Most people suffer from some form of acne during their lifetime. Acne affects three out of four teenagers, but anyone of any age can be affected, even babies.
Acne is unsightly, embarrassing and at it’s worst painful. But it’s most damaging symptom is the effect it has on your poise and self confidence. The nasty spots or zits and red blotchy skin are enough to destroy anyone’s self belief. Added to this teenage sufferers are often teased by their school friends and this makes things even worse.
Just in case you are wondering if your skin condition is acne, here are the typical symptoms:-
• Redness around skin eruptions
• Scarring of the skin
• Crusty skin bumps
• Cysts (a closed pocket or pouch of tissue. It can be filled with air, fluid, pus, or other material.)
• Papules (small red bumps)
• Pustules (small, inflamed, pus-filled, blister-like lesions on the skin surface)
Acne begins when the pores (small holes in the skin and the source of a single follicle or hair root) become clogged, normally as a result of the oils secreted by the pore itself. Bacteria, dead cells and dirt can build up in the pore and cause any or all of the above mentioned symptoms.
Acne is most common in teenagers, as more oil is secreted from the pores during and around puberty. Acne tends to be hereditary and is often caused by hormonal changes, high levels of humidity and sweating, some drugs such as steroids, testosterone and estrogen and the grease or oil in some cosmetics or hair products that add more oil to the skin.
Many people believe that chocolate and greasy foods can cause acne, but research tends not to back this up. But high levels of sugar can be a trigger for acne, so avoid those sweets, candy, lollies and sugary drinks.
Treatment for Acne
As well as avoiding too much sugar, there are several other things that you can try to manage or prevent acne.
• Regularly (twice per day) gently wash your skin with a mild, nondrying soap. Shampoo your hair every day, especially if it is greasy. Comb or pull your hair back from your face.
• Do not scratch, pick, squeeze, or rub the pimples or zits. You will undoubtedly be tempted to do this, but it can lead to skin infections and scarring, making the situation even worse.
• Do not wear baseball caps, other hats or tight headbands.
• Do not touch your face with your hands or fingers. This is a sure fire way to transfer dirt and bacteria to the face.
• Stay away from greasy cosmetics or creams. Always take off your make-up at night.
You could try over-the-counter acne medications. that are applied directly to your skin. You pharmacist can advise on which ones have the best results.
Some sun exposure can improve acne a little. But too much exposure to sunlight or ultraviolet rays is not advised because it increases the risk for skin cancer, especially in countries at or below the equator where the sun’s rays are at their strongest.
Mail order products designed specifically for acne have proven very successful in the treatment of acne in recent years. You may have seen some of them advertised on television and endorsed by celebrities, especially late at night. There are a number of similar successful products available, we provide links to them here.