Acne is one the most common skin problems that both women and men face. While blackheads, whiteheads and pimples are a normal part of puberty, there are conditions when the acne can become stubborn and may as well occur well beyond your teenage years – the condition is known as hormonal acne. It can affect women even in their late 20s, 30s and 40s.
Delhi-based dermatologist and laser surgeon, Dr Deepali Bharadwaj and consultant dermatologist of Jaypee Hospital, Noida, Dr Sakshi Srivastava list out some of the most common causes and symptoms of hormonal acne and how to treat the same.
Bhardwaj says hormonal acne is more common in women and is mostly related to a woman’s menstrual cycle. It occurs during the cyclic flares of monthly menstrual cycles. When menarche happens, there’s a sudden release of oestrogen in the body. The fluctuation of oestrogen results in the breakout of acne. But it starts to decline once the oestrogen hormone becomes stable among ladies. Not only during menarche, another time when adult acne may occur is during menopause, when menstruation ceases in the late 40s.
Another common reason that may lead to hormonal imbalance is polycystic ovarian disease— 80% of women in India suffer from hormonal acne as a result of this disease, says Bhardwaj. It is the condition when male hormones are higher than female hormones in women. Srivastava says, when cysts builds in the ovary, it is not able to release the ovum. Hence, as the cysts get bigger, it leads to the breakout of hormonal acne.
It can also happen when people take pills in excessive quantity like steroids due to sugar, obesity or various other reasons. DHEAS or Dehydroepiandrosterone, which is an endogenous steroid hormone is another reason, adds Srivastava.
Other than that, stress, smoking, type-A personality disorder, drinking and unhealthy lifestyle habits can lead to breakouts. An increase in free testosterone levels is one of the main causes of hormonal acne in men.
If you have more than 2-3 acne on the face for continuous two-three weeks, then you need to reach out to a dermatologist as soon as possible.
The most common feature of hormonal acne is it happens in the lower face — the jaw area. It can happen in other areas of the face but this area is the most affected.
Dr Bharadwaj doesn’t recommend any oral medications, “I try to do lifestyle changes and suggest ayurvedic allopathic remedies. We recommend Diuretics that helps the body get rid of extra water and thus the hormonal problem will become a little diluted. In very serious cases also, I don’t like to recommend medications. People with hormonal problems slightly tend to become overweight. We tell them to lose weight through medical therapies and regular body massages. Increasing basic metabolic rate will help in less acne growth, so we ask them to try doing cardio, exercises and lifestyle changes.”
On the other hand, Dr Srivastava says one requires to do an ultrasound test of the lower abdomen, ” After the hormonal test, we see the hormonal profile of the patient during the second or third day of the period cycle. For that, we do a blood test on an empty stomach, early in the morning. Then according to the results and growth of the hormones, we give medicines. For example, if someone has sugar along with hormonal problems, one needs to have both the pills”.
Apart from these, one can try home remedies as well — take a bowl and mix tomato juice, lemon juice, multani mitti and sandalwood powder in equal quantities. Apply it on acne, wait for 5-10 minutes and then wash off with water, recommends Bhardwaj.
Coffee compounds may help fight prostate cancer
In a first, scientists have identified compounds found in coffee which may inhibit the growth of prostate cancer. The study, published in the journal The Prostate, was carried out on drug-resistant cancer cells in cell culture and in a mouse model. Coffee is a complex mixture of compounds which has been shown to influence human health in both positive and negative ways. There is increasing evidence that drinking certain types of coffee is associated with a reduction in incidence of some cancers, including prostate cancers.
Researchers from Kanazawa University in Japan have studied the effects of two compounds found in coffee, kahweol acetate and cafestol, on prostate cancer cells and in animals, where they were able to inhibit growth in cells which are resistant to common anti-cancer drugs such as Cabazitaxel. The researchers initially tested six compounds, naturally found in coffee, on the proliferation of human prostate cancers cells in a petri-dish. They found that cells treated with kahweol acetate and cafestol grew more slowly than controls. They then tested these compounds on prostate cancer cells which had been transplanted to 16 mice.
Four mice were controls, four were treated with kahweol acetate, four with cafestol, with the remaining mice being treated with a combination of kahweol acetate and cafestol. “We found that kahweol acetate and cafestol inhibited the growth of the cancer cells in mice, but the combination seemed to work synergistically, leading to a significantly slower tumour growth than in untreated mice,” said Hiroaki Iwamoto from Kanazawa University.
“After 11 days, the untreated tumours had grown by around three and a half times the original volume, whereas the tumours in the mice treated with both compounds had grown by around just over one and a half times the original size,” said Iwamoto. This is a pilot study, so this work shows that the use of these compounds is scientifically feasible, but needs further investigation, researchers said. It does not mean that the findings can yet be applied to humans.
“What it does show is that these compounds appear to have an effect on drug resistant cells prostate cancer cells in the right circumstances, and that they too need further investigation,” said Iwamoto. “We are currently considering how we might test these findings in a larger sample, and then in humans,” he said.
Kahweol acetate and cafestol are hydrocarbons, naturally found in Arabica coffee. The coffee-making process has been found to affect whether these compounds remain in coffee after brewing (as with espresso), or whether they are stripped out (as when filtered). “These are promising findings, but they should not make people change their coffee consumption. However, if we can confirm these results, we may have candidates to treat drug-resistant prostate cancer,” said Atsushi Mizokami, professor at Kanazawa University.
Strength training may reduce fatty liver disease
Besides being beneficial for heart, strength training can also reduce accumulation of fat in liver and improve blood glucose regulation, says a study on mice. The study, led by a team from the University of Campinas in Brazil, showed strength training can reduce fat stored in liver and improve blood glucose control in obese mice, even without overall loss of body weight.
The findings suggest strength training may be a fast and effective strategy for reducing the risk of fatty liver disease and diabetes in obese people.
“That these improvements in metabolism occurred over a short time even though the overall amount of body fat was unchanged, it suggests strength training can have positive effects on health and directly affect liver’s function and metabolism,” said Pereira de Moura from the varsity.
“It may be a more effective, non-drug and low-cost strategy for improving health,” she said. During the research, published in the Journal of Endocrinology, the team investigated effects of strength-based exercise on liver fat accumulation, blood glucose regulation and markers of inflammation in obese mice.
Obese mice performed strength training over a short time, the equivalent of which in humans would not be enough to change their body fat composition.
After this short-term training, the mice had less fatty livers, reduced levels of inflammatory markers and their blood glucose regulation improved, despite no change in their overall body weight.
These health benefits would be even more effective if accompanied by reduction of body fat, she added. Based on these findings, obese individuals could be directed to increase their activities through strength training, but should always first consult their primary care physician.
More investigation is required in both animals and people to understand how liver metabolism is affected by strength training. Obesity, a growing health epidemic globally, leads to inflammation in liver and impairs its ability to regulate blood glucose. It increases the risk of Type-2 diabetes and its associated complications, including nerve and kidney damage.
Do Eggs Increase Your Cholesterol Levels? Here’s What You Should Know
Do you savour cheese omelettes? If so, think again as consuming more eggs and dietary cholesterol may up the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and death from any cause, researchers have warned.
The study suggests that egg yolks are one of the richest sources of dietary cholesterol among all commonly consumed foods. One large egg has 186 milligrams of dietary cholesterol in the yolk.
“The take-home message is really about cholesterol, which happens to be high in eggs and specifically yolks,” said co-author Norrina Allen, Associate Professor at the Northwestern University.
“As part of a healthy diet, people need to consume lower amounts of cholesterol. People who consume less cholesterol have a lower risk of heart disease,” Allen added.
For the study, which will be published in the journal JAMA, the team involved 29,615 adults from six prospective cohort studies for up to 31 years of follow up.
They found eating 300 mg of dietary cholesterol per day was associated with 17 per cent higher risk of incident cardiovascular disease and 18 per cent higher risk of all-cause deaths.
The cholesterol was the driving factor independent of saturated fat consumption and other dietary fat, the team said.
Eating three to four eggs per week was associated with 6 per cent higher risk of CVD and 8 per cent higher risk of any cause of death, they added.
The researchers say that eating less than 300 milligrams of dietary cholesterol per day was the guideline recommendation before 2015. However, the most recent dietary guidelines omitted a daily limit for dietary cholesterol.
The guidelines also include weekly egg consumption as part of a healthy diet. An adult in the US gets an average of 300 milligrams per day of cholesterol and eats about three or four eggs per week.
Other animal products such as red meat, processed meat and high-fat dairy products (butter or whipped cream) also have high cholesterol content, said lead author Wenze Zhong from the varsity.
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