Acne: Causes, Treatment, and Prevention

Acne is a serious problem that affects you physically and mentally. Acne usually affects the skin of the face, back, neck, chest and arms. There are different types of acne, from mild cases such as whiteheads and blackheads to more serious cases such as cystic acne.

Causes of Acne

Contrary to popular believe, greasy foods and chocolate have little effect on acne. However, recent studies have linked refined sugars and simple carbohydrates to increased oil production.

More common causes of acne are

– Hormones: This is the main cause of acne. Hormone called androgen triggers the sebaceous glands that secrete oils onto your skin to produce extra oils. The oils combine with dead skin cells, causing a built-up of oils in your follicles. This causes blackheads and whiteheads to form. In some people, the built-up oils trap acne bacteria, causing the follicles to become swollen. Then, the body’s natural defense system attacks. White blood cells rush to the area to deal with the bacteria. This inflames the skin and creates more severe acne such as pimple and cyst.

– Heredity: Heredity can cause acne in some people.

– Cosmetics: Some cosmetics can clog your follicles, causing built-up oils.

– Medications: In some cases, medications cause the increased production of oils that leads to acne.

Acne Treatment & Prevention

– Clean your face and the areas that have acne twice a day to remove excessive oils and dead skin cells. Look for the cleansers that contain salicylic acid which helps correct abnormal skin shedding and unclog follicles.

– Avoid scrubbing the skin too hard or using harsh cleansers. These irritate the skin and can make acne worse.

– For mild acne, use a topical over-the-counter acne treatment that contains benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. Benzoyl peroxide clears up acne by reducing acne bacteria and removing dead skin cells from the skin. The side effect of using benzoyl peroxide is excessive dryness so be sure to follow the directions and not use more than stated. Use of benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid should be continued after acne clears to prevent new acne from forming.

– Seek help from a dermatologist if you have moderate or severe acne because scars can develop if the acne is not treated properly.

– Don’t pick or squeeze acne as you will increase the risk of acne scarring. Also picking or squeezing cystic acne will spread acne bacteria to other areas.

– Keep your hands and hair off your face as they contain oils which may contaminate follicles.

Avoid using cosmetics that clog your pores. If you use makeup, be sure to remove the makeup completely when not needed.

– Avoid using greasy hair styling products such as oil-containing gels because these products can drip onto the skin and clog follicles.

– Take acne supplements such as vitamin E and zinc to help balance your hormone and decrease inflammation and infection.

– Perform skin detox to eliminate toxins from the skin.

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14 Responses

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