Let's Talk Skin: Acne
Before we start talking about acne, here's a message we want you all to know.
ACNE IS PRETTY NORMAL TO HAVE.
Let's break the stigma that acne is such a horrible thing to have. It's a normal body function that can happen to everyone. imperfections are ok.
WHAT IS ACNE?
Acne is a skin condition that occurs when your hair follicles become plugged with oil and dead skin cells. It often causes whiteheads, blackheads or pimples, and usually appears on the face, forehead, chest, upper back and shoulders.
WHAT'S THE REAL DEAL ON ACNE?
P acne bacteria (which causes acne) live deep within hair follicles and pores, although they are also found on the surface of healthy skin.
In these follicles, acne bacteria use sebum (known as oil) and nutrients from your skin as their primary sources of energy and nutrients.
When your oil production rises (hyperactive sebaceous glands (sebaceous hyperplasia)) or there is blockage of the follicle, It can cause P acnes bacteria to grow and multiply and turns to C bacteria (which means the pimples are coming out).
Acne bacteria produces many proteins, including digestive enzymes. These enzymes are involved in the digestion of oil.
Acne bacteria can also destabilize the layers of cells that form the walls of the follicle which can cause folliculitis and acne vulgaris.
HOW DOES ACNE WORK?
Acne typically appears on your face, forehead, chest, upper back and shoulders because these areas of skin have the most oil (sebaceous) glands. Hair follicles are connected to oil glands.
The follicle wall may bulge and produce a whitehead or the plug may be open to the surface and darken, causing a blackhead. A blackhead may look like dirt stuck in pores , but actually the pore is congested with bacteria and oil, which turns brown when it's exposed to the air.
Pimples are raised red spots with a white center that develop when blocked hair follicles become inflamed or infected with bacteria. Blockages and inflammation that develop deep inside hair follicles produce cyst-like lumps beneath the surface of your skin. Other pores in your skin, which are the openings of the sweat glands, aren't usually involved in acne.
TYPES OF ACNE?
Acne pimples vary in size, color, and level of pain.
The following types are possible:
Whiteheads: These remain under the skin and are small
Blackheads: Clearly visible, they are black and appear on the surface of the skin
Papules: Small, usually pink bumps, these are visible on the surface of the skin
Pustules: Clearly visible on the surface of the skin. They are red at their base and have pus at the top
Nobules: Clearly visible on the surface of the skin. They are large, solid, painful pimples that are embedded deep in the skin
Cysts: Clearly visible on the surface of the skin. They are painful and filled with pus. Cysts can cause scars.
FACTORS THAT CAUSE ACNE:
- Four simple factors that cause acne are (and there are many):
- Excess oil production
- Hair follicles clogged by oil and dead skin cells
- Excess activity of a type of hormone (androgens)
THESE FACTORS CAN TRIGGER OR AGGRAVATE ACNE:
- Hormones: Androgens are hormones that increase in boys and girls during puberty and cause the sebaceous glands to enlarge and make more sebum. Hormonal changes related to pregnancy and the use of oral contraceptives also can affect sebum production. And low amounts of androgens circulate in the blood of women and can worsen acne.
- Certain medications. Examples include drugs containing corticosteroids, testosterone or lithium.
- Diet. Studies indicate that certain dietary factors, including skim milk and carbohydrate-rich foods — such as bread, bagels and chips — may worsen acne. Chocolate has long been suspected of making acne worse. A small study of 14 men with acne showed that eating chocolate was related to a worsening of symptoms. Further study is needed to examine why this happens and whether people with acne would benefit from following specific dietary restrictions.
- Stress. Stress can make acne worse however it's not the cause of acne.
HOW TO TREAT ACNE: PREVENT & MANAGE
Do not scrub the skin or burst the pimples, as this may push the infection further down, causing more blocking, swelling, and redness.
Avoid popping pimples, as this makes scarring likelier.
Have a consistent skincare regimen: It will control your acne
A specialist (Like an esthetician) can treat a pimple that requires rapid removal.
Hold the telephone away from the face when talking, as it is likely to contain sebum and skin residue.
Clean brushes and things you use on your face regularly as they collect dirt very quickly.Your hands count as well.
If acne is on the back, shoulders, or chest, try wearing loose clothing to let the skin breathe. Avoid tight garments, such as headbands, caps, and scarves, or wash them regularly if used.
Remove makeup before sleeping.
Avoid excessive sun exposure, as it can cause the skin to produce more sebum. Several acne medications increase the risk of sunburn.
Avoid anxiety and stress, as it can increase production of cortisol and adrenaline, which exacerbate acne.