Acne is a pesky skin condition that many suffer from – especially in their adolescence. In fact, around 80 percent of people between the age of 11 and 30 have had the disease at some point. While acne outbreaks tend to disappear with age, some people still experience them later in life.
Acne: What is it?
The disease affects the skin’s oil glands that produce an oily substance called sebum. When hair, skin cells, and sebum stick together and block the pore connected to the oil gland, the area swells due to the bacteria in the blockage. When the blockage breaks down, a pimple forms.
There are different types of pimples including:
- Papules – tender pink-colored bumps
- Whiteheads – pimples that stay under the skin’s surface
- Blackheads – black bumps
- Nodules – large and painful pimples deep in the skin
- Pustules – bumps that have a red bottom and pus on the top
- Cysts – deep pimples that contain pus and my result in scarring
While the cause of acne is unknown, there are several factors that may influence outbreaks:
- Hormone changes – hormone levels fluctuate during pregnancy and teen years
- Heredity – family history of acne could make it more likely for you to get it
- Certain medicine – can increase sebum production
- Greasy makeup – can clog pores
- Birth control pills – starting or stopping them can cause your hormone levels to fluctuate
Wash the affected skin gently 1-2 times per day and use a moisturizer to prevent dry skin (choose one that has “noncomedogenic” on the label).
You can buy over-the-counter medicated creams, soaps, and lotions to treat the acne. Try tea tree oil (kills bacteria) or benzoyl peroxide (unplugs pores).
While using products to treat acne, make sure to protect your skin from the sun because some creams or lotions can increase your skin’s sensitivity to UV light.
If the acne continues to persist or becomes worse, then see a dermatologist.