Acne; a skin condition that can mess up our day, teenage years or life. If you’re filled with insecurity and have no clue why you have acne, what caused it or how you can get rid of it then stick with us. We’ve gathered all the scientific information that you need to know about the most annoying skin condition!
What Is Acne?
Acne, which is known by the scientific term Acne Vulgaris, is a skin condition that occures when sebaceous glands are stimulated by hormones and come to life. Once stimulated, these glands secrete an oily liquid called Sebum. The function of Sebum is to transport dead skin cells through hair follicles to the surface of the skin. Unfortunately, a small hair also grows out of the follicle and helps to block this oil, causing it to accumulate under the skin and get infected. This infection is what is commonly called Acne. Pimples often occurs on the neck, face, shoulders and back. Though acne is certainly not a critical medical condition, it’s unpleasant appearance they can make some of us feel miserable and insecure.
What Causes Acne?
Although what causes acne is still not completely understood, most scientists believe that it is caused by one of two things:
- A Rise In Androgen During Puberty – Those aged 11-30 are most susceptible to acne because of the increased levels of androgen that occurs during this period. Androgen is a type of hormone, which rises when a child becomes an adolescent. The rising levels of angroden cause oil glands to grow, producing more oil thus causing bacteria to grow. This hormonal imbalance is what leads to acne.
- Genetics – There are also scientists who believe that the case of acne is genetic. It might also be that certain medications such as those that contain androgen, lithiu and greasy cosmetics can cause acne in people who are susceptible. The hormonal changes that can occur during pregnancy can also cause acne.
Treating Mild Acne
A large part of treating acne is determined by how severe the case is, and many people who get acne will usually develop a mild form of it. To this extent, a topical over-the-counter medication that is applied directly on the affected areas will usually fix the problem. Active ingredients contained in most products for mild acne treatments are:
- Resorcinol – This ingredient is a crystalline phenol that comes from various resins. It is highly effective in breaking down whiteheads and blackheads, and is also effective at treating other skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema and dandruff.
- Benzol Peroxide – slows down your glands production of oil and kills the bacteria that causes acne. Benzoyl peroxide works as a peeling agent, which helps skin turnover and clears pores. The result of this is a lower bacterial count in the areas that have been affected.
- Salicylic Acid – just as in the case of resorcinol, SA helps to break down blackheads and whiteheads, as well as helping to reduce the shredding of cells that line the oil gland follicles. This helps significantly treat inflammation and swelling. SA also helps the epidermis, the outer layer of your skin shed more daily, preventing pores from becoming blackheads. This keeps pores from clogging and becoming blocked, allowing new cells to grow.
- Suplur – helps to break down blackheads and whiteheads. Scientists are not sure how sulphur works, but it does, and it has done so for centuries. It also helps to reduce bacteria.
- Retin A – helps to unblock pores. It is also an anti-agiing formula of the skin.
- Azelaic Acid – While some medications work to break down the cells that line pores and cause bacterial growth, AA helps to strengthen cells and line follicles. It also reduces inflammation.
These medications come in different forms, such as gels, soaps, creams, lotions and pads. What is best for you can usually be determined by what skin type you have. For example, if you have sensitive skin, you may want to try a cream or a lotion. Many gels, in contrast, are alcohol-based, which tends to dry the skin. These would therefore be best used by people with oily skin. Regardless of what you use, if you experience redness or a rash after use, always consult a doctor for advice.
Treating Severe Acne
The more severe cases of acne are treated by skin specialists called dermatologists. It’s not the quick-fix answer you might be looking for but it’s the best option because the treatments prescribed will have a number of the ingredients listed below, but in a higher concentration. They will be able to prescribe you an acne treatment based on adapalene, azelaic acid, topical or oral antibiotics, which can also come in the forms of lotions, pads, creams, etc. In addition to these treatments, dermatologists will have the ability to provide you with alternative options including laser treatments should all else fail to work.
Skin Maintenance Tips & Advice
If you suffer from acne then you need to take special precautions in your skin maintenance. It is recommended to follow these rules:
- Wash your face twice a day using warm water and a soap made especially for people with acne.
- Refrain from touching your face with your hands. Hands carry bacteria, which could causes further irritation to your acne. Make sure you keep your hands clean by washing them regularly.
- Do not burst your pimples because this will make your redness, swelling and scarring worse.
- Regularly clean your glasses.
- If you get acne on your shoulders or back, allow your skin to breathe by wearing loose clothing.
- Remove all your makeup before you go to bed. Remember makeup wipes does not replace a cleanser.
- Keep your hair clean and away from your face.
- Avoid exposure to too much sun.