Acne: Understanding This Skin Condition

Understanding the Skin Condition Acne

Acne is a skin condition for which there is fortunately a cure. Approximately 17 million individuals age 12 – 24 have acne in the U.S.

Acne although commonly seen in teenagers can strike at any age; even newborns are not immune to acne. People of all races have to deal with acne at one time or other in their life. Acne is more prevalent in teenagers and young adults causing havoc in their social lives.

Acne usually goes away by age 30, but can return during pregnancy. The skin condition, acne involves the skin’s oil glands and the pores, which are the small holes in the skin’s surface that are connected to the oil glands.

A pimple is formed when the follicle on the skin becomes clogged. The majority of acne appears on the face, but can also appear anywhere on the surface of the skin with the usual places being the back, chest, face, and neck.

There are six types of pimples including:

  1. whiteheads,
  2. blackheads,
  3. papules,
  4. pustules,
  5. nodules,
  6. and cysts.

Whiteheads are pimples that stay under the surface of the skin and are of course white in appearance. Blackheads are pimples that rise to the skin’s surface and are black in appearance.

Papules are small pink bumps that feel very tender. Pustules are pimples that are reddened at the bottom and have pus at the top. Nodules are very painful, large and solid pimples that are deep in the skin.

Cysts are very deep pimples that are painful, full of pus and usually leave scars on the skin after they heal, which usually takes a long time.

Acne vulgaris is the most common form of acne and is found on individuals who have oily complexions.

Teenagers see a lot of acne breakouts because they have changing hormones, and experience greater secretion of oil from their skin glands because of the increase in hormonal levels.

The excess oil blocks the pores causing the acne. Other factors can clog pores including pollutants in the air, and irritants on the skin.

Changing hormones strike again during pregnancy giving the mom-to-be yet another pregnancy moment to remember in this otherwise miraculous time of life.

Another type of acne strikes around age 30 or 40 and is called acne rosacea. Acne rosacea causes the face to become reddened and flushed looking.

Any type of irritation can cause pimples. Clothing rubbing against the skin, a chinstrap, or a soap that is too harsh can all lead to the formation of acne. Even scrubbing the skin for too long or too hard can irritate the skin and cause acne.

The shedding of dead skin cells can lead to a blockage in the hair follicles or pores of the skin and also cause acne. The blocked pores are breeding ground for bacteria that are already on the skin’s surface normally.

Other causes of acne are not removing dirt and excess oil from the face allowing pores to become blocked with oil and dirt. Skin products that are put on the skin and irritate the skin causes inflammation, which in turn breeds bacteria.

Whatever the cause of your particular acne, it is a condition that can be treated by addressing the cause of the acne. There are products designed to unclog pores.

We can prevent acne by using skin products that do not irritate our skin and avoid clothing or objects that may irritate our skin. Washing the face, neck, chest and back areas with a mild soap and warm water twice a day also will decrease the frequency of acne breakouts.

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