Dealing with acne

Despite being a very common problem, acne can be a very traumatizing experience during teenage years and adulthood. It is a common mistake to believe that only teenagers suffer acne: many adults, and even infants, may have acne. People who suffer acne, especially those going through their teenage years may, as a result, suffer from low self-esteem and lack of self-confidence, and may feel ostracized because of their condition.

Acne appears when the pores of the skin are clogged. When the glands produce too much oil, whose normal amount is usually produced to keep the skin lubricated, it may block the pores and accumulate dirt and bacteria and other debris. This is what causes the plug or, in more technical terms, “comedone”. If such plug or comedone breaks, it releases oil and bacteria and this spreads to the surrounding area, causing inflammation. If the inflammation is deep in the skin, a cyst may be formed, which can be very painful. Acne may take different forms and may be inflammatory or non-inflammatory. Inflammatory acne may consist in papules, postules, nodules, and cysts. Non-inflammatory acne (which is a milder form of acne), may be whiteheads or blackheads.

Some easy ways to deal with mild acne are:

– Avoid touching your face unnecessarily and keep it clean throughout the day, washing it regularly with a moisturizing soap. It is also useful to wash your hand before touching your face.
– Do not squeeze or scratch the pimples; this may lead to infections and is a sure way of leaving scars and marks in your skin.
– If your hair is oily, it is convenient to wash it daily, and try and keep it away from your face.
– Do not use oily make-up and, even if you use non-comedorgenic make-up, always take it off at night to prevent the pores from blocking.
– A bit of exposure to sunlight may help to improve acne.

Generally, acne does not require much more treatment than appropriately cleaning the skin and if often subsides after adolescence, when the hormonal changes produce acne; however, if the acne is severe (for example, if cysts have formed or if there is redness around the pimples) and if it does not get better after some time of applying over-the-counter medicines, it may be necessary to resort to a dermatologist for advice.

Sometimes, birth control pills may be used to control acne, but this does not always proves effective and it may even be counter-productive. There are also more sofisticated techniques that can be used to heal acne and its unwanted effects on the skin: Photodynamic (which is a laser procedure), chemical skin peeling, and dermabrasion to remove scars. You should always consult with a dermatologist to know about the adequate solution for your particular condition. Bear in mind that each particular case demands a specific solution.

In addition, there are a number of home-made solutions to treat cases of mild acne; their effectiveness is a matter of trying! Here are some of them:

– Apply gel extracted from an Aloe Vera leave on the pimples several time a day in order to dry them.
– Cut a middle-size carrot and boil it in little water. Smash it, let it cool down and apply on the affected area for about 20 minutes.
– Apply toothpaste on the pimples before sleeping and remove in the morning.

However, it is always best to seek the help of a qualified physician to solve this skin condition.

Ivana WAU

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