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Home > Acne
Acne is probably the most common skin problem among people of all ages, not only for the teenagers. Its severity ranges from a mild condition to very visible. Even if this is not a life-threatening skin trouble, some are really bothered by it even up to the point of loosing self–esteem.
What Is Acne?
There are two (2) accepted terms to define acne according to medicine and colloquial term:
In medicine, it is called Acne vulgaris; colloquially it is called with many terms, including zits, pimples and blemishes. But basically both refers to a variety of skin lesions. It could blackheads and whitehead or comedones, red bumps or papules, white bumps or pustules and rubberlike balls underneath the skin or cysts and nodules.
In general, the cause of acne is still unknown, however there are many agents that can exacerbate the condition.
The four (4) major contributors to acne are:
- The overproduction of oil by the oil or sebaceous glands found deep in the skin. This is activated for instance during stress or puberty wherein stimulation of hormones is prevalent.
- Pore-blockage. In response to this over-production of sebum, oil can be blocked in the pores, thus resulting to acne. Sometimes skin cells may also be in blockage.
- Bacteria. However, acne is not commonly caused by bacterial infection. Normally the skin contains "healthy" bacteria, which ward off the skin from harmful bacteria that can attack the oil or other particles trapped in the pores . This P. acnes is able to cause the change in the oil composition making it more irritating to the skin thus causing inflammation.
- Inflammation resulting from the reaction of the skin to the action of the bacteria. This then contributes to the formation of the bulge of acne.
Usually, though, one factor is not enough to cause acne. It adds up together to see the effect of these in the skin.
Being acne-prone means that someone has a greater tendency to get acne, therefore, extra skin care measures should be practiced to avoid it.
There are many reasons that contribute to this condition, and among these are:
- The genetics factor. Even this is not proven yet, it was stated that skin problems such as acne is hereditary.
- The environmental factor. A person living in a polluted area, for instance, has a higher chance of having acne. This is aggravated when proper cleansing is not practiced.
- Hormones. Sometimes pollutants or genes are not enough to produce acne. Hormones are primarily responsible for the over-stimulation of the sebaceous glands, thus producing more sebum. In return, this causes acne.
- Skin type. Lastly, acne development would also depend of the skin type.
Breakouts also vary on each person. It was observed that fair skin people are more acne prone that dark skin.
Types of Acne
Acne is grouped according to its severity.
Acne vulgaris - The mild to moderate type. It is obviously the most common type of acne and includes the following:
- Whiteheads. White in appearance on the surface of the skin, which resulted from a pore-blockag,e thus trapping fragments of dead skin cells, bacteria or oil.
- Blackheads. They emerges like the whiteheads, however, appears in color black due to the reaction of a skin pigment, melanin, to the oxygen in the atmosphere.
- Papules. Inflamed red tender bumps, which do not possess no "head."<
- Pustules. Inflamed red circle with white or yellow center.
Acne Vulagaris – The severe type also falls under this classification. This is characterized by nodules and cysts, i.e.:
- Nodules are larger acne spots, painful and heal longer. It is found beneath the skin and hard. The chance of scarring is higher.
- Cysts are similar to nodules but contains pus and it is more painful.
There is also a type of acne, called Acne Rosacea, which looks like Acne vulgaris. It usually appears to be a red rash and concentrated on nose, cheeks, forehead and chin. blackheads are not associated with rosacea.
The severe forms of acne are rare but are bothersome. These include:
- Acne Conglobata, which is experienced mostly by men and it is the most severe form of Acne vulgaris. It appears to be large lesions and with numerous blackheads usually found in the skin areas of the chest, back, buttocks, upper arms and thighs.
- Acne Fulminans are comparable to Acne Conglobata however it is accompanied by fever and aching of the joints. Antibiotics can’t treat it.
- The gram –negative folliculitis, which is a form of bacterial infection caused by the pustules and cysts.>
- Pyoderma faciale is a condition exclusive to females. It is manifested with nodules, pustules and sores accompanied by pain. It occurs abruptly and to any woman even for those who never experienced acne before.
Other Types of Acne
Some may refer complain of acne jeans. No, it is not the acne jeans by the Swedish denim manufacturer everyone knows. It is usually from skin irritation due to tight fitting jeans.
Acne, indeed, causes damage to the skin and it does not stop there. It leaves a mark. According to dermatologists, being prone to acne scars is hereditary as well. There is a higher chance of getting acne if one possesses severe acne in the first place. However, there is still no guarantee who will get acne scars.
Here are some tips to prevent acne.
Good hygiene, even not directly contribute to acne try to wash your skin regularly specially with a recommended acne cleanser. This minimizes oil and dirt that can clog up in pores thus resulting to acne.
Use acne medication, benzoyl peroxide is an over the counter medication which is in a form of gel or cream. It kills acne – causing bacteria and dries up oil.
Moisturize, this is to regain skin moisture after using cleansers and gels.
Exfoliate; this is to prevent the dead skin cells to clog on a pore which causes acne.
Exercise regularly, to get rid of some body impurities which contribute to acne.
Drink lots of water, hydrate your body to prevent dryness of skin.
Eat healthy food, fruits and vegetables can provide antioxidants and a boost in the immune system that can protect the skin from acne-causing bacteria.
How to Get Rid of Acne?
Acne treatment is varied according to its condition. There are many readily available over the counter drugs which can be a solution. However, it is best to consult to an expert first before the problem worsens.
Here are skin care regimens, for men and women, to help get rid of acne.
- Don't squeeze your zit. Squeezing can only increase the severity of your pimple. It causes the pimple to be more inflamed thus it making it redder. Also, bacteria are spread faster to other parts of the face when this is done. Acne scars can easily develop when you are fond of squeezing the pimples.
- Facial Cleansing. Select the right facial cleanser according to your skin type. This is very important because the purpose of cleaning your skin is to shed off the dirt, oil or dead skin from your face which can cause acne.
You don’t want to use harsh chemicals which can irritate your skin and have an adverse effect. There are many available cleanser in the market which caters to different skin types nowadays.
- Use toner. Applying toner after washing the face with cleanser is essential especially with the presence of pimples. It is recommended to choose a toner with alcohol. However be careful in using toner, it can irritate the skin if misused.
- Try to use products which contain salicylic acids, glycolic or hydroxyl acids and benzoyl peroxide. These aid in speeding up skin cell growth, dry up oil and healthy shedding of dead skin cells.
- Use Facial Masks. Continuous cleansing and using these products can dry up your skin. Facial masks, in a way, can help regain the skin's moisture and provide the nutrients it needs to be healthy.
- Always remove make-up and avoid greasy ones. This is to avoid clogging your pores which leads to acne.
- Medication. Some acne is hormonal and nature. First you need to consult with an expert to do this treatment.
- Treating bacne. Also known as back acne, try to scrub and exfoliate your back once a while. This will minimize the oil and dirt deposits on your back. To avoid drying your skin, mask can also be used.
- Allow your skin to breathe. As we know some greasy cosmetics, especially heavy foundations, clog the pores and don’t allow your skin to breathe normally, which often leads to an infection.
In 5 percent of the cases, pimples are a result from using greasy cosmetics. Under the influence of oily creams, oily powders and foundation, the skin begin to produce little subcutaneous cysts that clog the pores, making them looking larger and visible. That's why your foundation, blush, face powder, moisturizer and hair care products must be absolutely oil-free. Greasy cosmetics may irritate the inflammations and cause further breakouts.
Make sure, therefore, that all of your skincare products and makeup cosmetics are noncomedogenic and nonacnegenic, which means that they won't clog your pores, cause breakouts and pimples.