What can I do about Acne?
Monday, May 4, 2015
Acne is a common problem for adolescents and teenagers but also effects many adults as well. Acne is a skin problem where the openings in the skin where hairs come out (pores) become blocked by skin cells and oil and this creates a plug. During adolescence the glands that produce oil in the skin enlarge.
These oil glands are most often found on the face, neck, chest, upper back and arms. Even normally, there are bacteria which are present on the surface of the skin that may not cause any problems in small numbers.
During adolescence these bacteria reproduce and become present on the surface of the skin in much higher numbers than normal. The bacteria then combine with the oil and skin cells and become trapped in the pores and lead to the formation of tender “pimples” that we call acne.
Causes of acne:
Oil glands become enlarged and produce more oil than normal which increased the likelihood of acne.
- Cosmetics that contain oil may clog pores in a similar way to the oil secreted by the glands in the skin and can lead to acne.
- Frequent or aggressive rubbing with soaps or cleansers can actually increase the production of oil from the skin. Wash your skin gently.
- For some, diet can affect acne. If you find that you develop worsening oily skin or acne after eating certain foods, avoid these foods if possible.
- Psychological stress can increase or worsen acne.
Since there are multiple
causes of acne, there is not once simple treatment that works for
everyone. Skin doctors (dermatologists) usually recommend a combination
of treatments to reduce acne formation in multiple ways. Some simple
suggestions are outlined below but keep in mind that they may not work for
Don’t pick or squeeze pimples yourself because you might risk causing scars or worsening the infection.
- Wash your face with a gentle non-soap skin cleanser.
- Cautious use of skin moisturizers is recommended. If you use too much moisturizer you could worsen the acne by causing plugging of the pores/hair follicles.
- Over the counter products: Most of these formulas contain benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid or a combination of these two ingredients and put their own brand names on them. If you find that the over the counter product that you try is not working, contact a healthcare provider.
- Prescription treatments: Prescriptions for acne may be prescribed by your doctor and can be divided into topical (applied directly to the skin) and non-topical treatments (such as antibiotics).
Always use a sunscreen with at least an SPF of 15 and make sure the sunscreen blocks both UVA and UVB. Many of the antibiotics and even topical medications prescribed by medical professionals can increase your chances of getting a sun burn.
Research studies are being conducted to develop new treatments for acne.
If you have Mild to Severe Acne Vulgaris? A 12-week study to evaluate an investigational topical product for healthy persons age 12 to 40 years is enrolling in Cincinnati. No insurance is necessary. To learn if you qualify, call us at 513-621-6115. Reimbursement may be available for time and travel for those that qualify.
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