The Initial Breakout of Acne
For most, acne first rears its ugly head at the time of puberty. Unsightly blemishes and lesions start cropping up, adding further complication to your teenage years. That being said, it's important to understand why your skin breaks out in the first place and what you can do to reduce the number of pimples you experience and prevent new ones from forming.
Acne is a common skin condition that appears most commonly on the face, chest and back. These blemishes often appear as blackheads or whiteheads and, according to MayoClinic.com, tend to accumulate on areas of the face that produce a lot of oil, including the nose, forehead, cheeks and chin.
In most cases, your very first acne breakout will occur at the time of puberty. These lesions are caused by hormone fluctuations, which result in an increased amount of oil production on the skin. When combined with an accumulation of dead skin cells, this oil will trap the dead cells in your pores and cause blemishes. When the bacteria Propionibacterium acnes is present, the blemishes will become inflamed and red, according to the American Skin Association. Other things that can cause your first acne breakout, according to Mayo Clinic.com., include being pregnant, stopping or starting certain medications, using oily cosmetics or wearing sports equipment, which can irritate the skin.
While most initial acne breakouts are mild, they can vary in type and intensity. The most common is called a comedone, according to the American Skin Association. These blemishes are blackheads or whiteheads, and are not inflamed. Inflamed acne can be papules or pustules, which are like whiteheads but surrounded by red, irritated tissue. Acne nodes are similar to papules but are much larger, more painful and much more likely to scar. Finally, acne cysts are filled with pus and fluid, and are the most likely to leave scarring behind.
For mild acne, over-the-counter treatments that contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid will suffice. However, if your acne is more severe, the blemishes may need to be removed using comedo extraction, according to AcneNet. Sometimes, prescription medications can be of help for stubborn cases, including topical or oral antibiotics, topical retinoids and for women, oral contraceptives.
Even though acne is a fairly normal part of growing up, there are some things you can do to prevent an initial breakout of acne. For instance, MayoClinic.com suggests you wash your face twice a day, keep your hair off your face and avoid oily makeups. Speaking of makeup, be sure to use oil-free formulas only and to wash it off before going to sleep each night. Always shower after exercise that makes you sweat and keep your hands off of your face. These simple tips can possibly help you avoid an acne breakout altogether.
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