Acne – An Introduction
Acne (acne vulgaris) is a very common skin condition which affects virtually all of us at some point in our lives. It can be a distressing condition to have as it impacts upon your looks and causes spots to develop on the skin. Acne can have many triggers such as diet and hormones. These spots are usually to be found on the face, chest and back and can range from whiteheads and blackheads through to highly inflamed pustules. At its worst, acne can be a long term condition which can lead to scarring and at best an annoyance. Sufferers all agree that acne can be upsetting both physically and emotionally speaking.
Keeping the skin clean is imperative as this will help to prevent the development of new spots. You should endeavour to wash the affected area no more than twice a day with a specialist product or mild soap. Avoid scrubbing the skin when washing as this will irritate it and potentially cause more of an imbalance.
Thankfully acne is controllable through treatment. There are very effective lotions, creams and gels available from pharmacies which can treat your spots if they are not so troublesome. If you have severe acne which also has spread to the chest and back then this may need to be treated with stronger creams or antibiotics which are available on prescription from your doctor. If there are nodules or cysts developing then you must see your doctor too as these could scar the skin. Also if you are experiencing emotional stress or anguish which relates to your acne then speak to your doctor for help. You do not need to suffer alone.
It is thought that the majority of cases of acne are directly linked to changes in hormone levels during puberty. What happens is that the skin produces too much sebum which blocks the hair follicles, leading to whiteheads and blackheads. Then, through usually innocuous bacteria which then infect a blocked follicle, pus filled cysts occur. Hormonal changes which occur in women during menstruation or pregnancy can also bring on acne in females. If your parents and relatives are acnes sufferers then there is more chance that you will be too.
Acne is a condition which is most common in teenagers and younger adults. It is estimated that as many as 80% of individuals between the ages of 11 and 30 will be affected at some point. The majority of individuals who suffer from acne have this coming or going in bouts for several years until it finally begins to improve, usually disappearing when a person is in their twenties. However there are some exceptions to this rule and acne can potentially continue on into adulthood. This is not very common however and only about 5% of women and 1% of men over the age of 25 have acne.