: Acne is the term for plugged pores (blackheads and whiteheads), pimples, and even deeper lumps (cysts or nodules) that occur on the face, neck, chest, back, shoulders and even the upper arms. Acne affects most teenagers to some extent. However, the disease is not restricted to any age group; adults in their 20s - even into their 40s - can get acne. While not a life threatening condition, acne can be upsetting and disfiguring. When severe, acne can lead to serious and permanent scarring. Even less severe cases can lead to scarring. Why does acne happen? - An inflamed spot occurs due to the release of inflammatory fatty acids by a particular bacterium known as p. acnes, which causes the body’s defence systems to respond. - You would however not get p. acnes colonisation of the hair follicle duct without a plug forming. - The plug forms due to an increase in skin cell turnover, increased keratin deposition narrowing the opening of the hair follicle duct, combined with increased sebum production, which mixes with the debris to cause a blockage and a plug to form. - The increased sebum, keratin and cell turnover would not happen if linoleic acid levels in the skin had reduced dramatically. - Linoleic acid levels reduced due to the development of sensitivity to the hormone DHT. - DHT is formed from testosterone. The chemical reaction naturally happens throughout the body and the conversion of testosterone to DHT is assisted and promoted by the enzyme called 5-alpha reductase. (All chemical reactions in the body are controlled and accelerated by enzymes). Possible solutions to the underlying causes of acne: 1) Stop hormonal fluctuations. This is impossible although people do try by taking plant hormones, HRT and royal jelly. But basically it is best not to mess with our natural hormonal balance. 2) Use Roaccutane. This will affect the conversion of testosterone to DHT, but this will occur all over the body and DHT plays a role in a number of body functions and suppressing it leads to a number of possible side effects. 3) Reduce DHT levels in the hair follicle and in sebaceous gland area only, known as the pilo-sebaceous unit. If it were possible to prevent testosterone from converting to DHT in the acne area of the skin but not stopping this conversion elsewhere in the body could reduce skin sensitisation and the resulting linoleic acid loss, but without affecting the conversion of testosterone to DHT in other parts of the body. This would be great in principle if one can alter the conditions in the pilosebaceous unit for an extended period of time so that DHT levels were reduced locally during the times in our lives when normal hormone levels were ‘out of sync’ with a topical preparation could lead to a reduction in the triggering of the acne process. Two products called tri-ethyl citrate and ethyl linoleate which are safe and release citric acid and linoleic acid can change conditions in the skin which slows down the enzyme 5-alpha reductase and hence testosterone conversion to DHT is slowed down locally. The testosterone conversion to DHT will still occur but just somewhere else in the body, meaning other bodily processes are not affected. 4) If one could also replenish linoleic acid levels in the skin then this would lead to a slow down in oil production and skin cell turnover rates and keratin deposition, preventing the plug forming and the colonisation by p. acnes. 5) One could take linoleic acid supplements and foods high in linoleic acid. However linoleic acid is used by many parts of the body and one would have to take possibly toxic levels to affect skin levels significantly enough through oral supplementation alone. Doing this without going to excess is probably however a good thing and it has been noticed that the Eskimos (the Inuit) did not suffer from acne until they were introduced to western diets. However if one can find a way to supplement skin linoleic acid levels using a topical preparation then this would also have an impact on the acne process. 6) Getting linoleic acid into the skin is not easy but you can use special delivery technology using special molecular structures in creams such as Oleosomes and involving techniques with fancy names such as Drysyst technology to help this process. Also if one uses ethyl linoleate, then skin bacteria will help break this down and release linoleic acid into the skin (look for products containing ethyl linoleate.) 7) One could normalise cell turnover to reduce skin thickening and also reduce keratin increases in skin cells. This would help to prevent blocking of the pilo-sebaceous duct. Retinol A based creams have been shown to normalise skin cell turnover rates. However a potential side effect of retinol products is increased sensitivity to UV and maybe increased skin cancer risk. So users of retinol based products are advised strongly to use a high SPF sunscreen while using retinol based products. There is a chemical called triethyl citrate which also normalises keratin deposition and skin cell turnover rates and without causing photo-sensitivity (please search for products containing triethyl citrate). 8) Reduce oil levels on the skin. This is normally done by using detergents to keep surface oil levels down. Doing this on its own just leads to more oil production and one gets into a downward spiral with a ‘negative feedback loop’ leading to further increase (up regulation) of sebum (oil) production. However oil control is important and using mild detergents can help in controlling the acne process. Using a combination of triethyl citrate and ethyl linoleate has been shown in a clinical trial published in the British Journal of Dermatology at the end of 2007 which showed sebum production rates reduced by up to 68% with an average of 55%. 9) Use exfoliants and detergents to help unblock ducts by dissolving and removing plugs and keeping skin debris levels down and also reducing skin thickening. This is effective and can help but if the skin is inflamed and sore then exfoliants can, make the skin more sensitive and sore. It maybe better to use chemical exfoliants rather than irritating physical skin exfoliants. Better still use those which have shown to affect sebum production rates such as Salicylic acid and Pyruvic acid which are both hydroxy acids (also known as fruit acids). These are the only two who have shown a sebo-static effect which means temporarily slowing oil production. Another common chemical exfoliant used is glycolic acid but this has not shown to have a sebo-static effect. Also salicylic acid has shown to help with skin thickening by loosening skin cells. See products containing Salicylic acid and Pyruvic acid). 10) Even products with fruit acids may irritate some skins, and some acne sufferers such as younger skins can be very sensitive and actually don’t have excessive skin thickening. One could use a gentle non irritating cleansing agent containing products such as silicone and glucose based cleansers which are very skin friendly, and also contain triethyl citrate which will normalise skin thickening by addressing over active skin cell turnover, thereby addressing skin thickening from within the skin. 11) Control p. acnes levels. Keeping hair follicle ducts open and oxygen rich is one way but blockages can still happen. So if you are going to control p. acnes than ideally do this without attacking skin staphylococci as discussed earlier due to MRSA development risks. One can use antibiotics to do this and they may be indicated in pustular scarring acne but for most we know that p. acnes releases enzymes to break down the plug to release nutritious fatty acids which also can cause an inflammatory response from the body. If you change conditions in the pilosebaceous unit so these enzymes don’t work as well you can slow down this process and reduce the amount of food and consequently reduce the growth of p. acnes without attacking good skin bacteria (staphs) (see an example of how this ca be achieved) 12) Reduce inflammation. Using products to control bacteria will reduce inflammation but also anti-inflammatory’s used to reduce inflammation. Stopping the release of the inflammatory fatty acids is another way, but also mopping up the inflammatory free radicals produced is an additional way of controlling inflammation. Antioxidants are useful in this regard and the best antioxidants are probably skin soluble version of vitamin C such as ascorbic acid and others such as Ascorbyl Palmitate and especially Ascorbyl tetra-isopalmitate (see an example of a product containing these). In Summary If you have a product range which alters conditions to slow DHT production locally, increase linoleic acid levels in the skin, that normalise skin cell turnover, keratin deposits and sebum production while also having mild sebo static chemical exfoliants or silicone and glucose based cleansers. If this product also had, staph friendly antibacterials to control p. acnes, feeding and development combined with antioxidants to help control the inflammatory process, then you would have a highly effective product range which could be obtained with or without prescription and is supported by eminent dermatologists across the world, including the top dermatologist on acne in the UK who has had his independent trail published din the most respected dermatology journal in the world, then you would be onto a winner. If this product was incredibly reasonably priced you would think it would dominate the treatment options of acne.
When it comes to caring for and treating an acne condition, many people fail to take a full blown approach. In other words, many people with acne tend to do “one thing” when it comes to “treating” their condition. For example, they might buy a great cleanser to assist in the care and treatment of their acne but they fail to use an appropriate exfoliating product and then follow up with some sort of decent treatment cream. When all is said and done, if you really do want to resolve an acne condition, you are going to want to take a truly comprehensive care and treatment approach. For example, you will want to incorporate the use of tried and tested products such as ZENMED™ Derma Cleanse® System and ZENMED™ Body Acne Combo into your acne care and treatment practice. When all is said and done, the best type of acne treatment program essentially is a three part regimen that includes: -- cleansing -- exfoliating -- application of treatment product Cleansing The first step in effectively treating an acne condition is properly cleansing the effected areas with an appropriate cleansing agent. (Again, if you elect to use a product line such as ZENMED™ Derma Cleanse® System and ZENMED™ Body Acne Combo, you will have available to you a proven type of cleansing agent that can get you well on your way to successfully treating your acne condition.) In addition to choosing a proper cleansing product as part of your acne treatment regimen, you also need to keep in mind that the cleansing component of an acne treatment program depends upon regularity. In other words, in most cases, you need to fully cleanse the effected areas of the skin at least two times a day. A failure to cleanse the effective areas of skin with such regularity will end up defeating the effectiveness of the treatment regimen itself. In the treatment of an acne condition, cleansing is the foundation upon which the remainder of the treatment process is built. Therefore, you will want to make certain that you develop a cleansing routine that incorporates appropriate cleansers utilized on a regular basis. In the absence of such a foundational routine, the remaining elements of a comprehensive regimen will be less than effective. Exfoliating Many people overlook the necessity of exfoliating when it comes to exercising and implementing an acne care and treatment program Exfoliating the skin is an extremely important component of an overall acne care and treatment regimen. The process of exfoliating the skin works to effectively remove dead skins cells and imbedded oils that if left unattended can cause an aggravation of an acne condition. There are some excellent products that a person can utilize to ensure that the exfoliating process properly is completed. A person should exfoliate on a daily basis. In some instances a person can go two days between exfoliations -- but, you need to keep in mind that oils, dirt and dead skin cells build up on a daily basis. Treatment Products Only very rarely can an acne condition effectively be resolved without the intervention of appropriate treatment products like those included in the ZENMED™ Derma Cleanse® System and ZENMED™ Body Acne Combo product lines. As has been referenced earlier, the treatment of acne really is a three part process: cleansing, exfoliating and treatment application. There are different types of treatment products on the market today -- each of these products designed to treat different types of acne conditions. As a result, you need to take the time to consider which treatment product will best address the particular type of acne condition that your are afflicted with at a given point in time. For example, if you have a condition of body acne, you will want to invest in a comprehensive treatment program such as ZENMED™ Body Acne Combo. On the other hand, if you are suffering from facial acne -- either as an adult or a teenager -- you will want to focus on a product like ZENMED™ Derma Cleanse® System. Conclusion By adopting a comprehensive course of treatment for an acne condition you will work to resolve a current condition and you will be in a far better position to prevent future outbreaks. Additionally, even if you face a future outbreak, by utilizing a comprehensive treatment program you will be able to lessen the severity of a future acne outbreak.
Some of the best acne treatments offered today are based or developed through high technology and scientific innovations. The emergence of high tech medical devices and instruments has changed the way medical and health-related concerns are addressed by specialists and the public in general. One of the areas of medicine that has benefited from technology is dermatology. The emergence of biotechnology, LEDs and laser has allowed scientists to develop some of the best acne treatments that man has ever seen. Arguably, technology is the best thing that has ever happened to medicine. The discovery of LEDs, lasers and fluorescent lighting has led to the development of the use of visible light in treating acne, a process better known as phototherapy. This method of treatment has been shown to reduce 64 percent of acne lesions when used twice a week. The method apparently works better when combined with red visible light. The combination has been found to reduce lesions by 76 percent after three months of daily use. Laser surgery is already used in reducing scars caused by acne and researchers are now focusing on whether the same method can be employed to prevent the actual formation of acne. Laser technology is currently being developed to burn away follicle sac and sebaceous gland and induce the formation of oxygen in the bacteria to kill them. As of 2005, these scenarios remain in the research stage and are not yet established as definite treatment methods. Another area of high technology that presents a lot of promise for treating acne is biotechnology, particularly the fields tied with genetics. Since acne is believed to be linked with heredity, whole-genome DNA sequencing has been the focus of some research efforts. The aim is to understand the body mechanisms involve in acne formation. The use of gene therapy to alter the DNA of the skin also seems to be a not too far possibility. Technology has provided us with some of the best acne treatments ever known to man. More possibilities are still waiting to be discovered and 21st century science is on the verge of making all these possibilities a reality.
The cost of microdermabrasion can be categorized under three general levels: at-home, health spas and salons, and medical practices. Each category also varies in price. Let’s explore the at-home cost of microdermabrasion first. The cost of microdermabrasion home systems is the cheapest of the three levels. However, home systems vary widely in price and quality. For example, many home systems do not provide the hand-held re-surfacing tool, but only the micro-crystal cream and usually a replenishing lotion. This is more like traditional exfoliating regimens, but with the added bonus of the micro-crystal technology. You can find these systems for $15 to $55. Many prefer the added revitalizing power of a hand-held re-surfacing wand. Other home systems provide the micro-crystal creams, foam applicators, and a hand-held resurfacing wand. The advantage to this all-inclusive home system is that the resurfacing wand allows you to more deeply cleanse and polish pores while giving your circulation a healthy boost. The massage action of the wand actually speeds the process of cellular generation, leaving your skin feeling brand new, ranging in price from $40 to $150. Spas and salons utilize state of the art microdermabrasion systems that use a closed-loop vacuum system. Like home systems, professional microdermabrasion treatments also rely on the polishing effects that micro-crystal creams perform on the skin’s surface. Additionally, the re-surfacing device simultaneously vacuums and sweeps the debris clear, increasing tissue stimulation. Professional systems pack more power and durability due to repeated use and varied clientele needs, requiring training and cost several thousands of dollars. Treatments usually cost around $100 to $140. The cost of microdermabrasion in a medical setting is usually more expensive because of the expertise of a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon, though RNs and other medical technicians also provide this treatment. Medical microdermabrasion treatments are often provided as a compliment to other more invasive procedures. Medical microdermabrasion systems are the most expensive, being the most specialized, costing up to $25,000. Treatment prices range from $100 to $200, and are often offset by combining other services. So whether in the comfort of your own home, at a health spa, or under the supervision of a medical professional, microdermabrasion technology empowers you to seriously beautify your skin at a reasonable cost, without the risks involved in laser therapy, harsh chemicals, or traditional surgery.
The prevalence of acne and pimples is generally thought to be problems of the teenage and prepubescent strata of the population, but it is not unusual to see minor cases of adult acne. And this is normally the situation faced by many adults who scaled through their teenage period without any visible sign of acne that plagued their mates, only to discover to discover that they have been afflicted by adult acne at a stage in they assumed they are free from acne foe ever. For these set of people, the embarrassment and confusion that results from this is better left unsaid, and the recurring question they keep asking themselves is isn't acne supposed to be an adolescent problem. Established facts however points otherwise, adult acne is more common than what people imagined. Statistics show that nearly 40% of acne medications in America are bought and used by a class we thought are free from the condition - adults. There are several reasons why acne occurs, and the most common one many associated as the primary reason - poor hygiene - is nothing but a myth. The main causative agent for almost all acne, and that includes adult acne is as a result of hormonal imbalances or blockages of pores on the skin. Though an additional reason why adult acne occurs may be due to the oil of the sebaceous glands, or faulty closing of the hair ducts on the body, especially the face. The good news however is that almost all cases of acne can be treated. This should serve as a soothing balm to most adults, who embarrassed by the onset of adult acne, use any medication they can lay their hands on at the local drug store. This has been proved in several cases to worse the situation, because most of the medications were produced solely to combat acne in young people. Thus they may not have the ability to act on adult acne. While there might be no significant difference in form and appearance between adult acne and the regular one, if you are afflicted with adult acne, a smart move will be to consult a dermatologist. This skin physician will be able to explain what caused the adult acne in the first place. Once the diagnosis has been made, the physician can then suggest a prescription drug that can eliminate the condition permanently. But in reality, any adult that is afflicted by adult acne need not be embarrassed by the problem. As stated earlier, the prevalence of adult acne is more common than imagined, so the best option still remain going to a dermatologist to eliminate the condition instead of resorting to self medication and spending a fortune in the process, nor forgetting the anxiety and fear that are sure to happen when you discover the onset signs of acne.
To treat acne, there exists many types of acne medication and solutions. Many of the acne medication treatments may include topical or systematic acne solutions. Additionally, homeopathic treatments may also be applied to prevent the out-break of acne, an example of which is the use of mild soaps and water. Which acne medication to use first depends on what is the cause of acne. There can be many causes of acne. Some of the causes include: • Over-secretion of the sebaceous glands of its sebum (natural oil of the skin). • Hormon imbalances due to internal changes in your body. • The weakening of the immune system due to the attacks of the acne-infecting bacteria called as "Propionibacterium acnes". • Impaired internal detoxification system. • The reaction of the digestive system to the food items you eat. • Stress. • Genetic influences. • Environmental pollutants or toxins. • Cosmetics that contain chemicals, preservatives or harmful substances. The severity of your acne problem determines the type of acne medication to be used. In fact, for the less serious acne cases or conditions, it is best to start with natural acne solutions. This normally comprises of natural herbs and exotic plants that are effective in removing blemishes and the prevention of bacterial formation. One example of less serious acne symptoms are those that appear on the onset of an acne outbreak. Fruits and vegetables are perfect in lessening the effects of the above mentioned factors. They contain eeded minerals and vitamins for healthy skin. These may also have the properties of effectively cleansing and removing the oil from the skin tissues, like that of cucumbers and tomatoes. Most vegetables and fruits have a high water content. Water itself is potent in releasing body toxins from the body. Increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables and drinking plenty of distilled water can help prevent the onset of acne. However, if you have a serious acne breakout, the use of acne medication treatment may be suitable. Acne medication products include topical and systematic acne solutions. Topical acne solutions are those which you apply on the skin surface. One ingredient found in a topical acne medication product is benzoyl peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide is effective in reducing the quantity of bacteria on the skin. However, prolonged use can result in dryness of the skin, contract dermatitis and cause skin irritations. Another ingredient in a topical acne medication product is Azeilic acid. Azeilic acid is known for its diminishing effect like that of benzoyl peroxide, on the bacterial presence on the skin. This acne solution is also effective in evening out the darker complexions produced by the recent flare-ups of acne. The side effects of this acne solution are impermanent discoloration on the affected area and extreme dryness. In addition, Erythromycin in its topical form may reduce the acne inflammation. This acne solution is often combined with benzoyl peroxide to rigorously attack belligerent infection caused by the "Propionibacterium acnes". An acne solution that does not only obstruct the growth of the acne-infecting bacteria but may also address inflammation and clogged pores is Sodium Sulfacetamide treatment. However, it is not commonly used as a treatment to acne because of its smell. Yet, it has been proven to help acne flare-ups in many cases. Systematic acne medications are usually prescribed to more severe cases of acne infections. Generally speaking, the treatment may last up to six months. For women, the most prescribed systematic acne solution is anti-androgens. This form of treatment controls the secretion of a certain hormone and is commonly referred to as hormonal treatment. Treating your skin with the right acne medication type is important. For instance, if your acne problem is at best mild, you don't want to be applying too strong a product on your skin. Too harsh a product can cause your skin to age faster and result in wrinkles or dry scaly skin. It is therefore, best to research properly on acne medications that will be the most appropriate for your acne problem.
You've been anticipating — and possibly dreading — the "big day" for weeks. The nature of the event isn't important; it may be a first date, an important job interview, or your own birthday party. You try to hide behind hair or heavy make-up. But you can't ignore the face in the mirror. Sound familiar? For acne sufferers all over the world, these scenarios are all too common. Even routine social interactions — a day at the office, a trip to the market — can be a nightmare of stress and self-loathing. Yet, due to the "merely cosmetic" nature of acne vulgaris, these very real emotions are widely dismissed as oversensitivity. Clear-faced friends and co-workers say, "Really, it looks worse to you." And they're probably right. But they're missing an important point: Acne is as much about how you feel as how you look. Over the years, the research methods and medical treatments may have changed, but the answers to the question "how does your acne make you feel?" have remained alarmingly constant: Ugly. Angry. Dirty. Depressed. These answers are consistent across gender lines, age barriers and national borders. What is being done? Every year, millions of dollars are devoted to the medical study and treatment of acne; millions more are spent on the development and marketing of over-the-counter remediesparatively little energy, however, has been spent determining the psychological and social effects of the condition. Consider the following statement: There is no single condition which causes more psychic trauma, more maladjustment between parent and children, more general insecurity and feelings of inferiority and greater sums of psychic suffering than does acne vulgaris.1 Made by Sulzberger and Zaidems in a 1948 article, this statement rings true today. Despite acne's limited impact on overall patient health, several studies have concluded that it produces a similar degree of emotional stress to skin conditions causing significant physical disability. The implications are fairly obvious: Acne hurts more on the inside. So why is it so easy for people to dismiss these feelings as vanity? The problem of measuring emotion. The difficulty lies not in validating acne's negative affects, but in quantifying them. For years, researchers have been struggling to find an accurate means of measurement for this particular kind of study. Scientists use psychometrics to measure conditions of the mind, but have yet to develop a scale for evaluating the psychological effects of physical conditions such as acne. And the use of psychometric scales for evaluating acne patients has been largely inconclusive. Why? Emotional symptoms — depression, anger, low self-esteem — are influenced by an incredible number of variables. So it's difficult to know for sure whether one's depression is caused by acne alone or a combination of factors, ranging from trouble in school to on-the-job stress. At the moment, the best way to understand the psychosocial effects of acne seems surprisingly simple: Listen. The power of patient testimony. Until science develops an accurate scale, the best way for us to learn about acne's emotional effects is from the patients themselves. The following passages are excerpted from verbatim quotes taken during a 1995 study in San Francisco.2 In dramatic contrast with the psychometric questionnaires used in the past, patients were asked open-ended questions and encouraged to answer at length. It has been many years since I have looked in a mirror. I comb my hair using a silhouette on the wall to show the outline of my head. I have not looked myself in the eyes in years, and that is painful to not be able to do that, and that is a direct result of acne. When my acne got more severe, I began to really examine more things, become more aware of social norms, what is acceptable, what is attractive. That is when I began to have lower self-esteem; it made me become more of an introvert. It made me want to avoid certain occasions. 'Ask her out? Well, maybe not. She won't be interested because of how I look. It's associated with being dirty, and I hate that, because it's not at all like that. I inherited it from my mother, and she is always telling me that she had the exact same thing, and that it will go away. I am mad that I inherited it from her. My dad makes me feel bad because he never had bad skin when he was younger, so he doesn't understand. My mother doesn’t know what she has done to hurt me. If I ate fatty foods, she would criticize. If I ate spicy food — which Thai food is, they are all spicy — she would say that because I ate spicy food, that was why I had pimples. She kept telling me how ugly my face was, and no one was going to marry me if I had bad-looking skin. And that really hurts me. I know I am so insecure in this way — but if I go into a store, I won't buy candy, even if I really want it. I think in my mind that people are looking at what I am buying, and thinking, 'Oh, she eats junk. No wonder she has so many zits on her face. From just this small sample, it's easy to see the wide-ranging emotional impact of acne on those who suffer from it. These accounts of family conflict, social withdrawal and deep private suffering are, according to the patients, the direct result of their acne. While it's hard to measure the impact of this condition, the message within these testimonies is clear: Acne can cause profound emotional suffering. Of course, if you live with acne, this isn’t news — but it may be helpful to know you’re not alone.
: Unless you are in that small percentage that never had any acne problems, you know that acne is a drag. It is unsightly and often painful, resulting in lower self-esteem and confidence for the acne sufferer. While many people would agree that getting acne on their backs is not as bad as getting it directly on their face, it is still an uncomfortable and unpleasant trial to go through. Although acne on the back is easier to cover with clothes, it is not always possible to be completely covered, such as when you want to go to the swimming pool or the beach and must wear a bathing suit. Back acne, or “bacne”, can make even the most physically fit person in the world very conscientious about themselves and their condition. Bacne is caused by the same principles that form acne on other parts of the body. The back contains that secrete a fluid known as sebum. If too much of this oil is produced by the body and left on the skin for too long, a person’s hair follicles and pores will become blocked up, thus exposing the area to bacteria that clogs and inflame the skin tissues. Back and chest acne are more commonly found in males. Often on the back area blemishes will run more deeply, making them painful and more difficult to treat. One of the most important aspects of acne prevention is to keep the back clean at all times or as much as possible. Regular bathing is essential. While bathing, be sure to scrub the back until it is well exfoliated. Be careful not to scrub too hard, as this may irritate and dry out the skin, leading to more outbreaks. You may be better off getting a gently exfoliating product, such as ProActive solution when washing to prevent over exfoliation. The back must remain as dry as possible and not be exposed to excessive perspiration. If you participate in strenuous activities, you will want to remove a sweat soaked shirt after you are done. There is also the factor of what clothes you wear in regard to back acne outbreaks. Tight clothing or carrying heavy materials such as backpacks will chafe and irritate the pores and lead to flare-ups by rubbing across the hair follicles. It is advisable to alternate tight fitting clothes with loose fitting ones occasionally and to try alternating backpacks with side packs or handle bags. For milder cases of back acne there are over the counter treatments and other skin care solutions that contain benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. There are also a variety of on-line ordered products that are very effective, such as ProActive solution. Remember, pregnant women should avoid products that contain salicylic acid, as it can possibly lead to complications during pregnancy or even birth defects. These are to be applied normally after washing, just like with facial acne solutions. For more advanced cases of back acne, a physician or dermatologist may need to be consulted to get the desired effects. This is when smaller blemishes develop into pustules or cysts. If the back acne is reoccurring, a dermatologist may prescribe some oral antibiotics such as tetracycline or minocycline. If deep blemishes or cysts are left untreated, they may develop into scars that are visible on the back. For a natural way to prevent back acne, try using a mixture of lye, soap, and tea tree oil. All three ingredients contain antiseptic, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties that will not only help clear up and prevent other outbreaks, but can also restore the skin’s suppleness. There are also a number of creams and soaps that contain natural ingredients such as tea tree oil, neem, and basil that are effective in maintaining and restoring the skin’s natural appearance. Whatever treatment you choose, remember, back acne can be overcome. If you find that one solution does not give the desired effects, there are always other alternatives. Taking the time to prevent back acne is a good idea for your health and self-confidence, so don’t get discouraged and keep trying.
New Laser Therapy Prevents Acne From Graduating to Scars What’s a four letter word for a skin condition that affects nearly 80 percent of the population in various forms and can cause considerable emotional stress? If you answered acne, then you hit this hard-to-treat condition on the head. While a more difficult question might have been how to treat acne, dermatologists are at the forefront of using laser technology to stop acne in its tracks – and prevent the acne scars that are often a result. No. 1 Skin Condition Acne is the most commonly diagnosed skin disorder in the world, topping the list of reasons that patients seek out the help of a dermatologist. While studies show that acne is not caused by diet or stress but by physiological factors such as hormones, excess oil and bacteria, patients often place the blame on their own shoulders. “Acne patients are often times truly frustrated, and rightfully so,” said by a dermatologist. “They hear mixed messages about the causes of acne and sometimes spend an enormous amount of time and money trying to treat the condition with the latest over-the-counter products. By the time I see them in my office, the acne usually has worsened to the point that it is affecting their self-esteem and social lives. But it’s important to remember that acne is a treatable medical condition.” Acne lesions are prevalent on parts of the body where there is a high concentration of pores that contain oil-producing sebaceous follicles, such as the face, neck, chest, shoulders, and upper back. When these follicles become clogged and inflamed, blackheads and whiteheads develop. If a whitehead or blackhead ruptures, its infected contents come into contact with the skin and the infection spreads - producing what is classically referred to as a zit. In a worst-case scenario, the zit becomes so badly infected it turns into a cyst that is located deep in the skin. If left untreated, these painful lesions can lead to an acne scar. Until recently, a combination of topical and oral medications - including antibiotics - has been used almost exclusively with varying degrees of success to combat acne. Now, dermatologists are using non-ablative laser technology to successfully treat active acne and the scarring that often results as well. One of the main benefits of non-ablative lasers, in contrast to their ablative counterparts, is that they can clear acne without producing a notable injury to the outer layer of the skin. Non-ablative therapy works by targeting the overactive sebaceous glands that are responsible for acne. The laser emits a wavelength of light that is strongly absorbed by water within the skin. This generates heat in and around the sebaceous glands. By creating a mild thermal injury just below the skin’s surface, a non-ablative laser alters the structure and function of the sebaceous gland, leading to prolonged acne clearance. "I believe that laser-based applications for acne will one day become the preferred treatment option for acne patients, many of which are dissatisfied with topical and systemic treatments and are wary of their risks and side effects," explained by the dermatologist. "I use non-ablative therapy extensively in my practice, and I've found it to be a safe and cost-effective treatment that has dramatically changed my patients' lives for the better." Non-ablative treatments typically take between five to 20 minutes, during which time the patient experiences a slight snapping or stinging sensation that is alleviated with a pre-treatment topical anesthetic and post-treatment ice application. A series of three to five treatments are delivered at monthly intervals in order to achieve the desired clearance. Marked reduction in acne lesions often occurs within a couple of treatment sessions, and a series of treatments should result in acne clearance for more than six months. Side effects are limited to mild redness and swelling, which will not interfere with a person’s daily activities. Acne’s Cruel Reminders Non-ablative laser therapy is also being used to successfully treat the scars that remain long after the initial acne has been cleared. While acne scars rarely pose a health risk, they are difficult to treat and can be very damaging to a person’s self-esteem. Traditionally, dermatologists have used dermabrasion, surgical excision, and fillers, such as collagen, to diminish scarring. However, the results in many cases were limited. Over the last several years, laser technology has assumed an increasingly important role in the treatment of acne scars. At first, ablative lasers were used to sculpt or vaporize the skin's surface. Now, techniques involving non-ablative lasers have taken over, thanks primarily to their ability to promote collagen growth beneath an acne scar without creating an external injury. "Our experience has shown that patients treated with this therapy experience significant improvement in the appearance of their acne scars,” said by a dermatologist. “After a series of three monthly non-ablative treatments, patients have many times exceeded our expectations and often outperformed the results obtained by ablative lasers." With medical technology advancing at a rapid rate, Dr. Alster cautioned patients to be sure to consult a dermatologist experienced in laser therapy for proper treatment. "Don’t be afraid to ask your physician questions about his or her experience and qualifications or training with a particular procedure,” said Dr. Alster. “Since any type of laser procedure can carry potential side effects, it’s important to entrust your care to qualified hands."
Social Impact Many acne sufferers tend to isolate themselves from society and purposely chose not to socialize with their friends. Why? Because acne sufferers are plagued with feelings of depression, embarrassment and have a poor body image. This then leads to frustration, anger and severe depression. These negative psychological effects can have a very crippling impact on an individual's social life, which in turn will discourage them from pursuing life’s opportunities socially, scholastically and even in the work force. Depression caused by acne can lead to low self esteem, causing sufferers to purposely miss dates, social gatherings, classes, job interviews and even work. Psychological Impact Although acne is not considered to be a life threatening disorder, its psychological effects can be quite profound as acne affects the most visible parts of your body. The psychological effects of acne have only come to light in recent years. Fact: The psychological scarring caused by acne can last forever, so it is a very important topic to explore. Note that the severity of acne can also be measured by its effect on an acne sufferer's emotional and social life. How to Help Now that we’ve established that acne blemishes, cysts, etc. can be very damaging to the psyche, especially during the teenage years, which is when the formation of an individual undergoes so many important changes, what can be done to prevent this. After all, we are talking about some serious dismantling conditions that may lead to depressive disorders, academic decline, social isolation, substance abuse and even suicide. What to do? The first step an Acne sufferer must take is to come to terms with his or her condition. It will have a negative impact on your life because our society judges us by our appearance. The trick is that an acne sufferer does not need to face this alone. Think about the numbers mentioned in the home page “Acne affects about 80% of all adolescents”. That means that eight out of every ten people around you is or has had to battle with acne and its negative social impacts. So don’t be shy to inform and involve people you come into contact with to prevent the psychological scarring from becoming permanent. Your entire family, teachers, coaches and doctors all must have a better understanding of the effects acne is having on you. This may seem like an awkward and difficult task, but you will be surprised by how understanding and compassionate others will be towards your situation. If you feel too shy to bring it up in conversation, then print up this page and leave it on your teacher’s or coach’s desk and/or have your friends and family read it. Send them the link to this page. This will instigate both understanding, support and open communication on something that should not be kept secret. Let the people that you love or come into contact with on a regular basis know how your acne makes you feel. You may also want to discuss the myths and realities associated with acne with the people you have chosen to consult or talk about your acne. Be sure that they understand that it is not due to poor dietary habits, poor personal hygiene, or anything else which may lead to the idea that it is your fault that you have acne. People need to know that acne is not your fault. A supportive family, supportive friends and even a supportive coach or teacher will help you to no end in maintaining your self esteem. I cannot stress this enough. Support, current information, and the proper acne control treatment regime are all a must when faced with this skin disorder.
Medically speaking, an acne sufferer has a combination of elements working in unison, often causing inflammation to our skin – otherwise known as acne. These elements include: • Trapped bacteria under the skin • Increased oil • Keratosis retention Increased oil within the skin can be caused by make-up, but is usually produced by the sebaceous glands. Sometimes these glands produce an increased amount of oil, resulting in acne and pimples. Retention of Keratosis can also cause excess oil and this happens when skin cells (that are not shed) block the sebaceous ducts. The role of the sebaceous ducts is to get rid of excess oil. Commonly, outbreaks of acne occur during teenage years, but can occur with some people at any age. Acne is more common in teenagers, because of the marked increase in hormone activity processes within the skin. Whether it is a teen affected by acne, or an adult, it is a fact that hormones play major role in producing acne. Male hormones are more likely to increase oil production than female hormones are. Although male hormones have a greater effect, some male and female hormones are very similar. Therefore, when hormones are released by women during a menstrual cycle, hormones like the male hormones cause increased oil gland activity. As a result, some women who are menstruating run a higher risk of getting pimples, spots, or acne during their menstrual cycle. Although acne affects many people, certain acne treatments and acne cures have been proven to be very effective. And certain myths, such as sun-bathing helps to clear up acne, have been medically proven to be untrue. Many doctors now claim sunlight does could make acne worse, in that sunlight can actually boost production of your skins oils. The very effective acne treatments include the following: • Over the counter methods • Prescription methods Over the counter acne treatment and medications come in the form of facial cream and facial scrubs, and these not always very effective as treating acne, especially the more severe cases of acne. The best acne treatment for severe acne should come from a physician. Acne is not a new medical condition, affecting a wide range of people. Acne has always been a problem for some, but can not only be treated, but cured as well.
Acne remains a bit of a mystery. It seems to be partly hereditary, but why some people are affected by it and others are untouched isn't exactly known. We do, however, understand some of the biology behind it. The main culprit is the excess production of sebum, an oily substance whose function is to keep skin and hair lubricated and supple. The production of the oily sebum blocks the skin's surface, which provides an ideal environment for bacterial growth. The bacteria multiply, the skin area becomes red and inflamed, and then a pimple pops up. The Role Of Testosterone The excess production of sebum is caused by testosterone, the male hormone. However, testosterone is present in both males and females. During puberty, the body changes in its reaction to testosterone, thereby producing extra sebum. This irregular reaction, occurring mainly during adolescence, causes the skin -- particularly the face and upper torso -- to become oily. The sebum then combines with naturally occurring dead skin cells to block hair follicles. The body usually regulates its reaction to testosterone by the early 20s, and then the annoying acne clears up. Hair Follicle Theory Narrowing hair follicles could be involved with the production of acne -- so says a recent scientific theory. Evidence suggests that hair follicles may become restricted for several reasons, including excessive shedding of cells within the follicle, abnormal cell binding, or water retention which causes the skin to swell. The narrowed hair follicles prevent dead cells from being expelled from the body, creating a buildup beneath the skinbined with sebum, it produces ideal conditions for acne. Making Matters Worse Many people can't resist squeezing their pimples. This may make the condition worse, by spreading the bacteria to the surrounding skin area. It also can lead to scarring, sometimes permanently. Even touching the face can worsen acne. Without realizing it, most of us touch our faces many times throughout the day. The problem is that our hands contain oils and bacteria that will increase the acne symptoms. In fact, all objects, including eyeglasses and telephone handsets, that make contact with the face must be clean. Hair, particularly long hair, also touches your face, so it is important to keep your hair clean and oil free. Fabric accessories such as hats and headbands should be avoided or used as little as possible. Other Factors Other things that seem to aggravate acne conditions include diet, skin irritation, stress, hormonal activities such as menstrual cycles, and certain medications. Dietary links show skim milk products to be related to acne. There is no statistical evidence, however, that foods such as chocolate and fast food have any association with pimples or aggravates acne. Medications associated with acne include anabolic steroids (used for bodybuilding), lithium, barbiturates, halogens, and androgens.
Acne is a very common disease. People who have it tend to have similar kinds of questions about it and its treatment. This section addresses some of the common questions asked by people with acne. Please remember that your dermatologist is always the best source of specific information about your individual health issues, including acne. Questions and Answer does follows: 1. What causes acne? The causes of acne are linked to the changes that take place as young people mature from childhood to adolescence (puberty). The hormones that cause physical maturation also cause the sebaceous (oil) glands of the skin to produce more sebum (oil). The hormones with the greatest effect on sebaceous glands are androgens (male hormones), which are present in females as well as males, but in higher amounts in males. Sebaceous glands are found together with a hair shaft in a unit called a sebaceous follicle. During puberty, the cells of the skin that line the follicle begin to shed more rapidly. In people who develop acne, cells shed and stick together more so than in people who do not develop acne. When cells mix with the increased amount of sebum being produced, they can plug the opening of the follicle. Meanwhile, the sebaceous glands continue to produce sebum, and the follicle swells up with sebum. In addition, a normal skin bacteria called P. acnes, begins to multiply rapidly in the clogged hair follicle. In the process, these bacteria produce irritating substances that can cause inflammation. Sometimes, the wall of the follicle bursts, spreading inflammation to the surrounding skin. This is the process by which acne lesions, from blackheads to pimples to nodules, are formed. 2. I wash my face several times a day. Why do I still get acne? Many people still believe that acne is caused by dirty skin. The truth is, washing alone will not clear up or prevent acne. Washing does, however, help remove excess surface oils and dead skin cells. Many people use all kinds of products, including alcohol-based cleansers, and scrub vigorously, only to irritate the skin further and worsen their acne. Washing the skin twice a day gently with water and a mild soap is usually all that is required. However, acne is actually caused by a variety of biologic factors that are beyond the control of washing. For that reason, you should use appropriate acne treatments for the acne. 3. Does stress cause acne? Stress is commonly blamed for the development of acne. Stress can have many physiologic effects on the body, including changes in hormones that may theoretically lead to acne. In some cases the stress may actually be caused by the acne lesions, not the other way around! If the acne is being treated effectively, stress is not likely to have much impact on the majority of people. 4. I never had acne as a teenager. Why am I now getting acne as an adult? Usually, acne begins at puberty and is gone by the early 20s. In some cases, acne may persist into adulthood. Such types of acne include severe forms that affect the body as well as the face (which afflict males more than females) and acne associated with the menstrual cycle in women. In other cases, acne may not present itself until adulthood. Such acne is more likely to affect females than males. There are several reasons for this. As females get older, the pattern of changes in hormones may itself change, disposing sebaceous glands to develop acne. Ovarian cysts and pregnancy may also cause hormonal changes that lead to acne. Some women get acne when they discontinue birth control pills that have been keeping acne at bay. Sometimes young women may wear cosmetics that are comedogenic-that is, they can set up conditions that cause comedones to form. 5. What role does diet play in acne? Acne is not caused by food. Following a strict diet will not, clear your skin. While some people feel that their acne is aggravated by certain foods, particularly chocolate, colas, peanuts, shellfish and some fatty foods, there is no scientific evidence that suggests food causes or influences acne. Avoid any foods which seem to worsen your acne and, for your overall health, eat a balanced diet--but diet shouldn't really matter if the acne is being appropriately treated. 6. Does the sun help acne? Many patients feel that sunlight improves their acne lesions and go to great lengths to find sources of ultraviolet light. There is no proven effect of sunlight on acne. In addition, ultraviolet light in sunlight increases the risk of skin cancer and early aging of the skin. It is, therefore, not a recommended technique of acne management, especially since there are many other proven forms of treatment for acne. Moreover, many acne treatments increase the skin's sensitivity to ultraviolet light, making the risk of ultraviolet light exposure all the worse. 7. What is the best way to treat acne? Everyone's acne must be treated individually. If you have not gotten good results from the acne products you have tried, consider seeing a dermatologist. Your dermatologist will decide which treatments are best for you. For more information about the types of acne treatments that are available, and for basic acne treatment guidelines, please see Acne Treatments in the main part of AcneNet. 8. What kind of cosmetics and cleansers can an acne patient use? Look for "noncomedogenic" cosmetics and toiletries. These products have been formulated so that they will not cause acne. Some acne medications cause irritation or pronounced dryness particularly during the early weeks of therapy, and some cosmetics and cleansers can actually worsen this effect. The choice of cosmetics and cleansers should be made with your dermatologist or pharmacist. Heavy foundation makeup should be avoided. Most acne patients should select powder blushes and eye shadow over cream products because they are less irritating and noncomedogenic. Camouflaging techniques can be used effectively by applying a green undercover cosmetic over red acne lesions to promote color blending. 9. Is it harmful to squeeze my blemishes? Yes. In general, acne lesions should not be picked or squeezed by the patient. In particular, inflammatory acne lesions should never be squeezed. Squeezing forces infected material deeper into the skin, causing additional inflammation and possible scarring. 10. Can anything be done about scarring caused by acne? Scarring is best prevented by getting rid of the acne. Dermatologists can use various methods to improve the scarring caused by acne. The treatment must always be individualized for the specific patient. Chemical peels may be used in some patients, while dermabrasion or laser abrasion may benefit others. It is important that the acne be well controlled before any procedure is used to alleviate scarring. 11. How long before I see a visible result from using my acne medication? The time for improvement depends upon the product being used, but in almost all cases it is more a matter of weeks or months instead of days. Most dermatologists would recommend the use of a medication or combination of medications daily for 4 to 8 weeks before they would change the treatment. It is very important for patients to be aware of this time frame so they do not become discouraged and discontinue their medications. Conversely, if you see no change whatsoever, you might want to check with your dermatologist regarding the need to change treatments. 12. Would using my medication more frequently than prescribed speed up the clearing of my acne? No--always use your medication exactly as your dermatologist instructed. Using topical medications more often than prescribed may actually induce more irritation of the skin, redness and follicular plugging, which can delay clearing time. If oral medications are taken more frequently than prescribed, they won't work any better, but there is a greater chance of side effects. 13. My topical treatment seems to work on the spots I treat, but I keep getting new acne blemishes. What should I do? Topical acne medications are made to be used on all acne-prone areas, not just individual lesions. Part of the goal is to treat the skin before lesions can form and to prevent formation, not just to treat existing lesions. Patients are generally advised to treat all of the areas (forehead, cheeks, chin and nose) that tend to break out rather than just individual lesions. 14. My face is clear! Can I stop taking my medication now? If your dermatologist says you can stop, then stop--but follow your dermatologist's instructions. Many times patients will stop their medication suddenly only to have their acne flare up several weeks later. If you are using multiple products, it may be advisable to discontinue one medication at a time and judge results before discontinuing them all at once. Ask your dermatologist before you stop using any of your medications. 15. Does it matter what time I use my medication? Check with your dermatologist or pharmacist. If you were taking one dose a day of an antibiotic, you could probably take it in the morning, at midday or in the evening, although you should pick one time of day and stay with it throughout your treatment. With oral medications prescribed twice a day or three times a day, you should try your best to spread out the doses evenly. Some antibiotics should be taken on an empty or nearly empty stomach. For optimal results with topical treatments, you should strictly follow your dermatologist's recommendations. For example, if instructed to apply benzoyl peroxide in the morning and a topical retinoid at bedtime, it is important to follow these directions strictly. If the two were applied together at bedtime, for example, you could decrease the efficacy of the treatment because of chemical reactions that make them less effective. 16. I have trouble remembering to take my oral medication every day. What's a good way to remember? What should I do if I forget a dose? This is a common problem. Many patients try to associate taking their medication with a routine daily event such as brushing teeth or applying makeup. It also helps to keep the medication close to the area where the reminder activity is carried out. In most cases, if you miss a day of your oral treatment, do not double up the next day; rather, get back to your daily regimen as soon as possible--but there may be different instructions for different oral medications. Ask your dermatologist or pharmacist about what to do if you miss a dose of your particular medication. 17. I have been using topical benzoyl peroxide and an oral antibiotic for my acne and have noticed blue-black and brown marks developing on my face and some discoloration on my body. The marks are especially noticeable around acne scars and recently healed lesions. Is this a side effect of medication and is it permanent? It is not possible to make general statements about side effects of medications that apply to individual cases. A dermatologist should be consulted. The facial marks and body discoloration described by the patient in this case do fall within the range of side effects of some antibiotics. Unique patterns of pigmentation are sometimes seen in acne patients treated with certain oral antibiotics—particularly minocycline. The pigmentation patterns that appear may include: * Localized blue-black or brown marks in and around acne scars and in areas of previous acne inflammation * A "muddy skin" appearance that may cover much of the body * Diffuse brownish pigmentation of the feet and lower legs. The pigmentation side effect gradually disappears after the therapy is discontinued. Any side effect of a medication should be noted by the patient and brought to the attention of the physician. While most side effects are temporary they should be discussed with the physician and monitored. 18. My doctor is prescribing a topical retinoid for my acne. He said a retinoid is a substance related to vitamin A. If the drug is related to vitamin A, shouldn’t vitamin A dietary supplements be helpful in getting rid of acne? Dietary vitamin A is essential to good health, especially vision. It has healthful effects in the skin. Large doses of vitamin A for the treatment of acne is not recommended on grounds of safety. The retinoids and retinoid-like substances used as topical treatments for acne are prepared especially for their potent effect on the shedding of cell lining in the sebaceous follicle. Their use should be monitored by a dermatologist. Dietary vitamin A has multiple health effects in the human body. Vitamin A is essential for good vision. Extreme vitamin A deficiency can result in blindness, usually accompanied by dry, scaly skin. Vitamin A overdose that far exceeds the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of 5,000 IU can have effects nearly as catastrophic. Extreme vitamin A overdose can cause the skin to blister and peel—an effect first seen in early North Pole explorers who nearly died after eating polar bear liver that has an extraordinarily high vitamin A content. Topical retinoids are usually prescribed as a treatment for moderate to severe acne. Side effects are chiefly dermatologic, including redness, scaling and dryness of the skin, itching and burning. These side effects can usually be managed by adjustment of the amount and timing of retinoid applied to the skin. Dose adjustment must be discussed with the dermatologist who prescribed the treatment. 19. Are there any acne treatments specifically for people with dark skin? Are there any treatments specifically harmful to dark skin? There are no acne treatments specifically for use on dark skin. Acne treatments are generally as safe and effective on dark skin as on light skin. Some treatments for acne scars may cause temporary lightening of dark skin. Acne is a common skin disease that has the same causes and follows the same course in all colors of skin. Very dark or black skin may be less well-moisturized than lighter skin. Topical anti-acne agents such as benzoyl peroxide that have a drying effect on the skin should be used under the supervision of a dermatologist. Benzoyl peroxide also is a strong bleach and therefore must be applied carefully to avoid inadvertent decolorization of a patch of hair, towels or clothing. Darker skin has a tendency to develop post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (excessive skin darkening at places where the skin was inflamed). Severe inflammatory acne may result in dark spots. The spots resolve over time; a dermatologist may be able to recommend cosmetic measures to make the spots less apparent until they resolve. Some acne treatments, such as topical retinoids and azelaic acid, may also help fade the discoloration. Removal of acne scars by dermabrasion or chemical peeling may cause temporary lightening or darkening of dark skin in the areas of treatment. Scar treatment should be discussed with a dermatologist or dermatologic surgeon before it is undertaken. Alterations of melanin (dark pigments that give the skin its color) pigmentation such as vitiligo and melasma are not related to acne, but they may be present simultaneously with acne. The diagnosis and treatment of melanin pigmentation disorders such as vitiligo requires a dermatologist with knowledge and experience in treating these conditions. 20. Is acne that appears for the first time in adulthood different from acne that appears in adolescence? Acne has a specific definition as a disease of sebaceous follicles. This definition applies to acne that occurs at any age. However, it may be important to look for an underlying cause of acne that occurs for the first time in adulthood. Current understanding of the causes of acne vulgaris is described in the Main Text section Why and how acne happens. In brief summary, acne vulgaris develops when excessive sebum production and abnormal growth and death of cells in the sebaceous follicle result in plugging of follicles with a mixture of sebum and cellular debris and formation of comedones (blackheads and whiteheads). Bacteria in the follicles—chiefly Propionibacterium acnes, the most common bacterial colonist of sebaceous follicles—may contribute to the inflammation of acne by release of metabolic products that cause inflammatory reaction. The pathogenic events, which cause disease, in the sebaceous follicle are believed to be due in large degree to changes in levels of androgenic (male) hormones in the body—a circumstance usually associated with growth and development between ages 12 and 21. Some acne investigators believe that although this understanding is generally correct, there is more yet to be learned about the causes of acne vulgaris. Acne that appears after the age of 25-30 years is (1) a recurrence of acne that cleared up after adolescence, (2) a flare-up of acne after a period of relative quiet—for example, during pregnancy, or (3) acne that occurs for the first time in a person who had never previously had acne. Acne that occurs in adulthood may be difficult to treat if there are multiple recurrences. Some patients with severe recurrent acne have undergone repeated courses of treatment with the potent systemic drug isotretinoin. Acne flares in association with pregnancy or menstruation are due to changes in hormonal patterns. Acne that appears for the first time in adulthood should be investigated for any underlying cause. Drugs that can induce acne include anabolic steroids (sometimes used illegally by athletes to “bulk up”), some anti-epileptic drugs, the anti-tuberculosis drugs isoniazid and rifampin, lithium, and iodine-containing drugs. Chlorinated industrial chemicals may induce the occupational skin disorder known as chloracne. Chronic physical pressure on the skin—for example, by a backpack and its straps, or a violin tucked against the angle of the jaw and chin—may induce so-called acne mechanica. Some metabolic conditions may cause changes in hormonal balance that can induce acne. Some lesions that appear to be acne may be another skin disorder such as folliculitis—infection and inflammation of hair follicles—that require different treatment than acne. Acne that appears for the first time in adulthood should be examined and treated by a dermatologist. 22. My 15-year-old daughter has what I would describe as a very mild case of acne. She has made it much worse by constant picking and squeezing. She looks in the mirror for hours, looking for some blackhead or blemish she can pick or squeeze. Does she need psychological counseling? Excessive picking and squeezing of otherwise mild acne is a condition called excoriated acne, seen most often in young women. A dermatologist may provide effective counseling. The typical person with excoriated acne is a person—often a young women—who is so distressed with her appearance due to acne that she literally tries to "squeeze the acne out of existence." The acne is often very mild, but the person’s face may constantly be covered with red marks from squeezing, and open sores where lesions have been picked open. The word excoriate means to scratch or abrade the skin. Excoriated acne is a medically recognized condition that should be discussed with a dermatologist. Occasionally giving in to a temptation to squeeze a blackhead is not defined as excoriated acne. Hours in front of a mirror, squeezing and picking every blemish, is a definition of excoriated acne. A dermatologist may be able to counsel the patient regarding a course of treatment in which the patient can participate, but keep "hands off." 23. Can the rate of secretion or the composition of sebum be altered by diet? If it can, shouldn’t alteration of diet be considered a treatment for acne? Diet has never been proven to have a role in the cause or treatment of acne. Dietary manipulation may have a role in the treatment of some scaling diseases of the skin, but not in the treatment of acne. Dietary cause is one of the most persistent myths about acne. Foods, such as chocolate or greasy foods, do not cause acne, but certain foods seem to make some people’s acne worse. The following can bring on or worsen it: * Hereditary factors * An increase in male hormones found in both males and females * Menstruation * Emotional stress * Oil and grease from cosmetics, work environment No food has been shown to be effective in preventing or treating acne. A healthy diet is, of course, necessary for good general health. 24. Shouldn't I just try to eliminate sebum from my body? No. When it isn't blocked in your pores, sebum helps keep your skin healthy. 25. Why does acne usually start at puberty? No one knows for certain. What is known is that the sebaceous glands that produce sebum get much larger at puberty than they were before. 26. Why does the skin around a pimple turn red? This redness is caused by the body's inflammatory response. Inflammation is a sign that your immune system is working to fight an infection. However, the inflammatory response doesn't always work perfectly, and can even be the cause of scarring. 27. If my skin turns red, does that mean that I'm going to have scars? Usually, no. Even when there will be no permanent scar, the aftereffects of the inflammatory response can leave the skin red for months, sometimes for more than a year. 28. What are free radicals? Free radicals are byproducts of oxidation in your body. We all need oxidation to occur as part of our life process, but there is concern that the buildup of unrecycled free radicals contributes to many conditions, including skin damage. Antioxidants, including several of the active ingredients in Acuzine, help prevent the buildup of free radicals.
Even after lesions have healed, they can leave behind permanent reminders. While it’s difficult to avoid acne scarring completely, understanding the inner workings of your skin can help you minimize long-term damage. What causes acne scarring? In the simplest of terms, acne scars are visible reminders of injury and tissue repair. When tissue suffers an injury, the body rushes its “repair team” to the injury site. This specialized team includes white blood cells and an array of inflammatory molecules that work to fight infection and heal damaged tissue. Once the infection is gone, however, the tissue can’t always be restored to its former state. Who is most susceptible to acne scars? How and why people end up with acne scars is not completely understood. There is considerable variation between individuals, suggesting that some people are simply more prone to acne scarring than others. Acne Scar-susceptible people often find a genetic connection, as well — both the degree to which you scar and the kind of scar you get can "run in the family." There is also considerable variation in the “life history” of individual scars; some people bear acne scars for a lifetime with little change, while others watch their scars diminish with time. We do know that scarring occurs most frequently in patients with the most severe forms of inflammatory acne, involving deep nodular lesions. How can I avoid acne scarring? Because we know so little about what causes one person to scar more easily than the next, the best way to avoid scarring is to prevent acne. It's important to treat the condition early in its course, and for as long as necessary. The more inflammation you can prevent, the less likely you are to scar. In the event that you do get acne lesions, it’s important to treat them with the proper medication rather than squeeze or pick at them. Handling the skin — squeezing with your fingernails, poking pimples with a pin, or whatever — significantly increases damage to surrounding tissue, and thereby increases the chance that the lesion will leave a permanent scar and acne scar treatment will be necessary. Remember: A pimple that's bothering you today will go away soon if you let it be; if you pick at it, it could stick around forever. If you have a particularly troublesome lesion, see your dermatologist or aesthetician for safe, professional scar treatment or extraction. Another thing to remember: A healthy body heals faster and more completely, so never underestimate the power of a healthy lifestyle. Eat a balanced diet, get plenty of rest and drink lots of water. If your work or play takes you out in the sun, protect yourself against harmful UVA and UVB rays with oil-free sunscreen; too much sun exposure can make scars stick around longer. Another habit that you know is bad — smoking — depletes your skin's valuable oxygen collagen reserves, causes free radical damage and deposits toxins, making it more vulnerable to aging and acne scarring. Acne Scar Treatment: Heal acne blemishes and help stop new ones - Click Here to learn more about Proactiv® Solution. Types of acne scars First, some good news about the healing process. As an acne blemish heals, the inflamed area flattens, leaving behind a reddish spot. Though it may look like an acne scar, it’s actually a macule — the final stage of an acne lesion. Macules may last for up to six months, but leave no permanent acne scar. The same holds true for post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, a darkening of the skin at the site of a healing acne lesion. Most prevalent in African-American, Asian and Latino populations, these spots can last up to 18 months — but may disappear more quickly if you stay out of the sun. Both macules and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation are considered "pseudo-scarring" because they eventually disappear completely. There are two kinds of true scars left behind by acne: acne scars caused by increased tissue formation, and acne scars caused by tissue loss. The former, called keloid or hypertropic scars, are less common and appear to be hereditary. These are found primarily in African-American, Asian and Latino patients. Keloid scarring occurs when the skin cells respond to injury by producing an excess of collagen, which forms into lumpy fibrous masses most frequently along the jaw line and on the back or chest. These acne scars appear firm and shiny, and may persist for years. Acne scars caused by tissue loss are much more common, and may take many forms: Soft acne scars have gentle sloping rolled edges that merge with the surrounding skin. They are usually small, circular or linear in shape, and soft to the touch. Ice-pick acne scars. Most often found on the cheek, ice-pick scars are usually small but deep, with a jagged edge and steep sides. If they are soft to the touch, they may be improved by stretching the skin; hard ice-pick scars are difficult to treat. Depressed fibrotic acne scars. Over time, ice-pick scars may evolve into depressed fibrotic scars. These also have sharp edges and steep sides, but are larger and firm at the base. Atrophic macules, a form of acne scarring most common in Caucasians, are soft with a slightly wrinkled base. Blood vessels just below the surface of the scar may make them appear purplish when they are recent, but this discoloration may fade over time to a pale ivory. Atrophic macules are usually small when they occur on the face, but may be a centimeter or larger elsewhere on the body. Follicular macular atrophy is more likely to occur on the chest or back of a person with acne. These small, soft white lesions resemble whiteheads that didn’t fully develop; they may persist for months or years. Can my acne scars be treated? The short answer is yes - acne scar treatment is available. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and macules can be improved with bleaching agents. Some superficial acne scarring can be treated with topical resurfacing agents, like Retinol, which is available in many over-the-counter forms, as well as in prescription medications such as Retin-A and Renova. Other forms of scarring can be improved with microdermabrasion (a minimum of 6–8 treatments are typically required) or dermatologic surgery. It may not be possible to restore your skin to its pre-acne appearance — but if your scars have a significant effect on your emotional well-being, it’s worth considering. There are a number of different scar treatments available; consult your dermatologist to find out if your particular situation may be improved, and how.
Acne has become awful disease for modern day people, especially girl. People just can’t wait to get rid of red pimple in their face. A lot of quick-cash seeker may offer you product that can clean your acne in a day. However, sadly to say, what works for one may not work for others. The most important things to remember when it comes in terms of acne treatment is not about magical product that can remove your acne problems in a night. But knowing the simple rule of lifestyle is all you need to solve your acne problem. For example, you must never be pop your pimples no matter how desperate you want. Another example is knowing what you eat can make significant different in getting rid from your acne in long term as we know that oil is the number one cause of acne. Another things to bear in mind is give time for something to works. You can purchase hundreds of dollars acne treatment product but without give it a time to works it will do you nothing. Choosing your acne treatment products is something that cannot be counted on your friend's opinion. Because every people has different skin condition. So when choosing your acne treatment products you have to try yourself what works for you and what not. Or you can simply consult to doctor or professional to know what best to do. Not only they can point you out on what works best for your skin type but also they can save you from months of trial and error. The worse thing about acne is not of acne itself but because psychology condition it may impact. When you feel low self esteem because you have over-extended acne remind yourself that others too have same problems with yours. You may want to create your own discussion group to support each other along the way. Don't worry about whether others may want to join your discussion group or not just simply ask for it. You will be shocked at how many people that will become your new friend-in-needs.