Acne

Acne is a skin inflammation affecting approximately 80% of those between the ages of 12 and 24. Located in each hair follicle or tiny pit in the skin, is a sebaceous gland that lubricates the skin. If some oil gets trapped, bacteria multiply in the pit and the skin becomes inflamed. Most adolescents have acne because the sebaceous glands are stimulated by a male hormone at puberty. No exact cause is known, but contributing factors are heredity, oily skin, androgens (male hormones) produced in increased amounts when either a boy or girl reaches puberty. Other causes may include allergies, stress, junk food, and oral contraceptives. Blackheads form when sebum combines with skin pigments and plug the pores. If scales below the surface of the skin become filled with sebum, whiteheads are formed. In severe cases, whiteheads build up, spread under the skin and rupture, eventually spreads the inflammation.

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An antibiotic cream or oral antibiotic is sometimes prescribed for acne. If so, add acidophilus because antibiotics kill friendly as well as unfriendly bacteria. Eat plenty of sour products, such as yogurt.

Benzoyl peroxide, an active ingredient in many acne products, helps in mild cases.

All cosmetics should be water based, do not use oil-based products.

Blackheads should be removed only with a specially designed instrument. Picking or scratching may cause scarring.

Keep hands clean and avoid touching the face.

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