If you are on your teenage years, pretty good chances that you have some acne. About 8 to 10 preteens and teens have acne along with many adults. It is but a common skin problem that is considered to be a normal part of puberty. Apparently, it does make teen or any individual uncomfortable and it doesn’t make it easier when you look in the mirror and see the big pimple on your face or chin. However, there is good news such as simple steps that will help you feel better about your face.
Acne is a skin condition that shows up as different types of bumps including whiteheads, blackheads, pimples and cysts. You are always wondering how those pimples have grown onto your face or the how you got those zits on your back. The simplest scientific explanation that you could know is that your skin is covered with tiny holes called hair follicles or pores. These pores contain sebaceous glands also known as oil glands that make sebum, oil that moisten your skin and hair. Glands, most of the time, make the right amount of sebum and the pores are fine. But sometimes, a pore gets clogged up with too much sebum, dead skin cells and germs called bacteria thus causing you to have acne.
Doctors believe acne results from several related factors but the exact cause is unknown. One important factor is the increase in hormones called androgens (male sex hormones). The increase in hormones during puberty causes the enlargement of sebaceous glands thus making more sebum. Also, the hormonal changes related to pregnancy or starting or stopping birth control pills can cause acne. Hereditary or genetics is another factor that acne may be related to. Others believe that the tendency to develop acne is inherited from parents. Certain drugs including lithium and androgens are known to cause acne. Likewise, greasy cosmetics may alter the cells of the follicles and make them stick together thus producing a plug.
Moreover, there are many myths about what causes acne. People often blame chocolates and greasy foods but foods seem to have little effect on the development and course of acne in most people. Dirty skin is as well believed to cause the skin disorder; however, blackheads and other acne lesions are not caused by dirt. Lastly, stress does not cause acne. Obviously, there are several factors that can make the acne worse. The changing hormone levels in the adolescent girls and adult women 2 to 7 days before their menstrual period starts affect the worsening of the acne. Leaning on or rubbing the skin, environmental irritants, squeezing or picking at blemishes and hard scrubbing of the skin are other factors that could worsen acne conditions.
Aside from the dermatologist who specializes on skin problems, there are doctors who treat all kinds of acne, particularly those of severe cases. Family practitioners, pediatricians or internists may treat individuals with milder cases of acne. It is always the goal of the treatment to heal existing lesions, stop new lesions from forming, prevent scarring as well as minimize the psychological stress and embarrassment caused by the disease. The drug treatment is to reduce several problems playing a part in causing acne; abnormal clumping of cells in the follicles, increased oil production, bacteria and inflammation. The doctor will recommend one of several over-the-counter (OTC) medicines or prescription medicines either topical (applied to the skin) or systematic (oral medication) depending on the extent of the person’s acne.
Source: Michael Sanford