Many people think they know what causes acne, the inflammation of skin pores that results in problems such as blackheads, whiteheads or pimples, primarily in teenagers. There are a lot of misconceptions about acne though. Officially common acne is known as acne vulgaris. And in explaining it, the answer becomes bit complicated.
Acne is an inflamed disease of the skin, and it has many causes, one of which is bacteria in the pores of the skin. The body in many ways becomes allergic to this type of bacteria. This attracts while blood cells to fight the allergy, and the pores become blocked. Oil secretions will build up and provide a breeding ground for even more bacteria. Then pimples will form. These red bumps resemble small boils, which fill with a nasty puss caused by the body fighting the infection of the bacteria.
There is probably no perfect cure for acne other than outgrowing it but there are a number nothing that can be done to lessen the physical effects.
First, remember that for many years, people thought that acne was caused by poor hygiene and by eating certain foods. Fried foods and chocolate were especially blamed for acne, probably because teenagers eat fried foods and chocolate commonly, but that may have been blaming the messenger for the message. There is no scientific evidence linking diet to acne.
Also, while personal hygiene is important and a good thing, over washing can damage skin and actually make acne worse. But good hygiene and a good diet can’t hurt, and they might just help a little. Also using makeup that doesn’t clog pores but can at least assist the body in not making acne worse.
Treatments that kill the bacteria that cause acne included the use of antibiotics like tetracycline, doxycycline and minocyclne, which are taken orally. Also topical antibiotics or bactericides like Benzoyl peroxide or erythromycin can help. The bacteria also known as “P. acnes”, does however become resistant to the antibiotics eventually. However Benzoyl peroxide, an oxidizer, does not seem to generate resistance by the bacteria. While the acne will come back, it is a short term and temporary cure and is applied topically.
Exfoliating the skin can also help. This method can be done by using a cloth or a liquid scrub, or by using certain chemicals. Chemical exfoliating substances include salicylic acid and glycolic acid. Both of these agents cause a peeling of the top layer of skin, which prevents a build up of dead skin which blocks pores when combined with oil. This in turn, makes a breeding ground for bacteria.
Another over the counter remedy is salicylic acid, which softens skin and gets rid of dead skin cells, which in turn unclogs pores. Many face wash products contain this ingredient. Also sulfur contained in many over the counter products works well for many people. Another product is glycolic acid, which is found in anti-aging products as well as acne medicines.
There are also a number of natural remedies that can fight acne and the bacteria that causes it. Tea tree oil is gaining in popularity. It kills the bacteria and also reduces redness and inflammation. It works much the same as Benzoyl peroxide but causes less skin irritation and is carried at health food stories.
Acupuncture is used by some and is thought to alleviate hormonal imbalances n the body. Those who use acupuncture also usually suggest lifestyle changes and a change n diet, including cutting back on dairy products.
Light therapy is another natural remedy to fight the bacteria that has many adherents. Many people believe that the bacteria that causes acne insensitive to light in the blue wavelength of the light spectrum. Light therapy means shining blue light onto a patient for fifteen minutes at a time twice a week, usually for four weeks. This treatment can be expenses, running about $150 per treatment. Not all patients have had good results, but some have. Also since light in this wavelength is not harmful to the skin, there are no side effects or after effects.
Fighting the bacteria that causes acne is of major concern for many medical professionals, and surely with time they will find more and better ways to do so. In the meantime, the treatments listed here can help many people.