Acne is a very common skin problem that shows up as outbreaks of bumps called pimples or zits. Acne usually appears on the face, neck, back, chest, and shoulders. Acne can be a source of emotional distress, and severe cases can lead to permanentÂ acne scars.
What causes acne?
Acne begins when theÂ poresÂ in the skin become clogged and can no longer drain sebum (an oil made by the sebaceous glands that protects and moisturizes the skin.) TheÂ sebumÂ build-up causes the surrounding hair follicle to swell.
Hair follicles swollen with sebum are calledÂ comedones. If the sebum stays beneath the skin, the comedones produce white bumps calledÂ whiteheads. If the sebum reaches the surface of the skin, the comedones produce darkened bumps called blackheads. This black discoloration is due to sebum darkening when it is exposed to air. It is not due to dirt. Both whiteheads and blackheads may stay in the skin for a long time.
Bacteria calledÂ Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) that normally live on the top of the skin can enter the clogged pores and infect the sebum. This causes the skin to become swollen, red, and painful.
Infected sebaceous glands may burst, releasing sebum and bacteria into the surrounding skin, creating additional inflammation. In severe cases, larger nodules and cysts may form in the deeper layers of the skin.
What are the different types of acne?
Acne can be categorized by its severity:
Who gets acne?
Anyone at any age can get acne.Â Acne in teenagersÂ is very common because the surging hormone levels (androgens) associated with puberty create more active sebaceous glands.
Acne in adultsÂ is is also very common, especially among women.
Acne is more likely to afflict people whose parents had acne.
What factors make acne worse?
Acne lesions can come and go. These factors can cause acne to flare:
What acne treatments are available?
Almost all cases of acne can be effectively treated. The goal ofÂ acne treatmentÂ is to heal existing lesions, stop new lesions from forming, and prevent acne scars.
Different acne medications are available that control one or more of the underlying causes of acne. Common classes of acne medications include the following:
Your doctor will prescribe acne medications based on the following factors:
Non-prescription acne medicationsÂ may provide sufficient results for some people with mild acne. However, most people with moderate acne and all with severe acne will need to useÂ prescription acne medicationsÂ for effective treatment.
Whatever your treatment plan, it is important that you give it enough time to work. This may mean waiting 6 to 8 weeks to see results.Â While the older acne lesions are healing, the medication is hard at work keeping new lesions from forming. Staying on your medication is the most important step to getting acne under control.
How can I keep my acne under control?
After your acne clears, your doctor may recommend that you continue therapy with a topical retinoids to keep it under control. It is always a good idea to maintain good skin care and use skin care products labeled as â€œnon-comedogenicâ€ (do not promote acne)
For ongoing acne skin care and prevention of acne, follow a few simple guidelines:
Acne in Teenagers
nearly every teenager at some point during adolescence, but that
doesnâ€™t make it easier to bear. The emotional toll of acne is a
familiar problem for many young people and can wreak havoc on
adolescent self-confidence. Fortunately,Â almost
all cases of acne are treatable.
Who gets acne?
Anyone of any age can get acne, even adults, but it is most common in teenagers. In fact, acne is considered a normal part of adolescence. 100% of the population can expect to have acne at some time during adolescence, regardless of race or ethnicity. During puberty, elevated hormone levels stimulate higher sebum production than usual, increasing the chance of acne flares.
Boys are more likely to get it during adolescence because their skin tends to produce more sebum. In adulthood, women are more prone to acne than men, likely because of the hormonal swings of menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause.
People with a family history of acne are also more likely to get acne.
How is teen acne treated?
It is important to treat acne early to prevent the development of acne scars.
There are a wide range ofÂ acne treatmentsÂ available. Your doctor will recommend an acne treatment based on the location and severity of acne, response to previous treatment and other factors.
Sports and acne mechanica
Teens who play sports, wear a backpack, or play a musical instrument that comes into contact with the face and neck may get a form of acne calledÂ acne mechanica. This type of acne is caused by irritation to the skin from excessive heat or sweat, friction, or pressure. These are common causes of acne mechanica:
Stick with your acne treatment
No acne medication can do its job properly unless it is given time to work.Â Itâ€™s very important to be patient and take your medication as directed, for as long as directed.
If you donâ€™t see results right away, donâ€™t be discouraged. Your medication is hard at work preventing new lesions from forming. Stopping treatment early will likely cause pimples and zits to reappear.
Acne Myths and Acne Skin care
There are a lot ofÂ acne mythsÂ regarding the cause acne and possible home remedies. It is important to learn what is true, and what is not.
Acne can be aggravated by oily cosmetics, stress, picking at blemishes, rough cleansers, or hard scrubbing. It is important to follow basic acne skin care tips to get acne under control, and keep it under control
Acne isn't caused directly by eating sugar, chocolate, or greasy foods. However, there is some evidence that eating too many carbohydrates (sugars, pastas, bread, sodas) might be related to the development or worsening of acne. It is generally a good idea to limit the consumption of such snacks. (Acne and diet).
Although a suntan can temporarily lessen the appearance of acne lesions, it wonâ€™t make them go away. The ultraviolet light can also lead to significant skin irritation among those using acne medications, and the sun can damage the skin in other ways (wrinkles, skin cancer).
Overall it is best for everyone, even those with acne, to regularly useÂ sunscreenÂ and follow basic sun protection measures.
Myth #1:Â Acne is caused by poor hygiene
If you believe this myth and wash your skin hard and frequently, you can actually make your acne worse.Â AcneÂ is not caused by dirt or surface skin oils. Although excess oils, dead skin, and a day's accumulation of dust on the skin look unsightly, they should not be removed by hard scrubbing. Vigorous washing will actually irritate the skin and make acne worse. The best approach to hygiene and acne: Gently wash your face twice a day with a mild soap, pat dry--and use an appropriateÂ acne treatmentÂ for the acne.
Myth #2: Acne is caused by diet
Extensive scientific studies have failed to find a connection betweenÂ diet and acne. In other words, food does not cause acne. Not chocolate. Not french fries. Not pizza. Nonetheless, some people insist that certain foods affect their acne. In that case, avoid those foods. Besides, eating a balanced diet always makes sense. However, according to the scientific evidence, if acne is being treated properly, there's no need to worry about food affecting the acne.
Myth #3: Acne is caused by stress
The ordinary stress of day-to-day living is not an important factor in acne. Severe stress that needs medical attention is sometimes treated with drugs that can cause acne as a side effect. If you think you may have acne related to a drug prescribed for stress or depression, consult your physician.
Myth #4: Acne is just a cosmetic disease
Yes, acne affects only one's appearance and is not otherwise a serious threat to a personâ€™s physical health. However, it can result in permanent physical scars. Acne andÂ acne scarsÂ can affect the way people feel about themselves to the point of disrupting their confidence and self-worth.
Myth #5: You just have to let acne run its course
The truth is, acne can be cleared up. If theÂ over-the-counter acne medicationsÂ you have tried havenâ€™t worked, consider seeing a dermatologist. With the products available today, there is no reason why someone has to endure acne or get acne scars.
Tip of the day >>Exercise regularly, aerobic exercise like jogging, brisk walking or swimming increases the circulation to the brain and improves the memory.
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