What is Acne?
Acne is a skin condition that usually affects teenagers but also affects many adults. Many people incorrectly assume that acne only effects teenagers or adolescents, but it can affect adults well into their twenties and has an effect on their mental well being as well as physical appearance.
Acne is a broad term used to describe a number of specific outbreaks from pimples to cysts. These outbreaks occur in various areas of the body including the face, neck, upper shoulders and back. In some cases, acne can also occur on the arms of certain individuals. Acne has a number of different terms associated with it such as clogged pores, pimples, lumps, cysts and spots.
Acne is classed as a disease and has different levels of severity. It can range in severity from small pimples and blackheads, which are not painful, to extremely uncomfortable cysts that need medical care and attention. The majority of acne sufferers find that small spots go away in a few days, whereas cysts can last from a week to many months. This will vary depending on the individual.
There are five types of effects that acne has on the body, called comedos, papule, pustule, nodule and cyst. These terms are used by physicians to certify the severity of the acne that the individual is suffering from. The lowest end of the scale is the comedo, which is more commonly known as a blackhead. The most extreme form of acne is the cyst.
There is also the emotional aspect of acne, which is common with most skin diseases, as acne is very visible and causes sufferers to become very self-conscious. Acne often leads to a lack of confidence and in some cases depression can occur. This is a very serious side effect that sufferers and parents need to be aware of.
Types of Acne
Acne occurs when pores on the skin become blocked. The oil that the skin normally secretes becomes trapped which causes bacteria to grow. The pores will then become swollen and inflamed creating what is commonly referred to as a pimple.
There are two main types of acne known as inflammatory and non-inflammatory. Inflammatory acne occurs when there is a break in the pore wall. From here, the white blood cells rush in and cause the area to become inflamed. This results in a papule. Papules are small and tender but they can stay beneath the surface of the skin and ultimately heal. If they do not heal, the white blood cells rise to the surface creating puss and forming a bump on the skin, known as a pustule.
Examples of non-inflammatory acne are whiteheads and blackheads. Whiteheads are formed when the bacteria stays below the surface. They may form tiny white spots on the surface of the skin but are often so small they are effectively invisible. Blackheads occur when the bacteria partially reaches the surface. The black color is a result of the skins pigmentation, melanin, reacting with the oxygen in the air.
As a general rule, maintaining good hygiene is an effective measure in preventing outbreaks of acne. Should acne occur, keeping the area clean is the main course of action in treatment. A mild cleanser should be used in the morning and in the evening, and following heavy exercise.
Vigorous scrubbing of the skin is not recommended and can make the problem worse. Females should be careful what make up they wear as some can promote the clogging of pores. Beyond that there are countless topical creams that have supposedly miraculous properties regarding acne removal, the science behind many of which, however, is dubious. In extreme cases medication may be prescribed. Prescription medicine can include both topical and oral treatments.
There is no need to wait for the acne to go away, as there are steps you can take right now in order to see major improvements in your skin condition. You can remove many of the pimples, spots and blackheads with simple and effective tips for healthy skin. There are also a number of products on the market that you can buy or get prescriptions for that will greatly help.
On top of this are many lifestyle changes that can be made in order to give your skin the healthiest and clearest complexion possible.
10 Top Ways to Get Rid of Acne
Here are some of the best practices to put in place:
1. Drink more water
Drinking more water is one of the best ways to improve your skin and clear up acne. This works as it can remove and wash out many of the toxins that create acne while also cleansing your skin. Aim to drink about seven to eight glasses of water each day.
2. Herbal remedies
Using herbal remedies is a natural treatment for acne. Herbal treatments can be very effective and bring skin back into a natural state of being. Herbal treatments work because of the natural extracts in the herbs.
3. Vitamin A
Increasing your vitamin A intake is a good supplement to a healthy diet. Buy a supplement from a local health food store. Adding just one tablet per day is all you need.
4. Hot and cold towels
Another natural treatment that you can apply to the acne-effected area is hot and cold presses. Using hot and cold towels provide you with healthy skin as they can unclog your pores and remove the bacteria that cause acne.
5. Cucumber juice
Cucumber juice can be applied to your face. Let it dry for ten minutes and then remove it and this will rejuvenate your skin.
6. Benzoyl peroxide
If you haven’t tried Benzoyl peroxide then you are advised to test it out. You can buy this treatment over the counter in a gel or ointment form. Benzoyl peroxide will remove dead skin cells from your skin, which is a major cause of acne.
7. Multi vitamin
Use a multi vitamin as part of your diet in order to ensure you get the right amount of vitamins and minerals each day. You can purchase them from a local supplement store or health food shop.
Try adding more zinc to your daily diet. Zinc helps to prevent acne and promotes healthy skin.
9. Distilled white vinegar
Try using distilled white vinegar on the acne-infected areas of your skin. You must leave it on your skin for five to ten minutes and then rinse it off with cool water. This will also help to reduce the acne inflammation.
10. Natural toner
Instead of using soap, try using natural toner to wash your face. This will get rid of any dirt on your face and provides it with extra moisture.
Topical Acne treatments
These include anti-microbals and retinoids.
- Anti-microbals – these attack the bacteria and its inflammatory effects. The most commonly prescribed form of this is clindamycin, and can be used in both mild and severe cases.
- Topical retinoids- These drugs are derived from vitamin A, and they act to unclog pores and prevent pimples from forming.
Oral Acne treatments
- Antibiotics – usually only prescribed in severe cases, but can be used to treat mild acne as well. Like anti-microbes, they attack the bacteria that cause pimples.
- Oral contraceptives – A side effect of the female contraceptive pill is its ability to unclog pores and therefore reduce acne. It does this by suppressing over active sebaceous glands that secret the oil responsible for clogged pores.
- Isotretinoin (Accutane) – A vitamin A derivative, this is usually prescribed only in severe cases when other treatment has failed. It reduces the size of oil glands so that oil production is dramatically reduced. This means there is less potential for acne causing bacteria to grow.
- Perhaps the best treatment is a natural product called Acnezine. It is 100% organic with natural ingredients. Find out more about this product and it acne treatment .
Severe acne may leave scarring. In such cases, cosmetic medical procedures may be desirable. These include laser treatment, dermabrasion (“sanding down” of scars), or transferring fat from another part of the body to smooth down the appearance of the scar.
Acne laser treatment
In recent years, laser treatment for acne has become a faster and more effective means for treating acne in patients. Lasers are used to treat many other skin conditions and people with acne can see significant improvements (as well as those left with acne scars).
Acne does leave lasting scars for certain people and it is here that the laser can be very effective when other remedies don’t work as well. The use of lasers (such as Erbium) has proven to be very effective for acne. It is important that the acne is treated as soon as possible in order to prevent scarring and reduce the severity from getting worse.
Erbium laser treatment is a very effective acne treatment. It is a great way to treat acne scars and active acne still present on the skin. It is painless, gentle and does not have any side effects, which is why many people prefer this form of treatment.
Erbium laser therapy sessions are usually very fast and simple. If you need a number of sessions then you will be informed by the specialist who treats you and advises you on the best treatment schedule.The possible side effects from laser treatments are very few, but you need to be aware of the possibility. As such, always discuss this option with your physician first, as they will know your medical history and person circumstances.
Micro dermabrasion is another very effective means for treating acne. This process uses aluminum hydroxide crystals, which scrape the skin, removing the top layers in order to remove excess debris that causes acne.
This form of treatment should not be used if you have a milder form of acne, as it might be too severe and might be unnecessary. Micro dermabrasion is quite hard on the skin and can irritate it. For many people with active acne, this is great method to use in order to help clear it up.
Micro dermabrasion treatment is a great option for acne located on the back or the chest of the patient. As chest acne is more difficult to treat than facial acne, this type of acne treatment works very well.Please bear in mind that you will need a number of treatments before visible results can be seen. Micro dermabrasion can be less effective for deep scars caused by severe acne, but it will help with overall scar reduction.
The disadvantage of micro dermabrasion is that the success is dependent on individual application and persistence. If the application is too rough, then peeling of skin can lead to scarring. When this process is not done properly, the treatment can actually lead to further scarring, so please follow the instructions that come with your treatment kit.
For best results, a qualified physician or therapist who has expertise in this area should perform this process.