What is Acne?
Acne is a fairly common condition that affects the skin’s oil glands. The small holes (pores) in your skin connect to the oil glands under the skin. These glands produce an oily substance called sebum. The pores connect to the glands by a canal called a follicle. Inside the follicles, the oil carries the dead skin cells to the surface of the skin. A thin hair also grows through the follicle and out to the skin. When the follicle of a skin gland clogs up, a pimple develops. Most pimples are found typically on the face, neck, back, chest and shoulders but they can appear literally anywhere. Acne can cause unsightly and in rare cases – permanent scarring. Acne develops when the hair, sebum and skin cells clump together to form a plug. A bacterium grows in the plug that causes swelling, and when the plug starts to break down, a pimple grows.
Acne is the most common among skin diseases. Men and women of any age and race can get acne although it is generally believed to be a teenage ailment, as it is most common among teenagers rather than adults. It is estimated that as much as 80% of the population aged between the age of 11 and 30 experience some form of acne.
Even those in the older age group, even those as old as in their fifties (though less prone) can suffer from acne.
The cause of acne has not bee established yet, though there are many theories. To clear up one misconception, diet definitely does not cause acne, although many people believe this to be true. Whether you eat a lot of fatty foods or a lot of chocolate and crisps plays no part in causing acne. But eating healthy food can help keep your complexion clear. So be clear acne (in the first instance) is not caused by what you eat.
Doctors and dermatologists believe it could be down to the increase of hormones in puberty which can cause the oil glands to clog and plug up. Older women can get acne due to the hormonal changes when they get pregnant. Those who take oral contraceptive pill can also suffer acne as a side effect.
If any of your immediate family members suffered from acne, there is a very good chance you will too as it is hereditary and has genetic roots. Some medications, particularly certain antibiotics can cause spots. Also using particularly greasy oil-based cosmetics can sometimes trigger acne.
Acne can be treated by OTC (Over the counter) topical face washes or creams or in severe cases, by a course of antibiotics and/or steroids over a certain period of time. The treatment prescribed depends on the kind of acne you have and the severity. The quicker the acne is treated the lesser the chances of scarring. For moderate forms of natural acne treatments such as Clear Skin Max and Clearpores do help.
But for persistent cases your doctor will be better able to advise or refer you to a dermatologist (a skin specialist) who can work with you so you get the best possible treatment.