What is Acne?
A skin problem resulting in bumps on the face, chest or back, that form small “white heads” of pus or sometimes “black heads” or red lumps.
What Causes Acne?
Genetics, hormones, bacteria, clogged pores and inflammation work together to cause acne. The hair follicles, or pores in your skin contain sebaceous glands, which produce sebum. The more sebum there is, the more chances of having acne.
When the pore gets clogged with too much sebum and keratin (dead skin cells), it forms a plug called comedones. If the clogged pore stays close but bulges out from the skin, we call it a whitehead. If the clogged pore stays open and the top surface darkens, we call it a blackhead.
- Psychological stress
- Menstrual cycle
- Environmental factors:
- High humidity causing swelling of the skin
- Cosmetics especially certain moisturizers, foundation and pomades
- Working with oil and greases (e.g. cooking hot chips)
- Clothing that rubs
- Medications such as certain contraceptive pills and medicines
- Skin rash or lesions on the face, chest, neck, upper back, shoulders or other areas
- Comedones (whiteheads or blackheads depending on the colour)
- Redness of the lesions or skin around a lesion
- Inflammation around the skin eruptions
- Crusting of skin eruptions
- Scarring of the skin
Complications of Acne
- Permanent facial scars
- Psychological damage to self-esteem, confidence, personality, social life
- Wash your face with a mild soap and water or an antiseptic wash twice a day and pat dry with soft towel.
- Comb or pull your hair back to keep your hair out of the face.
- Use a water-based moisturizer (ask your general practitioner or pharmacist).
- Avoid applying oily cosmetics such as foundation or sunscreen.
- Do not pick, scratch, and squeeze pimples, blackheads or whiteheads. This could scar your skin.
- Don't rest your face on your hands. This irritates the skin of the face.
- Use an effective acne preparation that stops pores from clogging and loosen blackheads and whiteheads.
- Follow instructions on how to use acne preparations carefully
- Discontinue using preparation if severe irritation results.
- Wear loose light clothes if acne is on your back or chest
SELF MEDICATION GUIDE- Medication for Acne
(Please click on the medication name below for further information):
- Topical Retinoids
- Website: http://www.derm-infonet.com/acnenet/
- Website: http://www.skincarephysicians.com/acnenet/prescriptmeds.html
- Website: http://www.skincarephysicians.com/acnenet/treatment.html
- The Reader’s Digest Family Guide to Alternative Medicine.