated with oily skin. Fortunately, there are solutions such as lasers for acne, that your dermatologist will recommend for treatment.
Why does skin get oily?
The prime factors responsible for oily skin are genetics, gender, age, diet, and weather conditions.
Genetics: If you do a quick check within the family, you’re likely to find that some of your family members do suffer from oily skin. To a great extent, it is genetic predisposition that decides if you’ll suffer oily skin. This is because, larger the pore size, greater the likelihood of producing more sebum. Pore size depends upon factors such as ethnicity and family history.
Gender: Oily skin is more likely to afflict males rather than females. This is because androgens or ‘male’ hormones like testosterone, are present in greater quantities in men, while women have ‘female’ hormones like estrogen. Testosterone is associated with higher oil production in the body, while estrogen is known to lower the skin’s oil production capabilities.
Age: During adolescence, the body experiences an all-time high rush of growth hormones which boost sebum production. Oily skin, and the prevalence of acne in adolescents, are indicators of the growth hormone’s role in excess sebum production.
Stress: Excess or continual stress leads to the release of stress-relieving hormones, which also provoke the sebaceous glands to produce oil in higher quantities. Dermatologists point out to that excess stress is known to aggravate acne conditions.
Diet: Oily foods and those that are rich in simple carbohydrates, are a potential trigger for sebum production. While simple carbs are known to boost growth hormone levels, thus increasing oil production in the body, oily foods add to the sebum levels of the body.
Weather: Humidity provides the right conditions for sweating and oil production. Therefore, people living in humid zones are more susceptible to oily skin. Similarly, summer season is conducive for sweat and oil production in the body.
Ironically, excess cleansing is also considered a major factor in causing your skin to go oily. The excessive cleaning leads to irritation of the skin, which in turn switches on the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum to compensate for the loss. Excessive make-up, and keeping on make-up for too long, are also seen as triggers.
Watch out for these signs that are pointers to oily skin -
- A shiny face, mostly the forehead and nose, that takes on a greasy look as the day progresses, if you don’t wash your face at regular intervals
- Make up doesn’t adhere properly and tends to slowly slide off the face.
- Predominance of blackheads and pimples, often acne.
- Significantly large-sized pores on facial skin, notably on the oily portions.
Treatment for oily skin
The basic objective of treating oily skin, is to achieve a balance. This is because excessively oily and excessively dry skin are not desirable conditions to live with. The key, therefore, is to ensure that your skin has the right amounts of oil content. Here are some Tips on how to Control Oily Skin – Dos and Don’t
Basically, there are three approaches to treating oily skin.
Topical Treatments – This approach involves using medicated applications on the affected areas of skin. You can do it at home with the help of creams or solutions. At clinics, common procedures include medical chemical peels.
Energy-based Treatments – A variety of lasers, such as Q- switch ND: YAG, Long pulse ND: YAG, and Erbium YAG fractional laser are used to target the sebaceous glands and reduce the amount of oil they produce. These lasers are an alternative treatment for acne, because they clean the skin and help to increase skin cell turnover.
Injectables-based Treatments – The skin surface is injected either with Botox in extra-small dosages, to decrease the transmission of nerve or chemicals to the sebaceous glands. Polynucleotide injections are another option in this treatment category. Derived from salmon DNA, these injectables are perfectly biocompatible with human skin. Apart from downtimes as low as 24 hours, polynucleotide injections help in skin rejuvenation, and reduction of fine lines on the skin.
Five Tips to Tackle Oily Skin
Here are a few simple but effective tips, to relieve oily skin conditions.
- Cleansers: Use cleansers that are not too harsh. However, make sure your skin cleanser contains glycolic acid or salicylic acid, as they seep down into the oil glands and reduce production of oil.
- Moisturizers: Apply a gentle, oil free moisturizer or serum. This will prevent excessive dryness of the skin surface.
- Make-up: Cleanse away or wash-off make up properly. Don’t allow make-up to remain on your skin for too long. Make-up that has dried for too long, tends to mop up oil and thus induce skin to compensate by producing more oil.
- Blotters: Use blotters in moderation. Also do not wipe the skin harshly as it can only provoke the skin to produce more oil as a reaction.
- Food: Avoid consuming foods that are high in glycemic index or rich in sugar content.
The knowledge that oily skin is a fairly common problem in our part of the world, is probably comforting to you. But this information should act as an alert against the underlying problems that this condition is pointing towards. As we have seen, unattractive, uncomfortable, oily skin can be easily tackled. All you need to do is seek help from the professionals. Seek skin treatment in Ensoul Medical Clinic along Orchard Road. With help at hand, oily skin need not be a problem any longer for you.