Acne

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Portrait of a Male Teenager Cleaning his Acne

Almost everyone has experienced the inopportune timing and placement of an acne outbreak. Indeed, most of us know just how confidence-shaking it can be to attend a job interview or social function with a poorly placed pimple. Whether we are talking about a single blemish, or a total outbreak, acne is a common condition with various possible treatments.

The Fundamentals

What we term acne—an abbreviation for acne vulgaris—is the product of our skin’s producing an excess of natural oil. This natural oil is called sebum and effectively blocks our pores: resulting in blemishes. Worse still, the bacteria found in our skin’s natural oils often causes an inflammation of our already blemished skin.

The most common areas of our body affected by acne are the face, shoulders, chest, neck and back. When these areas become acne-ridden, people often experience high levels of discomfort and self-consciousness.

Unfortunately, acne is the most pervasive skin condition affecting residents of the United States, with nearly fifty million Americans currently suffering from it. While virtually anyone can get acne, the most common demographic suffering from this skin condition is teenagers.

Contributing Factors

There are a number of different factors that contribute to acne outbreaks, and by extension, a number of different methods for prevention. The most common contributing factors are:

  • Fluctuations in hormones. In women especially, such fluctuations occur during puberty and monthly menstruation.
  • Certain cosmetic products, including: moisturizer, shampoo, conditioner, and even certain makeups.
  • Heredity.
  • Certain medications.
  • Rigorous washing or scrubbing of the skin.
  • Anxiety and stress.

Treatment

Because acne is such a pervasive condition, there are an equal variety of methods by which to treat it. A routine way of caring for your skin is essential for acne prevention. This entails washing your skin for a maximum of two times per day. A soft and gentle cleanser is sufficient for doing so, along with some warm water.

Nonetheless, treating outbreaks that have already surfaced is another issue altogether. There are a number of ways of going about doing so. These include:

  • Non-Prescription medications. These might come in the form of cleansers, creams or gels. There are also a number of prescription creams and lotions that a doctor can prescribe for you, depending on the severity of your skin condition.
  • Isotretinoin. Isotretinoin is a pill that many doctors prescribe, among others, to deal with severe cases of acne vulgaris.
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Various laser treatments (including blue light therapy and heat energy therapy) which involve lasers being applied to the affected areas of the skin.

If you are suffering from acne, or do from time to time, it is important to keep in mind that this is something you need to deal with even when you are not experiencing an outbreak. The most effective way of doing so is by working with a dermatologist. He or she can help you to develop a treatment plan and regimen that you can follow both during—and between—breakouts.

Proceeding without treatment can cause not only scarring and permanent damage to the skin, but also a lowering of your self-esteem. Seeking treatment for acne will do wonders for both your physical and emotional health, and is something you ought to consider if acne is a condition that you struggle with.

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