Acne Under My Skin
Acne, a common skin disease, causes us to break out with whiteheads and blackheads, which can become inflamed. It affects people of all ages, and while it can occur anywhere on your body, it usually appears on your face, neck, shoulders, chest, back and/or upper arms. You can usually feel those first bumps of acne under the skin before it breaks through on the skin itself.
If you take a look at your skin, you'll see each pore contains a hair follicle with an oil gland at its base. It's these oil glands that keep your skin lubricated. According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, if the oil gland produces too much oil, it can cause the pore to become blocked with accumulating dirt and bacteria. If the blocked follicle stays beneath the skin, you will get a white bump or whitehead. If the blocked follicle reaches the skin's surface and opens, you will get a blackhead, which has a dark color when the oil is exposed to air. If the wall of the blocked follicle breaks down, it will lead to pimples on the surface of your skin.
According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, there are numerous causes of acne. Changes in hormones levels, such as during puberty, pregnancy or with birth control pills, can cause the oil glands under your skin to enlarge and make too much oil. Genetics can also play a role in acne. Some medications and greasy cosmetics can also cause acne by causing cells to stick together and block the pore.
Making It Worse
There are additional situations that, while they don't cause acne, can make it worse. According to the U.S. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases stress, changing hormone levels prior to menstruation and squeezing or picking at existing blemishes can make acne worse. Sports helmets, equipment and uniforms, as well as backpacks and tight collars, can also aggravate acne.
The American Academy of Dermatology advises to be patient when treating acne because it takes time (often up to eight weeks) to treat existing breakouts and prevent new ones. Dermatologists may prescribe topical gels, lotions or creams to be applied to the skin, oral medications that work systemically in the body, or both. Physicians can also treat some acne cases with lasers or injections.
Acne Scar Treatment
The American Academy of Dermatology reports that a number of acne scar treatments are now available. Depending on the situation, dermatologists can use chemical peels, dermabrasion and/or surgery to reduce the appearance of acne scars.
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