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About Acne - What can you do to cure or alleviate acne?
The processes going on in the skin of a person suffering from acne are explained here. You also find a survey of the factors causing acne and measures you can apply yourself to prevent, cure or alleviate acne.
Acne gives the combination of symptoms like greasy skin, white heads, black heads, pimples, inflammation and scar formation. Acne mostly affects young people in the age 14 - 25, but also sometimes older persons, like women in their menopause. Most teenagers experience outburst of acne, some only little, but for others acne may develop into a serious skin ailment with great cosmetic impact.
THE SKIN ANATOMY
To understand the acne process, some knowledge about skin anatomy and physiology is essential:
The skin has there layers: The outer layer called epidermis consists of epithelial cells. These cells are constantly renewed an pushed outwards. As they are pushed outwards they are filled with the protein keratin, or horn-stuff. When the cells get to the surface they are dead and constsits mainly of dried keratin. This keratine layer is a protecting sheat at the outside of the skin. The layer is constantly worn off but new keratinized cells from beneath constantly replaces the stuff worn off.
Under this lies the dermis consisting of connective tissue. At the bottom there is a layer called the hypodermis or sub-dermis consisting mostly of fat cells.
The skin has narrow pores extending from the surface down to the top of the sub-dermis, called hair follicles. A hair extend from a growth zone in the bottom of each hair follicle and out through the skin surface. Around the hair in the dermis, there are small glands called sebaceous glands. These glands produce a fatty substance, sebum, which empty through the follicle opening and lubricates the hair and the skin.
THE ACNE PROCESS
Acne starts by the glands in the hair follicles increasing their sebum production. This will in the beginning only cause greasy skin. Eventually the sebum in the entrance of the follicles mixes with dead epithelial cells. This mix reacts chemically to forms hard props, comedones that close the pore entrances. According to the color of the comedones, they are called black heads or white heads.
Then the closed hair follicle gets filled with sebum and swell. The swollen follicle then gets infected by bacteria. The bacteria and the accumulated sebum cause the follicle and the surrounding skin to get inflamed, forming a pimple. At last the inflamed follicle burst and empties its content. Eventually the affected area heals. Sometimes the inflammation reaches deep into the skin surrounding the follicle and destroys skin tissue. This will cause more or less distinct scars that may reside permanently. Typically an affected person will have follicles in all these stages of the process at any given time.
THE CAUSES OF ACNE
The increased hormone production in the puberty stimulates to increased sebum production. The male hormone, testosterone, seem to contribute most. Also girls begin to produce more testosterone in the puberty. Also in other periods, altered hormone production may give acne, for example by women in the menopause.
Since not all teens get acne in any degree, the increased hormone level cannot be the whole cause of the increased sebum production. The follicles of affected persons must for some reason react stronger upon the higher hormone level.
Dietary factors, like eating too much fat, too much sugar or the wrong kind of fat may aggravate acne by some individuals. Lack of vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids may also contribute to development of acne.
Poor digestion, lazy colon and constipation aggravate acne in some individuals, probably due to productions of toxins in the intestines. Lazy colon may be caused by dietary faults, like lack of fiber.
Very frequent washing and use of strong soaps aggravate acne, and does not alleviate the condition as many think. Rubbing, scrubbing or squeezing the skin may also aggravate acne.
Here are some other factors that may contribute in causing acne or aggravating the condition:
- Stress that lasts some period or acute heevy stress
- Some contraceptive agents
- Environmental or domestic pollution.
- Humid environments.
- Some antidepressants.
- Testosterone and anabolic steroids used for treatment or by body-building.
- Use of some types of greasy cosmetic products, or over-use of cosmetics. Cosmetics that is hard to wash away and cosmetics with oils that easily get oxidiced, that is rancid and hard, are likely to glog pores and contribute to acne. Cosmetics with many types of hard saturated fat and with polyunsaturated fat types are most likely to cause such problems.
- Some antiperspirant products.
- Exposing the skin for chlorine or other halogens, or medicines containing halogens.
- Women may get aggravated acne 2-7 days before menstruation.
HOW TO AVOID OR TO TREAT ACNE
Sometimes Acne is so severe that special medical treatment is required, and sometimes the causes of acne necessitate medical treatment. But you can do much yourself also. Here are listed things you can do yourself to prevent or treat acne:
1. Some advices about diet that may help prevent and cure acne:
- Do not consume a great amount of fat.
- The fat you add to the food should be natural oils. Olive oil is ideal, but use other types of oils too, like flaxseed oil, fish oil, other marine oils, walnut oil, sunflower oil, and soy oil.
-However, do not use only soy oil as many tend to do. Using only soy oil, walnut oil and sunflower oil, will give you too much of some fatty acids and too less of others.
-Flaxseed oil has a special good effect against acne.
- Eat much fish and seafood and not so much meat. Especially fat fish is good.
- Eat food with a high fiber content to regulate the digestion, like vegetables, whole cereals, full corn bread and fruit.
2. Here are some things you should avoid.
- Do not use greasy or heavy cosmetics that clog your skin and are difficult to wash away or that gets oxidiced and thus harden. It is difficult to give exact advices about what ingredients to avoid, but cosmetics containing hard saturated fat and that containing easily oxidized poly-unsaturated fatty acids are most likely to clog the pores. Cometics with softer saturated oils and mono-unsaturated oils ar likely to help the pores stay open.
- Do not use strong irritating antiperspirants.
- Do not wash with strong soap or cleaners that dry up your skin and take away all the natural oily protection in your skin.
- If you perform body-building, do not use anabolic steroids or other hormonal supplements.
- Use clothes
3. Use of rinsing milk , solutions or soaps
You can rinse your skin with mild products especially made to dissolve the plugs in your pores, and to make the environment in your skin unfriendly to bacteria causing infection.
Rinsing milks or solutions to treat acne is one option. Some of these shall be flushed away after rinsing, others shall be let dry and stay on the skin.
Bar soaps with ingredients to treat acne is another option. They are used as any other bar soap.
When acne causes great irregularities in the skin with great heaps of plugging substances in the pores, you can occationally also use a rinsing cream with abbrasive power, a so called acne scrubs.
You can also find rinsing gels or creams to be used during night and flushed away in the morning.
4. Use of gels and creams to treat acne and protect your skin
After the rinsing, you should apply some treatment gel, cream, toner or lotion onto your skin to achieve these effects:
- To make your skin soft and elastic.
- To protect your skin against the environment.
- To acts further to dissolve the clogging of your pores. To dissolve further clogging in the pores Cometics with soft saturated oils like squalan (not squalen), and mono-unsaturated oils, like oilve oil, are likely to help dissolve clogging.
- To soothe and alleviate inflammation.
- To kill the bacteria causing infection or make an environment hostile for the bacteria.
- To stimulate the skin to clean itself.
- To stimulate the skin to heal.
- To be used as a isolating layer between the skin itself and cosmetics.
5. Oral supplements to fight the acne process and nourish the skin
Supplements taken by mouth to nourish your skin may be useful. The purpose of these supplements is more or less the same as that of nourishing creams.
- To make the sebum more fluid so it drains more easily.
- To stimulate the substance exchange and cleaning processes in your skin,
- To stimulate your skin to heal,
- To give your skin building nutrients necessary to heal.
Ingredients often used in these supplements to stimulate the cleaning and healing processes in the skin are: Vitamins A, C, B1, B2, B3, B6, C, D, E, Folic acid, Beta carotene, Bioflavonoids, Magnesium, Copper, Zinc, selenium, anti-oxidants from Green tea, Metylsulfonyl methane.
Nutrient found in these products used as material to rebuild damaged skin and to give a sebum with better consistency are: Evening primrose oil, Olive oil, Flax seed oil, Borage oil, Soy oil, Wheat germ oil and Lecithin.
Gum guggul extract used in oral products has an anti-biotic effect, and helps against spreading of the acne infection and thus helps against scar formation.
. About popping pimples
It is a common practice to squeeze out the content of pimples to make them go away. It is however not generally recomended to to so. If one is lucky, single pimples can be taken away this way. Sometimes however one do no manage to pop the contents out and then the condition gets worse with greater infection and inflammation. Even if one manages to squeese out the content, skin tisssue can be injured so that the inflammation worsen. Popping pimples may also lead to permanent scars.
However, a pimple can get so ugly that it can be reasonable to try popping it empty in a cautious way. You must then do as follows. You must wait till the pimple is fully ripe. Then you must use some disinfectant upon the pimple. Then you take a clean disinfected needle and carefully make a hole in the middle of the pimple. Do not stitch the needle past the content of the pimple so that it goes into the skin tissue. Then gently squeeze the content out. If it will not go out with a gentle squeeze, you should stop. The hole you have made in the pimple will still ease the emptying of it later.
8. Ingredients used in topical products
Rinsing milks, creams, gels and or soaps with anti-acne efffect often contain speceific ingrediets used to treat acne.
In order to protect, make the skin soft and further dissolve the comedones, many products contain natural plant oils that are easily absorbed into the epidermis, like Tea tree oil, Rose hip oil, Lavender oil and Olive oil.
Ingredients used in products to reduce inflammation and to stimulate healing may be: Aloe Vera extract, Viola Tricolour extract, Rose hip oil, Vitamin E and Vitamin A.
Tea tree oil and Grapefruit seed extract are natural antibacterial agents used in many of these products. In other products artificial compounds like Benzoyl peroxide are used.
Salicylic acid is a mild ingredient often used in these products to dissolve the comedones. The products usually also contain ingredients that work antibacterial and stimulate the skin's own cleaning activities, like Tea tree oil or Echinacea extract.
Bensoyl peroxide is a stronger agent used to dissolve comedones and kill the bacteria that aggravate acne. Common side-effects of this substance is dryness, local irritation and redness
Good products to treat acne
Pills or capsules to treat acne
Acne treatment pills - Actimine
- Acne is caused by many complex processes that
involve different hormones, enzymes, and the immune system of the whole body.
To treat acne effectively, the chemical processes of the whole body must be
properly balanced. The ingredients of Actimine will help balance these
processes, and this way clear up your skin, and cure or reduce the
symptoms of acne, such as blackheads, whiteheads, pimples and scarring
Further it prevents new outbreaks of acne and new
occurance of scarring.
Please click here to learn more or buy - Actimine
Formula to stimulate your skin to heal from acne and other impurity and degenerative processes
Total acne treatment sets
treatment kit for acne, closed pores and dirty skin - Healthy pores
- Complete sets of products against acne. The product set also serve as a set for
daily skin cleaning and care. The specific effects of the products in the set
that together help effectively against acne are:
- They open up closed poores and keep them clean.
- They counteract bacteria that cause infection and inflammation by acne
- They controle the over-active reaction of the skin to hormones and thereby decreases sebum production and accumulation of horn substance.
- They nourish the skin tissue and keeps it healthy.
Acne therapy system with a first step for quick control and subsequent steps to take away the deeper causes of the ailment
Fast acting acne control kits
Acne treatment cleansers and creams
Argan oil - a good topical drug against acne, rosacea, eczema and a good skin rejuvenation balsam
- This pure coldpressed argan tree kernel oil very effectively cure or reduce the symptoms of acne, such as blackheads, whiteheads, pimples and scarring. Further it will prevent new outbreaks of acne and new occurance of scarring.
The oil also protects against and helps to heal aging sign and most types of injuries in the skin. The oil is also fine to strengthen and improve the structure and tecture of the skin, of nails and of hair. It stimulates for example an active rebuilding and restructuring of the elastin and collagen networks in the skin. It is a god skin moisturizer that do not feel greasy.
The oil have a similar preventive and remending effect upon other skin diseases, especially those that involve dry skin, inflammation and scaling.
Acne cleansing solutions
Acne therapy creams to stop and reverse the acne process and damages done
Light therapy device to treat acne and other skin conditions
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