Important Acne Information

This article was originally written by Gay Redmile

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And the good news is…, fried foods, and chocolate do not cause acne!
Acne, or pimples, usually starts in the early teens when the oil glands in the body start making more sebum (oil). Approximately 85% of teens and pre-teens – along with many adults get acne. It is so common that it is considered a normal part of growing up. Acne predominately appears on the face, and sometimes on the back, shoulders and chest. Acne can be heredity,and girls usually get it at a younger age than boys.
Teens get acne because of hormone changes that come with puberty – not because of what they are eating! However, acne is not uncommon to have in your 30’s and 40’s.
A ‘whitehead’ results when the hair follicle, or pore, gets plugged up with oil, dead skin cells or germs. If the pore remains open the air touches it and turns it black – it then becomes a ‘blackhead’. A blackhead is not caused by dirt.
Acne can be exacerbated by: menstruating; stress; contraception pills that contain male hormones; oily cosmetics; working in hot humid places or with oil or grease; some types of medicines; or hormone changes during pregnancy.
Having acne can affect one’s self esteem and body image. This can manifest in numerous ways including: the person growing their hair long and keeping it over their face; by avoiding eye contact; always keeping their body hidden; taking sick days – and missing work or study. Acne can bring on loss of appetite, lethargy, mood swings, crying and sleep issues.
There are lots of acne treatments – some tried and true – and some not – these include: benzoyl peroxide; a course of antibiotics – for severe cases; for some females who may be producing excessive hormones – birth control pills; retinoids eg Retin-A – via prescription; acne creams and cleansers; laser treatments and herbal treatments. With most of these it can take several weeks before you notice any change.
Acne scaring has in the past been of a major concern to a lot of people – there is, however, a new laser treatment for acne scars. The laser treats the damaged skin – resurfacing it, leaving healthy skin unaffected – the laser goes deep into the acne scars – causing collagen remodelling. The procedure is a walk-in, walk-out treatment. It usually takes 4 – 5 treatments for best results.