TYPES OF ACNE
Though all pimples start the same way, they can take many forms, and
may react differently for different people. All acne begins with one
basic lesion called a comedo which is an enlarged hair follicle plugged
with oil and bacteria. The comedo, which is invisible to the naked eye,
lurks beneath the surface of the skin waiting for the right conditions
to grow into an inflamed lesion. There are basically two different
types of acne: non-inflammatory and inflammatory. Non-inflammatory acne
is a closed comedo, or whitehead. If the plugged follicle stays below
the surface the lesion is called a whitehead. They usually appear on
the skin as small, white bumps. If the plug enlarges and pushes through
the surface of the skin it is called a blackhead. The plug's dark
appearance is not due to dirt, but rather a buildup of melanin, the
skin's dark pigment. Inflammatory acne usually called a papule appears
on the skin as a small, firm pink bump. These are usually tender to the
touch. There is also a slightly more harsh form of inflammatory acne
called pustules. Pustules are small round lesions. Papules are clearly
inflamed and contain visible pus. Nodules or cysts, the most severe
form of acne lesions, are large and usually very painful. Nodules are
inflamed, pus filled lesions lodged deep within the skin. They develop
when the contents of the comedo have spilled into the surrounding skin
and the local immune system responds, producing pus. Nodules cysts may
persist for weeks or months, their contents hardening into a deep cyst.
Both nodules and cysts can often leave deep scars.
a teen suffering from acne you're not alone, at least 90% of all
adolescents have acne. It effects teens of every shape and size, in
every country in the world. A recent study done by the American Medical
Association revealed that acne is one of today's teenagers' biggest
worries. Acne without question affects a person’s self esteem, and in
most teenagers they are still trying to figure out who they are and
their self-esteem is already shaky. Some teenagers have acne that is so
severe that they don't even want to go out of the house or to school
social functions, such as sporting events or dances. At the onset of
puberty the body begins to produce hormones called androgens. These
"male" hormones are a natural part of development for both boys and
girls, but boys tend to produce more of them, and therefore have more
severe breakouts. Our faces and bodies are covered with tiny little
hairs, each one fitting snuggle into a hair follicle, sometimes called
a pore. Deep within each follicle, oil glands are hard at work
producing sebum, which travels up the hair and out onto the surface of
your skin. Sebum's job is to form a protective layer between your skin
and the world, keeping it soft and smooth.
the androgens enter into the equation the oil glands go into overdrive.
They produce extra oil, which can clump together with the dead skin
cells on the top layer of your skin. This sticky mixture finds it's way
into your pores and acts like a cork in a bottle, trapping oil and
bacteria inside the pore. Your oil glands continue to do their job and
produce oil, which causes the follicle to become swollen. The body's
natural defense system then kicks into gear rushing white blood cells
to the area to clean up the mess. The result is a red, painful bump,
yucky black spots, zits, blackheads and pimples.
strikes adults too, more than half of all adult women and about a
quarter of adult men suffer from acne, and theses figures seem to be
climbing. As the word begins to awaken to adult acne it's becoming
clear that the psychological, social and physical effects of this
condition don't diminish with age. In a study done in 1999 it showed
that the mean age of patients being treated for acne had increased
significantly from 20.5 to 26.5 years. The increase in these numbers
could mean one of two things either more adults are getting acne or
more adults are seeking treatment for their acne. Whether one's acne
persists through adolescence into adulthood or strikes suddenly after
30, the condition can leave lasting physical and psychological
ramifications. Adult acne is more likely to leave permanent physical
scars, as the skin ages and loses more of its collagen it's much harder
for it to bounce back from tissue damage.
CAUSES OF ACNE
affects almost everyone - more than 90% of all adolescents, nearly 50%
of all adult women and 25% of all adults. It's one of the most
widespread conditions in the world... yet there is still no cure. First
you should try to determine the type and severity of your condition.
Acne is highly individual, it can take many forms and have a highly
variable response to treatment. The more you know about your specific
form of acne, the more likely you are to find a treatment that works
for you. There are five main causes of acne, none of which you have any
- First of these culprits
is hormones. Hormones cause the sebaceous glands to enlarge. Hormones
are also responsible for acne flare-ups associated with the menstrual
cycle, and on occasion pregnancy.
- Second of
these is sebum, oil the body produces to moisturize itself. When the
sebaceous gland is stimulated by hormones it produces extra sebum. The
presence of extra sebum in the follicle increases the chance of
clogging and acne.
- Third is follicle fallout.
Normally, dead cells within the follicle shed gradually and are
expelled onto the skin's surface. In patients with overactive sebaceous
glands - and almost everyone during puberty these cells are shed more
rapidly. Mixed with a surplus of sebum, the dead skin cells form a plug
in the follicle, preventing the skin from finishing its natural process
- Fourth are bacteria. Bacterium
propionibacterium (P. Acnes) is a regular resident of all skin types.
It's part of the skin's natural sebum maintenance system. Once the
follicle is plugged Bacterium propionibacterium (P. acnes for short)
multiply more rapidly, creating the chemical reaction we know as
inflammation in the follicle and surrounding skin.
Fifth is inflammation. When the body encounters unwanted bacteria, it
sends an army of white blood cells to attack the intruders. This
process is called chemotaxis or inflammation. This is what causes
pimples to become red, swollen, and painful.
MYTHS & CLAIMS
The number one myth about acne is that it comes from dirt. Acne is
caused by a number of things, but dirt isn't one of them. Blemishes
form when dead skin cells mix with your body's natural oil, forming a
plug in the pores. Over washing your face or body (more than 2-3 times
per day) will not make your acne better. In fact too much washing or
the over-use of harsh scrubs and pore strips can actually strip the
skin of the oil it needs to stay soft and pliable.
Another myth is that acne is for teenagers and you'll grow out of it.
This myth is one of the most damaging, because it can cause teenagers
to "wait it out" instead of seeking treatment for their acne. Aside
from the damage this myth can cause teenagers it can be even more
damaging to adults, it can leave them feeling alienated from other
adults. They could be asking themselves "why do I still have acne? Or
what am I doing wrong". The truth is acne can strike any age and
remember it's not your fault.
products have been making the claim that a dab of medicine directly on
the pimple will clear it up, unfortunately there is no truth to this
claim. Since blemishes take 2-3 weeks to develop, you're treating an
old symptom of the problem rather than the problem itself.
Certain foods cause acne is a myth I am sure everyone has heard of at
one time or another. Scientists have been unable to find any
substantial connection between acne and diet. Although it is true that
a healthy diet will help your body have the strength to help you fight
Most make-ups today are
non-comedogenic, non-clog poring. So when looking for make-up look for
make-ups that are non-comedogenic, oil-free and hypoallergenic. Acne is
just a cosmetic condition is a truth associated with acne. Acne can
affect the way you feel about yourself and the world around you. It can
cause low self-esteem and even depression. After acne is gone it can
leave permanent physical and emotional scars. So don't let anyone stop
you from seeking treatment because your acne is just "a little