Acne Area – A Comprehensive Guide to Acne 2020
Curing Acne and Acne Treatments provides the most comprehensive information on curing acne and different acne treatments.
In an effort to be non-biased we have provided a Modern Medicine perspective and then attempted to reach beyond its limitations to provide a holistic understanding of acne along with different methods for curing and treating acne.
This site does not attempt to replace the role of your physician, but merely attempts to provide you with a deeper understanding of acne, and some treatments that people have found helpful in giving relief from their acne.
What is Acne?
Acne is a broad term used to describe a variety of skin conditions in which the pores get clogged with dead skin and/or Sebum (oil that lubricates skin and hair). Clogged Pores are susceptible to infection causing a whitehead, blackhead, pimple or Cyst.
The most common form of acne, Acne Vulgaris, found mostly in teenagers, usually shows up on the face, neck, shoulders, upper back, and chest.
Severe acne can cause scars. For an acne treatment that can prevent acne and at the same time treat the scars.
Whitehead: A white bump on the skin that forms when a pore gets clogged up and stays closed.
Blackhead: The top surface darkens when a pore gets clogged up but stays open.
Pimple: A small red infection formed if a clogged pore bursts and lets the Sebum, bacteria and dead skin cells make their way under the skin.
Cyst: An infection similar to a pimple except much larger. This can form if a clogged pore bursts very deep in the skin. When the bacteria enter the deeper levels of the skin they cause an inflammatory reaction and swelling occurs.
What Doctors Know? The Facts
Acne develops when excessive amounts of Sebum (oil that lubricates the hair and skin) block the pore. The hair follicle then is infected with bacteria and either whiteheads, blackheads, pimples or cysts are formed.
Acne is more common amongst teens going through puberty because of an imbalance of certain hormones such as androgens (male sex hormone). Androgens are present in both males and females. It is the imbalance of these hormones that triggers the Sebaceous glands (the gland that produces Sebum) into producing an excessive amount of oil.
All other explanations for causes of acne are theories and although many seem logically sound, they are not yet supported by conclusive evidence.
1. Identify The Cause
Examine your lifestyle to identify any changes that occurred when the acne started.
Check your diet, stress level, clothing, location, cosmetics, and medication for possible acne causes.
2. Keep Clean
Because acne is an infection caused by the skins pores getting clogged with excessive oil, washing with hot water and soap should prevent the infection from spreading and annihilate the problem altogether.
3. Do not Pick At It
Almost all Dermatologists will agree picking, squeezing, and popping will aggravate the acne, spread the bacteria and worsen the scarring. Trying to squeeze the puss out on your own might send it to deeper layers of your skin creating a larger, more serious infection.
Find out about the best way to treat your acne.
Acne Home Remedies
Here are some Home Remedies that some people have found helpful in stopping acne.
This information is not dermatologist tested and some of it may sound bizarre, but we wanted to provide you with all the possible solutions. If it has helped some people it could help you, but please read the Disclaimer before you try any of these.
Put toothpaste on your pimple before you go to bed, should help reduce swelling overnight. Make sure it is the paste not the gel. Any brand should do.
2. Dab Egg
Dab egg white on your pimple and leave on for at least 20 minutes preferably overnight, this is supposed to “Suck Out” the “Nasty Stuff”
3. Wash Your Face
Wash your face twice a day in warm salty water. This should leave your face oil free without aggravating the acne like soap.
Ice down the acne before bed, by morning it should be noticeably better. Works best on larger pimples that have not yet formed a head. Because it is a method of reducing the swelling and helping the acne “re-absorb” it should prevent scarring.
5. Wash + Dab
First wash face and then dab acne with cotton balls soaked in vinegar.
6. Strawberry Leaves
Place Strawberry leaves on the acne, the alkalinity helps to reduce the swelling.
Treatment of Acne Scars
Acne scar treatments require that a person’s skin is free of active acne, so if you still break out you will have to address that first. See Curing Acne.
There are several different ways to treat acne scars, most of them provided by Modern Medicine are expensive, painful, and can take 2 to 3 weeks for recovery. For an inexpensive, natural
Machines with quickly rotating diamond edged wheels are used to remove damaged skin and allow new skin to grow in its place. Dermabrasion is best for light skinned or very dark patients, and not as good for those in between. For a few days following the procedure, your skin will look scraped, and then a scab will form. Most people can return to work after two weeks or so.
Laser Resurfacing $3000
Involves the use of a laser to remove skin so new skin can form in its place. Your doctor can choose between the CO2 laser and the erbium (YAG) laser. Not a lot of research has been done to compare the two. Laser resurfacing can cause uneven skin tones in people with darker skin.
Chemical Peels $750
Involves application of different types of acid to the skin in order to remove the top layer so that a smoother layer can surface. Chemical peels are unlikely to produce results in people with severe scarring, and is designed only for the lightest of cases. It is the least likely method of treatment to improve acne scars. Depending upon the acid used, recovery can take from one day to several weeks.
Does Diet Effect Acne?
Because acne is formed primarily from overactive Sebaceous glands doctors cannot say that acne is directly linked to diet.
Certainly it is not the same oil from a greasy lunch that is clogging the pores. But who is to say whether or not diet is indirectly a cause of acne.
Could eating certain foods create an imbalance in the hormones and in turn trigger the Sebaceous glands? Unfortunately western medicine hasn’t come that far.
Try Eastern Medicine: Both Ayurveda and Chinese medicine offer age-old knowledge of how different foods effect our physiology. It may not be scientifically researched, but logically it probes far deeper into the holistic functioning of the physiology.
Does Stress Effect Acne?
It is a common theory that stress is a cause of acne. You may have noticed that when you are under stress that you sweat more.
We still do not know to what degree sweat affects the Sebaceous glands and the clogging of the pores but it seems likely that the two are linked.
Although we do not know of any research on whether sweat could cause acne, many dermatologists still ask their acne patients about their stress level.
People feeling stressed often find taking a hot bath helps them to relax.
Do Tight Clothes Effect Acne?
There is no doubt that tight clothing can aggravate acne and help spread the infection.
Whether or not it can be the primary cause of acne is still under discussion.
The theory is that tight clothing promotes sweating and can stop the sweat, sebum, and dead skin cells from escaping.
This leads to the blocking of the pores and then infection in the form of a whitehead, blackhead, pimple or cyst.
One way to prevent the spread of infection caused by sweat is to stay clean.
Can Medication Cause Acne?
Acne can be a side effect of some drugs, including barbiturates, seizure medication, steroids and other hormone effecting drugs.
If your acne started around the time you started taking a certain medication consult your physician, maybe there is an alternative that won’t give the same side effects.
Cosmetics and Acne
Heavy, greasy skin creams may irritate acne because they tend to clog the hair follicles.
Cocoa butter is a big offender. Non-medicated, oil-free and water-based cosmetics should be used instead and for only the minimum time necessary; however, avoiding cosmetics completely is the best thing to do.
The important thing is to choose the right products for your skin type. As a general rule, look for products that are noncomedogenic or nonacnegenic, which indicate that they don’t clog pores.
Products that say “dermatologist tested” may be tested by skin doctors, but they aren’t necessarily a good choice for acne-prone skin.
Acne Natural Cure
To really cure the acne you need to eliminate the cause! Acne is usually associated with a hormonal imbalance.
Cystic Acne in Women
Over activity of the sebaceous glands usually results from either the presence of excessive amounts of male sex hormones (androgens) or an increased sensitivity of the sebaceous glands to normal levels of male sex hormones.
One approach to the treating male hormone-dependent acne is to lower the levels of male hormone production. For this diagnosis, it is important to establish the presence of excessive male sex hormones, the cause of its excess and the location of its production. This is done by simple blood tests for testosterone, free testosterone, and adrenal hormones such as DHEAS and perhaps 17-OHP. There is also a form of excess male hormones associated with insulin resistance– a new disorder currently under intense investigation. It should also be pointed out that excessive production of male sex hormones by a female not only causes acne, but also can result in excessive hair growth, menstrual disorders and subsequent lessened fertility.
Therefore, the presence of acne in females may be an important sign of an underlying endocrine (hormonal) problem. This underlying problem, if caused by ovarian or adrenal gland disease and left undiagnosed and untreated, could lead to disorders of the menstrual cycle, PMS, polycystic ovarian disease and other disorders of the reproductive system. One way to treat this health care problem is an endocrinological approach in order to establish a specific diagnosis, determine the location of excessive male hormone production (the adrenal glands or the ovaries) and develop a therapeutic plan to treat the underlying cause and counteract the effects of the male hormones. Appropriate monitoring of the hormone levels by a laboratory specializing in hormone analysis and evaluation is essential for determining the type of medication, its dosage and its effectiveness during therapy. Do not try this on your own.
Among the endocrine treatments for acne are birth control pills. In theory, birth control pills shut down the ovary that is producing inappropriate male hormones, and then substitute a more balanced hormone mixture.