Thursday, July 5, 2012

Girl Talk: Acne, Pimples, Zits, OH MY!

Hey girls! For my first Girl Talk blog, I figured I post on something that just about every teenager (even boys!) can relate to. Those icky little bumps that appear on your face, and even on other areas of your body such as your neck, shoulders, back, and chest. ACNE. Just about everyone will have acne at some point in their tween and teen years, and even in their adult years. Some may even have more severe acne then others. If you feel that your acne is effecting your social life or self esteem, or you have really severe acne, you may want to set up an appointment with a dermatologist to help control your acne. 

Causes of Acne:
-Overproduction of oil (sebum), your body naturally produces oil. (Your skin would be really dry without it, and dry skin can cause break outs as well.) When to much oil is produced, it could clog the pores in your skin.
-Dead skin, your body naturally sheds dead skin cells, but irregular shedding of dead skin can result in irritation of the follicles in your skin.
-Bacteria buildup

Acne can be worsened by:
-Hormones. This is why your acne is usually worse in your tween and teen years as you go through puberty. You may also experience break-outs around the time of your period as your body goes through hormonal changes. Pregnancy and birth control  may also effect the amount of oil produced in your skin. 
-Some Medications may also cause acne. 
-Diet. Studies have shown that some foods, including dairy products, and foods full of carbs such as breads, chips, and foods that raise blood sugar may also be a cause of acne. It's been shown that foods such as chocolates, and greasy foods have little effect on acne. 
~Acne actually isn't caused by dirt. Over scrubbing and the use of harsh products can make acne even worse. Though it's still necessary to wash your skin to remove excess oil, dead skin, and bacteria. 
~Stress isn't actually a cause of acne, but can make it worse.

Here are the different forms of acne you could possibly get:
-Comedones (blackheads and whiteheads). Probably one of the most common forms of acne. These are caused when the opening of the skin becomes blocked with oil, dead skin, or even bacteria. 
      -Blackheads are open at the skin surface and have a dark color. 
      -Whiteheads are closed at the surface and have a more skin colored appearance. 
-Pustules (pimples) are also common, these are the red tender bumps with white pus at their tips. 
-Papules may also be red and tender, these usually signal inflammation in the hair follicles. 
-Nodules are large, solid and painful lumps beneath the surface of the skin, caused by build up deep in the follicle. 
-Cysts are large, painful, pus filled, boil-like. lumps beneath the surface of the skin. These can cause scarring. 

Some treatments and remedies:
-Over the counter topical treatments. These are generally mild acne lotions that can dry up excess oil and fight bacteria. These generally contain benzoyl peroxide, sulfur, resorcinol, salicylic acid or sulfur as their active ingredient.  These usually work best for mild forms of acne. Some initial side effects may include  dryness, irritation, and flaking. These usually improve after about a month.
-Prescription topical treatments. If your skin doesn't respond to over the counter products, you may want to see a doctor or dermatologist to prescribe a stronger treatment. 
-Antibiotics. For Severe or even some moderate forms of acne you may need to take oral antibiotics for a short term. Your doctor may have you slowly decrease your doses as your acne improves, or if the antibiotics aren't working. You may also be using these with a topical treatment. Antibiotics can cause side effect such as upset stomach, dizziness, and skin discoloration. They may also increase your skins sensitivity to the sun, and reduce the effectiveness of oral contraceptives. 
-Isotretinoin. This is a very effective and strong remedy for deep cysts when antibiotics aren't enough. This is reserved for the most serve forms of acne. Patients will need close monitoring by a dermatologist to watch for severe side effects. This drug is known to cause birth defects and can not be used safely by women who are pregnant of may become pregnant. Women of reproductive age must participate in an FDA approved monitoring program to be prescribed the drug. 
*More information on these treatments and remedies, and a complete list of treatments can be found here.*

Do NOT try to pop blemishes! While it is very tempting, picking and squeezing can make them worse and even cause infection. (and it's icky anyways, LOL!)

-Watch what touches your face. Try to keep your hands off of your face as much as possible. Try to avoid resting your phone on your face as well. Also keep your hair clean and and as out of your face as possible.
-Wash with a gentle cleanser to wash away excess skin and oil. (Only was twice a day to avoid drying your skin out).
-avoid products that irritate your skin. including some cosmentics, hair products, and even some sunscreens. Though sun rays can worsen acne, and some acne products can make you more sensitive to the suns rays. Use a non oily sunscreen to protect your skin. 
-try to avoid putting on heavy foundation (especially in the summer when your more likely to be sweating). take off all make-up before going to bed. 
-shower after exercise to wash away sweat and oil.

So here is just some of the basic information on acne. Please note that I am not a doctor, nor am i trying to be. I am simply taking prior knowledge and research and simplifying it a bit for this blog. I may do several more posts on acne in the future to include further information. This is the first of many Girl Talk blogs that I'll be doing on Glitter Glambitions. Feel free to ask questions and I will try to answer them to the best of my ability, and also feel free to answer other girls questions. Also feel free to leave a topic you would like me to blog on, and I'll try to get to it in the future :) 

I got my information from here. More information on everything discussed in this post can be found here as well. 


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