Acne is a long-term skin condition caused by the clogging of hair follicles by dead skin cells and oils. This has the unintended consequence of causing places to become inflamed and scarred. Acne does not only affect teenagers, contrary to popular opinion, and it affects a wide range of people of all ages.
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Acne is a skin disease that causes spots and blackheads on the sufferer’s skin. This can range in severity from mild or moderate infections that only leave one or two spots to severe infections that are painful, persistent, and cover the face and back. It affects both men and women as adults, though it’s most commonly associated with teenagers and puberty.
Acne-related spots come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Whiteheads and blackheads are common, but papules (small pimples that cluster together in a rash), pustules (similar to a papule but with pus), nodules (a small swelling caused by an inflammation beneath the skin), and cysts are also common (very painful pockets of tissue fill with pus or air). Acne spots can be painful, but they can also cause psychological issues such as low self-esteem, embarrassment, and upset.
Acne is caused by a variety of factors, the most common of which are hormones. Sebum production is controlled by androgens, male sex hormones that occur in both men and women. Because the hormone regulates the amount of oil produced by our skin and hair, a high level of production can cause blockages. Acne is often accompanied by oily skin and greasy-looking hair because these blocked or clogged pores become irritated and appear as spots, and the imbalance in these hormones is why acne is often accompanied by oily skin and greasy-looking hair.
The part that causes the hormone imbalance varies from person to person and can be caused by stress, the weather, chemicals (in skincare products or cosmetics), pregnancy, or the menstrual cycle of a woman. Because it differs from person to person, the best thing to do is keep a mental list of the things that cause acne breakouts and try to tailor your routine around them.
It’s also because of this hormonal shift that the condition is so common among teenagers. Girls and boys’ bodies begin to produce male and female sex hormones, including androgens, when they reach puberty. This major hormonal shift throws your body out of whack, resulting in spots, oily skin, and blackheads.
Acne is frequently misunderstood to be caused by poor hygiene. Blockages in your pores are caused by natural oils produced by your body, not by dirt. In fact, washing your skin too vigorously, too frequently, or with too many chemicals can aggravate acne by washing away all of the sebum oil, causing your body to produce even more to compensate.
While some products may irritate your skin or cause irritation, makeup as a whole is not a cause of acne. In fact, wearing makeup can help to reduce the psychological effects of acne by making spots less visible and making sufferers feel less self-conscious.
Because acne is so closely linked to your body’s hormones, there is no way to completely cure it (in the way that you can with a bacterial infection, for example). There is no “miracle” treatment, but there are several approaches to successfully managing androgen levels in your body and reducing breakouts.
We have a variety of prescription acne medicines in stock at UK Meds, including topical creams (to be applied to the affected skin) and oral tablets. The contraceptive pill is another option for women. While many combined or progestogen-only pills can cause acne in the first place, others (such as Dianette) can help to regulate androgen production and reduce acne symptoms.
Prescription medications have the advantage of having been thoroughly tested and proven to work, but you could also try some over-the-counter alternatives. They may work on fewer people, requiring a trial-and-error approach, but some of them can be extremely effective. However, be aware that some can be too harsh and strip your sebum oils, causing your acne to worsen.
Your lifestyle and diet, in addition to medical treatment, may be contributing factors. While there is no evidence that chocolate causes spots (as many people believe), certain foods can disrupt your body’s delicate balance, so keep an eye out for any potential triggers. Naturally, prevention is always preferable to cure, so take good care of your skin, body, and overall health and you should see fewer breakouts.
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