Thursday, April 16, 2015

Understanding acne

August 20, 2012 by  
Filed under Articles

Some statistics are frightening: up to 80% of the U.S. population have been or will eventually be affected by acne.  Acne is indiscriminative as to age, sex, or race; it is a universal skin disease.   The good news is: Acne is not transmissible.   We suffer from t because of specific elements that have nothing to do with a bacteria or a virus transmissible by saliva or any other form of contact.  However, even if Acne is not transmissible between persons, it can spread over the entire face if not treated.  It can affect any area of ​​skin with sebaceous glands, and contrary to the popular belief Acne is not specific to Teens at puberty time.  Infants can suffer from it (acne infantilis), pregnant women and those in menopause. Acne Rosacea can affect them and everyone else around middle age.  No one is immune!

Acne falls into different classifications according to the degree of severity.  It is categorized as mild to severe but all start the same way. Acne is characterized by swollen lesions, large or small, often red and infected.  Comedo are responsible for acne; it is an accumulation of sebum, bacteria and rubbles into the pores.  Sebum is the natural oil secreted by the sebaceous glands as self-protection.   If the top is black, the comedo is said to be open.  Its coloration comes from the buildup of dark skin pigments called melanin, as well as the hardened sebum, bacteria, and other skin rubbles and particles. The white dots are called closed comedo and are found buried in deeper layers of the skin.  If not properly cleaned the rubbles cause inflammation resulting in lesions or pimples.

Lesions infected with pus are knows as papules or pustules. The reaction is caused by the body self-defense mechanism against infection.  As for the Nodules, they are similar to pustules but firmer and more deeply buried under the skin. They sometimes give the impression of small bumps. It is inflammation that causes the development of pustules which contain liquid and semi-liquid elements composed of white blood cells, bacteria Propionibacterium acnes (responsible for acne), dead skin cells, and several other types of bacteria, active or inactive.  In cases of severe type of acne, pustules can develop into small cysts called acne cysts. In such cases, it is necessary to consult a dermatologist or a physician because OTC products are often not strong enough to solve the problem.

What cause all the commotion and why does acne strikes some and not others?  The answer varies according to case.  Skin diseases can be caused by several factors, including stress, poor diet, environmental factors, hormonal changes, or genetics.

Medically speaking, acne starts with an accumulation of sebum and rubbles in the pores of the skin. The combining of rubbles and bacteria then triggers the body’s immune system and inflammation follows.  We can therefore help prevent acne by cleansing the face with a mild soap, morning and evening.  We can use a Comedo extractor to remove blackheads and avoid infection.   However, uncontrollable factors can cause the sebaceous glands to over-produce, like in times of hormonal changes.  Even when observing perfect hygiene rules, acne can still occur.

Mild cases of acne can be easily controlled with OTC products (soaps, creams, lotions). If the case is more severe, medications (mostly antibiotics) are prescribed by the doctor. To win the fight against acne is not always easy, because there are so many causes, but we can switch the odds in our favor by acting quickly when it breaks out.  Having a good diet, exercise regularly, drink plenty of water and keep a healthy skin can overcome a simple acne breakout.  If the pimples do not disappear after a few weeks then see a doctor or a dermatologist, it’s the best option to keep the infection from getting more serious. Anyone can suffer from acne, and there is no shame to see.

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