Acner.org: Acne treatment

Acner.org: Acne treatment

Bad Skin and Acne

Bad Skin and Acne Bad Skin and Acne

Overview

Acne is characterized by the American Academy of Dermatology as one of the most common skin conditions today. While it's often thought to predominantly affect adolescents, you can suffer a breakout at almost any age. This is largely due to the fact that hormonal changes, hereditary factors and even certain medications can contribute to the development of bad skin and acne.

Origins

The comedones, papules, pustules, nodules and cysts associated with bad skin and acne develop when dead skin, excess oil and bacteria build up within your pores. Epithelial cells and sebum can eventually develop into a soft plug that eventually obstructs the opening of your hair follicles, leading to bacterial infection and subsequently, inflammation. The depth of this obstruction influences the severity of the acne lesions. Surface obstructions develop into comedones, papules and pustules, while deeply clogged pores tend to cause nodules and cysts.

Self-Care

Bad skin and acne can often be improved with simple self-care measures. The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases recommends washing acne-prone skin with a gentle cleanser twice a day. Apply over-the-counter acne creams containing benzoyl peroxide, resorcinol, salicylic acid, sulfur or lactic acid after washing. Any one of these active ingredients helps to slough dead skin and dry excess oil, contributing to the skin condition.

Professional Care

If self-care methods fail to improve bad skin and acne, talk to your dermatologist about other forms of treatment. Medical professionals can prescribe prescription acne creams containing retinoids, benzoyl peroxide, antibiotics or a combination of these medications to reduce pore obstructions and clear the complexion, advises the Mayo Clinic. They may also suggest laser therapy, light therapy, chemical peels or dermabrasion to improve more moderate-to-severe cases of acne.

Prevention

Besides washing acne prone areas and using acne creams, the Mayo Clinic suggests not using oil-based cosmetics, moisturizers and sunscreens. Pay very close attention to what touches your skin, since hair, phones and helmet straps can all cause dead skin and excess oil to clog the pores. If you tend to develop acne and bad skin on the back or shoulders, avoid wearing tight fitted clothing and wash apparel after each use.

Misconceptions

There's a common misconception that your diet plays a role in the development of acne. Foods don't cause bad skin. However, there is a kernel of truth to this statement. Eating greasy foods can leave a residue on the skin near your mouth, which may contribute to clogged pores, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

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