Why You Need To Understand Your Acne Better
It's important to understand that acne is a very common skin condition (affecting over 80% of teenagers) that normally starts in the early teenage years, and can continue well into adulthood. The majority of suffers though, see their condition resolve in their early twenties.
From what we understand, acne is caused by a combination of three things; sebaceous glands in the skin that are producing too much oil, dead skin cells are being shed and blocking pores, and an increased bacteria count can lead to infection. It is thought the trigger for all this extra-curricular activity is hormones, which I guess explains why most cases of acne start around the same time as the onset of puberty.
Acne outbreaks occur on the skin where the sebaceous glands are most numerous, namely the face, neck, back and chest. We find that girls have a tendency to develop acne at a slightly earlier age than boys, and experience worse symptoms just before their periods. The boys seem to get worse symptoms and suffer acne outbreaks more frequently than the girls.
It appears that some medicines are an aggravating factor in acne outbreaks, anti-inflammatory pills and the contraceptive pill are just two examples. Anything you apply to your skin such as cosmetics or sunscreen can also exacerbate symptoms, so it is important to ensure any creams or lotions are noncomedogenic (simply means it doesn't clog the pores). There is a lot of debate as to how much a person's diet contributes to acne, but there is no firm evidential link, eating a healthy diet, taking regular exercise, and maintaining a good skincare regime, can certainly not do any harm and will be beneficial for all aspects of your health.
Stress is a common factor that can trigger a breakout, which is why it is not uncommon that a breakout occurs around exam times or when you have an important event to attend. If stress does affect your acne, it can often lead to a vicious cycle of stress exacerbating your acne, and then you get more stressed because you have a breakout, which can lead to your acne getting even worse.
The majority of acne sufferers are able to manage their condition with the variety of over the counter preparations that are available. A good proportion however will need to seek medical advice but shouldn't despair, as almost all cases of acne can now be treated successfully with the modern treatments that are available on prescription.
If you understand your acne better, it will help you in two ways; first it will mean you can minimize the chances of making it worse, and second you should be armed with enough knowledge to ensure you get the most suitable treatment for yourself.
If you do seek medical advice, it is quite likely that your doctor will prescribe you more than one product. Give the medication the time it needs to work, and be sure to follow the regimen your clinician sets for you, you will need to be persistent, and if you are, your acne will respond.