Acne Myths and Facts

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Date Added : December 8, 2009 Views : 115097
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There are a huge amount of myths circulating about acne vulgaris - its causes and its treatment - and although some may have a grain of truth, the explanation may not be relevant to what is causing you problems.

Hormones and acne vulgaris

Acne and skin problems normally start when we enter into puberty, and hormonal imbalance is one of the greatest factors influencing the skin - in males the increased secretion of testosterone is a major influencing factor in the cause of seborrhea (oily skin).    When we have an increase of hormones - estrogen and testosterone, the female and male hormones - our skin is programmed to start activating the sebaceous glands and more oil is produced. It must be kept in mind that both males and females have both these hormones - in males testosterone is the major player while estrogen is dominant in females.    Some lucky people go through puberty with their skin working more than perfectly and handling the flood of hormones in good grace, without disrupting the normal skin functioning.

The build-up of dead skin cells in the sebaceous follicle is also an important factor in the creation of acne vulgaris, since instead of shedding and exiting the follicle, the dead skin tends to hang around and get bound together with the sebum, which then plugs the follicle and in so doing swells up and enlarges the pore, creating skin problems.
On top of this, bacteria starts to multiply and inflammation sets in, and should this follicle spill its content unchecked, the surrounding tissue will also become infected.    Acne flare-ups are also common in women when menstruating or during pregnancy, since the hormone levels are then increased.


 It is an old belief that French fries, pizzas, chocolate, cake, pastries etc are the cause of acne, but medical science has disputed this fact. Please bear in mind that it is wise to eat sensibly when wishing to combat acne vulgaris and other skin problems.   A well balanced diet, with a healthy inclusion of fresh fruit and vegetables, coupled with adequate water (water - not sodas, juice, coffee or tea) will most definitely help your skin, and is also a good foundation for general good health.   The amount of water that you should drink per day can be calculated as follows - for each 8 kilograms of body weight you should drink about 250 ml of water - so if you weigh 60 kilograms you should drink about 1.9 liters of water per day ( a pound equals 2.2 kilograms and 250 ml equals about 8 fluid ounces).


People suffering from severe acne are sometimes under the misguided impression that it is due to their lack of hygiene, that they \\\"contracted\\\" acne and they then go forth and clean with such vigor that they damage and stress their skin even more.    Although hygiene and regular cleansing is paramount to prevent the spread of infection - it is not normally the lack of hygiene which causes acne vulgaris as such.   During puberty the skin in most individuals becomes more oily due to hormonal factors, and pores also enlarge, and although proper cleaning, with a good quality pH controlled cleanser, without excessive chemicals and harsh ingredients, is required to keep the skin clean and to help prevent further spread of acne and pimples, it must be done in a sensible and responsible way.


Although modern science does not support the idea that stress can lead to acne, it is surely a truth that stress aggravates skin problems and that flare-ups happen when a person is under extra stress.


This myth has become less popular, but it was once thought that as soon as you become sexually active that acne would clear up. There is no truth in this - and it is merely a myth.


Exposing your skin to the ultraviolet rays of the sun will not clear up your acne, and you run the increased risk of sun damage to your skin. Although some people think that the sun improves their skin condition, it in actual fact will only help mask the problem with a slight tan, but the problem itself will not be sorted out by sunbathing.
It is therefore not recommended that you expose your skin to sunlight - especially if you are using acne medication - be that over-the-counter or prescription - since most of these products will have a sensitizing effect on the skin, and sun bathing should therefore be restricted when using any such products.


Although there are no hard and fast rules or indications concerning the probability of a child inheriting genes that will make them more prone to acne, it is found that acne does seem to follow a family pattern of sorts.
It is thought that children may be predisposed to acne if their parents had severe acne, but support for the contrary is also there where children of acne prone parents never developed acne.

Removing blackheads and whiteheads prevent acne

This statement is an out-and-out myth, and the opposite is actually the truth, as incorrect extraction of blackheads and whiteheads can give rise to acne, and also spread the infection.   Squeezing or picking at blackheads and whiteheads can also hurt the surrounding tissue which can result in permanent scarring.    The extraction of blackheads by means of \\\"blackhead extractors\\\" must be avoided and should only be done by a dermatologist or a well trained beauty therapist under the correct conditions. Incorrect removal may also cause reactive inflammation in the area.   Trying to force out whiteheads may, if done incorrectly, force the content of the closed comedo further and deeper into the tissue which may result in inflammation and the formation of nodules and cysts.   Manipulation of whiteheads can force these closed comedo to become inflamed and form a pustule or papule and may lead to cysts or nodules.


Since age, puberty and hormones play a role in the appearance of acne, age as such is a factor, but in general - the majority of acne sufferers are aged between 12 - 24 years of age (people still struggling with acne at 40 will not agree however!).

Mocelle Edan Cosmetic Clinics www.mocelle.com 1-866-MMD-SPAS

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