What is Acne? Prevention, Myths and Treatments
If you've ever had problem skin or know someone who has battled with complicated skin issues, you'll know that it's not an easy thing to navigate. There is so much said about acne, but what exactly is it and how does one deal with it in order to live a better life?
The Cause Of Acne and Tips for Prevention:
There are many possible causes for acne. People of all ages, lifestyles, and backgrounds can develop it, and the causes can be different for each. The first step to understanding what is causing your acne is knowing your skin type and how to care for it. If you have oily skin, you wouldn't want to use a facial cleanser containing oil because your body is already producing a good amount of it. Likewise, if your skin is dry, you wouldn't want to necessarily use a product that is oil free. Perhaps, one of the most common myths is that oily skin does not need to be moisturized. Oil is not moisture, and skin needs moisture. Determining the cause and caring for your type of acne, as well as properly caring for your skin is crucial in curing acne.
Topical treatments are those used on the surface of the skin. By helping to keep pores open, eliminating excess dirt and oil, and getting rid of unwanted bacteria, these may do the trick. There are other medications that can be taken orally to help eliminate excess oils by keeping the body from producing it, along with various other medical remedies that help treat acne. Before you can treat it, however, you need to understand what is causing it.
Hormones can play a major part in causing acne. In adolescence, the changes the body goes through can cause constant breakouts, while in adult years, bodily changes, such as premenstrual and pre menopausal episodes, can cause breakouts to continue.
Stress can also be a contributing factor to the presence of acne. When you are stressed, the body releases certain hormones and chemicals which can produce toxicities that cause acne. Try to eliminate stress by staying away from stressful situations. Get plenty of sleep, eat right, exercise and sweat. These factors all help combat acne.
It is also believe that some foods, such as chocolate and sugar can cause acne. While this is commonly disputed and often thought to be a myth, it is unclear whether these foods are unable to actually cause acne. Ask a physician if you want to know more about this as a possible cause.
Environment can influence acne, as well as lifestyle. The products you use can also effect your acne. If you are not using the proper products to counteract acne, you may see an increase in breakouts. As mentioned above, if your skin is oily, you don't want to use products containing excess oil, as this would add to the oil on your skin and could clog pores and cause further breakouts. It is also important to keep the skin properly hydrated and moisturized. Learn how to care for your particular skin type and try to eliminate the factors that are causing your acne. This will help you have healthier skin.
Cleansing your skin is the most essential acne prevention measure you can take. Not only does this clean off dirt, bacteria, and other unwanted materials, but it also removes excess oils that can cause breakouts. It is important that you do not over wash your skin, as this will remove oils that actually help your skin. This will result in dry, irritated skin, and can further aggravate your condition.
Use a gentle soap or acne cleanser. Cleansers have been developed to specifically help with acne, and are available both over-the-counter or through a prescription. Gentle cleansers with witch hazel, aloe vera and chamomile help soothe and clean problem skin.
Zip popping is a bad habit to get in to, and perhaps, a hard one to break. They are bothersome and sometimes painful, and it would seem that you would receive relief from popping them and getting rid of infectious pus. This is not so. In actuality, popping pimples pushes the bacteria further into the skin and can cause further irritation to the problem area and the skin surrounding it. Use a skin toner in addition to washing your face instead.
If you have acne on parts of your body such as your chest and back, wear loose clothing. This is recommended especially when indulging in activities such as working out. Tight clothing can irritate your skin, and will aggravate your acne. It can also be uncomfortable to acne sufferers as well. This is also relevant because when you work out, you sweat, which can add unwanted materials to your skin and help influence breakouts. Tight clothing can trap these materials on the surface of your skin, or may even cause you to sweat more. Loose clothing will prove more comfortable all around.
Keep pillow cases, hair brushes, face cloths, towels, linens, your hair, your hands and anything else used or touching your skin clean. Bacteria creates a hot bed for acne, so washing linens and items that touch your face is key to keeping bacteria away from problem skin.
Acne Myths And The Perceptions They Cause:
Through the years, many myths have passed down about what causes acne, and they have caused ill-formed perceptions. Let's dispel some of the myths.
1) It is a myth that getting a tan can help clear up acne. Even though a tan may help cover the redness caused by acne, it won't actually heal or prevent it. Add to that the risks associated with tanning beds and the sun, and the skin damage that can occur, and this may hurt more than it will help.
2) It is also believed that eating greasy, fried foods, or consuming chocolate can cause acne. Numerous scientific studies have concluded there is no connection between acne and one's diet while it does help if one's diet is cleaner and healthier and more water than sugary drinks is consumed.
3) It is also a myth that the more you wash your face, the fewer breakouts you will experience. While washing your face gets rid of oil and excess dirt, and removes dry skin, washing your face too often can remove some of the essential oils, therefore, causing your face to become especially dry and irritated.
4) Another common acne myth is that popping pimples will help them clear up more quickly. While this can make the pimple seem less noticeable, it can actually make the healing process a longer one. This is because popping a pimple can push the bacteria from it deeper into the skin, making the surrounding area red and irritated. Devices designed to help pop your pimples, such as blackhead extractors, aren't safe either, as they can cause scars to form.
5) Another myth is you can't wear makeup or shave if you want to have clear skin. If you have acne, it is okay to use products that are non-comedogenic, which means they won't clog pores and cause breakouts. Some concealers now have benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid in them, and, will, therefore, help fight acne.
Consult a dermatologist if you are unsure about possible causes and treatments, or if you feel your acne may require medical attention.
Hygiene Products and Acne Treatments:
There are many products available to treat acne, some of which are common to personal hygiene. The most common of these is soap. While many soaps, especially those that are scented, can irritate skin afflicted by acne, many hygiene products have been put on the market that are helpful in combatting acne, and are economical as well.
Soaps come in two forms, bar and liquid. Facial soaps and cleansers are those products designed to treat problem skin. They contain products that promote healing and prevention.
Acne cleansers are generally used to remove excess oil, dirt, and sweat from the surface of the skin. When this happens, it makes absorption of topical acne treatment easier. Topical products are those used on the surface of the skin to combat acne.
There are different cleansers for different skin types. People with oily skin should use cleansers that rinse off well. This is so the excess oil common to oily skin will be properly removed, leaving the skin smooth. Both bar soaps and liquid cleansers have been specially formulated for this purpose.
For dry skin, the use of hard-milled products and gentle cleansers are appropriate. You may wish to use synthetic detergents if you have this skin type. Such cleansers do not necessarily need to be used often, as they are sometimes stronger than other products.
Most people with normal skin can cleanse daily with bar soaps. Synthetic detergents do, however, react better to hard water.
If you have sensitive skin, you are more prone to react to fragrant products, and those with grains or scrubbing agents. Stay away from the use of such products. Instead, use gentle cleansers and be careful how hard you wash. Wipe, do not scrub when removing dirt and oil from your skin.
Oil-free and non-comedogenic products are usually advisable, as these do not clog pores. There are also cosmetics that have been developed to promote acne healing and daily prevention. Like many cleansers, many of these are oil-free and some contain a small amount of acne medication.
I hope this post has shed a bit of light on this complex subject, to getter a deeper understanding about causes, prevention, treatment, resources and dealing with scarring, our 3 eBook with 11 audio files is a great resource of information as there is so much to know to get relief, healing and comfort.
Until next time, here's to getting rid of stress, problem skin and acne.
All the best,