Do you recall how you felt when you first observed those little dots in the form of acne (pimples) appearing on your face?. This is certainly one of the biggest nightmares for a youngster at the threshold of puberty. Pimples tend to show up at a stage in life when you are aspiring to look at your best. Let's take a closer look on Acne (Pimples) causes and treatments.
Almost 85% of teenagers experience acne during adolescence. You will also see this problem among some youngsters up to the age of 25.
Inflammation in the skin leads to the formation of pimples and spots. In severe cases, eruptions and lesions like the blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, nodules, and cysts leave lifelong scars on the skin. Acne usually affects the face, back, neck, and shoulders.
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Certain facts about acne (pimples)
It is difficult to pinpoint any single cause that leads to Acne (Pimples). Unlike what many tend to think, it is the hormonal changes during your growing years that cause acne, and not the bacteria or virus.
It is one of the most common skin ailments in which a higher amount of oil produced by the sebaceous glands affects the skin of most of the young adults.
Acne mostly appears first on the face. It then progresses to the neck as well as the chest and becomes painful if it gets inflamed with pus.
These glands which are present near the hair follicles get stimulated at the time of puberty. The excessive secretion of sebum (oil) associated with hormonal changes covers the follicular pore.
When these whiteheads and blackheads are left unattended, they form pimples. Sore of these pimples further gives rise to pus. Cysts are a direct result of chronic acne.
Poor skin hygiene causes inflammation of the skin. While one of the specific causes is irregular secretion of hormones, unhealthy food habits also increase acne.
Some of the contributing factors for Acne (pimples) are:
- Heredity- Our body is made-up in such a way that the hormones “kick-in” at a particular age.
- External factors- Acne seems to get aggravated by the pressure caused by things like chin straps in helmets, artificial Jewelry, etc.
- Drugs- The side effects of some medications to treat other conditions sometimes cause or worsen acne.
- Environmental and Occupational conditions- Exposure to natural elements like excessive sunlight, humidity, etc. Some industrial products may aggravate acne.
- Excessive use of Cosmetics - oil-based cosmetics clogs the pores and leads to pus formation and inflammation.
- Irregular hours - Certain skin conditions are also a result of irregular eating and sleeping hours among the younger generation. Excessive stress and a sedentary lifestyle can also cause acne.
These days mild cases occurrence of acne can be safely treated by using an over the counter skincare products available at the pharmacies and drugstores. You can also use some of the many home acne treatments. However, in the case of severe conditions, it is advisable to consult a physician.
Many skin creams and gels are available to treat a mild form of Acne. It is always better first to try out using the non-steroidal creams, gels, soaps, and lotions. Most of the OTC treatments contain one or more of the following ingredients -
- Resorcinol: helps in breaking down whiteheads and blackheads.
- Benzyl peroxide: eliminates bacteria, accelerates healing of the skin, and slows down the secretion of sebum.
- Salicylic acid: breaks down the blackheads and reduces swelling and inflammation.
- Sulfur: has an anti-microbial property.
- Retin-A: assists in unblocking the pores through higher cell turn-over.
- Azelaic Acid: reduces sebum production and strengthens the follicles. It helps in reducing bacterial growth.
Natural acne treatments
- Following a Healthy Diet: Your menu should have a green leafy fiber-rich diet with a low glycemic index. It should be rich in zinc as well as vitamins A and E. This acts as a preventive measure during your puberty years when chances of getting acne (pimples) infection is the highest.
- Application of Tea-Tree Oil: Using Tea tree oil decreases the production of Sebum and removes the oily layer from the pores. The polyphenols present in it have a soothing and drying effect on the skin.
- Maintaining Good Hygiene: Using a mild soap and washing the affected area with slightly warm water gives instant relief when you dab it dry as it reduces the oil film formation on the skin.
- Lifestyle Changes : Hormonal imbalances are a direct result of a poor lifestyle that we follow. It is important to pay attention to what time we sleep and how much and what we eat.
Sleeping late after a binge party always leads to health issues. You will notice that on the days you get up late, your skin is always more oily. This is the first step to developing pimples.
Treating Severe Cases of Acne
Although it is not a life-threatening disease, acne should not be neglected. Besides lowering the self-confidence, it also potentially leaves permanent scars on the skin.
When you find that the home remedies and OTC creams give little or no relief, do not hesitate in consulting a dermatologist. In such severe cases, you need to undergo treatment.
[ Don’t miss: Acne Remedies: Natural Herbal Acne Treatments.]