Acne is a skin issue faced by millions of teenagers today. It is not really something to be embarrassed about, but many of those who are affected lose their confidence in themselves, particularly when zits crowd their face. The good news is, acne does not last forever, although it can take years before it disappears on its own. There are also ways to get rid of acne faster, but this will require your dedication and patience. It is also important to first learn about what acne is and why it happens in order to understand the rationale behind its treatment.
Acne is a skin condition marked by the growth of pimples and comedones, which can range from mild to severe. Acne does not stay in the face. It also goes to the other areas of the body such as the neck, chest, back, and thighs. Acne can occur at any age and, therefore, is not exclusive to teenagers. In fact, babies can have acne too.
Acne results from the over activeness of the sebaceous glands, which are the part of the skin that secretes a type of oil called sebum. Sebum is essential to skin nourishment. The problem is that, the sebaceous glands can produce too much oil and clog the pores. The dirt inside the pores can get trapped by sebum and result into whiteheads or blackheads. There can also be dead skin cells beneath the pores that will not get it to the surface because sebum blocked their way. This is likely to irritate the pores and produce pimples. In the presence of bacteria, the inflammation will go further down inside the skin and create cysts and modules.
Well, the sebaceous glands become overactive due to many reasons. The most common is the changes in the level of hormones in the body, which typically happens during puberty. In other words, puberty causes the sebaceous glands to produce more oil than it normally does. Not all teenagers are prone to acne, but if any of your parents had acne, the odds that you will have acne too can be very high. Drugs prescribed for certain type of diseases can have acne as a side effect. You can also place the blame on cosmetic products containing substances that irritate the skin.
Symptoms and Treatment of Acne
Acne relates to different types of skin blemishes. Note that each type requires a unique method of treatment. They are as follows:
Whiteheads. These are swollen follicles that have very tiny holes. Air cannot enter into those holes, hence they stay closed. It will not help to scrub the skin too much to remove whiteheads. They will have to be extracted by a skin expert. Topical solution also needs to be applied to keep them from coming back. If whiteheads are severe, you may need to take antibiotics.
Blackheads. It is not only the color that sets them apart from whiteheads. Blackheads are also inflamed follicles but are open at the surface of the skin. They are easier to treat than whiteheads. You can use strips for fast removal and apply topical solutions that contain salicylic acid. While it is recommended to keep the skin clean to avoid infection, washing should be done moderately to avoid dryness.
Papules. They are the usual pimples that develop on the face. They are inflammations that are filled up with pus due to bacteria. Dermatologists usually advise against squeezing them. Papules are commonly treated with retinoid. In some patients, estrogen-containing birth control pills are prescribed.
Pustules. These are caused by bacterial infection. Pustules are pimples that are full of pus on the top. The skin surrounding them is red. Pustules can be sensitive to the touch. It is a condition that requires the attention of a skin expert. Pustules cannot be resolved by topical solutions alone but through proper skin care regimen.
Nodules. Acne in its severe condition can give rise to nodules. These are the larger versions of papules. They can be painful and entrenched deep in the skin. If not treated appropriately, they can affect the skin around them and produce scars. Patients will need to take antibiotics to deal with the bacteria.
Cysts. Nodules can develop into cysts if not treated. Cysts are filled with yellow fluid that looks like pus. This fluid will have to be extracted by a skin expert through a method that is completely free from dirt and bacteria. Afterwards, the patient may be advised to take antibiotics and Isotretinoin for at least 3 days
Natural Remedies for Acne
There is no cure for acne, but its symptoms can be regulated. Fundamental to it is proper skin care. Dermatologists recommend cleansing the skin in the morning and before bedtime with lukewarm water and a mild cleanser to remove dirt, bacteria, and excess sebum. Because cleansing alone is not enough to get rid of dead skin cells, exfoliation should also be a part of your routine. Facial mask is advised about 2 to 3 times a week to minimize the pores; large pores make the skin prone to acne.
Diet is another important consideration. You will have to eat plenty of fiber to flush out the toxins that weaken the skin. Among the good sources of fiber include fruits, vegetables, oats, and nuts. Vitamin C nurtures the skin, and can be found in oranges and tomatoes. Omega-3 reduces the inflammation, and are contained in deep water fish such as salmon and tuna.
Stress is a contributing factor to acne and for that reason, should be prevented. To put off stress and keep the skin health, it is critical to exercise on a regular basis and to sleep well at night. It will also help to engage in relaxation activities such as taking yoga classes or spending a day at the spa. The idea is to give body time to unwind, which is essential for the optimum functioning of the systems. This facilitates healthy circulation of the blood and the flow of oxygen and nutrients throughout the body, including the skin.