Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Adult Acne - Getting Rid of It!!!

If you were part of the majority of people that were unlucky to be plagued with teen acne, just think of all the snickers, jests and humiliation you had to go through, then it easier for you to understand why most adult acne sufferers go through a lot of hassles to remove adult acne from their lives. We both know that adult acne is not a terminal disease (you can't die from having it, I guess you knew that uhhh?). The major thing acne gives us are ugly scars and sometimes they could be really ugly, like mine was at a certain time.

Most of we adults afflicted with acne are usually on the look out for the magical cure that would gives us the fresh and smooth face or skin we had when we were eleven years old. Before we go on a wild goose chase looking for the magical acne medication that would rid us of adult acne lets understand why and how these little annoying monsters grow on our faces.

Why do so many adults still have acne?

It seems from all the amount spent on all those expensive research they still tell us the same thing that we were have all read in encyclopedias, the major cause of adult acne always has something to do with our hormones running wild and also genetics (my dad had a very bad case of acne when he was younger, more severe than mine was). The genetics part simply means that your biological family history has a large chunk of the blame of why you are suffering from adult acne. But aside those there are some other factors that are responsible for worsening your acne condition, some of them include:

*Side effects from some drugs - (such as corticosteroids, androgenic steroids, and lithium)
*Picking at or squeezing at the pimples
*Harsh scrubbing of the skin
*Oil based cosmetic products - (I guess you know this one already)
*Stress, illness or exhaustion
*Heat and moisture
*Diet has a some amount of influence on acne - (and please eating chocolate does not cause acne, where the heck did you hear that from)
*Pregnancy
*Menstruation
*Menopause

How does Adult Acne form on the Skin?

The formation of adult acne as we all know has something to do with sebum, follicle and all those big words that I read in some 21 inches thick encyclopedia. In simple words it is formed when oil (also know as sebum) that is produced underneath the skin surface is blocked from reaching the skin surface where it always flows to, through a hair-containing canal called a "follicle".

The follicle wall sheds cells often and the canal is used to remove dead cells, which sort of become sticky and block the opening as they attempt to leave the follicle. The blockage results in increased bacteria growth in the follicle, which turns the trapped sebum into a very irritating substance and results in an inflammation that is widely known as acne.

Pheww!!! All that explanation reminds me of high school biology (so painfully boring to me).

In one sentence on how acne forms it is simply put as "Dead skin cells clog the pores, and bacteria cause inflammation which results in acne on the skin".

Although so many adults like you have tried many acne medications and cosmetics to combat acne, we tend to wonder why they seem not to get rid of the problem once and for all but still they re-occur. It seems that acne forms when one or more of these conditions occurs:

*A blockage in the follicle
*There is an over production of sebum (oil)
*Increased bacteria growth within the hair follicle.

Researchers have found out that the hormone responsible for acne, which is called "testosterone". Yes you have heard of it before it is the male hormone (it is found in both males and females but it is produced in high levels in males). Testosterone is responsible for increasing production of sebum (oil), which results in more pimples. Since testosterone is an androgen and is more in males than females, this explains why men tend to have more severe cases of acne than women (at least that explains why I used to have more pimples on my face than my elder sister although she started having pimples on her face before I started having mine).

Adult acne occurs as visible bumps on the surface of the skin usually on the face, although body acne is also common. Adult Acne is seen as pus-filled blisters; small reddish bumps, ugly looking thick red skin on the nose, cheeks and forehead, and small reddish blood vessels all seen on the skin surface. Acne outbreaks usually occur on the face, neck, chest, and shoulders and back. A highbrow term for adult acne is "acne rosacea".

For so many folks stress seems to be one of the major factors in aggravating their acne condition. When I was in college towards the end of the semester when the amount of work we had to do increases, I tend to have more break outs of pimples maybe as a result of the stress or because I had lesser time for acne skin care. It seems aside the fact that you have to contend with hormones and genetics being the major cause of you acne condition you also have things like stress to worsen it.

Achieving Acne Control with the best Acne Medication

The first step in treating your adult acne condition has to do with proper acne skin care.

First of all AVOID the temptation of SQUEEZING your PIMPLES. Most of the time this results in the scars you see on your face. The bigger a pimple is the higher the chances it will leave a scar if you "pop" it.

Remember to wash your skin gently only twice a day; this is very helpful in removing surface dirt and excessive oil, which could worsen your acne condition by clogging the pores. Also please do not use abrasive soaps. They could damage your skin pores and leave your skin too dry.

If you currently use oil-based cosmetics it's time you switch to water-based, non-comedogenic cosmetics as oil-based creams or lotions irritate oily skin and cause further breakouts and blemishes.

You should also make it a habit to always remove your makeup before going to bed.

Consider applying an oil-free moisturizer to your skin after washing. This helps your skin replenish its own moisture and keeps the oil glands from over producing.

Always remember to shampoo regularly. This prevents oily hair from rubbing off on your skin.

Like we learnt in biology class, a balanced diet is necessary for optimum health. A balanced diet and drinking 10-12 glasses of water a day can help keep your skin healthy. There are some physicians that believe that an increase in iodine consumption aggravates acne and recommend a reduction or elimination of fish and iodized salt.

Relax a little to reduce stress and try planning out your activities so you are not under a lot of pressure from your daily activities.

In case you are looking for a more aggressive adult acne treatment to totally banish those little monsters of your face/body you should try using a combination of treatment like that offered by clear pores system which consists of a facial/body wash, facial/body protection cream and a herbal supplement which fights the acne from the inside and the outside. This triple combination is guaranteed to get rid of acne from your life.

Another very impressive acne treatment available is acnezine, which has natural ingredients that work to take care of the skin. They help control free radicals that cause skin damage, aging and wrinkling, and that can contribute to infection. Acnezine limits inflammation, helping take care of the ugly redness, and working to limit the inflammatory response that can cause scarring. And, Acnezine promotes healing. Acnezine consists of skin anti-Oxidant Capsules and acne Moisturizing Crème which ensures acne is combated from both inside and outside the body.

For more information on how you can permanently get rid of Adult Acne from your life and look more youthful and beautiful visit adult acne treatment a brand new blog that gives information, tips and advice on how to solve the problem of acne.

What Type of Acne Problem Do you Have?

If you are a teenager or young adult, I am sure you would have noticed that only a small percentage of people are blessed with a perfect and radiant skin. You would agree with me, that not only are the majority of people not endowed with beautiful skin, a large number of young adults and teenagers are afflicted with the “monster” called acne.

Most dermatologists seem to conclude that more than 80% of the human population is prone to having the acne problems. Ever since the mass media decided to tout that only appearance matters in everything, there has been an increase in the number of adult acne treatments in the market recently. It also looks like products, which contain some form of herbal ingredients is demanded by a large number of teenage and adult acne sufferers. Before you go buying and using any remedy you should identify the type of acne problem that you have.

We all tend to feel that only the fat, pus-filled pimples that appear on our face is acne. In case you may not know, your acne problem is not only restricted to having pimples. If you suffer from the mild type, you might not be aware of other types of acne. On some occasions you might notice some bumps developing on your back or necks, such bumps are due to your acne condition.

Even though all kinds of acne problems start in the same way, which is having too much oil also known as sebum, which breeds bacteria, blocks the hair pores and forms skin inflammation which appear as bumps. The different kinds all vary in their seriousness and appearance. In this article let us classify the kinds of acne into three: acne rosacea, acne vulgaris, and the serious type.

The commonest kind of acne, which is acne vulgaris, is divided into the mild and the serious categories. The first classification of acne vulgaris is the whiteheads. These are formed due to the mixture of bacteria, too much sebum (oil) and dead cells. Whiteheads do not turn into brownish color chiefly because they are not really exposed and they are confined in the hair pores, which mean they cannot oxygenate. However they do turn into a yellowish lump on some occasions. The whiteheads that you see on your skin could also occur due to frequent cellular exfoliation that can block your hair pores.

Another classification of acne vulgaris is the blackheads, which are mixture a of dead cells, bacteria and sebum (oil). The difference between them and whiteheads is that they are only moderately blocked in the follicle. Because of that, blackheads are exposed to oxygen and as a result they turn to dark spots. Blackheads take longer time to be eliminated as when compared to whiteheads. Other acne vulgaris’s types are papules and pustules. Papules are recognized as small bumps that are usually inflamed. Never attempt to prick these bumps as the may result in scars. Meanwhile, pustules are large, infected, pus containing bumps on the skin. You should never prick these bumps also as they can cause severe acne scars.

Very serious types of acne vulgaris include cyst and nodules, which are larger than the types mentioned previously and are very painful. Nodules are big lumps located underneath the surface of the skin, while cysts are lumps filled with pus with an average size of 5mm. Cases of cystic and nodules should be attended to by a medical practitioner to prevent severe scarring and increase of the acne lesions.

The second kind of acne which is rosacea is like vulgaris; but one difference is that it only occupies a third of the face’s middle part, usually the forehead, nose and cheeks. A large number of people with rosacea are women in their 30s, but it seems men are usually the ones with the severe cases. It is usually characterized with rashes, swollen skin and in some cases; the blood vessels may become visible. Even though rosacea is usually mistaken for vulgaris, you should visit a dermatologist if you are afflicted with any on the above condition, in order to prevent it from become more serious like rhinophyma.

Individuals who suffer from any of the mentioned kind of acne usually experience a lot physical and emotional pain mostly caused by a number of embarrassing situations. Aside all the previously mentioned types there are more serious types of acne which include pyoderma faciale, acne fulminans, gram-negative folliculitus, and acne conglobata.

Pyoderma faciale is characterized by the severe types of nodules, lesions and pustules that are in large numbers on an afflicted person’s face. These “monsters” leave very ugly scars. This condition is prone to women aged between 20 and 40. Although these condition cause damage to an individual, they usually end in less than a year.

Acne fulminans is more prone to young men and it is usually accompanied with joint fever and ache. A person with this type has an extreme case of nodulocystic and is prone to severe scarring.

Meanwhile gram-negative folliculitus is classified as a bacterial complication of pustules and cysts usually resulting from an extensive treatment of acne vulgaris. This is a special case of acne and doctors and dermatologists do not know which of the sexes are prone to this classification of acne.

Finally acne conglobata is more common in young men aged 18 to 30. It is recognized as large lesions with blackheads occurring on the buttocks, back, chest, face, thighs and upper arms. This particular type causes severe and sometimes long-lasting damages on the skin, which include large and deep scars. Sufferers of this acne problem should run to a dermatologist for help.

Whatever type of acne you afflicted with, acne is a stumbling block to achieving the level of self-esteem and self-confidence you desire. The best time to treat your acne problem is now, in order to avoid any future damage on your skin. There are quite a number of acne treatments available, but there are only a few, which actually give excellent results. A skin care product like Clear pores is a very good option as it combats the root of cause all acne problems, which is usually due to chemical and hormonal imbalances in the body. Other options are the Acnezine and the Healthy pores acne system, which also include herbal supplements that fight acne internally and externally.

Acne Treatment

Before considering your acne treatment, it is important to know a few quick facts about acne vulgaris and acne treatment



1. No direct link has been established between acne and diet (pizza, nuts, sweets, chocolate )



* There is no link between acne and diet. In particular, no cause and effect has been established between acne and chocolate, dairy products (milk products), shellfish, sweets, or fatty foods (french fries, pizza, etc.). Healthy diet is good for your overall health but it will not be enough to get rid of acne.






2. Acne cannot be cured (There is NO acne cure); it can be effectively treated (see acne treatment) and controlled (but there is no permanent acne cure)




* There is a widespread belief that acne is curable and that a course of antibiotics is all that is required to treat acne. People will often make statements such as my acne treatment did not work because when I stopped the tablets the acne came back again, and after my acne treatment the acne only improved but did not completely disappear. It must be made clear that continued acne treatment is required and that there is no cure for acne (although isotretinoin may cause long-term remission of the disease).




3. Acne is NOT a result of poor hygiene




* Dirt and surface skin oils do not cause acne. However, accumulation of daily dirt on the skin and excessive skin oils should be removed by gently washing your face twice a day with a mild soap, pat dry and use an appropriate acne treatment.




4. Constant washing does not improve acne




* Constant washing does not improve acne. Excessive scrubbing dries and irritates skin further and can actually make your acne worse.




5. Getting a tan does not clear acne




* Although there has been little scientific evidence that sunlight has any reliable beneficial effect on acne, and even less evidence for the benefits of solariums; nevertheless, there has been a resurgence of interest in effects of sunlight on acne. Before recommending such acne treatment one should carefully evaluate any positive effect of using sunlight in acne treatment against the possible long-term carcinogenetic effects of ultraviolet light on the skin. In addition, some studies have shown that acne treatment using sunlight can even worsen acne.




6. Not only teenagers can have acne, adults get acne too (adult acne)




* Even though, acne vulgaris is mainly a skin disease of teenagers; the prevalence of acne in teenage boys and girls is so high that acne is considered almost universal in this age group; nevertheless, adults suffer from acne, too.




7. Acne should be treated and controlled, do not just "let acne run its course"




* Even though, in most cases acne will “run its course”; nevertheless, untreated acne can leave you forever with unaesthetic acne scars, reminding you about your teenage acne skin problems for the rest of your life. There are multiple acne treatments available; therefore, acne should be treated and controlled, avoiding any potential unaesthetic acne scars in the future.




8. Stress does not cause acne, but it can exacerbate the existing condition




* A study of 215 graduating medical students showed that 67% believed that stress plays a role in acne exacerbations. Anxiety was considered an acne-exacerbating factor by 74% of students and their relatives. There is also evidence that stress may exacerbate acne during examinations. It has also been noted that treatment with biofeedback mechanisms is useful in some acne sufferers.




9. Exercise does not increase risk of acne




* According to Stanford University School of Medicine (Stanford.edu) research and contrary to popular beliefs, exercise and sweating during exercise do not increase acne in athletes.




10. There are misconceptions regarding variably of too little or too much sexual activity and acne.





* There are myths regarding too little or too much sexual activity and acne.



o First sex and acne myth that too much sex or masturbation may worsen acne.


o Second sex and acne myth that somehow when females begin having a regular sex life their acne will be improved.






* Although acne is linked to androgen metabolism at the level of the sebaceous glands; nevertheless, there is no evidence supporting neither of these rather strange extrapolations.

Acne Vulgaris

Acne is a disease rarely associated with systemic medical problems; however, the importance and morbidity of acne should not be underestimated because its disfiguring can have important negative psychosocial consequences for affected individuals including diminished self-esteem, social embarrassment, social withdrawal, depression and even unemployment [1, 3].

Risk factors/Triggers
1. Food/Diet
Foods such as nuts, cola, milk, cheese, fried foods and iodised salts have been implicated as triggers of acne vulgaris; however, the connections between nutrition and acne has not definitely been proven as they are rarely supported by good analytical, epidemiological or therapeutic studies [4, 5]. On the other hand, recurrent acne as noted by Niemeier et al (2006) may be a cutaneous sign of an underlying eating disorder.

2. Genetics
A genetic background is supported by a case control study by Goulden et al, as noted by Rzany et al (2006). This stated that the risk of adult acne vulgaris in relatives of patients with acne as compared with those of patients without acne is significantly higher [4].

3. Hormones
According to Rzany et al (2006), hormonal influences on acne vulgaris are undisputed as shown by the higher incidence of acne in male adolescents. Premenstrual flare has also been recorded as causing acne [5].

4. Nicotine
Smoking has also been named as a risk factor for acne vulgaris; however, conflicting data exists as to the link between smoking and acne. Some population based studies have found links between smoking and acne whilst some others have not [4].

Important!
Contrary to popular misconceptions by young patients and occasionally their parents, acne does not come from bad behaviour nor is it a disease of poor hygiene. It also has nothing to do with lack of cleanliness [2].

Types of acne vulgaris
There are two main types of acne vulgaris, inflammatory and non-inflammatory; these can be manifested in different ways,
1. Comedonal acne, which is a non-inflammatory acne
2. Papules and pustules of inflammatory acne
3. Nodular acne (inflammatory acne)
4. Inflammatory acne with hyperpigmentation (this occurs more commonly in patients with darker skin complexions) [1]
Clinical manifestations
In general, acne is limited to the parts of the body, which have the largest and most abundant sebaceous glands such as the face, neck, chest, upper back and upper arms. Among dermatologists, it is almost universally accepted that the clinical manifestation of acne vulgaris is the result of four essential processes as described below [1, 6],

1. Increased sebum production in the pilosebaceous follicle. Sebum is the lipid-rich secretion product of sebaceous glands, which has a central role in the development of acne and also provides a growth medium for Propionibacterium acnes (P acnes), an anaerobic bacterium which is a normal constituent of the skin flora. Compared with unaffected individuals, people with acne have higher rates of sebum production. Apart from this, the severity of acne is often proportional to the amount of sebum produced [1, 6].

2. Abnormal follicular differentiation, which is the earliest structural change in the pilosebaceous unit in acne vulgaris [1].

3. Colonisation of serum-rich obstructed follicle with Propionibacterium acnes (P acnes). P acnes is an anaerobic bacterium which is a normal constituent of the skin flora and which populates the androgen-stimulated sebaceous follicle [androgen is a steroid hormone such as testosterone or androsterone, that controls the development and maintenance of masculine characteristics]. Individuals with acne have higher counts of P acnes compared with those without acne [1, 6].

4. Inflammation. This is a direct or indirect result of the rapid and excessive increase of P acnes [1].

Non-inflammatory acne lesions include open and closed comedones, which are thickened secretions plugging a duct of the skin, particularly sebaceous glands. Open comedones, also known as blackheads, “appear as flat or slightly raised brown to black plugs that distend the follicular orifices”. Closed comedones, also known as whiteheads, “appear as whitish to flesh-coloured papules with an apparently closed overlying surface” [1].

Inflammatory lesions on the other hand include papules, pustules, and nodules; papules and pustules “result from superficial or deep inflammation associated with microscopic rupture of comedones”. Nodules are large, deep-seated abscesses, which when palpated may be compressible. In addition to the typical lesions in acne, other features may also be present. These include scarring and hyperpigmentation, which can result in substantial disfigurement [1].

Psychological Aspects
Numerous psychological problems such as diminished self-esteem, social embarrassment, social withdrawal, depression and even unemployment stem from acne. However, differential diagnosis from a psychosomatic point of view indicates two serious psychological problems, which can arise from acne. These are,
1. Psychogenic excoriation, and
2. Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD)

Psychogenic excoriation also referred to as neurotic excoriation, pathological or compulsive skin picking “is characterised by excessive scratching or picking of normal skin or skin with minor irregularities” [5]. According to Niemeier et al (2006) it is estimated to occur in 2% of dermatological patients. Patients with this disorder can also have psychiatric disorders such as mood and anxiety disorders, as well as associated disorders such as obsessive compulsive disorder, substance abuse disorder, obsessive compulsive personality disorder, compulsive buying, eating disorder, and borderline personality disorder, to mention a few [5].

Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) “is a condition characterised by an extreme level of dissatisfaction or preoccupation with a normal appearance that causes disruption in daily functioning” [3]. Niemeier et al (2006) described it as “a syndrome characterised by distress, secondary to imagined or minor defects in one’s appearance.” The onset of BDD is usually during adolescence, and it occurs equally in both male and female. Common areas of concern include the skin, hair and nose, with acne being one of the most common concerns with BDD patients [3].

According to the Diagnostic and Statistics Manual of Mental Disorders (2000), BDD has three diagnostic criteria,
1. A preoccupation with an imagined defect in appearance; where a slight physical anomaly is present, the person's concern is markedly excessive,
2. The preoccupation causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning,
3. The preoccupation is not caused by another mental disorder (e.g. Anorexia Nervosa)
Characteristic behaviours include skin picking, mirror checking, and camouflaging by wearing a hat or excessive make up. Apart from these, patients often seek reassurance frequently by asking questions such as “Can you see this pimple?” or “Does my skin look okay?” Some patients also have a tendency to doctor shop, which is essentially going from one specialist to another in search of a dermatologist or plastic surgeon, willing to carry out a desired procedure or dispense a certain drug, to improve their perceived defect [3, 5].

Although it is a relatively common disease, BDD is still an under diagnosed psychiatric disorder and is estimated to affect 0.7 to 5% of the general population. Other psychiatric conditions associated with BDD include major depression, anxiety, and obsessive compulsive disorder. It is also associated with high rates of functional impairment and suicide attempts, high levels of perceived stress, and markedly poor quality of life [3, 5, 8].

Acne Treatment
1. Topical treatment, particularly for individuals with non-inflammatory comedones or mild to moderate inflammatory acne (See types of acne vulgaris). Medications include tretinoin (available as gels, creams, and solutions), adapalene gel, salicylic acid (available as solutions, cleansers, and soaps), isotretinoin gel, azelaic acid cream, benzoyl peroxide (available as gels, lotions, creams, soaps, and washes), to mention a few [1, 2].
2. Oral treatment, particularly for acne that is resistant to topical treatment or which manifests as scarring or nodular lesions. Medications include oral antibiotics (e.g. tetracycline, doxycycline, minocycline, erythromycin, and co-trimoxazole), oral isotretinoin, and hormonal agents (e.g. oral contraception, oral corticosteroid, cyproterone acetate, or spironolactone) [1, 2].
3. Physical or surgical methods of treatment, which are sometimes useful as adjuvant to medical therapy. Methods include comedo extraction, intralesional injections of corticosteroids, dermabrasion, chemical peeling, and collagen injections, to mention a few [1, 9].
4. Sun exposure, reported by up to 70% of patients to have a beneficial effect on acne [10].
5. Light therapy, which is becoming more popular due to the growing demand for a convenient, low risk and effective therapy, as many patients fail to respond adequately to treatment or develop side effects, from the use of various oral and topical treatments available for the treatment of acne [11]. Methods include the use of visible light (e.g. blue light, blue/red light combinations, yellow light, and green light), laser treatment and monopolar radiofrequency [11]. Many of these light therapy treatments can be used at home.

Recommended Products for Acne

References
1. Brown SK, Shalita AR. Acne vulgaris. Lancet 1998; 351:1871-1876.
2. Webster GF. Acne vulgaris. Br Med J 2002; 325: 475-479.
3. Bowe WP et al. Body dysmorphic disorder symptoms among patients with acne vulgaris. J Am Acad Dermatol 2007; DOI: 10.1016/j.jaad.2007.03.030.
4. Rzany B, Kahl C. Epidemiology of acne vulgaris. JDDG 2006; DOI: 10.1111/j.1610-0387.2006.05876.x
5. Niemeier V, Kupfer J, Gieler U. Acne vulgaris-Psychosomatic aspects. JDDG 2006; DOI: 10.1111/j.1610-0387.2006.06110.x
6. Gollnick H. Current perspectives on the treatment of acne vulgaris and implications for future directions. Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 2001; 15 (Suppl. 3):1-4.
7. American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistics Manual of Mental Disorders. 4th Ed. Accessed via: BehaveNet® Clinical CapsuleTM; http://www.behavenet.com/capsules/disorders/bodydysdis.htm. Accessed on: 28th June 2007.
8. Phillips KA et al. A retrospective follow-up study of body dysmorphic disorder. Comprehensive Psychiatry 2005; 46: 315-321.
9. Taub AF. Procedural treatments of acne vulgaris. Dermatol Surg 2007; 33: 1-22.
10. Cunliffe WJ, Goulden V. Phototherapy and acne vulgaris.Br J Dermatol 2000; 142 (5): 855-856.
11. Dierickx CC. Lasers, Light and Radiofrequency for treatment of acne. Med Laser Appl 2004; 19: 196-204.

Disclaimer

This article is only for informative purposes. It is not intended to be a medical advice and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your doctor for all your medical concerns. Kindly follow any information given in this article only after consulting your doctor or qualified medical professional. The author is not liable for any outcome or damage resulting from any information obtained from this article.

100percentnature. Acne Vulgaris, the 8 Stages of Acne, Skin Care, Adult Acne Treatment, and Scar Removal Options

What is Acne Vulgaris? This is a medical term used to describe most cases of acne. It really isn't as bad as it sounds! Vulgaris doesn't mean that the acne is vulgar, only that it means that it is common.

Be aware that there are many factors that contribute to acne. First, research indicates a propensity for acne may well be inherited. Parents who had acne in their teenage and young adult years may have children who are likewise prone to having acne in their teen and young adult years.

Next, clogged skin pores are certainly a major contributing factor for acne out-breaks. When pores become clogged with an excess production of sebum and mix with dead skin cells or makeup that isn't sufficiently cleaned from the skin, problems start to develop. When skin pores are clogged, bacteria are produced and pus starts to form causing a pimple, a white head or a black head.

The most commonly accepted causes for acne are hormonal imbalances. Hormones in boys and girls may become unbalanced during puberty, during menstrual cycles, when starting or stopping birth control pills, during times of extreme stress, and at other times as well.

All of the above situations can cause the body to over produce a male hormone which causes the sebaceous glands to produce sebum. The sebum combines with dead skin cells to block pores and acne develops. So, basically, it still comes back to blocked pores.

Other causes for acne include a lack of vitamins, minerals and trace elements that the body needs to maintain a healthy skin. Vitamins A, E and B6 are especially important in maintaining healthy skin as are zinc, essential fatty acids (EFA), Chromium and Selenium.

Most diets of teenagers and young adults do not contain these vitamins, minerals, and trace elements in sufficient quantity to maintain healthy skin and to help prevent the onset of Acne.

Acne: The 8 Stages:

Full blown, Stage 8 acne doesn't usually develop overnight. Acne is progressive condition. Acne is one of the diseases that are so common that it is sometimes just disregarded as a serious problem...like the common cold. It has been estimated that 95 of people will have at least a mild case of acne at some point in their lives.

Acne, much like the common cold, is usually treated by the sufferer with over-the-counter medications that alleviate the symptoms of the disease in the belief that it will simply go away all by itself....eventually. And, it usually does but not always.

Most people throughout their life will have the occasional pimple, zit, white head or black head.

Although these pesky little outbreaks do seem to appear at the most inopportune times, they really aren't a serious problem that requires medical attention. A little over-the-counter acne facial wash to help prevent another outbreak will usually take care of the problem. It isn't a big deal. This kind of acne is referred to as Stage 0 and really nothing to be concerned about unless the acne progresses to subsequent stages.

Acne stages are graded from 0 through 8. Zero is the least severe and 8 is the most serious of the stages. The stages are as follows:

Stage 1: There will be white heads and black heads with some mild inflammation. The outbreaks will start to occur more frequently. Using products that contain Benzyl Peroxide are in order.

Stage 2: There will be some papules in addition to the white heads and black heads. Papules are skin lesions that are solid and raised but usually small. This is still considered to be a very mild case of acne. Treatment can be continued using over-the-counter products that contain Salicylic Acid.

Stage 3: Stage 3 is the same as stage 2 but with more frequent occurrences.

Stage 4-5: Pustules begin to appear. Now, it's time to schedule an appointment at a dermatologist.

Stage 6-7: Nodules and cysts are forming. Scarring is going to start happening at this stage. Your dermatologist will begin to take more drastic action.

Stage 8: Breakouts are almost continuous and include nodules and cysts. There are modern technologies that will help and your dermatologist will advise you.

Acne Skin Care:

As we know, our hair follicles secrete sebum. Sebum makes its way up the hair follicles to the skin pores where it lubricates and protects the skin. Sometimes there are oil glands which get overworked, get enlarge, and produce too much sebum. The sebum can get trapped in the hair follicle.

When this happens the pores get clogged and black heads or white heads form and the bacteria start to multiply at an alarmingly fast rate.

Once you understand this process, you can see the reasoning behind the advice about caring for skin that has black heads, white heads and pustules on it.

The first piece of advice about caring for acne infected skin is to never pick at the pimples. Don't try to pop them and drain them. This will not cure them no matter what anybody tells you. Popping them will only serve to make them worse...not better.

However, there are things that you can do that really will help.

The first thing you can do is to wash your face with a mild soap or a sulfur based soap. Wash your face with just your finger tips. Don't ever use a wash cloth as it holds germs and bacteria. Rinse your face with clean water several times to ensure you remove all traces of soap, and then pat it dry with a clean towel. Do not rub your face with the towel and never use the same towel twice without it being clean.

Take a good multi-vitamin and multi-mineral supplement every day and drink at least 8 full glasses of water (not soda) every day. The vitamins and minerals will supply nutrients that are absent from most diets and the water will help to hydrate the skin as well as to flush toxins out of your system.

If you use over-the-counter acne medications, be certain that you follow the directions carefully and that you use a good sunscreen when you are outdoors as some acne medications make the skin more prone to sunburn.

Adult Acne:

Acne is not just a problem for teenagers and young adults. Once a person survives the teenage years, you would think that they don't have to deal with the embarrassment of acne any longer, right? Well....not exactly.

The sad truth is that about 25 of women will have acne at some time in their 20s, 30s or even 40s. Although there has never been a real cause established, it is believed that most adult acne is caused by the same thing that causes teenage acne...hormonal changes.

A doctor will sometimes prescribe hormonal treatments that will clear a case of adult acne right up. As with teenage acne, adult acne is not caused by diet. Stress has often been cited as one possible cause of adult acne but that assertion has never been verified.

Treating adult acne is a bit more difficult than treating teenage acne. Adults have the concern of drying out their skin that teenagers don't normally have to deal with. Adults don't want pimples; but, they don't want wrinkles, either. A dermatologist should be consulted if the acne is long lasting or is severe.

There are many treatments that are available to adults who suffer from acne. Most of the effective treatments are only available by prescription. Adults should not use over-the-counter acne medications that are intended for the treatment of teenage acne. These products tend to dry the skin and adults need to be concerned about wrinkling as well as acne.

A case of adult acne is not a happy occurrence to say because those ugly bumps always seem to occur at the most inopportune times and while a teenager may be embarrassed by acne, an adult is even more devastated.

Fortunately, there are treatments and a dermatologist has a lot of weapons in his arsenal to fight adult acne.

Acne Scar Removal Options:

Life hardly seems fair sometimes! First, a teenager or a young adult must suffer through acne, treat it, and have to live with it...sometimes for years. Then the acne is gone; but, the scars are there as a painful reminder of the mental and emotional agony the acne sufferer had to endure.

You're right, life doesn't seem fair; but, acne is one of those sad facts of life that some if not most of us have to deal with. The good news is there is help; unfortunately, it isn't free or cheap!

There are two basic procedures that are used to remove ugly pits and scars left over from a bad case of teenage or young adult acne. Laser resurfacing is the least expensive of the two available acne scar removal procedures. Dermabrasion is the second procedure.

Laser resurfacing can be done in the dermatologist office instead of a hospital so that provides a much greater financial savings. A laser is used to remove the top layer of skin and also to tighten the middle layer of skin.

The dermatologist will use a local anesthetic to help reduce the procedure pain. It usually takes several days for the skin to heal after a laser resurfacing procedure is completed. Very often, multiple resurfacing treatments must be done to achieve the desired results.

The second procedure used to remove acne scarring is called dermabrasion. In this procedure, a rotating wire brush is used to remove the top layer of skin. The body continually produces new skin and the new layer will be smoother than the layer that was removed. It usually takes between 10 days and 3 weeks for the skin to heal after a dermabrasion treatment. Once again, multiple treatments may be required to eliminate the scarring.

Acne may seem to be a devastating condition but with proper skin routine, vitamins, and over the counter products, most cases will not be severe. Remember, proper cleansing goes a long way towards minimizing outbreaks, so don't be afraid to cleanse your face 5 - 6 times a day of more if needed.

Fight acne by being smart. Take as many preventative steps as possible to avoid situations that create the opportunity for acne to develop. If acne does afflict you, acne treatment Just click

Top 10 Myths About Acne

Top 10 Myths About Acne

I have been treating acne in my patients for over a decade. And during that time many patients have asked me questions related to myths that they have heard, that simply aren't true. Here I will address the top 10 acne myths that I have heard over the years with detailed explanations of why they are false.
Acne Myth 1 - Washing your face more often will help clear up acne

Facial blemishes are not caused by dirt. Contrary to what you may have seen in commercials, pores do not get blocked from the top down due to "impurities". Rather, the walls of a pore stick together deep within the skin, starting acne formation. Far from preventing acne, frequent washing may actually irritate pores and cause them to become clogged. A washcloth can add even more irritation. The best bet is to wash very gently with bare hands, and only wash twice a day.
Acne Myth 2 - Stress causes acne

Stress may have an effect on hormones and theoretically can promote acne. However, an effective acne treatment regimen is more powerful than a bout of stress any day. Some psychiatric medications may have acne as a side effect, but stress itself is no big deal. Your time is better spent determining the right course of acne treatment rather than feeling guilt about stress.
Acne Myth 3 -Masturbation or sex causes acne

This antiquated notion, originating as early as the 17th century to dissuade young people from having premarital sex, is just plain wrong. Don't believe the hype.
Acne Myth 4 -The sun will help get rid of acne

Although a tan may temporarily mask acne, the sun can make the skin dry and irritated, leading to more breakouts in the future. In fact, there's no link between sun exposure and acne prevention, but the sun's rays can cause premature aging and skin cancer. Always protect your skin by choosing a sunscreen of at least SPF (sun protection factor) 15 that says noncomedogenic or nonacnegenic on the label, which means it won't clog pores.

The sun also reddens your skin, blending your skin tone with red acne marks. However, a sun burn is actually skin damage, and sun exposure can cause irritation which will make acne worse. People will often notice their skin breaking out as it heals from sun damage. The sun is a short-term band-aid which will often bite back with more acne in the weeks following exposure. However, some sun exposure is not evil. It is actually important, and we get our vitamin D from the sun. Limiting sun exposure on acne prone areas of your body is most likely prudent, but some exposure from time to time is not only unavoidable, but is perfectly okay.

Acne Myth 5 -Diet and acne are related

The bottom line is we need more research. We do know that people in some indigenous societies do not experience acne at all. This is in contrast to the widespread presence of acne throughout all modern society. It leaves us to question whether the indigenous people's diet contributes to their acne-free skin. Discovering a dietary way of preventing acne may be a future reality.

Although eating too many sugary, high-fat foods is never a good idea, studies show that no specific food has been proven to cause acne. Every individual is different, though. Some people notice their breakouts are worse after eating certain foods — and these foods are different depending on the person. For example, some people may notice breakouts after eating chocolate, while others are fine with chocolate but notice they get breakouts after drinking too much coffee. If that's the case for you, it can help to cut back on that food and see if it makes a difference.
Acne Myth 6 -Popping pimples will help them go away faster

Popping a pimple may make it seem less noticeable temporarily, but popping can cause it to stay around longer. By squeezing pimples and zits, you can actually push bacteria, dead skin cells, and oil further into the skin, causing more swelling and redness — and sometimes causing a red or brown mark or scar to form. Sometimes marks can last for many months and true scars (dents and pits) will last forever.
Acne Myth 7 -Don't wear makeup if you want clear skin.

As long as you choose cosmetics that are nonacnegenic or noncomedogenic, they shouldn't cause breakouts. In fact, some concealers now contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, which help to fight acne. You can also try tinted benzoyl peroxide creams that hide pimples while helping treat them.

If you've had moderate to severe acne, though, talk to your doctor or dermatologist about the best cosmetics to use — he or she may recommend avoiding cosmetics altogether or only using certain brands so you're acne isn't aggravated.

And even if a product is labeled nonacnegenic or noncomedogenic, you should stop using it and talk to your doctor if you notice that it's irritating your skin or seems to cause breakouts.
Acne Myth 8 - If you keep getting breakouts, it helps to use more acne medication until the breakouts stop.

Because acne medication contains drying agents like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, using too much medication may cause overdrying, leading to irritation and more blemishes.

If over-the-counter acne medication doesn't seem to work on your acne, it's a good idea to talk to your doctor or dermatologist. Also, if you're taking a prescription acne medication, make sure you follow your doctor's instructions — some medications may take up to 8 weeks to make a significant difference.
Acne Myth 9 - Acne is just a cosmetic disease.

Yes, acne does affect the way people look and is not otherwise a serious threat to a person’s physical health. However, acne can result in permanent physical scars--plus, acne itself as well as its scars can affect the way people feel about themselves to the point of affecting their lives.
Acne Myth 10 - You just have to let acne run its course

The truth is, acne can be cleared up. If the acne products you have tried haven’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.

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