Acne Overview

Acne skin
© Ocskay Bence | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Acne is a skin disease that will affect most people at least once in their life. But what exactly is acne? Acne is a skin disease that can affect any part of the body such as the face, back or arms. When hair follicles become clogged with either dirt or dead skin cells, acne will then develop on the skin in the form of blackheads, whiteheads, or pimples. While acne is not considered deadly, it may cause permanent scarring . It also may create self-esteem issues which can lead to psychological problems.

Acne affects all ages, races and genders. More than 50% of teenagers will suffer from acne. Most young sufferers outgrow acne by their mid to late 20s, but some people may continue to suffer until well into their 40s. Women may be affected more than men.

One cause of acne is thought to be genetic. Also, it has been suggested that diets high in fat may be one cause, along with how clean one’s face is and exposure to sunlight. Acne primarily affects skin areas with a greater number of oil glands, including the face, upper part of the chest, and back. During puberty, both sexes experience increased hormone production which can cause acne.

Acne is easily treated. Lifestyle changes, like eating less sugar, carbs and fat may help to reduce it. There are countless OTC treatments. These treatments are topical, and in the form of lotions, soaps, creams, and wipes. Some of the active ingredients in these products are salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. When OCT treatments do not work, suffers may turn to dermatologists. These specialists may prescribe antibiotics, retinoids or birth control pills in the case of females.

One long term side effect of acne can be scarring. While scarring does not occur with every blackhead, whitehead, or pimple, there is a risk. Scarring occurs because of abnormal healing of a blemish. Over 80% of people with acne will have some form of scarring. Scarring can be corrected with cosmetic medical procedures like laser treatments or chemical peels.

Another other health issue connected to acne is that of mental health. Some sufferers of acne may develop self esteem issues due to bad breakouts or scarring.  These self esteem issues may lead to sufferers developing mental health issues such as anxiety.

Compared to most health issues acne is very treatable whereas sufferers may be able to treat it with OTC treatments. Severe cases will need to be treated by a specialist.

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