Causes and treatment of Acne
Acne is an inflammatory disorder . Your skin contains millions of tiny pores. Within each pore is a gland called a sebaceous gland which is responsible for producing an oily substance called Sebum. You need Sebum because it keeps your skin moist by reducing the water loss from the surface of the skin when the pore becomes plugged with sebum (oil) and dead skin cells, Inside an oil gland a type of bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) which is already present in the skin finds a perfect environment for growth which causes irritation and leads inflammation. That's why most blemishes are red and swollen ,white blood cells are produced in abundance and comes to rescue at site to fight bacteria. Inflammation sets in as dead bacteria and dead white blood cells accumulate (pus), and a blemish pops out.
Major contributing factors :
hormonal changes and imbalances: A group of hormones called androgens (male sex hormones) are key factors in the development of acne. Androgen levels increase in both males and females during puberty.
Overproduction of oil by the sebaceous (oil) gland:
Androgens are responsible for enlarging the sebaceous glands and increasing the production of sebum (oil). Surging hormonal levels also can cause acne breakouts in women 2 to 7 days before their menstrual period
Irregular or excessive shedding of dead skin cells: both on the surface of the skin and inside the pore dead skin cells begin to clump together. The Sebum mixes with the dead skin cells and block the pore, preventing the sebum from passing through to the surface of the skin.
Buildup of bacteria in the pore, leading to inflammation.
Stress :Stress can be a contributing factor, A number of studies have shown that stress can worsen acne breakouts by increasing male hormone levels and by inhibiting the body's natural healing processes.
Sensitizing reactions to:
1) Cosmetics: Many cosmetics contain oils and other ingriedients which contribute to blocked pores. Look for products labeled "nonacnegenic" or "non-comedogenic (list of ingriedients to avoid click here).
2) Specific foods (high iodide food like shrimp,lobster and some vegetables spinach ,sea weed or kelp) or medicines.
Acne treatment in three easy steps
1) Gentle Cleansing twice a day:
Effective acne skin care starts by gently washing your face twice a day with a mild cleanser and warm water to remove the dirt and oil that accumulates on the surface of your skin. Avoid Bar soaps and bar cleansers, they can make matters worse because they leave a film or residue on the skin that can clog pores. Never rub your face always pat dry.Never sleep with make up on your face.
2) Exfoliation:( removes dead skin cells and clean pores)
Start exfoliating every day with a product containing 1%-2% salicylic acid. Salicylic acid has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.It helps reducing inflammation, redness, and swelling, thus decreasing the chance of further breakouts and it can kill the bacteria that cause acne. Some of the good options are available in Neutrogena like Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Stress Control 3-In-1 Hydrating Acne Treatment.
Benzoyl peroxide is considered the most effective over-the-counter choice for a topical antibacterial agent in the treatment of blemishes. The concentration of benzoyl peroxide in products ranges from 2.5% to 10%. Use minimal amount only at the spot.
Some of the good options at drug store includes:
Clean &Clear Persa-Gel
Clearasil Stay Clear Vanishing Acne Treatment Cream
Oxy Oxy Spot Treatment
Look for oil free and water based products.If your acne is accompanied by dry skin use a serum type moisturizer like Olay Regenerist Daily Regenerating Serum , Boots Expert Sensitive Hydrating Serum or Clinique Super Rescue Antioxidant Night Moisturizer, for Combination to Oily skin.
Note:For severe acne involving cyst see your dermatologist.
Please note: This blog is only for informative purposes. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your doctor for your medical concerns.