Acne is defined as the inflammation of the sebaceous glands of your skin or what is popularly known as the pore or hair follicle. A person who’s affected by this skin infection has pimples, whiteheads or blackheads on his face, neck, back and upper or lower arms. The American Academy of Dermatology says that acne is the most widespread skin ailment in the United States.
Causes of Acne
Although it is not life threatening, acne can cause discomfort and might leave scars on the affected areas of your body. Our bodies contain miniscule sebaceous glands that are located near the skin’s surface. These glands are connected to hair follicles, which are tiny holes in the skin. Hair grows from hair follicles. Acne occurs once the holes are clogged.
Sebaceous glands loosen or lubricate skin and hair in order to prevent them from drying up. This is possible through the production of an oily substance called sebum. When a person is afflicted by acne, glands are making too many sebums. The extra substance then mingles with dry, dead skin cells. As a result, they begin forming a stopper in the hair follicles.
The Mayo Clinic Staff attributes three main reasons for the growth of acne. These are – an oversupply or too much production of sebum, erratic peeling off of lifeless skin cells and the accumulation of bacteria.
Mayo Clinic reminds us of three factors that might aggravate the condition of someone infected by acne. First, hormones present in male and female adolescents called androgens enables the sebaceous glands to expand. This triggers them to produce more and more sebum. Some medications such as those with androgens, corticosteroids and lithium can lead to acne. Diets comprising of dairy products as well as foods rich in carbohydrates might also set off an acne attack.
Other risk factors, Mayo Clinic warns, are direct contact with greasy elements from cosmetics or make ups when spread on the skin. Genetics or family history can trigger acne. Tightness caused by close fitting clothes and underwear are also risk factors, along with abrasions brought about by cell phones, backpacks and tight collars.
Stress, especially lack of adequate sleeping time could set off acne. Relaxation and sleep allows the body to recharge then repair itself. If you’re always tense and couldn’t sleep well, your body finds it hard to rejuvenate. Bacteria can clog hair follicles too. Smoking could also aggravate your acne woes.
If body tissues are destroyed, our bodies repair the damaged portions. Those who fix the malady are white blood cells joining forces with molecules that combat infections then cure worn out tissues. The problem is, damaged tissues can’t often be restored to its former self. As a result, scars occur. Acne or acne cysts cause soreness in extreme cases. When you try to pluck the pimple, whitehead or blackhead, it can inflame your skin.
Once acne and acne cysts began peeling off, you experience chronic itchiness. Do not scratch or rub affected areas. Otherwise, the infected areas get bigger while the itchy feeling remains. In addition, the skin turns red and sets of an irritating sensation.
The various discomforts our body endures are not the only harmful effects of acne. Psychologically, this skin ailment creeps into our emotional lives, our daily interaction with friends, family members, classmates or colleagues at work. Socialization always ends up as the first victim.
The emotional effects of being beset by acne lies mainly on one’s self-image. Many people, especially adolescents, are very conscious of their appearance. If pimples, blackheads or whiteheads are written on their faces and conspicuous parts of the body, they might not go out more often. They fear that a majority would poke fun at them. This strikes children too.
Self-esteem might take a dip whether you’re stuck with acne or an ailment which affects your physical appearance. Your anxiety could lead to depression. Chances are, you’re most likely to refrain from socializing or be absent from school once a while.
If we bear in mind that true beauty lies in our attitude and intellectual capabilities, perhaps we can lessen the emotional trauma that acne brings. The key is to get on with your life. After all, your condition is only temporary.
Our skin is a very vital part of our body. It shields us against too much sunlight, pollutants, microorganisms and many damaging elements. Furthermore, our body’s covering helps control moisture and temperature. For physical appearance’s sake maintaining healthy skin is a must if you want to project a good image. Adopting precautions against acne includes taking good care of our skin.
Here are some simple tips in maintaining healthy skin:
- Always clean your face twice a day. Whether acne affects you or not, you should wash your face daily in order to remove bacteria, dead skin cells and various impurities. Clean with cool water and facial wash or bath soap, preferably the germicidal kind. Moisturize using a moisturizer that greatly lessens parchedness and peeling off of skin.
- Apply make ups or cosmetics thinly. Better yet, put them on during special occasions only. The ingredients could stick to your face then clog those tiny holes in your skin.
- Avoid touching your face always unless you had just washed your hands. This avoids a buildup of bacteria which contributes to acne and several skin ailments.
- Glasses, plates and utensils should be cleaned regularly. If left unclean, these things allow sebum and acne inducing bacteria to accumulate.
- Refrain from wearing tight clothes. Your skin requires enough breathing space. If you decide to wear tight clothes, don’t wear them often and make sure they’re cleaned on a regular basis.
- Once again, don’t pluck or squeeze your pimples. Leave those blackheads or whiteheads alone. Treat them with anti-acne ointment. Just make sure you’re not allergic to the cream. It’s better to consult your doctor or dermatologist.
Mild or regular acne can be treated using over the counter medications. You can buy them at pharmacies. Anti-acne products such as ointments should contain the following ingredients:
Resorcinol – it helps disintegrate or break down those blackheads and whiteheads. The ingredient can also cure dandruff, eczema and psoriasis.
Benzyl Peroxide – it eliminates bacteria then hinders the propagation of oily glands.
Salicylic Acid – a fungicide, salicylic acid helps gets rid of whiteheads, pimples and blackheads. Among its many functions, the ingredient prevents the blocking of pores while permitting new cells to grow.
Retin-A – this helps clear clogged pores. Retin-A can be utilized to hasten skin ageing.
Azelaic Acid – it strengthens skin cells and prevents the growth of bacteria. Azelaic Acid could clean up free radicals, thus decreasing skin inflammation.
If your acne malady is severe, you should consult a doctor or dermatologist. Avoid self-medication when the problem gets worse.