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HEALTH HINTS

Breaking Out of Acne

"Getting rid of the blemishes on your face"
By: Ericka PingolBreaking Out of Acne

Who doesn’t want a spotless complexion? I know I do!  As someone who still gets a few zits here and there, finding out how to get rid of the bad ol’ acne breakout for good seems impossible. I’ve tried almost all the remedies I could get my hands on to banish the blemishes off my face. Some products work, some don’t.  The acne struggle is real.

Acne, medically known as Acne Vulgaris, is a skin disease that involves the oil glands at the base of hair follicles. It commonly occurs during puberty when the sebaceous (oil) glands come to life - the glands are stimulated by male hormones produced by the adrenal glands of both males and females. Acne lesions are most common on the face, but they can also occur on the neck, chest, back, shoulders, and upper arms.

What are the kinds of acne?

The type of care and treatment needed to manage your acne breakout depends on the kind of acne that you have. These classifications are as follow:

  • Comedonal acne. This is the kind of mild acne that involves blackheads and whiteheads. 
  • Inflammatory acne. This form of acne occurs when the area just under the “plug” (the blackhead or whitehead) becomes reddened and inflamed.
  • Cystic acne. The most severe form of acne, cystic acne develops as the result of an actual infection in the area of the outbreak.
  • What causes acne?
  • There are four main factors that cause acne, these are: oil production, dead skin cells, clogged pores, and bacteria. However, acne breakout can also be aggravated by the following:
  • Hormones. Androgens are hormones that increase in boys and girls during puberty and cause the sebaceous glands to enlarge and make more sebum.
  • Certain medications. Drugs containing corticosteroids, androgens or lithium can worsen acne.
  • Diet. Studies indicate that certain dietary factors, including dairy products and carbohydrate-rich foods — such as bread, bagels and chips — may trigger acne. Chocolate has long been suspected of making acne worse. A recent study of 14 men with acne showed that eating chocolate was related to an increase in acne. Further study is needed to examine why this happens or whether acne patients need to follow specific dietary restrictions.
  • Stress. Stress can make acne worse.

What treatments can be done?

Acne treatment depends on whether you have a mild, moderate, or severe type of acne. Sometimes your doctor will combine treatments to get the best results and to avoid developing drug-resistant bacteria. Treatment could include lotions or gels you put on blemishes or sometimes entire areas of skin, such as the chest or back (topical medicines). You might also take medicines by mouth (oral medicines). What works for a person may not work to another. It is important to be informed about your cane and skin condition before starting a treatment. It is recommended to consult a doctor for assistance and proper acne management and treatment.

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