Understanding acne can help you treat it, control it and even prevent. You can find relief from constant breakouts and the misery of pimples when you know what causes them and what will cause them to go away. Here’s what you need to know about this painful condition of acne so you can have control over your skin. |
The Hair Follicle A single follicle of hair contains more than just the root of the hair. It also has two sebaceous glands. Sebum is oil that is produced in the glands and normally drains out to the skin’s surface. When that oil is prevented from draining by a blockage, the result is a pimple.
Whiteheads and Blackheads Acne that is not accompanied by painful swelling is considered either a whitehead or a blackhead. Whiteheads are typically tiny white spots and occur when the pore is completely blocked. They are usually visible to the naked eye. It indicates that the follicle wall is still intact and the blockage lies directly beneath.
The other type of non-inflammatory acne, blackheads are seen when a port is not completely blocked. The visible black speck is not dirt, as many people believe. It is actually the sebum that is unable to drain out. As it encounters the oxygen, it naturally turns dark. They can be slow to heal as the contents and infection try to drain out.
Papules, Pustules, Nodules and Cysts All are types of inflammatory acne and can occur at any time. Each condition indicates that the follicle has actually ruptured, allowing the oil to enter the surrounding area. .
Papules are a red raised surface, without a clearly defined head. A pustule, by comparison, is a red, raised bump with a clearly defined cream or yellow head. The classic pimple, it may start out as a papule.
A nodule is a large, inflamed bump that occurs when the hair follicle breaks along the lower area. It can be sore and painful. The final type is a cyst, which is a severe inflammatory reaction that can have large lesions that are filled with pus. The scarring that troubles some people with acne is the result of cysts.
Milia The final type of acne is known as milia. It presents as a series of white bumps across a section of skin.
You Are Not Alone People, especially teenagers, should understand that everyone gets acne. It’s a fact of life. Some people are more prone to it, but there is treatment and hope for anyone suffering from it. The exact causes of acne are unknown. However, it has been shown that it is, to some extent, genetic. Hormones can also make acne worse. Unfortunately, some of the things that make acne worse, like hormones, are largely beyond your control. Luckily, there are some steps you can take to get it under control.
Myths about Acne When you’re ready to tackle the acne problem, the first step is dispelling the myths that surround it. Here’s what you may have heard and the truth behind the rumor. • Tanning clears up skin – This simply isn’t true. In fact, the suns rays will cause more damage to your skin than the pimples. • Popping pimples makes them clear up – There is something satisfying about popping a zit. However, it can cause scarring and may actually push the bacteria further down, causing more swelling and problems. The best bet is to be patient and let the pimple go away on its own. • Avoid makeup – Noncomedogenic products are available that won’t clog pores and shouldn’t cause breakouts. As long as you’re using quality makeup, wearing cosmetics will not increase acne breakouts. • Use more acne medication to handle recurrent breakouts – This is another myth that just doesn’t hold up. The fact is that if the treatments were working for you, the acne would go away. If acne is getting worse, or even just staying the same, you should look at different treatment options.
Home Treatments Cleaning – The first line of defense is keeping your skin clean. Gentle soap and water will help remove the oils and prevent the pores from clogging. Choose a cleanser that is specially designed for treating facial acne for a truly effective treatment. It is important that you wash your face thoroughly every morning and every night to help prevent acne. Consider using a special face moisturizer after washing to prevent the skin from drying out too much.
Gentle Movements – The skin on your face is delicate. You don’t want to damage it and risk spreading the acne by vigorously scrubbing it. Use a gentle touch when cleaning it. After thoroughly rinsing with water, pat your face dry with a clean towel.
Benzoyl Peroxide – Recommended for mild cases of acne, this medication is available over-the-counter in pimple creams. It works by destroying the bacteria and should be used on a long-term basis.
Salicylic Acid – Another over-the-counter treatment available in the cosmetic aisle, this medication can also help prevent acne and may help speed the healing of acne that is already present.
Visiting your dermatologist can help you get prescription medications that can treat the most stubborn acne. Start with the basic steps of keeping the skin clean and fight the urge to pick or squeeze any pimples. There is hope for having clear skin, and it starts that very basic advice.
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