Teen Acne: Understanding
Acne is very common for teenagers, and often impacts more than just their physical appearance. It can also negatively affect their self-image and self confidence, making them reluctant to participate in social activities and sports. Acne is caused by increased hormonal >activity within the skin's sebaceous (commonly called oil) glands. It affects teenagers because adolescence is a time of increased hormonal changes.
The extra secretions of oil, combined with dead skin cells and surface dirt, leads to clogged pores and outbreaks of lesions, which we call pimples, blemishes or acne. Acne commonly occurs in the neck, face, back, shoulders and chest because the body's sebaceous glands are more densely distributed here. However, help is available to combat the effects of acne.
Two Common Mistakes In The Treatment Of Acne
Acne has little to do with diet, except in cases of food allergies, or by too much facial washing. These are two common myths often associated with this condition. Too much facial cleansing can cause the skin to become dry and irritated, aggravating and inflaming existing acne breakouts, but it does not cause more acne to form. If acne pimples are ruptured by cleansing that is too rough or by harsh products the infection may be spread over a wider area.
In addition, it is not advisable to pinch or pop acne pimples. Pinching can drive the bacteria that cause acne deeper into the skin, creating more or deeper pimples under the surface. Rupturing pimples allows the infection to escape onto the surface of the skin, clogging and infecting surrounding pores. Although it has been a common practice, it really isn't a good idea.
Five Truths About Acne Treatment
1. Since adolescents usually produce more skin oil than adults, it is important to cleanse twice a day with a mild cleanser that won't dry or inflame the skin. This cleanses excess dirt and oil away from the skin. It is also important to keep the skin properly hydrated and moisturized. Oily skin doesn't mean that the skin is properly moisturized. Attempting to dry oily skin by harsh cleansing often causes the glands to work overtime to re-hydrate the skin. Using a light moisturizer helps to prevent the secretion of excess skin oils.
2. Facial cleansing has the added benefit of preventing more acne from forming because it removes those agents that cause acne: excess oil, dead skin cells, and surface dirt. Since the goal of acne treatment is prevention, a good skin care regimen is the best place to start.
3. While exfoliants are a good idea, choose one that is gentle to the skin and which has small grains. Smaller grains are not as harsh, aren't as likely to scratch the surface, and won't aggravate acne. They gently remove dead skin cells, freshening and beautifying the skin. Also, don't scrub your skin; use light, circular movements to exfoliate without damaging the skin.
4. Avoid products that contain substantial amounts of alcohol. Alcohol has a drying effect upon the skin, causing it to produce more oil to compensate for that moisture which has been stripped away. If using a toner, choose one that contains no alcohol.
5. Choose make-up products wisely. Avoid those products that may have caused or contributed to past breakouts, and select only those that won't clog pores and create blackheads. Never go to sleep with make-up on, always wash it off before going to bed.
Although no one can combat their physiology entirely, acne can be controlled by a good skin care regimen. In cases of persistent, severe acne, or where cystic acne may exist, the best course is to consult a physician. There are a lot of medications that can treat acne; it is not something that you must "suffer through" alone. Finding a solution is the best way to improve self-esteem.
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