Acne or commonly known as zits or pimples are skin inflammation affecting 87% of the total US population. They usually appear during puberty because of abnormal response of the body to the male hormone known as testosterone.
The causes of acne are still being investigated. However, scientific studies show that it can be hereditary. Other factors linked to zits are the following:
1. Skin irritation.
2. Use of Anabolic steroids. Most body builders are taking these synthetic hormones for faster growth of muscles and bone tissues.
3. Stress that increases hormones from adrenal glands.
4. Exposure to chlorine compounds like chlorinated dioxins.
Most people who suffer from acne in their teens notice decrease or total disappearance of acne when they reach their early twenties, without seeking treatment. However, there are some who suffer from it for decades.
The following are proven treatments against acne.
1. Exfoliation. This can be done through the use of liquid scrub, abrasive cloth, or other exfoliating agents that allow the skin to peel to prevent dead skin cells build-up. This process also unblocks clogged pores.
2. Antibiotics. There are 2 kinds of antibiotics that are being used to treat acne: These are topical antibiotics and oral antibiotics. Topical antibiotics are applied directly to the affected area. They are being used to remove bacteria trapped on the follicles. This is more popular compared to oral antibiotics because it eliminates possible side effects like drug interactions or stomach upset. Oral antibiotics on the other hand regulate cell behaviour and reduce oil secretion to unclog the pores.
3. Hormonal treatments. This treatment works best for females. Oral contraceptive pills contains progesten and oestrogen that can help in reducing acne. Some dermatologists administer an injection containing cortisone directly to a large pimple that reduces inflammation and redness almost immediately.
Dermatologists are now considering the use of laser surgery not only to reduce acne scars but also to prevent acne formation. This can be done by burning the sebaceous gland and follicle sac to induce oxygen that kills the bacteria causing acne. This is recommended to people who are suffering from severe acne.
Severe acne leaves scars that are very expensive and difficult to treat. Although there are no guarantees that acne scars will be removed completely, there are scar treatments that lessen them. These are the following:
1. Dermabrasions. This treatment removes the top layer of the skin using high-speed wire brush making the acne scar less visible. People who are suffering from severe acne will need multiple treatments to get desired results. This can only be done by cosmetic surgeons and dermatologists.
2. Microdermabrasion. The newest technique in dermatology that enhances dermabrasion. This is being done by rubbing tiny crystals on the affected area using suction tool.
3. Chemical peeling. This treatment uses organic acid like salicylic, glycolic, or lactic acid to remove the top layer of the skin so that the smoother layer will surface. This is generally painless and does not require anaesthetic.
Several books were introduced in the market stating that acne can be prevented by following a strict diet and avoiding dairy products. They also suggest that adequate exercise and proper hygiene can save anyone from acne problems. Acne can be a tough problem, however knowing how to keep it away from your face is the strongest weapon you can have to enjoy a beautiful face and life.