Saturday, September 8, 2012

Cause, Treatment and Prevention of Acne Breakouts

Acne can be a problem and appear at any age.  According to the American Academy of Dermatology, acne is the most common skin disorder in the United States, and it affects 40 million to 50 million Americans.

Acne prone skin is usually associated with puberty, but adult men and women can break out with the typical signs and symptoms of acne, which are pimples and clogged pores (blackheads, whiteheads) at any age.  Acne skin can be embarrassing and show up without any warning.

This article will help you learn all about acne and how to reduce it's occurrence and the damage it may cause to your skin.

What Causes Acne and Risk Factors
You are predisposed to acne due to certain factors. The following are major factors for cause and risk factors which may worsen acne:
  • Increased production of oil by skin's oil glands
  • Clogged hair follicles that release oil
  • Specific bacteria, called P. acnes, that grow within hair follicles
  • Rising hormone levels in teens, pregnancy, or during menstruation
  • Squeezing and picking pimples
  • Genetics (family history of acne)
  • Using oily skin care and makeup products that clog pores
 Most effective acne treatment consists of addressing these factors with products, antibiotics, lasers, or over-the-counter skin care products.  Of course, genetics you can't do much about, but you can help your skin become healthy and reduce acne with a little knowledge and the right products.
 
Foods That Cause Acne

According to some studies foods with high glycemic load, such as refined sugar, and processed snacks may worsen acne.  A low glycemic diet helps keep blood sugar stable and under control.  Food allergies may also be associated with adult acne.  Chocolate has not been shown to be a major factor, but the sugar in that bar you love, is what can cause your skin to break out.

Foods That Help Acne and Natural Acne Treatment
The following are nutritional ingredients that have been shown to help reduce the effects of acne (University of Maryland School of Medicine).  Be sure to talk to your doctor before taking any supplement or natural herb for long periods:
  • Zinc - 30 mg 2 times per day for a month then 30 mg per day.  However, high doses can cause vomiting and other health concerns.
  • Niacinamide - 4% topical gel applied 2 times per day for 2 months.
Steps to Preventing Acne
Since we know that clogged pores and increased production of oil can cause acne, it is important to use the right skin care products with the proper routine to help clear and prevent acne.
  • Use a cleanser made for oily skin.  Many acne products contain salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide.  These are highly irritating ingredients.  You may find temporary relief, but you may end up with other side effects.  Cleure has an SLS free cleanser that is paraben free for both oily and combination skin that is great for sensitive skin and acne prone skin.
  • An alcohol free toner is needed next to balance the pH of your skin and help close pores.
  • Exfoliating scrub used 2 times per week to help remove dead cells and allow healthy skin cells to surface.
  • Oil-free moisturizer is important, to hydrate your skin.  Even acne skin needs a moisturizer, but you need an oil-free moisturizer for acne skin.
Effective Acne Treatment 
Your doctor may prescribe retinoids as a topical medication to help reduce inflammation and unclog pores.  But studies report of side effects with this medication. Your skin may become irritated and peel, turn red, flake and grow dry.

Antibiotics may also be prescribed.  This can be oral or topical.  Long term use of antibiotics may lead to growth of resistant bacteria.  Benzoyl peroxide is another topical medication, but it too, has been said to be very irritating for long term use, specially if you have sensitive skin.  Benzoyl peroxide can cause peeling, burning, itching, and redness.

The best effective acne treatment is to see your doctor for the immediate short term remedies.  For long terms follow the steps listed above for preventing acne with Cleure products for a more gently, safer approach.

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