Acne Affects Nearly Everyone
A skin disease defined by whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, and other irritations, acne is a very common problem. Almost everyone deals with acne at some point in their life. It is most common during adolescence. Some estimates reveal that 80 – 90% of teenagers in the western world are affected. It’s also not unusual for women to develop acne in their mid – to – late 20s.
Acne is caused by clogged follicles the secrete sebum (oil). These follicles are most concentrated in the face, upper chest, and back. Sometimes, acne can lead to scarring. It also can cause psychological damage like reduced self-esteem, and in extreme cases, depression and suicide.
There are some old wives’ tales out there about what causes acne. Some mythical acnes causes include:
- Food (greasy junk food or chocolate)
Other things, such as medication and cosmetics, can increase skin irritation. Whatever the cause of your acne, there are three steps to treating it:
- Open your pores: Using a mild soap, wash once or twice a day. Do not overwash, as that can lead to skin irritation. You can also use exfoliating masks and cleansers to remove the outer layer of skin, opening your pores.
- Kill bacteria: Bacteria from ruptured follicles can move into deeper layers of skin, causing inflammation. Antibacterial cleansers with benzoyl peroxide can help, as can antibacterial creams, gels, and lotions that are applied directly to affected areas.
- Minimize the oil: A gentle astringent or toner can wipe away oil. Masks containing sulfur draw oil out of your skin. Antibacterial pads containing benzoyl peroxide can help get rid of excess oil, as well.
If you’ve tried several methods to treat your acne and nothing is working, talk to your doctor. He or she may have some ideas that can help.