Acne – What is it?
Acne is also named or called by several names like:
Blackheads and whiteheads
Cysts (deep pimples)
Acne does not have to be serious, but it can cause scars if left untreated. It is therefore important for parents to handle the situation with care.
This disease appears when our kids, either as teenagers or young adults, are most vulnerable for the negative impact it could have on their social life and self esteem.
Note to Parents
- Pimples can have significant psychological effects. Talk to your doctor when any signs or feelings of depression are displayed.
- Changes in diet have no proven effect although certain diet products seems to contribute to Zits.
Before we can act as parents, we need to understand what Acne is.
It is a common skin condition that afflicts most people, to a varying degree, during the teen years. The disease is by no means restricted to a specific age group; adults in their 20's to 40's may have pimples.
If that is true, what is the cause of pimples then?
What are the Causes of Pimples?
No one factor are the cause. Doctors think pimples is caused by multiple factors including:
- Skin bacteria
- Insufficient shedding of dead skin cells.
- Overproduction of oil (sebum – an oily substance produced by the oil glands increased under the influence of hormones).
- Hair follicles that become plugged with sebum and dead skin cells.
- Medications such as lithium, cortisone, hormones, iodides, some seizure medications.
- Working in a greasy environment, such as a fast food restaurant, can lead to increased oils on the skin.
- The hormone increase in teenage years (this can cause the oil glands to plug up more often)
- Hormone changes during pregnancy
- Rising hormone levels during adolescence cause enlargement and over activity of the oil glands in the skin.
- Starting or stopping birth control pills. Some oral contraceptive pills may provide some relieve, but unless a woman has abnormal menstrual periods and excessive hair growth, it's unlikely that hormones play much of a role in causing pimples.
- Heredity (if your parents had zits, you might get it, too)
- Some medications may cause or worsen pimples, such as those containing iodides, bromides, or oral or injected steroids (either the medically prescribed prednisone or the steroids bodybuilders or athletes take.) Most cases of pimples, however, are not drug-related.
- Greasy makeup. Most cosmetic and skin care products are not pore-clogging. Those which are listed as “water-based” or “oil-free” are generally a better choice.
- All over the world, parents tell teens to avoid pizza, chocolate, greasy and fried foods, and junk food. While these foods may not be good for overall health, they don't cause pimples or make it worse.
- The canals that bring this oil to the surface become blocked with keratin (a protein that is part of the skin).
- When these oil glands are overactive and the canals are blocked, the bacteria that normally live on the skin and in the oil become trapped. They subsequently multiply, and cause inflammation and irritation.
- In some patients, pressure from helmets, chinstraps, collars, and the like can aggravate pimples.
- In some jobs, exposure to industrial products like cutting oils may produce pimples.
Don't think that because zits is common, treatment is unnecessary. Waiting to "outgrow" zits can be a serious mistake. Medical treatment can improve your child’s appearance and self esteem, and prevent the development of scars.
Pimples is a disease that affects the skin’s oil glands. The small holes (pores) in your skin 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, a pimple starts to form.
How does one then know that it is acne and not simple a skin irritation?
What are the Symptoms of Acne
Acne vulgaris is the most common form of pimples and many teenagers get this type of zits.
The face and upper neck are the most commonly affected, but the chest, back and shoulders may have zits as well. The upper arms can also have zits.
The typical lesions are comedones and inflammatory papules, pustules, and cysts.
Here is a brief definition of lesions:
Comedo (plural comedones)— A comedo is a sebaceous follicle plugged with sebum, dead cells from inside the sebaceous follicle, tiny hairs, and sometimes bacteria. The bacteria in the plug cause swelling. Then when the plug starts to break down, a pimple grows.
A blackhead is when the comedo is open and the surface of the plug in the follicle has a blackish appearance.
A whitehead is a closed comedo with the appearance of that of a skin-colored or slightly inflamed "bump" in the skin.
The whitehead differs in color from the blackhead because the opening of the plugged sebaceous follicle to the skin’s surface is closed or very narrow, in contrast to the open follicular opening of the blackhead.
Neither blackheads nor whiteheads should be squeezed or picked open as the tissue injured by squeezing or picking can become infected by skin bacteria.
Papules. These are small pink bumps that can be tender.
Pustules. These pimples are red at the bottom and have pus on top.
Nodules. These are large, painful, solid pimples that are deep in the skin.
Cysts. These deep, painful, pus-filled pimples can cause scars.
This raises the question of how do one handle the different types of acne.
Typical treatments for different types of Acne
The treatment will vary according to such factors as type of acne, its severity and extent, and the patient's day-to-day activities.
Comedones (non-inflammatory) pimples: local treatment with azelaic acid, salicylic acid, topical retinoid, benzoyl peroxide.
Mild papulo-pustular (inflammatory) pimples: benzoyl peroxide or topical retinoid, topical antibiotics (such as erythromycin).
Moderate inflammatory pimples: benzoyl peroxide or topical retinoid combined with oral antibiotics (tetracyclines). Isotretinoin is an option.
Severe inflammatory pimples, nodular pimples, acne resistant to the above treatments: isotretinoin, or contraceptive pills with cyproterone for females with virilization or drospirenone.
The effected person in the family might also do the following to help with Acne prevention:
- Cleanse the affected area twice daily with a 5% benzoyl peroxide wash. Those allergic to benzoyl peroxide can use the following alternative: 2% salicylic acid.
- Apply a gel or cream containing 5% benzoyl peroxide, an alternative is sulfur or resorcinol.
- At night, apply a spot cream containing sulfur to the affected areas.
- Use a light skin moisturizer and oil-free makeup.
- Your body also needs complete nutrition to promote healthy skin and to PREVENT acne. Certain vitamins and minerals are powerful antioxidants that flush out free radicals and toxins from your body. Some even have antibacterial effects and promote immunity. This is so important in keeping your pores clean of clogging toxins and in healing the damaged skin tissue. Follow this link to find out how vitamins and minerals can help reduce Pimples.
- Product wastes and toxic build up in your system is one of the main reasons why you have acne or why your skin breaks out. Drinking enough quality water will dissolve waste products in your system so it can be easily remove and flush out through your bowels and kidneys. Follow this link to learn more about quality drinking water that can assist in prevention.
Treatment is a continuing process if the decease is to be controlled successfully. It is important that you follow your dermatologist's instructions, since you are the only one who can accomplish the necessary daily care. If you spend the time and extend the effort, you can expect a very pleasing result.
Visit www.acne-treatment-answers.com for top quality acne treatment products that works.
Return to the Home Page
Go to Vitamin Supplements from Acne
Go to Mineral Supplements
Go to Nutrient Supplements
Go to Healthy Water
Here are other Acne Treatment sites we recommend:"Acne to Health
provides up to date information and solutions for those suffering adult acne, teenage acne and all types of acne"