Learning how to control acne is easier than you think if you follow simple guidelines. Acne is an inflammation and infection of the sebaceous glands that lie beneath the skin. These glands manufacture sebum, a fatty substance which passes from the gland to the skin by way of a tiny duct, or tube.
At the time of puberty, excess hormones are produced by the adrenal glands, the ovaries, the testes and other organs. Male sex hormones are produced by both boys and girls. It is this hormone that stimulates the sebaceous glands to manufacture more of the oily sebum.
When the ducts are open, all is well. It is when these ducts, or tubes become blocked that trouble begins. The oily sebum backs up, the sebaceous glands become swollen, and pimples, pustules, blackheads and whiteheads form. This is acne.
It becomes even more complicated to control acne when germs or bacteria enter the inflamed area and set up housekeeping. The germs flourish and thrive in this oily material, causing pus pimples and even boils.
Nuts, potato chips, chocolate, sweets of all kinds and gravies were once accused of being the chief cause of acne. Skin specialists today seem to minimize the relationship between food and acne. Go easy on them, anyway.
You can help the process of acne control with a program of good facial hygiene, plenty of rest and well-balanced nutritious meals. Keep your hands away from your face, shoulders and neck, the areas most frequently affected by acne. There is a temptation to squeeze pimples, whiteheads and blackheads. Fingernails and sharp instruments can cause scarring that persists long after the acne has vanished.
Thorough cleansing of the skin with soap and water is a must. Expensive creams and lotions sound tempting, but are no more valuable in acne control than a good soap. Be wary of over-the-counter medicines and mail order “magical” preparations.
Skin specialists (dermatologists) and skin clinics grade the type and severity of acne. The grade determines if the doctor will prescribe antibiotics to be taken by mouth and to be applied to the skin surface. This is something you may want to consider. Special “drying” and “peeling’ drugs, such as sulphur and resorcin, are sometimes very effective. These must be used only under a doctor’s direction.
Patience, the understanding help of friends and parents, and continued supervision by a doctor will help you control acne and get through this difficult period. There are many ways to control acne. Make sure you stick to the aforementioned advice and prevent any side effects.