The crucial role of sleep in our daily life cannot be understated. It plays a significant part in both our health and appearance. Failing to obtain adequate sleep, as seen in instances of stress or sleep apnea, can cause physical deterioration. Sleep deprivation can lead to skin drying out, worsening acne, and speeding up the ageing process. Moreover, a condition such as sleep apnea does have an influence on the skin and can cause acne. However, treating your apnea could put an end to these issues and enhance your appearance once more.
The Skin Damage Linked to Sleep Apnea
The body uses the time during sleep to rejuvenate and repair itself, and this doesn’t only apply to the skin but to other body parts too. Without enough sleep, your skin won’t have sufficient opportunity to heal itself.
Sleep deficiency can severely affect the body’s stress system, leading to an increased release of the stress hormone cortisol, which can harm various health aspects, including skin health. It causes the breakdown of collagen and other vital proteins essential for maintaining youthful and healthy skin. Without these, your face becomes susceptible to wrinkles and fine lines.
Sleep apnea, however, can be even more detrimental than regular sleep deprivation. When you experience an apnea episode, your body undergoes stress and produces cortisol. With hundreds of episodes happening each night, sleep apnea can induce more nighttime stress than daytime. This is extremely harmful to your skin.
Can Sleep Apnea Induce Acne Outbreaks?
Research indicates that sleep apnea can have adverse effects on your skin.
Patients with the most prevalent form, known as obstructive sleep apnea, are at a higher risk of developing atopic dermatitis (dry, itchy, and irritated skin) later on in life. They are also four times more susceptible to psoriasis (patches of thick, red skin and silvery scales) than the average population.
Induced Stress and Sleep Deprivation Can Lead to Acne
Are you aware that stress and lack of sleep are significant risk factors for acne?
Emotional stress can incite or worsen acne. Studies reveal that increased stress elevates acne severity.
In reaction to stress, the body generates hormones that prompt the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum, potentially leading to clogged pores and breakouts.
Psychological issues are thought to be a factor in up to 30% of dermatology cases.
Sleep deficiency can incite or exacerbate acne. As it is believed that poor-quality sleep leads to higher levels of stress hormones and inflammation within the body, it is hardly surprising.
Therefore, sleep apnea could raise the risk of stress, anxiety, and sleep deprivation, which may indirectly provoke acne outbreaks.
Sleep Apnea Treatment May Also Contribute to Acne
There is another way that sleep apnea can indirectly prompt acne outbreaks.
Are you currently utilising a CPAP machine for your sleep apnea? The masks could be linked to acne. Look at CPAP forums online, and you’ll find individuals complaining about small, painful pimples on their face, nose, or back of their head.
The pressure exerted on the skin by wearing masks is a known risk factor. Skin irritation from CPAP, including acne, is a common symptom.
Another reason why CPAP could incite acne outbreaks is if it is a highly stressful experience. Some people find the masks uncomfortable and claustrophobic. Panic attacks are not unusual in those who have just begun treatment.
If you observe more acne outbreaks while using your CPAP machine, it should be under your consideration.
What to Do if Sleep Apnea Is Suspected as the Cause of Your Acne?
Now that you’re aware of the situation, let’s consider your options. The good news is there are numerous actions you can take to prevent acne outbreaks if sleep apnea is suspected as the cause:
Improve Your Sleep Hygiene
Given that poor sleep is a significant risk factor for acne and a symptom of sleep apnea, it’s crucial to optimise your sleep opportunities. This means adhering to the fundamental principles of healthy sleep.
To enhance your sleep hygiene, consider doing the following:
- Maintain consistent sleeping and waking times.
- Engage in physical exercise.
- Avoid heavy meals, alcohol, and stimulants like caffeine before bed.
- Develop a bedtime routine.
- Refrain from electronics (TVs, tablets, smartphones) close to bedtime.
- Keep your bedroom dark, cool, quiet, and comfortable.
Like inadequate sleep, stress is another significant acne risk factor and sleep apnea symptom. You should do everything you can daily to manage the stress in your life. Avoid unnecessary stress, be realistic about your abilities, and seek enjoyable distractions.
To help heal acne outbreaks and reduce the risk of future ones, make sure you stay well-hydrated.
Monitor Your Diet
Adhering to an anti-inflammatory diet can assist in managing sleep apnea.
A study also suggests that a diet that refrains from high-glycemic foods and cow’s dairy may reduce acne. A diet abundant in healthy, nutritious foods may also benefit the skin.
Manage Sleep Apnea
Taking proactive measures to manage sleep apnea symptoms can prevent it from inducing acne outbreaks. For most people, weight loss and CPAP therapy are at the top of the list.
Consider CPAP Alternatives
If you believe your CPAP settings are linked to acne outbreaks, you could explore CPAP alternatives.
Undergo a Physical Examination
A doctor can search for other underlying causes of insomnia and sleep apnea. They can help you create an insomnia treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.
See a Dermatologist
Are you certain that sleep apnea is causing your acne? A skin expert can search for other causes and issues. They can provide specific recommendations, including other activities.
Seek Acne Treatment
Your doctor may suggest over-the-counter drugs like salicylic acid or hydrogen peroxide. There are also other, more potent prescription drugs available.
If you’re unhappy with how sleep apnea has affected your appearance or your current sleep apnea treatment, make an appointment with a sleep and respiratory specialist at the Heartscope Specialist Group by calling 1800-202-111 right away.