Introduction – Acne is a common, in fact, predominant skin disorder that affects all nations, races and genders regardless of their ethnic backgrounds geographical location or environmental conditions. The resulting impact is even more troublesome. According to a recent survey done in US, about 25% of adults and 31% of teens surveyed said that acne sometimes keeps them from participating in social activities. It has been. Today, dermatologists have a consensus that only few people survive their teen years without suffering at least an occasional acne break-out. For many, acne continues into their adult years, causing embarrassment and prompting the sufferer to search the cosmetic counters for means to cover the spots.
Acne statistics for the age – According to general statistics, acne usually starts around puberty and lasts until adulthood, although it can persist for many more years, regardless of age. Similarly, baby acne affects approximately 20% of newborn babies. About 25% of teens will still have acne at age 25. More than 80% of acne sufferers are between the ages of 12 and 24. Acne affects about 90% of adolescents and 20-30% of adults aged 20 to 40 years.
Acne statistics for the gender – Probably because of their frequent hormonal variations and moods swings, women make up 75% of adult cases of acne. Often acne is worst during adolescence and begins to subside during your twenties. But for some people, acne remains throughout adulthood although often in milder form.
Acne statistics for the sites – Acne affects the face in 99% of cases. Other, less affected sites are back, neck, buttocks and even arms. Last but not least, considering that 80% of the population between the age of 12 and 24 years old will be afflicted by acne to one degree or another, acne is a very serious and widespread concern. For many people, acne problems can continue all throughout their life well into adulthood, even though they were told as teens that they would “outgrow” it.
What is Acne? – Acne is an extremely common and distressing condition that affects the skin’s oil glands. The small holes in your skin (pores) connect to oil glands under the skin. These glands make an oily substance called sebum. The pores connect to the glands by a canal called a follicle. Inside the follicles, oil carries 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, this is when 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 but it is not life threatening. Acne develops when the hair, sebum and skin cells clump together to form a plug. A bacterium grows in the plug that causes swelling. Then when the plug starts to break down, a pimple grows. Acne is the most common skin disease. 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 in teenagers and adults. It is estimated that as much as 80% of the population aged between the age of 11 and 30 will experience some form of acne. Even those in the older generation, as old as in their fifties (though less common) can suffer from acne. The sole cause of acne in the first places not established, though people have 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 acne although it is true that eating well can only benefit your complexion, 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 have acne due to the hormonal changes when pregnant and those who take the oral contraceptive pill can also suffer acne as a side effect. If any of your immediate family members suffered from acne as well, there is a very good chance you will too as it is hereditary. Some medications, particularly some antibiotics can cause spots and using particularly greasy oil-based cosmetics. Acne can be treated by OTC (Over the counter) topical face washes or creams or in severe cases, a course of antibiotics and/or steroids over a certain period is prescribed depending on the kind of acne you have and the severity. The quicker the acne is treated the lesser the incidence of scarring. Your doctor will be able to advise or refer you to a dermatologist (a skin specialist) who can work with you so you get the best possible treatment. Understanding different stages of acne An easy grading of acne – Based on the degree or the severity of the signs and symptoms produced in acne, the disorder can be categorized into three prominent or main stages or grades as follows:
Mild acne (“whiteheads” and “blackheads”) Mils acne, also known as non-inflammatory acne, is caused by a plug of dead skin cells and oil in the canal that contains the hair, under the surface of the skin. Because the plugs are underneath the skin surface, scrubbing will not get rid of them. In fact, rubbing the skin or using harsh or abrasive soaps can irritate the skin and make the acne worse. Mild acne does not usually leave permanent marks on the skin. Moderate to moderately severe acne – This type of acne, also known as inflammatory acne, consists of several whiteheads, blackheads, papules and pustules that cover from top of the face and/or other parts of the body. It can be treated with antibiotic lotions or gels, as well as retinoic acid. Retinoic acid is an altered form of vitamin A. It helps prevent whiteheads and black heads. Your doctor may also prescribe an antibiotic pill, such as erythromycin. If you take birth control pills to prevent pregnancy, antibiotics can affect how well they work. Be sure to use a second method of birth control with the pill, such as a condom. Retinoic acid and antibiotic pills can make the skin sensitive to the sun. So, wear sunscreen and stay in the shade while using them.
Severe acne Severe acne is rare and consists of a mixture of both inflammatory and non-inflammatory acne has all types of lesions including severe inflammatory lesions (markedly reddened pustules) and possibly cystic lesions (lesions over 0.5 cm in diameter with a soft top that are losing their inflammation). It is most common to have a mixture of lesions at any one time. You should see a dermatologist to care for this type of acne. Scarring can be prevented with appropriate treatments. Topical treatment alone will not be effective at treating severe inflammatory acne because it cannot penetrate deep enough through the skin’s surface to treat the severely inflamed nodules and cysts. “You’re About To Learn How To Look Better,Feel Better,and have A Renewed Sense of Self-Esteem – By Clearing Your Acne Permanently In As Little As 3 Days.Severe acne requires systemic treatment (medicine taken orally). Systemic therapies cause distribution of the drug throughout the entire organism. Your dermatologist can prescribe oral antibiotics and oral contraceptives. Large inflamed cysts can be treated with an injection of a drug that lessens the redness, swelling, and irritation, and promotes healing.
Acne & Female connection! Why pimples love women when they don’t love to have them? Did you know that most young women and men will have at least a few pimples over the course of their lives? However, interestingly enough, acne seems to affect men and women in different ways. Young men are more likely to have a more serious form of acne. Acne in young women tends to be more random and linked to hormone changes, such as the menstrual cycle. As women get older, acne often gets better. But some women have acne for many years. Some women even get acne for the first time at age 30 or 40. For many women, acne can be an upsetting illness. Women may have feelings of depression, poor body image, or low self-esteem. But you don’t have to wait to outgrow acne or to let it run its course. Today, almost every case of acne can be resolved. Acne also can, sometimes, be prevented. Talk with your doctor or dermatologist (a doctor who specializes in skin diseases).
Factors that trigger acne in women – Several factors, alone or combined, can trigger acne attacks in women such as:
Hormonal changes (puberty): – Remember, during puberty, girls have an increase in male sex hormones called androgens. This increase causes the skin glands to get larger and make more sebum (oily secretion of your skin). Menstrual cycle: – The menstrual cycle is one of the most common acne triggers. Acne lesions tend to form a few days before the cycle begins and go away after the cycle is completed. Other hormone changes, such as pregnancy and menopause, improve acne in some women. But some women have worse acne during these times.
Medications: – Certain medicines, such as those used to treat epilepsy and types of depression can aggravate acne in women. Stopping use of birth control pills can play a role as well.
Make-up: – While not a real “cause” of the acne itself, wearing oil-based make up on frequent basis can trigger acne flare ups in women.
Skin pressure or friction: Friction caused by bike helmets or backpacks can make acne worse.
Family history: – Those women who have / had other people in their families with a history of acne, there is a greater chance they will have it too.
Does poor hygiene of women cause acne? It is a myth that women get acne because they do not wash enough. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Too much washing or scrubbing the skin harshly can make acne worse. And washing away surface oils does not do much to prevent or cure acne, because it forms under the skin. The best way to clean the face is to gently wash it, just twice a day with a mild soap or cleanser. Be careful to remove make-up without harsh scrubbing.
Can eating chocolate or greasy foods cause acne in women?
While many women feel that eating chocolate or greasy foods can cause acne, experts have not found a link between the diet and acne.
Simple hints & tips to prevent & treat acne and acne scars Take care: You can help prevent acne flare-ups and scars by taking good care of your skin.
Clean gently: Clean your skin gently with a mild soap or cleanser twice a day once in the morning and once at night. You should also gently clean the skin after heavy exercise.
Avoid friction: – Avoid strong soaps and rough scrub pads Wash thoroughly but not frequently: – Wash your entire face from under the jaw to the hairline and rinse thoroughly.
Make up removal: – Remove make-up gently with a mild soap and water. – Top 5 myths on what causes acne – Fact versus fiction… When it comes to explaining acne to adolescents and some adults, it is necessary to separate fact from fiction, because having acne can tax a person’s nerves and send him off to an emotional roller-coaster. The teenage years are a great time to meet new friends and start dating and be accepted by one’s peers; being misinformed about acne is due to certain myths. Following are some of the most common myths associated with the “causes of acne” today:
First myth: Eating too much chocolate will cause acne Reality: Chocolate does not cause acne or make it worse. Even the most renowned doctors will insist, and can prove, that there is no direct link between chocolate and acne. However, even if there is no direct link between the two, you must still adhere to a healthy lifestyle that decreases the amount of sweets, salts and fat from your diet. Ensure you consume foods that are rich in nutrients, especially vitamin A.
Second myth: Dirt will cause acne Reality: – This is a myth that is widely held but while it is certainly important to keep the skin always clean because oil and dirt can block pores, dirt does NOT bring about the clumping together of skin cells against the follicle wall. This phenomenon occurs very deep in the skin where cleaning won’t reach it.
Third myth: Acne has something to do with sex Reality: – Some adolescents actually believe that once they’re married or give birth to their first child, their acne will disappear. A variation of this myth is the other side of the argument: that an active sex life causes acne. This link was made only because adolescence is that period in a person’s life when sex is of great concern. This particular myth became less popular in the 1940’s when the medical community finally declared that sexual activity and acne are not related.
Fourth myth: Hot climate causes acne Reality: – Some people think that people who live in cold climates are less likely to get acne, while those who live in the tropics are more prone to it. There is no link between where one lives and the incidence of acne. Nor is the color of one’s skin a precursor of acne, although it has been observed that dark-skinned people tend to have less severe acne compared to light-skinned individuals. Larger glands and more defined pores are common characteristics of dark skin, and these two attributes are known to protect against acne. Note though that hyper-pigmentation tends to occur more frequently with dark skin after acne is cured, so care must be taken to not irritate dark skin after a bout with acne.
Fifth myth: First time shavers will get acne Reality: When a boy reaches the age of puberty, one of the first signs is hair on the face, especially above the lip and on the chin. The hairs are at first sparse but over time, a beard and a moustache appear, making boys want to shave them. After the initial shave, the hair grows back, this time thicker. As the hair grows back after each shave, it grows thicker and is denser resulting in repetitive shaving. Frequent shaving can cause the skin to dry out, because as more hair grows, the shaving becomes more frequent and more forceful. Some of these hairs could turn inward and grow internally which can cause acne. The inside growth, combined with the production of oil in the sebaceous glands can result in frequent skin breakouts. The myth that shaving causes acne is indeed a myth, but it is true that shaving too often and too close to the hair follicles may contribute to the growth of acne.
Unveiling top 5 acne myths Differentiating between fact & fiction… – Like many other common disorders and diseases, there have been several myths and unrealistic assumptions associated with acne. The main cause of the formation and spread of these myths is lack of proper understanding of the disorder, little or no knowledge about the development of disease and unnecessary delay in diagnosis and treatment of acne. The following article attempts to explain some of the common acne-related myths and also throws light on the actual reality behind each of these myths.
Myth 1: Acne is caused by poor hygiene or washing Fact: Acne is not caused by poor hygiene, sweating, or not washing. These factors do not cause the clogged pores that contribute to acne development. While medicated washes containing benzoyl peroxide, resorcinol, salicylic acid, and sulfur are one form of treatment for acne, simple soap and water does not treat the condition.
Myth 2: Acne is caused by diet Fact: – Acne is not caused by diet. No scientific connection has been found between diet and acne. No food, not chocolate, fries, pizza, or any other food, has been shown to actually “cause” acne. However, diet can play an important role in lessening or aggravating the intensity of the disease.
Myth 3: There is no treatment or cure for acne Fact: – Acne does not need to be allowed to run its course. The condition can be treated as there are prescription medications and over-the-counter (OTC) products (although medicines are never free of side effects) for it. There have been also some natural or herbal treatments for acne that have, to date, no reported side effect.
Myth 4: I can prevent acne from washing my face more often Fact: No. You cannot prevent acne from washing my face more often. Dirt does not cause acne. It is the overproduction of oil (sebum) from within the skin rather than the surface oil/dirt that leads to acne.
Myth 5: Squeezing a pimple may help me get rid of those notorious pimples Fact: Absolutely not. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Squeezing a pimple may cause the contents of the follicle to rupture into the tissue rather than being expressed to the surface of the skin. This can cause tissue damage and scarring. Sometimes a medical provider will open a pimple or cyst with a special instrument designed not to damage the tissue, but you should avoid squeezing or picking pimples.
Rediscovering Vitamin E… An efficient & essential ingredient of Clear Skin Max An introduction to Tocopherol acetate (Vitamin E) Tocopherol is the scientific name for vitamin E. Tocopherol acetate is a lipid-soluble version of vitamin E. Natural vitamin E is used as a powerful antioxidant and free radical scavenger. One of nature’s most dynamic moisturizers, it also aids cellular renewal of the skin. Therefore, to date, vitamin E has been tried for the treatment of almost every type of skin lesion (problem) imaginable. For the same reason, many doctors and dermatologists lay people use vitamin E on a regular basis to improve the outcome of scars and several physicians recommend topical (locally applied) vitamin E after skin surgery or resurfacing.
What is vitamin E? – Vitamin E is considered as one of the most important oil-soluble anti-oxidant and free radical scavenger. It is also a photo-protector, protecting cellular membrane from free-radical damage.
Some basic skin-related functions of vitamin E-
Vitamin E is one of the best known antioxidants found in the human body. It means that its key biological function is to protect lipids from oxidation and free radical damage. Therefore, it basically serves a preservative function due to its ability to protect against oxidation.
Vitamin E counts among the vitamins that protect the skin and the mucous membranes.
It improves trans-epidermal water loss, thereby improving the appearance of rough, dry and damaged skin.
It also helps to maintain connective tissue.
Vitamin E seals the connective tissue and the vascular walls, makes wounds heal quickly and keeps the skin elastic and smooth.
Vitamin E also prevents aging of the skin.
It prevents irritation due to sun exposure. If applied before sun exposure, it acts protective against epidermal cell damage caused by inflammation.
It also counteracts increased functioning of the sebaceous glands (as is the case in acne) and reduces excessive skin pigmentation.
What Causes Pimples? There are many factors that cause pimples/acne and it varies in its severity. Stress can cause flare ups in some, side effects of certain medications, even allergies. A bout of acne can be short lived or it can persist for several months or several years. Some people will only get very mild pimples, others will get very severe acne although this is thought to run in the family, so if acne or pimples have occurred in your family It is likely you will suffer from a few in your lifetime. Many things can irritate or make acne flare up but pimples are caused from when the hair follicles in your pores in your skin get blocked and the sebaceous gland produces an excessive amount of oil. Although no one is totally sure why acne occurs, it is believed it can be a result of the following: –
Bacteria accumulating in the sebaceous glands
A collection of dead skin cells
Overactive sebaceous glands producing too much oil due to hormone fluctuations
Using oily make up, such as greasy foundations and overly thick moisturisers
The sebaceous gland gets clogged when the oil (otherwise known as sebum) cannot leave the open pore so turns into an obstruction. The skin around the pore can swell and a white plug formed of dead cells of oil can form, this is what is what is known as a whitehead. If the plug does not fully close the pore you get a black appearance which is called a blackhead. Pimples can become infected when the whiteheads rupture underneath the skin’s top layer. This allows the dead cells, bacteria and oil to seep into the surrounding tissue. If this outbreak is very widespread and severe, you could develop an infection called cystic acne which is very large, unsightly and painful red bumps Even if the boils disappear you could be left with permanent scarring. Prompt treatment of this is essential to minimise the possibility of permanent scarring so visit your doctor as soon as possible. It is important to remember that anyone can suffer from spots at any time even after treatment but will be a lot less severe.
Your skin at glance What, where & why? Introduction – Your skin is the largest and one of the most important organs of your body which performs some essential functions such as protection, hydration, sensation and temperature regulation. The internal structure of your skin, however, is even more interesting. Let’s discover some of the main structural features of your own skin:
Layers of skin – Your skin is composed of two main layers, the epidermis and dermis, that both rest on the subcutaneous (underlying) tissues.
Epidermis: – It is the outer (or uppermost) layer of the skin and is made up of outer dead skin cells and deeper living cells. The melanocyte (special cells) within the epidermis produces melanin giving color to the skin and helps protect it from ultraviolet light Dermis: – The dermis is found beneath the epidermis and makes up bulk (90 percent) of your skin. Subcutaneous layer: – The epidermis and dermis sit on the subcutaneous (subcutaneous = beneath the skin) layers, composed largely of fat, through which the blood vessels and nerves run. The roots of the oil and sweat glands are located here. Glands of skin – There are two main types of glands in your skin: Sebaceous oil glands: – These are distributed throughout the skin but are mostly concentrated in the scalp, face, mid-chest, and genitals. They are attached to the hair follicles and secrete an oily substance (sebum) that lubricates and protects the skin. Sweat glands: – These glands are distributed throughout the body but their greatest number is found in the palms, soles of the feet, forehead, and underarms. They secrete at times of stress, emotion, or in the presence of a warmer environment.
Special structures of skin Hair: – Each hair grows from a single follicle that has its roots in the subcutaneous tissue] of the skin. The oil glands next to hair follicles provide gloss and, to some degree, waterproofing of the hair. Hair also contains melanin. The number of melanin granules in the hair determines its color. Malnutrition can cause damage to the hair.
Fingernails and toenails: – These are part of the epidermis and are composed of the protein, keratin. Each nail grows outward from a nail root that extends back into the groove of the skin. With malnutrition, after an injury, or chemotherapy, the nail formation is impaired.
Types of skin – Depending on your family (heredity), your genetic make-up and your lifestyle, you skin can be of one of the following types:
Oily skin: – Oily skin is caused by over activity of the sebaceous glands. Oily skin is thick with large pores and has a greater tendency to develop acne, but not wrinkles. Most people, who have oily skin, also have oily hair.
Dry skin: – Dry skin is caused by under activity of the sebaceous glands, environmental conditions, or normal aging. Dry skin is usually thinner and more easily irritated. There is a greater tendency to develop wrinkles, but not acne.
Balanced Skin: – Balanced skin is neither oily nor dry. It is smooth and has fine texture with few problems. However, it has a tendency to become dry as a result of environmental factors and aging
Combination Skin: – Combination skin consists of oily regions, often on the forehead and around the nose, and regions that are balanced or dry.
The best criteria to choose Acne skin products Top 5 hints and tips… When it comes to an effective treatment for your acne, you want a product that will really work and that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. However, because of the intense market clutter, finding the anti acne skin care product may seem like an impossible task. The following hints and tips would serve as your easy, at-a-glance guide to help you make your mind while choosing among different skin care products that are used to treat acne.
Is it recommended? – The FDA’s new good manufacturing practices ruling, for example, attempts to ensure that the natural or herbal supplements: –
Are produced in a quality manner and meet all the recommended safety standards
Are free of all the contaminants or impurities
Are accurately labeled as per the recommended guidelines
Therefore, you should choose an acne-care supplement according to the same FDA-recommended guidelines.
Is it clinically backed? Remember, this is an era of evidence-based medicine and you are supposed to consider evidences, pure facts and real testimonials, not claims. Accordingly, go for a complete, multi-component anti acne supplement that contains ingredients which are clinically backed by a number of trials and studies and have been recommended by full-fledged health experts and physicians for a non-prescription use.
Is it fully compliant? Compliance of a medicine or some specific product can be defined as its suitability to most of the people taking it without causing any significant undesirable side effects. The most effective skin care system for people with acne should, therefore, be considered as highly suitable and compliant for people of almost age groups and genders. In other words, it should be capable of giving best and fast results in young adults, middle aged and elderly men and women equally.
Is it safe? It is quite logical and understandable that ideally, an anti-acne supplement or program should be free of the typical “allopathic” medications’ side effects. You should, therefore, do your research when planning to take any kind of such skin care supplements or systems. A simple of way of doing this is read the authentic testimonials, and see if the product has been approved by some major international and credible authority on health. Similarly, user compliance and tolerance is another important issue to be considered while choosing skin care program or multi-component system to cure acne.
Is it affordable & economical? Any skin care system or product for people with acne cannot be considered as a top one until and unless it takes good care of your pocket because of its accessibility and affordability. Accordingly, you should choose a product that offers the best value for money i.e. gives you more for less.
Conclusion – While you can find many brands of both natural or herbal and over the counter anti acne skin care creams, lotions, supplements and oils, there are hardly few which even work and come any close to whatever they promise. Most importantly, even the most frequently bought and used products have their own share of undesirable effects and unwanted interactions within the body. The key here is, therefore, to select the safest and yet more effective natural skin care system that will comprise of multiple components and will, therefore, address the acne problem on multiple levels.