Acne – Basic Understanding


Acne is the bane of existence for nearly 17 million people
who suffer from some form of acne.

Acne is not only embarrassing but also causes psychosocial
effects such as: anxiety, depression, inferiority,
insecurity, frustration and self-consciousness.

Acne can be in the form of blackheads, whiteheads, pimples
or cysts. Can be on the face, neck, shoulders, upper back
or chest.

The different definitions of acne are:

Acne blemish: A flaw in the skin

Acne pimple: A small, prominent, inflamed elevation of the

Blackhead: A condition of the skin characterized by a black

Whitehead: A condition of the skin characterized by a small,
firm, whitish elevation of the skin

Cysts: When the clogged pore is swollen, infected and forms
a bump it’s called a “cyst”

Those most susceptible are teenagers and adolescents but it
also affects many adults. Although the exact cause of acne
is still unknown… there are certain triggers that might
possibly contribute to it such as bacteria, blocked pores,
hormonal changes, excess oil and also genetics may play a
large part in it.

One thing you can be sure of…contrary to popular belief,
poor hygiene and food such as chocolate does not cause acne.

Severe cases of acne may cause pitted skin and scarring. If
you have deep acne scars you may want to go for dermabrasion
or dermaplaning to give your skin a smoother appearance.
These can be used on small areas of the face.

There are a wide variety of products available for acne
treatment anywhere from the mildest lotions to the severest
prescriptive forms of treatment. A study comparing popular
acne remedies recently discovered relatively inexpensive
lotions are as effective as powerful prescription

You’ll find many pros and cons regarding all forms of
treatment but few of the many treatments that have come
about over the years have given any lasting effect. Some
treatments have actually been very unhealthy and dangerous
for the user.

One treatment – Accutane, may cause severe birth defects and
also cause depression which has led the FDA to strengthen
its restrictions on its use. These new restrictions require
manufacturers of Accutane and its generic versions to keep
track of the doctors who prescribe the drug, and also the
pharmacies that sell the drug and the patients who use it.

Because it is a high-risk drug, Accutane should be
reserved for cases of “severe recalcitrant nodular acne,”
according to the product’s labeling. This type of acne is
resistant to standard acne treatment, including oral
antibiotics, and is characterized by many nodules or
cysts–inflammatory lesions filled with pus and lodged deep
within the skin. These lesions can cause pain, permanent
scarring, and negative psychological effects.

More common side effects of Accutane include lip
inflammation and drying of the skin and mucous membranes,
skin peeling on eyelids and dry nasal passages.

FDA’s experts say it’s a balancing act. The value of
Accutane is clear, but when it comes to even one report of
death–whether it’s suicide, miscarriage, or some other
cause–FDA must make choices that will best protect the
public’s health.

One alternative to lotions, medications and peels for acne
is called a blue light laser which looks like a sun lamp and
pointed toward the acne-infested area for a little over 15
minutes. It’s warm but not uncomfortable and the eyes are
protected from the light. The treatment is used twice a
week for four weeks and costs slightly over $100. The light
goes through the skin to kill bacteria.

Some pointers on skin care:

Cleansing the skin once in the morning and once before
bedtime is really all you need to remove the dirt and dead
skin cells that may clog the pores. Washing too often will
dry the skin and cause irritation.

Squeezing the pimples does more harm than good causing
more inflammation, redness and also leads to scarring.

When buying products such as cleansers, moisturizers,
make-up, etc., make a habit of reading the labels and look
for “oil free” or “non-comedogenic” on those you buy.

As you’ve probably experienced before…the sun is very good
at drying up acne for a short time but it doesn’t last and
will definitely lead to wrinkles. Make sure you have at
least a 30 SPF sunscreen when in the sun

Although food does not cause acne, it’s still a good idea to
maintain a proper diet to give your skin all the nutrients
that it needs to help maintain its healthy glow.

Fresh vegetables and fruits are a must along with complex
carbohydrates such as whole grains and rice. And the old
standby of drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day will
keep the skin hydrated. A good way to get all the fruits
and vegetables you need is to buy a really good juicer and
drink several glasses a day.

A good probiotic multivitamin and antioxidants such as Green
Tea will go a long way to keeping your skin healthy looking.

In order to completely eliminate acne there is still
considerable knowledge yet unknown about the skin and what
goes on underneath.

But one thing you can be sure of…many phases of research
on the skin and its problems are going on all the time and
will eventually lead to a more effective treatment and
possibly a complete cure.

About the Author:

Polly Childs is the author of “ACNE – Basic Knowledge.”
Visit her website to find out more about facial skin care.
Our mission is to assist you in solving all your facial skin
care problems from Acne to Wrinkles.

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Author: Piyawut Sutthiruk

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