Acne, aka Acne Vulgaris ( inflamed bumps ), is a common skin disease that causes pimples and caused by multiple factors. Acne affects 85% of people of all ethnic backgrounds at some point in their lives, in fact, 5% of adults over 45 years old still have acne.
Overproduction of a normal oil on the skin ( sebum ) and insufficient shedding of dead skin cells clog hair follicles and cause Pimples. The plugged follicle can become inflamed and have increased growth of normal skin bacteria ( propionibacterium acnes ) .
Acne results in a variety of lesions form on the face, neck, back, chest and shoulders where the most ( sebaceous glands ) are located. Symptoms include whiteheads ( closed comedones ), blackheads ( open comedones ), and cystic lesions ( large deep and pus filled ). These can occur on the face, neck, shoulders, back, or chest. Cystic lesions can be painful if they get infected. They also can scar the skin.
Acne is more common in teenagers and young adults and during pregnancy because of the increased hormones. The 30s mark the beginning of your skin’s aging when your skin will get oilier and drier. The oil glands on the face actually become larger with age, which leads to large pores. But no matter how oily your complexion seems, your skin loses the ability to retain water in your 30s. People with darker pigmented skin tend to take longer to heal and take longer for scars to diminish.
If you have just a few pimples to treat, you can get an acne cream without a prescription.
Examples of some over-the-counter products used to treat acne include:
- Benzoyl Peroxide( Brevoxyl or Benzac ) which unplugs pores.
- Alpha- Hydroxy Acid, which dries up blemishes and causes the top skin layer to peel. You’ll find alpha-hydroxy acid in some moisturizers, cleansers, eye creams, and sunscreens.
- Salicylic Acid (Propa pH or Stridex), which dries up blemishes and causes the top skin layer to peel.
- Tea Tree Oil, which kills bacteria. You’ll find tea tree oil in some gels, creams, and oils.
These work best when used just the way the label says. It can take time to get acne under control. Keep using the same treatment for 6 to 8 weeks. You may even notice that it gets worse before it gets better. If your skin is not better after 8 weeks, try another product. Be cautious when using these because the skin becomes very dry and hypersensitive to things like the sun. It is also recommended you do not remove hair by waxing, as this can cause serious damage by peeling off skin’s layers. Do not apply near eyes or open wounds. Treatment may take from 6 to 8 weeks and the symptoms may get worse before they get better. If the symptoms require a prescription, a ( topical ) gel or cream for your skin may be enough. A mix of treatments may work best. Your doctor may also order ( oral ) antibiotics to treat you. For some women birth control pills may also help.
For Cystic Acne , stronger ( oral ) medication may also be prescribed such as Isotretinoin ( Accutane ).
Use caution and DO NOT TAKE Isotretinoin if:
- You are pregnant or planning to become pregnant ( causes birth defects even with just one dose)
- You are breast feeding
- You have history of depression
There are many myths about what causes acne including:
- Greasy foods
- Dirty skin
- Emotional Stress
- Oily skin products
- Medications : such as ( Lithium, Cortisone, Hormones, Iodides, Some Seizure Medication )
- Friction caused by leaning or rubbing the skin
- Harsh scrubbing
- Picking, or squeezing blemishes
- Familial heredity
If you have acne:
- Wash skin gently once or twice daily with acne wash or non-deodorant soaps
- Use products labeled “non-comedogenic”
- Try not to touch your skin
- Avoid the sun
- Avoid products such as milky cleansers, cold creams, lipsticks, and lip glosses that contain oils.
References: NIH ( National Institute of Health Organization ), Healthwise, Inc., Manufacturer Product Inserts
Recommended Reading : Official Patient Sourcebook on ACNE
by : J Parker, MD and P.Parker PhD.
Go to page:http://www.icongrouponline.com/health/Acne.html
Order by phone: 800-843-2665 800-843-2665 (within USA)