Friday, October 3, 2008



It’s a fear and frustration for teens, but Acne can affect adults too. Plugged pores and bacteria in the skin cause acne. Oil from glands combines with dead skin to plug the pores, also called follicles. Follicles bulge, producing pimples and other types of blemishes:

· Whiteheads: clogged pores that have no openings

· Blackheads: pores that are open and have a dark surface

· Pimples: reddish spots that signal an infection by bacteria in plugged pores

· Cysts: thick lumps beneath the surface of your skin, formed by the buildup of secretions

Three of four teenagers have Acne. It is most prevalent in adolescence because hormonal changes stimulate the sebaceous glands during these years. The sebaceous glands secrete fatty oil called sebum, which lubricates your hair and skin. Menstrual periods, the use of birth control pills or cortisone medications and stress may aggravate Acne in later life.

Although a chronic problem for many people from puberty through early adulthood, Acne eventually clears in most cases.

Self - Care

  • Identify factors that aggravate your acne. Avoid oily or greasy cosmetics, sunscreens, hair styling products or acne cover-ups. Use products labeled “water-based” or “noncomedogenic.”
  • Wash problem areas daily with a cleanser that gently dries your skin and causes follicles to flake.
  • Try over-the-counter acne lotion (containing benzoyl peroxide, resorcinol or salicylic acid as the active ingredient) to dry excess oil and promote peeling.
  • Moderate exposure to the sun or careful use of a sun may help.
  • Keep your hair clean and off the face.
  • Watch for signs for spreading infection beyond the edges of a pimple.
  • Unless a food is clearly aggravating your acne, you don’t need to eliminate it. Foods like chocolate, once thought to be a cause of acne, generally aren’t the culprit.
  • Don’t pick or squeeze blemishes. The actions can cause infection or scarring.

Source : MAYO CLINIC – Guide to Self-Care

Author : Philip T. Hagen, M.D

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