All-In-One Acne Guide: How to Zap Those Zits Permanently
Before attempting to deal with acne, it is important to know what it is and how it affects you. Teenage girls and adult women are the most likely victims of acne and the good news is that by following these simple procedures you can live a blemish free life.
When that painful red bump appears on your skin, just know that it is very common, and that there's a lot you can do to stop it in its tracks.
Acne Fast Facts
Acne originates from the base of the follicles via the oil glands. Here are some of the causes of acne:
Some experts believe that genetics plays a role in the development of acne.
- Anxiety, stress and the menstrual cycle are known to exacerbate acne, especially in females.
- Both boys and girls will experience acne during puberty.
- Acne affects people regardless of their age and race.
- Seventy five percent of the population between the ages of eleven and thirty suffer from acne.
- While acne can leave scars, it is not life threatening.
- It is believed that an increase of hormone androgen is largely responsible for the development of acne.
The Different Kinds of Acne
There are a number of different types of acne and each of them need to be managed differently.
- Whiteheads are the most common type of acne and usually lay just below the surface of your skin. Whiteheads are normally rather small in size.
- Blackheads are readily visible as they are on the surface of the skin. Scrubbing the affected area will not help as this is not due to poor skin hygiene.
- Pustules are small and pink in color. They are located on the surface of the skin.
- Nodules are large, painful pimples which are buried deep under the skin, they are nevertheless clearly evident on the surface of the skin.
- Cysts are also big, visible on the skin and are painful. Cysts are full of pus and often leave permanent scars on the skin’s surface.
Experts in skin hygiene concur that increasing levels of the hormone androgen are largely to blame for the onset of acne. Androgen levels increase in teenagers as they start moving towards adulthood. The increasing levels of androgen cause the oil glands to enlarge which generates more oil and in turn, produces bacteria.
Other causes for acne include genetics and excessive greasy cosmetics. When some women get pregnant, they undergo hormonal changes which brings about the onset of acne.
Dispelling Common Myths About Acne
- Contrary to popular belief, some medicines do work for clearing up acne. Prescribed medication should only be used in cases of severe, uncontrolled acne.
- Do not confuse acne with skin infection. It is caused by the reasons mentioned above.
- Sun tanning and sunbeds are not the solution for acne.
- While drinking water is healthy, it is not going to cure your acne. You need to follow the advice in this article if you wish to get rid of acne.
- Acne does not result due to poor hygiene and caution should be applied as to how you clean affected areas of your skin. Washing your acne-infected skin excessively could actually exacerbate the problem.
- There is no direct correlation between stress and acne. Stress can make the condition worse and we will discuss that later.
How To Manage Acne
While the following mentioned issues do not cause acne, they can make the situation worse. It is therefore prudent to work on these areas to minimize the effects of acne.
- Avoid oily, fragrant creams as these can clog up your pores making your acne worse.
- A blackhead is simply the tip of skin, so you cannot scrub it all day in the hope of getting rid of it.
- Antiseptic treatments can be of use, however you should wash affected areas gently with lukewarm water. Avoid excessively hot and cold water as this will simply worsen the condition. Avoid scrubbing your skin hard and forget about using exfoliants and the like. Simply wash your face gently with your hands or a gentle face cloth for best results.
- Sodium is said to affect acne negatively. So minimize this where you can. Make sure you consume less than 1,500 mg of salt per day.
- Tea tree oil is beneficial in the war against acne. Tea tree oil contains anti-bacterial compounds that reduce the effects of acne. Many soaps contain Tea tree oil and some of these can be used to help clear up your acne. Tea tree oil works against a large percentage of the acne causing bacteria that is found on your skin.
- Research at Harvard University has revealed that people with acne should reduce their dairy intake. It is believed that the hormones contained in milk are the cause of acne in human beings.
- Junk food and excessive carbohydrates don’t cause acne, but they have been found to make the situation worse. If you suffer from moderate to severe acne, try to reduce the amount of carbs and junk food that you consume.
- Dermatologists are discovering that increased stress will make acne worse. When you get stressed, your cortisol levels increase and this stimulates your oil glands and increases inflammation in your body. Stress is bad for you on many levels so make sure you manage your stress effectively. There are so many options for you to do this. Meditate, exercise, read a book, watch a good movie, relax in a hot bath, the list for stress management is endless.
- Mild acne can be treated with bacterial fighting cleansers which contain benzoyl peroxide. Make sure the cleanser is not more than 10% strength as too much benzoyl peroxide can be bad for you. You can also apply an antimicrobial topically to mild acne.
- Oral contraceptive pills can help manage hormones so they don’t get out of control. This is especially effective during periods.
Salicylic Acid helps to break down both white and blackheads. It is also instrumental in managing swelling and inflammation. Look for acne spot treatments that contain Salicylic Acid as it is rather effective in managing mild acne.
It’s important to start slowly when managing acne. Many of the lotions and potions out there can do more harm than good so err on the side of caution. If you stick to this regime you should see visible improvement in next to no time and you can soon be the belle of the ball once again.