Acne – the dreaded acne breakouts affects up to 85 % of people. Although mostly associated with teenagers, acne can also affect adults. In addition, acne causes the typical pimples not only on the face but also on the buttocks shoulders and most commonly, the back.
It may well seem like the end of the world when you first have acne, with this being compounded by acne breakdowns – often when you least need them, but there are practical steps that you can take to help the situation.
The first thing to know is about the cause. Although scientists have not as yet worked out exactly why some people are affected with acne and others sail through pubescence with only the occasional spot, it is known that the acne spot is caused by a build up of oil. This excessive oil then gets stuck in the pore where it builds up toxins and causes the typical large swollen red pus filled pimple.
Thus to avoid an acne breakout, it is important to be scrupulously clean. Although acne is not caused by a lack of hygiene, the avoiding of contact with fingernails and any excess dirt and dirt can help to some extent.
There are a number of acne lotions available on the market today – both those which need to be prescribed (for example the stronger acids) and those which can be brought over the counter (such as salicylic acid lotions.) A thin coating of these lotions can help to a certain extent to keep the acne at a regular level.
On a herbal level, the topical application of tea tree oil can act as an antiseptic, cleaning out the pores and drying out the pus in much the same way as the medicinal acids. When using tea tree oil however it is important to wash your hands well after use as the oil as your fingers can react very badly with plastics such as the keys on your computer keyboard, disintegrating them!
These acids and herbal applications act by exfoliating the skin i.e. removing the top layer and thereby enabling the oils and the toxins to be less. It is important however, not to scrub at the skin, since this will only inflame the skin further and result in a much more red appearance.
For those with severe acne breakouts, prescription medicines are available – the most typical being Accutane and Retin – A.
It is very hard to resist the temptation to squeeze or pick at an acne breakout, feeling that at least without obvious pus the overall effect will be more cosmetically appealing. However, although it is true that a pimple without pus looks better for today, you do need to think about the long term affect of your picking. We have all seen people with terrible acne scars and the vast majority of those scars have come from the squeezing and picking – so although it is not easy try to leave them alone!
An acne breakout may seem like a terrible disaster and something that will never end, yet the good news is in general is that it is a self limiting condition and some time in the future the redness and pimples will be a thing of the past and your biggest worry will be how to get rid of the wrinkles!