Acne is a skin eruption and comes in a number of different forms, from the very mild common skin disorder that most young people get in early puberty to the more aggressive and disfiguring form that can affect people until they reach their 40’s.
Acne is caused by the inflammation of the small oil glands that surround the fine hairs on the skin.
Acne can be affected by hormonal changes in the body. During pregnancy or menstrual cycle women often find their acne gets worse. Environmental changes can also have an effect on the acne such as pollution, heat cold and humidity
During puberty, the production of male sex hormones (androgens) increases in both girls and boys, this increase can stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum. The sebaceous glands, in some people are extremely sensitive to androgens. This can cause acne that is so severe that they need medical treatment. The increased production causes narrowing in the opening of the glands which prevents the sebum getting out, but the production continues. A bacterium on the skin feeds on the sebum. The bacteria produce waste products and fatty acids that in turn irritate the sebaceous glands and make them inflamed. Pimples will then result on the skin. They are usually in the form of tender red spots which normally disappear after a few days.
In severe cases of acne scars will be left on the skin. Acne can cause stress and is likely to cause lack of confidence which in turn can cause social disability. It is important to get help for the condition. There are a number of factors which can contribute and aggravate acne.
Working in a damp environment with oil grease or chemicals.
Squeezing the pimples on the skin.
Hormonal changes in the body such as menstrual cycle or pregnancy.
Wash your face and other affected areas at least twice a day and always after exercise when skin becomes sweaty. Use a mild cleanser, over the counter cleansers are available that are specially formulated for problem skin.
Keep your hair clean and away from the affected area.
Use only water based moisturisers which won’t clog the skin.
Do not squeeze pimples.
Avoid excessive exposure to the sun; whilst a little sun may help the condition over exposure will damage the skin.
Eat a well balanced and healthy diet which will help aid skin recovery.
Your doctor can prescribe treatment for severe acne and there is a wealth of over the counter treatments that may help both prevent and treat acne.