I am in my 40’s and I am still afraid of getting acne. If you think your days of fighting acne are over simply because your beyond teen-age years, think again. Although acne flares up on teenage boys and girls during puberty, those irritating white heads, pimples and cysts can show up when you’re an adult too.
Acne begins under the skin in the oil-producing “sebaceous glands.” These glands are usually small and inactive until puberty, when hormone changes it cause them to enlarge and secrete an oily substance know as sebum. The sebum builds up, clogs the hair follicles in the skin, the follicles get irritated, swell and you have acne. Bacteria grows in an oily sebum, the acne can become irritated causing more swelling and infammation.
So what can you do to prevent whiteheads and pimples from popping up on your face? What are different ways on how to prevent acnes?
- Benzoyl peroxide – is one effective remedy. It is sold over the counter in gel, lotion, cream or pad forms. Using it once or twice a day can help unblocked follicles. Your skin may appear red and dry at first. But this treatment may not be for everybody, if you notice some skin irritation or dryness, discontinue using it.
- Eat a healthy diet, but chocolate is OK! Have you heard that eating chocolate causes acne? zits? or pimple? Clinical studies have shown no scientific evidence linking certain foods and acne. It is important to eat a well-balance diet. You will not only feel healthier, but your skin will look healthier as well.
- Clean your face gently. Getting acne is not related to dirt. In fact, excessive scrubbing with harsh abrasives can actually make the condition worse. Wash oily skin with water and mild, unscented soap like Dial, Ivory or Lever 2000. Always keep your face mask clean or changed daily if it’s disposable.
- Keep your hands off your face. Squeezing and picking at your pimples can lead to more irritation and acne.
- Be aware of your environment. Avoid polluted and humid conditions whenever possible. Heavy sweating can aggravate your acne.
- Oil-based make up can cause acne. It can aggravate your skin condition. Avoid getting your hair gels, hair sprays and suntan oil on your face.
Some teens who have acne can get help from a doctor or dermatologist (a doctor who specializes in skin problems). A doctor may treat the acne with prescription medicines. Depending on the person’s acne, this might mean using prescription creams that prevent pimples from forming, taking antibiotics to kill the bacteria that help create pimples, or if the acne is severe, taking stronger medicines such as isotretinoin, or even having minor surgery. Some girls find that birth control pills help to clear up their acne.
Making these simple changes in your lifestyle and skin care, will result in healthy looking skin. Remember to consult your doctor or dermatologist first before taking any medication, or major changes, and do a small skin test on your front elbow, when applying cream or serum, for allergic reaction.
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