The Truth about Acne-Prone Skin.

Acne vulgaris is the most common skin disease in industrial nations. It usually begins during puberty, in line with hormone changes, and may persist into later adulthood. Approximately 80-90% of young people are affected to some degree with blemishes and 20-30% of these people will seek medical support. There are also increasing numbers of adults, particularly women, experiencing acne later in life.
With acne, skin becomes oily and open and closed comedones (black and whiteheads) appear on the face and often the neck, shoulders, chest and back too. In moderate and severe acne, skin becomes reddened and inflamed papules and pustules develop. Acne can be emotionally distressing, annoyingly persistent and can lead to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) and/or long-term scarring. 
Rosacea, a hypersensitive skin disorder, shares many of the symptoms of acne and papules and pustules are similar in appearance. However, with Rosacea, as opposed to acne, there are no blocked pores, the skin is more likely to be dry than greasy and no scarring is left.
A disturbed sebum secretion can also trigger Seborrheic Dermatitis, a common inflammatory skin condition in which flaky, white to yellowish scales form on oily areas, such as the scalp or inside the ear. 

When the skin produces an excess amount of sebum (seborrhea) and dead skin cells remain attached to the skin (hyperkeratosis) the two can build up in the hair follicle and form together as a soft plug. This plug may cause the follicle wall to bulge and produce a closed comedone (whitehead) or, if the plug is close to the surface, an open comedone (blackhead).
Genes are also thought to affect a person’s risk of developing acne. So, if both parents had acne, there is a higher chance that their child will go on to develop the condition.
Depending on the severity of impure and acne-prone skin, sufferers can use a cleanse, clear, care routine and prescribed medical treatments such as retinoids or oral antibiotics or a combination of both. Some medical treatments are known to have dehydrating side effects so can be enhanced with adjunctive moisturising care.
Hormones are considered to play a role, making acne most common in teenagers (although people of all ages can get acne). The increase of androgens in both boys and girls in puberty causes the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum than skin needs. In addition to the amount of circulating hormones also an increased sensitivity of the sebaceous glands is relevant for the development of acne. The majority of acne cases vanish spontaneously after puberty. Nevertheless, effective treatment is needed to prevent the formation of lasting scars. Sebaceous glands are particularly sensitive to hormones so adult acne can occur in women with hormone-related conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome. Also psychological stress may be a trigger of adult female acne. In people with acne-prone skin, the excess production of sebum creates an ideal environment in which the normally harmless acne bacteria (Propionibacterium acnes) can multiply. This triggers inflammation and the formation of red or pus-filled spots. This is not, as some myths would have you believe, because acne sufferers are unhygienic. On the contrary, over-cleansing with aggressive cleansing products is actually more likely to irritate skin. 
Certain medications, such as steroids and lithium, have been known to trigger acne in some people. There are many myths surrounding acne, many of which unfairly “blame” the sufferer – such as acne being caused by having dirty skin, poor hygiene or a poor diet, or acne being contagious. As well as being untrue, these myths can cause unnecessary distress to sufferers who may already be experiencing low self-confidence or low self-esteem. Dermatologists are trained to separate the facts from the fiction.
Although there is no ‘cure’ for impure and acne-prone skin, medicinal and non-medicinal therapies can be very effective in preventing the formation of new spots and scarring. These daily routines should also include a tailor-made sunscreen that has been specifically formulated for oily and acne-prone skin, filtering harmful UVA and UVB rays.

Eucerin: Acne. (2017). Retrieved on August 18, 2017, from Eucerin: Acne-prone skin | Acne in general – symptoms, causes and solutions.


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