Acne is a skin condition characterized by inflamed pores, which can erupt into pustules. It can also involve clogged pores, blackheads and whiteheads.
About 80% of all teenagers will have acne at some point during puberty and after. Acne is mainly due to hormonal changes in the body. However, acne outbreaks can often occur due to a lack of good hygiene, such as washing the face often with a mild soap, and keeping hands clean and away from the face. Washing the hair to keep it from being oily, and keeping it off the face, can also help keep acne from erupting.
Contrary to popular belief, acne is not triggered by the foods teens eat, though everyone tends to blame chocolate and French fries. While they may not cause acne, a healthy balanced diet can go a long way towards keeping acne at bay.
Another common acne myth is that sunshine will heal acne. But this is not the case. We all know the dangers of sunshine for skin cancer now, and people with acne should not put oily or heavy creams on their face, like sun block. They are liable to clog pores and just make the acne spread.
Harsh cleansers are also not good for acne, nor is squeezing the pimple to try to pop it. The best thing to do if you have acne is to keep your face and hands clean and away from your face and not spend a lot of money on acne cures that can end up making your skin problem worse.
Acne usually disappears by itself by the time a person reaches their 20s, but it tends to affect people from 10 through 40. It is not unusual for women, in particular, to develop acne in their mid- to late-20s. This is known as adult acne, and is usually triggered by hormones.
Pre-menopausal and menopausal women tend to get acne as well, but it can often be another condition called roseacea, which looks similar in that pustules form on the skin. However, with rosacea, the patient might also develop a large nose and prominent red veins on the cheeks.
Stress and pollution are considered two of the main contributors to acne outbreaks in adults. Another reason can be creams and lotions with fragrance in them, and heavy or old makeup.
Makeup can get stale, and even if it is fresh, it can clog pores and cause acne, and also spread pimples as the makeup is spread across the face with one's fingers. Powder puffs and brushes can also spread germs and need to be washed regularly.
People with adult acne should not buy products designed to treat teen acne, since this will only dry out and damage their skin more.
For both teens and adults, acne can be an embarrassing problem. If washing properly and good diet alone are not enough, there are also prescription medications. For women, it would be the birth control pill or some other form of hormone to try to settle the skin. For all age groups and genders, a course of antibiotics will most likely clear up the acne, though these medicines can come with certain side effects, including an upset stomach.
Acne is a natural fact of life, but for many people it can be an emotional issue as well. However, taking the right steps to treat and prevent acne can help clear it up, for a clean, clear and healthy complexion.