Acne & Skin Pigmentation

Like all other conditions, obesity is said to have a link between various skin conditions. Acne is one of the common issues faced by the obese adults. It is a condition characterised by red pimples on the face. The main cause of acne is the infected or inflamed sebaceous glands. Researchers have found a strong connection between weight gain and acne. It is said that, the dietary factors that promote insulin resistance may also induce acne in adults. Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body doesn’t process the insulin effectively. As a result, the blood sugar level and fat increases. Even though this condition doesn’t put the individual at risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes, it has a connection with obesity.

Acne is a problem that affects around 1 in 5 adults. The factors that play vital roles in this connection include age, puberty and diet. It is found that, consuming junk foods will also cause worsening acne, apart from contributing to weight gain. The researchers also point that, obese young women are at more likely to develop acne than the normal-weight people. The exact link is not yet identified. Some studies even suggest that, the increased level of androgens due to obesity can also induce acne in adults. A higher BMI may also increase the risk for acne in adults.

The psychological issues and mental strain caused by obesity can also be another reason for acne development. Poor self-esteem, depression, social issues, etc., are a part of obesity, as the affected person will have an abnormal body image. Weight management and healthy diet are the main preventive methods for acne, that is linked with obesity. Acne also leads to loss of self confidence , self esteem and may lead to depression.

Skin Pigmentation

Obesity is a major risk factor for many diseases. Likewise, it even induces skin problems. There are various skin disorders linked to obesity. Skin pigmentation is one among them. The term ‘pigmentation’ means colouring. Skin pigmentation is a condition that affects the skin colour. The skin gets its natural colour from a pigment called melanin. Melanin is produced by a special cell in the skin. As these cells become unhealthy or get damaged, it affects the melanin production.
High levels of insulin in the blood cause abnormal skin cell growth. As a result, a kind of dark pigmentation of the skin occurs around the neck called as caused by obesity is known as Acanthosis Nigricians and is one of the precursors to Diabetes in the long run. The main treatment for this condition is to lose the excess weight. It can be done through maintaining a healthy diet, doing exercise and managing a healthy lifestyle.
Hypo and Hyperpigmentation:
Hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation are two common skin disorders among people. A hyperpigmentation is caused by increase in the number of skin cells produced by the melanin (known as the melanocytes) or increased activity of melanocytes. A decreased number / activity of the melanocytes is called hypopigmentation. In the case of obese individuals, hyper and hypopigmentation is caused due to the increased level of insulin in the blood. The common hyperpigmentation disorders include:

  • Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation
  • Melasma
  • Solar Lentigines
  • Ephelides
  • Cafe-au-lait-macules
  • Some of the common hypopigmentation disorders include:
  • Vitiligo
  • Albinism
  • Pityriasis Alba
  • Tinea Versicolor
  • Treatment-induced hypopigmentation etc.

Losing weight and managing insulin are the treatment options for skin pigmentation disorders caused by obesity.