Acne is more than just a zit. There are many types and degrees of acne. Many factors can cause acne. More importantly there are many ways to prevent acne, and to treat acne and it’s side effects like scarring. Do you know what your triggers are?
Before you begin to treat your blemishes, you must first understand what exactly acne is, and what triggers may be causing your acne.
THE BIG QUESTION - WHAT IS ACNE?
Acne is small red bumps, like a rash which can be very irritating and make you self-conscious. The bumps can be quite small or bigger in appearance.
Bacteria known as Propionibacterium Acnes generate certain types of enzymes and substances that further provoke the skin and cause further inflammation. Mostly the bacteria uses the oil from the body’s oil glands to develop acne.
There are two types of acne lesions:
- one is a form of inflammatory acne (can be quite serious)
- the other is a form of non-inflammatory acne.
*Blackheads and white-heads fall under the non-inflammatory category and are relatively harmless.
The inflammatory type or “nodular acne” is the worst type possible. Inflammatory acne forms as red blemishes, pimples or zits that can be quite swollen and inflamed. If left untreated they may rupture and cause facial scarring.
Often minute in size, they can be very abundant in nature and generally arise from partially blocked pores.
Blackheads look black from the melanin pigment found in the dead skin cells. These blackheads can last for many years if left untreated.
Are very similar to a blackhead although their size does vary a bit more. Pores that are completely blocked cause the formation of a white head.
A white head looks white because of the bacteria found inside them.
Spots that are often very tender to the touch and appear as small red bumps.
Spots that are bigger in size, filled with pus and hard to resist for picking.
But you should resist the temptation to pick these ones because they can cause terrible scarring.
Are more serious in nature as these bigger bumps hide under the surface of the skin but can cause serious scarring if not correctly treated.
Are very much like nodules but they have a tendency to become infected and inflamed and often leads to serious scarring.
Again specific treatment is warranted to rid the body of this type of acne and to prevent future breakouts
Fact: For men their biggest challenge is body acne and acne caused by shaving
TIP: WHEN SHAVING RINSE WITH COOL WATER TO CLOSE PORES AND HELP STOP ZITS!
Pimples can be very painful, especially when they show up in intimate and sensitive areas, which is very common.
WHAT CAUSES ACNE?
Basically the cell in the hair follicle starts to flake and this causes a build-up that continues to grow until it bursts releasing oil and debris into the skin. The skins surface starts to swell and inflammation occurs causing the appearance of the zit.
Other factors known to cause acne include lithium, barbiturates, and greasy cosmetics. Friction on the skins surface caused from certain objects like hats, helmets, and clothing often rub and irritate the skin provoking acne breakouts in awkward places.
WHO GETS ACNE?
Virtually everyone. Over 85% of people will experience acne at some point in their life. While we tend to associate acne with teens, they are the only ones to struggle with breakouts and blemishes.
For many teens the onslaught of puberty brings enough problems and confusion already but the onslaught of unsightly pimples only helps to make matters worse. For many teens it is a very awkward and embarrassing time. There are too many cases of depression among teens who admit it is linked to their body’s appearance and their peers perception of them.
Teens are not the only ones affected by facial and body acne, acne scarring, inflammation or dry skin. An increasing number of adult women are thrust back into the embarrassing issue of acne as they find themselves going through the many stages of menopause.
With the body’s hormones fluctuating like crazy, and the added stress of this period itself, it becomes obvious that this is a perfect time for the body to become prone to and promote the formation of pimples.
Why Women May Develop Acne Breakouts
For women, the female hormone estrogen may prove to be an ally in the battle with blemished skin.
Young women may notice changes in their skin due to the changes in her monthly cycle.
Some doctors prescribe birth control pills as an alternative way of treating acne because it contains the hormone estrogen.
It also beneficial in controlling a women’s menstrual cycle, helping to make her periods lighter, regular and leading to less bloating and pain.
Many women benefit from exercise, especially yoga which is great for relieving stress and strengthening the circulatory system.
Environmental Factors Also Influence Acne and Blemishes
Environmental factors like: pollutants, humidity, exercising, clothing and shaving are all examples of things that may increase your chances of getting a zit or two. Stress is also a major factor in the development of a blemished complexion.
Active guys are prime breeding ground for body zits and ingrown hairs. Even men can benefit from effective, powerful acne treatments like ClearPores.
Hormones and Stress: Both men and women have the male hormone Androgen in their body (the male obviously has a higher level than does his female counterpart) and this hormone is responsible for causing acne. The Androgen hormones expand the sebaceous glands while raising the level of oil production which ultimately leads to the build-up and blockage of the zit.
Many teens have a terrible time going through puberty and are often subject to horrible episodes of acne and problematic skin due to the changing levels of hormones in their body including Androgen.
How Should You Treat Your Acne?
No one treatment is prescribed to combat acne. In fact no one treatment is perfect in treating acne. The type of treatment prescribed for teens differs from the treatment program prescribed for adults.
Regardless of the treatment, caution should be taken when trying a new product or regimen because it may cause other side effects or may make the acne problem much worse.
For more information on how to treat acne and the types of medication and acne products available you will want to check out our section Types of Treatments.