Acne is a part of growing up. It's a sign that hormones are reviving up and puberty is underway. Between ages 12 and 17, nearly all kids will have at least a few pimples. Sometimes acne can begin as early as 8 years of age. And sometimes acne sticks around until middle age and beyond. Acne can pack an emotional wallop, so it's important to treat it as quickly as possible. The good news is there is help for almost every case of acne.
What Causes Acne
First, let's dispel the myths. Chocolate and junk food don't cause acne. Neither does dirty skin, although keeping it clean is important. The first step is to wash twice a day with a gentle cleanser, as well as to wash your face after sweating. But scrubbing or washing too much can make acne worse.
Blame acne on hormones, which are natural substances in the body. If your child has acne, it most likely means puberty has started. During puberty, hormones flood the body, causing many changes. Unfortunately, one of those changes may be acne.
Here's what happens:
- Hormones trigger oil-producing glands in the skin, called sebaceous glands, to go into overdrive. Normally, these glands produce oil to keep the skin and hair from drying out. But during puberty, the glands get bigger and produce too much oil, called sebum.
- Excess oil can clog the skin's pores.
- The skin sheds excess dead cells, more than usual. The dead skin cells stick to the oil and clog the pores even more.
- The clogged pores are a magnet for bacteria, which causes inflammation.
- Acne is the result of clogged, and sometimes inflamed, pores.
Adult acne also often is related to hormones, which can still fluctuate, particularly for women while they are having their menstrual periods, during pregnancy or during menopause.
Other things that can prompt adult acne include:
A medical condition: Especially when accompanied by other symptoms, acne can be a warning sign of another medical condition. If you have acne as well as excess facial hair, thinning hair, bald patches on your scalp, or irregular periods, see your doctor. It may be a sign of cysts or tumors on the ovaries or adrenal gland.
- Medications: Acne can be a side effect of some medications. Some medications also help prevent acne, so stopping them may cause acne to return.
- Family history: The tendency to get acne might be in your genes.
- Stress: Stress prompts your body to make more hormones (androgens) that cause acne.
- Hair and skin products: Some sunscreens, hair gels, moisturizers and cosmetics contain oil, which can clog your pores and cause acne.
Types of Acne
There are several types of acne. You've probably heard of blackheads and whiteheads. Less common and more severe types of acne include nodules and cysts, which can be painful.
Following are the types of acne:
- Comedones: Pores plugged by oil, dead skin cells and bacteria. There are two types: Blackheads and Whiteheads
- Papules: Small, solid bumps above the surface of the skin.
- Nodules or cysts: Larger bumps that extend deeper into the skin than other acne. Nodules are solid, whereas cysts contain pus. Nodules and cysts are the most severe and painful types of acne and are difficult to treat. This type of acne calls for a visit to the dermatologist.
When acne heals, it can leave behind red or dark marks that usually fade after a few days or weeks. Some acne, especially nodules and cysts, can leave scars, either raised bumps or dents in the skin.
Acne care starts with good hygiene. More proactive treatment varies depending on the severity of the acne, and ranges from over-the-counter medicines to prescription drugs that must be prescribed by a dermatologist or other doctor.
There are three important things to keep in mind about treating acne:
- Don't put it off. The earlier acne is treated the better, especially if the acne is moderate or severe, which can leave permanent scars.
- Don't expect overnight success. Some treatments can take six to eight weeks to work.
- Don't give up. Not all treatments work, but everyone can find one that does. After 10 weeks of no change, try something else.
Other general tips for controlling acne:
- Don't pick at or pop pimples. Picking at acne can make it worse. It also can cause permanent scarring. If a pimple arrives the day of a big event, hide it with oil-free makeup or cover-up. Some over-the-counter acne medications are available in skin tones.
- Choose oil-free makeup. Same for moisturizer. Wash all makeup off your face at the end of every day.
Our product ACNE-Tea Facial Wash is excellent to achieve that purpose.
- Keep hair products away from the face. They can clog pores.
- Wash hair regularly to prevent oil from getting on the skin. Keep hair off the forehead.
- Don't tan to cover up acne. It doesn't make pimples go away and tanning damages the skin. Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before going outdoors, but be sure it's oil-free.
Prescription and over-the-counter products are available to treat acne. For the treatments to be effective, they must do one or more of the following:
- decrease the production of oil or sebum,
- reduce the amount of bacteria,
- unplug pores, or
- fight inflammation.
Our product ACNE -Tea creamy gel is an over the counter preparation composed of natural plant ingredients for the care of acne.
Treating Acne Scars
After a pimple heals, it can leave a temporary scar, a reddish flat spot that may take up to six months to fade. Many of these scars will go away eventually. In some people, acne is more likely to leave permanent scars.
Permanent scars are either:
- Depressions caused by loss of tissue (such as tiny holes) or
- Bumps or growths caused by tissue formation.
There is treatment for scars and it may be possible to improve the look of the skin, but it is important to be realistic. Also, it can be costly and take time. Some treatments can cause more scarring, especially in people who scar easily.
Our product Avera Cream promotes new tissue formation.
Also, some cosmetics are made to hide acne or other types of scars. Just be sure it is oil-free, so it doesn't cause more acne. A dermatologist can recommend cosmetics that work well to hide scars and improve the appearance of the skin.