Acne - What Is It, How Is It Caused And How Can You Treat It?

Acne is one of the most common skin conditions and most people are affected by it, usually during their adolescence. However, it can also affect newborn babies, young children and adults too. Acne is not life threatening, even in the most severe cases, but it can cause major self-esteem issues and so a lot of money is invested by drug companies and other health enterprises who look to help prevent and treat acne as well as dealing with its after effects such as scarring.


What Is Acne?

Acne is an inflammation of the hair follicle. Sometimes referred generically as "pores", every hair follicle is a tiny unit from which a hair grows but it also contains a sebaceous gland to help coat both the hair and your skin with sebum which is an oily substance that both lubricates and waterproofs.

Acne develops when your follicles become blocked and then subsequently inflamed. This can be caused by an over-production of sebum (common in adolescence due to hormonal changes), trapped dead skin cells/other debris and the proliferation of a bacterium that prefers conditions without air known as P. acnes.


How Is Acne Caused?

We know that acne is a blockage of the follicle but how does this happen in the first place?

The most common cause of this is over-production of sebum that occurs during adolescence. This can persist until the mid or late twenties. Increasingly, this is persisting until people reach their thirties and forties but nobody knows quite why this is.

Sebum production can also be very high if the skin is cleansed too often, stripping it completely of oils. Your body compensates by increasing the rate of sebum production which more easily leads to blockages.

Diet appears to have some effect on acne but not in the way that you might think. Eating greasy foods does not make your skin oilier as many people think. However, there is thought to be a link between high carbohydrate consumption and acne.

Frequent use of make-up and a failure to remove it promptly can easily lead to pores becoming clogged with debris.

Although P. acnes causes acne, it is a very common bacterium that exists on the skin of most people and cannot easily be gotten rid of permanently.

How To Treat Acne

Exfoliating your skin with a light face scrub can help to remove dead skin cells and stop them from clogging your pores.

If you wear make-up, try to limit how much you use and make sure you remove it properly before going to bed.

Try to avoid touching your face frequently. Change your bed sheets regularly. This will help to prevent your pores being contaminated.

Use an over the counter anti-bacterial acne cream regularly. This will help to limit levels of P. acnes on your face.

Avoid squeezing pimples (especially large cysts) as this will damage healthy tissue and lead to scarring.

If you are a woman, consider taking birth control as this stops acne in many women.


Acne - What Is It, How Is It Caused And How Can You Treat It? Acne - What Is It, How Is It Caused And How Can You Treat It? Reviewed by Grace Myers on 03:18:00 Rating: 5

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