What is Acne
Tiny hairs, that are barely noticeable, cover your face, neck,
back, chest and shoulders. Each hair has a hair follicle with an
oil gland surrounding the base of the follicle. Secretion from the
oil gland flows through the hair follicle. When the hair follicle
gets blocked the oil gland can not secrete through the hair
follicle. Bacteria will begin to develop in the blocked follicle,
which will cause inflammation. The secretion will continue from
the oil gland into the hair follicle, which will cause the hair follicle
to swell and burst. Bacteria will then spill onto the skin.
What causes Acne?
The exact cause of acne has not been determined.
Research has shown that teens have a higher hormone level
during puberty, which causes the oil glands around the hair
follicles to secrete more oil. The hair follicle will get blocked with
the excess oil secretion.
Heredity may be another factor. Family history will show whether
acne is a problem within your family.
What causes Acne to be worse?
For girls, hormone changes may cause acne to become
worse. Changes in hormone levels occur prior to the menstrual
cycle and starting or stopping birth control pills. This may cause
acne to become worse.
Stress may cause your acne to become worse.
Certain drugs will cause your acne to flare up.
Acne can become worse when the hair follicles are under pressure.
Makeup that contains oil can cause the hair follicles to stick together,
which causes blockage. Applying pressure to areas prone to acne will
cause the hair follicles to become blocked. Resting your face in your
hands, wearing a backpack, a tight collar, or a helmet can cause the
hair follicles to become stuck together and blocked.
Pollution in the air and a humid climate can worsen your acne.
When you squeeze or pick at your acne you will make it worse.
Scrubbing your face hard will also make it worse.
What doesn’t cause acne?
1) Dirty Skin
2) Greasy Food
3) Eating Chocolate
Types of Acne
Whitehead / Blackhead – When the hair follicle is blocked it can become
a whitehead or a blackhead. A whitehead is a small white bump on the skin
that has not opened on the top of the skin. The blackhead is formed when
it has reached the top of the skin and opened. The black is not dirt.
Papules – A small pink bump on the skin that is tender to the touch is an
inflamed blocked follicle.
Pustules – Pimples are inflamed and filled with pus and red at the base.
Nodules – Located deep within the skin, these are solid lesions
that are large and painful.
Cysts – Pus filled lesions that are deep and inflamed. Cysts can
cause permanent scarring.
A dermatologist can treat acne to help reduce scarring and
recurrence of the lesions.
Over the counter medication is available for the treatment
of acne. A prescription medication will usually contain an
antibiotic to help control the growth of bacteria.
Wash your face gently. Wash twice daily, once in the morning
and once in the evening, using a mild cleanser. Remember, if
you scrub hard you may cause your acne to become worse.
Rinse your face thoroughly.
Wash your hair regularly. Wash it daily if your hair is oily.
Don’t touch your skin. Scarring can occur if you pick or
squeeze your acne.
Use oil free makeup.