How much do you really know about acne?

How much do you really know about acne?
Test your knowledge by taking this short quiz…
1. Squeezing and popping pimples is the best way to get rid of
O True
O False
2. Approximately what percentage of teens gets acne?
O 80%
O 30%
O 45%
3. Eating chocolate or greasy foods can cause acne.
O True
O False
4. Getting a tan helps clear up acne.
O Yes
O No
5. How often should you wash your face to prevent acne?
O Every other day
O Twice per day
O Five times per day
Continue reading to find out these answers and a
whole lot more about acne…
Who gets acne?
Acne is a universal skin condition because it affects people of all ethnicities.
It tends to start around the ages of 10 and 13 and it usually lasts for 5 to 10
years. It can continue on for longer and some people are even known to have
acne for the first time as adults. Both males and females have acne, but it
may be worse in boys because their bodies produce more skin oils. In fact,
80% of teens get acne. So during those days when you feel like the whole
world is staring at that one zit on your forehead, just remember that you are
not alone. 8 out of 10 of your classmates have also experienced the same
type of skin condition.
What causes acne?
Acne occurs when the sebaceous
glands under the skin produce too
much oil (sebum) and the oil mixes
with the cells that are in the lining of
those glands and clog the pores or hair
follicles on the skin. When the pores
become clogged it results in
whiteheads, blackheads, or pimples.
These most often occur on the face,
back, shoulder, neck, and chest.
9 Whiteheads occur when the pore gets
clogged up and closes but bulges out from
the skin.
What’s the difference
between a whitehead, a
blackhead, and a pimple?
9 Blackheads however occur when a pore is
clogged up but it stays open and the top
surface can darken. A common myth is
that a blackhead is caused by dirt, when
in fact, it is caused by oil and skin cells.
9 Pimples occur when the wall of the pore
opens up and oil, bacteria, and dead skin
cells make their way under the skin.
9 Nodules are another term. They are like
pimples but bigger and more painful.
These are actually infected lumps or cysts
and they occur deeper in the skin and
they are clogged pores that open up very
deep in the skin.
Now that we know
that sebum (oil) is a
main contributor to
acne…you may be
wondering what it is
influenced by…
Here are 3 factors…
¾ “It’s in the genes” – Genetics play a
role…if your mother or father had bad
acne, you may too.
¾ “Those raging hormones!” – Hormones
like testosterone cause particular glands in a
person’s skin pores to make extra oil. And
since the production of testosterone is
most active during the teen years, it may be
the reason why those are the most acne
prone years.
¾ “Bacteria Bacteria Bacteria” – Some
people are extra sensitive to the bacteria
that gets trapped in their hair follicles
which then causes acne.
Myth #1 – Chocolate and greasy foods cause acne
Fact: Research shows that chocolate, sweets, fats, and soda all do not affect acne, but it is still
important to have a well-balanced diet so you’ll be strong and healthy.
Myth #2 – Squeezing your pimples is the best way to get rid of them
Fact: Squeezing your pimples can actually push germs further down into your skin and make
them larger and it may cause infection and lead to permanent scarring.
Myth #3 – Washing your face as many times as you can helps control acne
Fact: Actually, it is recommended to wash your face twice a day with soap and water, not as
many times as you can get to a sink. Also, scrubbing your face really hard and frequently
washing may actually worsen the condition by irritating your skin.
Myth #4 – Getting a tan gets rid of acne
Fact: It may seem like soaking up the sun is going to dry up the oils and clear up your acne, but
actually it does nothing to improve your acne. It may seem like the pimples have gone away, but
it’s just your darker skin that is hiding the redness from the acne.
Myth #5 – You should not wear makeup if you have acne
Fact: Actually, the use of makeup is relatively harmless when it is noncomedogenic (does not
clog pores), hypoallergenic, and nonirritating. Some cosmetics now even come with acne
fighting ingredients like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid right in them.
Prevention is Key!
Here are a few simple things you can do to help reduce the number and
severity of your breakouts …
¾ Use skin care products that are noncomedogenic or nonacnegenic
¾ Wash your face twice a day with soap and water and also after excessive
¾ If you use suntan oil, hair gels, and hairsprays, try to keep them away from
your face when you use them.
¾ Avoid having objects rub against your face as much as possible, such as
clothing, helmets, chin straps, or other tight fitting items
¾ Avoid squeezing or picking at your pimples
What do you do after you’ve done all that and the pimples
are still there?
Here are the most popular treatment methods for
Salicylic Acid
Salicylic acid is a mild treatment for acne. It works by peeling
the top layer of the skin and opening the clogged pores. This is
an effective treatment for mild acne and oily skin. It is an overthe-counter treatment method, which means you can find
products with this acne fighting ingredient on the shelves of
your local drugstore.
Benzoyl Peroxide
Benzoyl peroxide is said to be stronger than salicylic acid and
it is an ingredient in acne treatment that kills the bacteria
that causes acne. This ingredient is very effective in treating
mild cases of acne like blackheads and whiteheads. It may
however take 2-3 weeks before you see noticeable results.
The good thing about both benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid
are that they are both found in over-the-counter products
which means they are easy to find and pretty inexpensive.
Remember to read the labels because it will tell you exactly
what the active ingredient is in these treatment products.
If you feel you have moderate to severe acne and would like
to see a doctor for treatment, the doctor may tell you to use a
combination of a topical acne treatment (something you would
directly apply to your face like a gel, cream, lotion, or
solution) and oral antibiotics. This is considered a more long
term acne treatment and it works by slowing down the body’s
production of acne-causing bacteria as well as decreasing
inflammation. Some of the most common antibiotics that are
prescribed are tetracycline, minocycline, doxycycline and
This type of treatment is highly effective for people with
severe acne, but it is usually used as a last resort because of
the intensity of the treatment and the side effects that it may
cause. Accutane is a prescription drug that works by attacking
and destroying oil glands. It is used for 4 to 6 months at a
time, but some people sometimes require repeat treatments.
During the treatment process, the person must take blood
tests and females need to use two forms of birth control. The
side effects are that it may cause depression, severely dry
your skin and eyes, cause liver damage, and it may make acne
worse before improving it.
Try the most mild treatment first to
prevent skin irritation and over drying
Topical treatments (applied directly to
the skin) are less likely to cause side
effects than oral medications
Be aware of side effects if you decide to
use prescription drugs for treatment
If you have oily skin, you should choose
a gel based product
If you have dry skin, you should choose
a cream product
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