Sunday, August 27, 2006

Let s Dispel Some Acne Myths

It is the bane of a person’s existence. Everybody gets it; everybody hates it. And once you have it, prepare to be tormented, embarrassed and humiliated. Such a small bump, so much at stake. So what is this little bundle of horror? What else but the dreaded pimple!

A pimple, or acne as some people calls it, is a dreaded red, swollen bump in the face. Nobody is spared from having it. Male or female, American, Chinese or Puerto Rican, they all have gotten it at some points of their lives and may even still have it. It is like a universal language; it is like a right of passage in a person’s life. Acne is a result of the hormones action on the skin-s oil glands (the sebaceous gland) which leads to clogged pores and outbreak of lesions like pimples, blemishes or acne. Acne commonly occurs in the neck, face, back, shoulders and chest because the sebaceous glands are most abundant in these locations. But the important question we should be asking to be able to avoid this dreaded “disease” is, “What causes this pain in the neck called acne?”

Unfortunately, the causes of acne cannot really be determined (unless your parents or their parents are acne infested too then there’s a big, big chance you’ll be called acne face by your peers and classmates) thus the acne myths are born! These myths claim to be the cause of acne. We shall enumerate them here.

Acne Myth Number 1

Acne is caused by not washing your face often and not scrubbing it hard enough. Many believed that acne is caused by dirt and dust in the face and by washing your face two-three even four times a day or even by scrubbing your face hard can prevent acne. Wrong, wrong, wrong! It is true that dirt and dust is unsightly to the face and washing the face is the way to eradicate them but washing often can actually irritate the skin more. Washing should not be done more than twice a day. More than twice is enough to strip the face of its natural oils making it dry. Also, scrubbing can cause inflammations. Washing the face should be done as gently as possible with the gentlest facial scrub.

Acne Myth Number 2

Improper Diet can cause acne. Certain foods that are oily like French fries and junk food can cause acne to erupt in our face. But scientific studies have not discovered any connection between these two. So this means that food does not cause acne. Though a proper and healthy diet is always good for our system, eating like a pig won’t make pimples a permanent resident in your face. So feel free to eat your favorite Lay’s, French fries and chocolates anytime.

Acne Myth Number 3

When you’re stressed acne tends to pop on your face like popcorn pops from a kernel. Not true. Stress is a part of our daily lives and believe it or not it is not a contributing factor to the acne residing in your face. Only severe stress treated by the doctor MAY cause acne to erupt only as a side effect of the drugs a person may be taking. If this is the case, consult your doctor immediately.

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Discover all you need to know about acne and what you can do to combat and prevent it from taking over your life. Visit Copyright 2005 Johnny Doodle Article Source:
Types of Acne
Author: Steve Welker
A detailed description of the many forms of acne. Including information to help identify them.

Acne comes in many forms. Although most commonly found on the face, acne ranges from Mild to Severe and can be located anywhere on the body. Most frequently self-treated, mild cases are manageable. However, severe cases should be treated under the supervision of health professionals, such as dermatologists. Acne Vulgaris, translated as ‘common acne,’ is the most common type of acne. It is better known as blackheads, whiteheads, papules, pustules, nodules or cysts.

Blackheads - Occur in partially blocked pores. Dead skin cells, bacteria, and sebum (the substance that causes oily skin) drain to the surface of the skin; the pigments are exposed to air, which causes the black color. Blackheads can take a long time to clear up. Whiteheads – Contained beneath the surface of the skin, the trapped sebum, dead cells and bacteria are completely blocked in the pores.

Pustules – With the appearance of a red circle with a white or yellow center, this form of acne is more often called Pimples or Zits. Nodules – Much larger than other forms of acne, nodules form hard lumps beneath the surface of the skin which can be painful and last for several months. Highly susceptible to scarring, this form of acne is recommended to be treated by a dermatologist.

Cysts – Similar to a nodule, this form of acne is filled with pus. Like nodules, cysts can be very painful and lead to scarring if untreated. Cysts should be treated by a dermatologist. Acne Conglobata – More common in males than females, this rare form of acne vulgaris is extremely disfiguring. Large lesions form on the face, chest, back, buttocks, upper arms, and thighs, sometimes accompanied by numerous blackheads. Acne Conglobata can cause severe psychological as well as physical suffering, damage to the skin and permanent scarring. This condition can last several years.

Acne Fulminans – A sudden case of Acne Conglobata, with a fever and aching joints. Generally treated with oral steroids. Gram-Negative Folliculitis – A bacterial infection which causes pustules and cysts, this form of acne may be caused by long-term treatment of acne with antibiotics. Pyoderma Faciale – Affecting only females usually between ages 20 and 40, most commonly in women who never had acne before, this type of acne consists of painful pustules, cysts and nodules on the face. Permanent scarring is potential. Generally clears up within a year.

Acne Rosacea – Notably affecting people over the age of 30, Acne Rosacea causes a red rash on the face. Pimples or other skin blemishes may also be present. This should not be confused with Acne Vulgaris as there are two different treatments for these types. Acne Rosacea occurs more frequently in women than men but is more severe in the men it affects.

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Thursday, August 24, 2006

How To Take Care of Your Acne Prone Skin
By Michael Russell

Have you given up and resigned yourself to the idea that there is nothing you can do to stop your pimples? Have you minimized your social life because of the dreaded thought that people might stare and find your acne disgusting? Studies show that up to 80 percent of those who seek treatment for their acne problem can actually be helped. Just take time to go to your doctor and inform him what you have been doing to fight against your pimple problem.

If you have an acne prone skin, pamper it. Be gentle with your skin and avoid vigorous scrubbing. Vigorous scrubbing can actually irritate your skin and may worsen blocked pores. The oil trapped beneath the surface of the skin causes pimple break-outs and no vigorous scrubbing can get rid of it. Instead, try gentle washing with warm water and soap then pat dry. A skin cleanser will do as well. Do it once or twice a day.

Regular shampooing is also advisable since pimples often appear on the forehead. If you have oily hair, wash it daily and keep it off you face as much as possible. Avoid using hair products with oil like pomades and gels.

Don't pop or squeeze your pimples. We always have the tendency to pop or squeeze our pimple whenever it appears on our face. Avoid this bad habit and keep your hands away from your face as much as possible. Your hands usually carry germs that will further irritate your skin and popping your pimple will just cause irritation and probably skin infection.

Learn to read and understand labels. Use only cosmetics that are non-comedogenic which means they won't block pores. Make it a habit to remove your makeup each night with soap and water and try skipping the moisturizer.

Protect your skin from sunlight and avoid tanning booths. Tanning only masks your acne and it doesn't clear it. Wear sunscreens and avoid getting sunburn. Some acne treatments can increase your skin's sensitivity to sunlight.

If you are taking any medications, try to check with your physician or pharmacist of any complications or possible effects that the drug might cause.
There are over the counter products that can help curb your acne. Products containing salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide can help treat mild acne. Begin with the weakest formula and work your way up.

Finally, if everything else fails after a few weeks of treatment, seek your physician's or dermatologist's help. Your doctor should determine whether your problem is acne or some allergic reaction to makeup, lotions or from drugs or another skin disease. A topical or oral medication might be prescribed by your doctor to lessen the problem. In some severe cases, a hormone therapy might be prescribed as a last resort. When using drugs to combat your pimple problem, be sure to ask about side effects and any precautions you need to take. There are topical creams that increase your sensitivity to sunlight. Some antibiotics can increase your risk of yeast infections and can upset your stomach.

Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Acne
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Thinking of Taking Accutane for Your Acne?
By C. L. Jackson

Nodular acne and cystic acne are some of the most painful forms of acne possible. Nodular acne appears as solid, domed lesions that occur very deep in the skin, surrounded by redness and inflammation.

Cystic acne occurs when the sebaceous glands in the skin have a sticky lining that prevents easy cellular shedding. The dead cells block the glands which swell with oil secretion and eventually break into cysts. Both these types of acne can be extremely painful, and both pose the threat of scarring if left untreated. When severe acne has been treated with mild to moderate medication without a positive response, many dermatologists recommend Accutane.

Accutane (or Isotretinoin) is a derivative of vitamin A that is taken orally by acne patients, generally over a period of 16 to 25 weeks. The immediate effect of this drug is a quick and dramatic (though short-term) reduction in sebum production by the sebaceous glands. Without sebum creating pressure on the pore or gland, the nodules and cysts stop forming and the skin can start to heal. Accutane is also thought to decrease skin bacteria and help reduce inflammation in the skin follicles.

Although acne may get worse before it starts to improve, the results generally start to show by the third month, and once the initial course of Accutane is finished, studies show that approximately 90% of patients have clear skin for at least a year. Should acne reappear after that time, patients claim that it is usually much more manageable. Some acne patients do end up taking a second course of Accutane, once given an appropriate recovery period from the first course, and this is also frequently very effective, sometimes able to stop nodular or cystic acne altogether.

The positive results that acne patients experience with Accutane can be, without question, tremendous. However, taking this drug to treat acne does not come without significant risk; there are many side-effects associated with Accutane. Milder side-effects include (but don't stop at) dry and cracked lips, dry eyes and skin, and increased sun sensitivity. More serious side-effects include slowed wound healing, nosebleeds, and even in some cases, depression. (These are only a few of the side-effects. To learn about the rest and the likelihood of experiencing them, consult a doctor or a dermatologist.)

Although these side-effects might sound like only a mild annoyance when compared to painful and embarrassing acne, Accutane is very hard on the skin and on the body organs. Dermatologists often suggest that non-emergency surgeries be put off until long after a course of Accutane in order to give the skin time to bounce back from its frail and delicate state. Cosmetic surgeries especially are to be avoided, as are procedures like waxing body hair which requires the skin to be robust. The liver has a particularly difficult time with Accutane, and can be seriously impaired along with the immune system. The most serious consequence of taking Accutane happens if a woman taking this drug becomes pregnant during the course of treatment. Accutane has debilitating effects on a developing fetus, causing severe birth defects and sometimes even fetal death.

Should you decide to approach your dermatologist to begin Accutane acne treatment, there is a process you must go through before you will even get considered for a prescription. Blood tests will be performed to determine pre-treatment liver and kidney function, as well as to monitor blood count and blood fats. Women will have an additional blood test to ensure that they are not pregnant at the time they plan to start taking Accutane, and it will be emphasized many, many times that they should not, under any circumstances, get pregnant during the treatment or for at least 30 days afterward. Female Accutane patients will have to commit to two forms of contraception, starting a month before the treatment, and extending an extra month at the end. And for both male and female patients, some dermatologists recommend psychological screening and then continuous monitoring by psychiatrists or therapists to ensure that depression doesn't become a problem.

If you're considering starting a course of this drug, do the research and become informed. There are several reasons that a dermatologist may recommend against Accutane, depending on your personal and family history. Above all, don't give up on looking for an acne medication that works well for you. There are more acne treatment options on the market now than ever before, so acne is never without hope.

Author C. L. Jackson wishes the topic of acne was simply an academic interest ... but unfortunately that’s not the case! You'll find much more information on this topic at the author's website
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Tips For Finding The Best Acne Treatments
By Stella Pobre

The simple fact that there are so many different acne treatment options available can make the process of finding the best acne treatments quite a challenge. After all, there are literally hundreds of different acne treatment products on the market, and of course they all claim to be the best at eliminating acne breakouts and preventing their return.

Making sense of all these different acne treatment options can be quite difficult, but it is important for each acne sufferer to find the product that works best for them, and then to keep a supply of those effective acne treatments on hand, so that future outbreaks of acne can be dealt with as promptly as possible.

There are of course many products, both natural and artificial, that have been used to treat acne through the years, and many of them have built up quite a reputation for quality over the years. Perhaps the most widely used acne treatment ingredient is benzoyl peroxide. This commonly used chemical is found in a wide variety of acne treatment preparations, sold under a wide variety of brand names, and it has consistently proven its effectiveness at banishing acne breakouts, keeping the skin clean and keeping the pores clear of oil, dirt and dead skin cells.

While solutions containing benzoyl peroxide can be remarkably effective at getting rid of acne, some acne sufferers are troubled by the redness, itching, flaking and dryness that can sometimes result from treatment with strong benzoyl peroxide solutions. For that reason many manufacturers of acne medication have begun to include other, more soothing ingredients in their acne medications.

The purpose of adding additional ingredients like aloe vera to acne medications is to make the treatment less harsh, and to help keep the skin in good condition.
In addition to time tested acne treatments like benzoyl peroxide there are a number of natural products on the market, and for many acne sufferers these natural solutions have proven to be the best acne treatments money can buy. Vitamin supplements like vitamin A and vitamin B5 are often used to prevent and treat acne, and products like zinc are also showing promise as acne treatments.

No matter what type of acne treatment products you prefer, it is a good idea to keep a supply of those favorite acne treatments on hand, since treating an acne problem at the first sign of an outbreak is one of the best ways to make sure the outbreak is short lived. In fact treating an acne outbreak at the first sign of trouble can do a great deal to shorten its duration and lessen its severity.

Dealing with an acne problem as soon as possible, using the best acne treatments on the market, is also one of the best ways to prevent serious complications such as scarring from occurring. For all these reasons and more, it is important to find the products that work best on your own unique kind of acne problem, and to always be on the lookout for signs of trouble.
Stella served as an assistant at a beauty clinic for 5 years before leaving to pursue a career as a beautician. She now owns a beauty salon where she has a monthly clinic on acne treatment.

Please visit for more information on best acne treatments.
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