Friday, December 2, 2011

Acne-Skin Clearing Solutions - [Part-1]

Acne-Skin Clearing Solutions - Part-1 
Acne. If you're a teenager, you can't wait to get rid of it. If you're an adult, you can't believe it's back. Fortunately, improvements in acne treatments over the last decade mean you don't have to put up with it anymore.   The major determining factor in who gets acne is genes, according to Albert M. Kligman, M.D., Ph.D.,  emeritus professor of dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia.  In other words, you may have inherited a skin characteristic that makes you more likely to develop acne.  You have thousands of oil glands in the skin on your face, chest, and back that lubricate the skin by producing sebum, or oil, explains Alan D. Klein, M.D., a member of the teaching staff at Ventura County Medical Center in California and a spokesperson for the American Academy of Dermatology. "You have as many as 2,000 oil glands per square inch in the central part of your face," he says. The oil from the glands flows through tiny ducts to the skin surface. 
Sometimes, these oil ducts become plugged with sebum, bacteria, and dead skin cells that are shed from the lining of the duct. That's acne. The condition often appears during adolescence because of changing hormone levels, which enlarge the oil glands and encourage them to produce more oil. Although the process is not well understood, the increase in oil appears to fuel acne, perhaps by stimulating the production of "sticky" skin cells that, when shed, tend to plug the duct. The situation usually settles down by the end of the teen years or during the early 20s.  So why do adults develop acne? There are a variety of reasons, among them:* Hormones. "Premenstrual acne is real," Kligman says. Pregnancy, changes during the menstrual cycle, and birth control pills can cause fluctuations in hormone levels and subsequent fluctuations in acne in women. In some women, low-dose oral contraceptives improve acne; in others, they make acne worse.
If you have acne along with menstrual irregularities, you may want to see a physician to see if abnormal hormone levels are to blame.* Stress. Dermatologists agree that high levels of stress can affect hormone levels.* Cosmetics. Wearing heavy, oily makeup may clog pores and cause acne.* Occupational exposure. If you're a mechanic or you're standing over the deep-fat fryer at the local fast-food joint, your face may be getting assaulted by oils, some of which may cause acne. Numerous chemicals in the workplace can also cause acne.* Certain medications. Some drugs, such as Dilantin (which is used in the treatment of epilepsy), can cause acne, says Alan N. Moshell, M.D., director of the Skin Disease Program at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskel-etal and Skin Diseases.  No matter what's causing your acne, there are steps you can take to help clear up your skin.  
Do No Harm.
In other words, don't pick, press, rub, or otherwise manipulate those pimples, warns Kligman. "You risk spreading the bacteria and increasing the chances for scarring," explains Klein. Vincent A. DeLeo, M.D., assistant professor of dermatology at Columbia--Presbyterian Medical Center in New York, gets even more descriptive: The plug at the top of the pore is like a balloon. You can pop it, but below the surface, the sebum, bacteria, and skin cells may leak into the surrounding tissue, causing inflammation.
Use Benzoyl Peroxide.
A number of over-the-counter products contain this ingredient, which helps break up the plug of dead skin cells, bacteria, and oil in pores and cuts down on the bacteria as well. Start with the lowest concentration, and work your way up, especially if you have sensitive skin, because the higher the concentration, the more irritating it may be. Use it once or twice a day. If it dries the skin too much, Kligman suggests applying a mild moisturizer.
Give one of the other over-the-counter products a shot.
Other acne products contain sulfur or resorcinol, which help unplug oil glands by irritating the skin, Klein says. Most dermatologists, however, believe that benzoyl peroxide is the most effective over-the-counter ingredient for acne.
Apply over-the-counter products for prevention.
"Don't just spot the product on existing acne," DeLeo says. "Put it on acne-prone areas." That can include your entire face (avoiding the lips and eyes, however), back, and chest.
Go easy on your face.
"Kids with oily skin use hot water, a washcloth, and a drying soap and think they can wash their acne away," Kligman says. "But they can't." DeLeo points out, "You can wash your face ten times a day and still have acne. It has nothing to do with cleanliness." Washing removes oils from the surface of the skin, not from within the plugged ducts. And adults can certainly suffer from both acne and dry skin, says Klein. In fact, if you're too aggressive in your quest for cleanliness, you may very well end up drying out or irritating the sensitive skin on your face.
Wash properly.
How do you do that? Use a mild soap. DeLeo recommends Dove Unscented, Tone, Basis, or Neutrogena. Rub lightly with your fingertips and warm water. Do not use a washcloth. If your skin is oily, use a soap with benzoyl peroxide for its drying properties, suggests Klein. And wash once or twice a day.
[To Be Continued In Next Blog]


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