Understanding Acne

Acne is a skin condition that affects many people, especially teenagers during puberty. Some people are plagued with frustrating outbreaks from their teenage years to adulthood. Acne is characterized by painful red bumps on the face and occasionally other parts of the body. Once you understand what causes acne, you can find acne solutions.

Causes

Acne occurs due to blockage of skin pores by sebum, an oily skin secretion. Once the pores on your skin and follicles become blocked by this oil, bacteria starts to grow under the surface. Bacterial growth causes follicles to swell, causing the appearance of acne. Affected skin may also become tender.

Whiteheads vs. Blackheads

There are two main types of acne: whiteheads and blackheads. Whiteheads occur when bacteria grows below the skin surface. Blackheads, on the other hand, occur when sebum rises to the surface of the skin and is exposed to oxygen, causing it to turn black or brown in color.

Time Frame

With time, the contents of an acne pore gradually decreases. This means that acne is capable of healing itself, but the process takes time. Whiteheads will typically heal faster than blackheads. Patients can treat acne in three to seven days with medication. Left untreated, acne may last longer. Squeezing or popping acne on your skin is discouraged, because it can lead to rupture of pores and scarring.

Acne Myths

The most common acne myth is that it is caused by poor hygiene. Many people who believe this myth end up washing their skin more frequently, but excessive washing of the skin irritates it and only worsens your acne.

Tanning can temporarily mask acne but is incapable of treating it. In fact, prolonged exposure to the sun causes the skin to become dry, which may worsen acne.

Prevention

One of the most effective acne-prevention measures involves careful and thorough washing of the skin. Once acne has formed, you can use benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid to rid the skin of bacteria in pores and prevent acne from returning. These medications are available in over-the-counter and prescription forms.

Considerations

Avoid squeezing or popping acne because this causes further inflammation of the skin. If you want to successfully find an acne solution, clean the affected area and treat it using medication. The more you touch the affected areas, the more your skin becomes irritated, which will delay the healing process.