Acne is a superficial skin eruption caused by a combination of factors. It is triggered by the hormonal changes of puberty and is most common in people with oily skin. The increased skin oils accumulate below keratin plugs in the openings of the hair follicles and oil glands. In this stagnant area below the plug, secretions accumulate and bacteria grow. These normal bacteria cause changes in the secretions that make them irritating to the surrounding skin. The result is usually a pimple or sometimes a larger pocket of secretions, or cyst. Blackheads are formed when air causes a chemical change – “oxidation” of keratin plugs; the irritation of the skin is minimal.
Home Treatment for Acne
- The face should be scrubbed several times daily with a warm washcloth to remove skin oils and keratin plugs. The rubbing and heat of washcloth help dislodge the keratin plug.
- Soap will help remove skin oil and will decrease the number of bacteria living on the skin.
- If there are pimples on the back, a backbrush or washcloth should be used.
- Greases and creams on the skin may aggravate the problem.
- Diet is not an important factor in most cases, but if certain foods tend to aggravate the problem, avoid them.
- There is scant evidence that chocolate aggravates acne, despite popular belief.
- Do not pick or squeeze acne lesions, which ruptures glands and spreads sebum into the skin, increasing symptoms.
- Makeup, greasy hair preparations, or tight sweatbands can plug ducts of glands and increase comedone formation. Avoid these if possible.
- An abrasive soap maybe used from one to three times daily to reduce further oiliness in the skin and remove the keratin plugs from the follicles.
- Medications containing benzoyl peroxide are now widely available without prescription. Use it as directed and can be used in mild acne cases only.
- No acne treatment works immediately. Topical acne preparations work by unplugging glands. You must use them consistently to make them effective.
- For severe cases please see your dermatologist.
Filed Under: Skin, Hair and Nails Problems
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