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Adult acne What is Acne? Acne is a common skin condition affecting adults and teens resulting in black heads, white heads, pimples, and sometimes cysts. Typically, acne affects individuals during their teen years, with boys slightly more prone to breakout than girls. Adult acne in women and men is a relatively common occurrence, and is the result of the same hormonal interaction that causes adolescent acne. The chin and jaw line are common areas of breakout especially for women. Women are also more prone to stress related breakouts. Adult men on the other hand are more likely than teenagers to have acne that are resistant to treatment. Acne in adult women that are triggered by hormones may be linked to the adrenal glands and ovaries which secrete excess androgens (male hormone). Menopause is another factor why women who have never suffered from acne may suddenly have acne like eruptions on their skin in their later years of life. Adult acne can range from a few annoying blemishes now and then to regular breakouts consisting of numerous large pimples, pustules and cysts on areas of the face, back and chest. Acne occurs in the skin where there is an over production of oil by the oil glands. The oil glands then become overactive and pores get enlarge and clogged. Dead cells build up on the skin due to the skin inability to shed these cells causing further blockage. Thus resulting in white and black heads formation the first stages of acne. These can be very obvious on the skin and may prompt the individual to seek some form of skin care. This may be consulting a dermatologist, a skin care specialist or purchasing over the counter products. White heads are enclosed swelling of the oil glands with dead cell build up on the surface of the skin, which prevents their exposure to the atmosphere and thus they remain white. Black heads occurs in the same way but exfoliating the skin removes dead cell buildup exposing the uppermost part of the white head which when comes in contact with the atmosphere oxidizes and becomes black and thus is called a black head. Simple cleansing the skin will not get rid of white and black heads. When bacteria, oil and dead cells are trapped in the oil gland it can swell and eventually burst creating a painful tender inflamed area that we call pimples. When the area is infected white blood cells are released to aid healing. When these white cells mix with the oil, dead cells and bacteria a white tipped pustule is formed which most of us are tempted to pick at or squeeze, although we are reminded not to. Black skin scars easily therefore picking and squeezing can cause the spread of bacteria and long term scarring. Why many of us are plagued with acne while others have clear skin with little or no effort? The reasons are many but the three most fundamental cause of acne are as follows: Hereditary: Although there are still no define genetic acne trait, teenagers whose parents had severe acne is more likely to suffer from this condition, and so are their siblings. Environmental: Stress can play a major role in acne prone women. Stress triggers a hormonal response that stimulates the oil glands in the skin and can lead to major breakouts. Hormones: Once a young girl starts to develop breast and pubic hair she begins to rapidly produce androgens one of the sex hormones. This increase production of androgen over stimulates the oil glands in the skin that leads to acne formation. Hormonal changes that occurs during puberty explains why acne is more common during the teenage years when the hormones are running rampant. Hormonal change that stimulates the oil glands also occurs approximately 10 to 14 days before menstrual bleeding. At this period in time individuals can become moody and tense and are prone to hormone- stimulated breakout Dietary: There is no proof that diet plays a role in aggravating the acne condition. However it is safe to refrain from fried foods, caffeine, and dairy products if you suffer from acne. A healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, fish, chicken broiled or grilled could aid in a speedier cessation of your acne. HOW TO TREAT BREAKOUTS If you suffer from acne there is no need for you to hide from your friends during breakouts but it is important that you take special care of your skin during this time and always. If you have mild to severe acne the first thing you should do is consult a skin specialist or Dermatologist in your area. Be sure the skin care specialist or doctor you choose has experience treating black skin. If a dermatologist is your choice he or she will generally prescribe an oral or topical antibiotic to kill the bacteria responsible for the inflammation. Antibiotic like Tetracycline is generally prescribed by the Dermatologist but if you are pregnant it is very important to let your doctor know. Pregnant mothers should not take Tetracycline and the drug can also cause skin sensitivity. Clindamycin and Erytromycin can also be given for topical application, but beware that these antibiotics works on active lesions only and do not prevent further breakouts. Dermatologist sometimes prescribed Acutane for severe acne due to the fact that it shuts down the oil- producing glands in the body. As a result all who take this drug suffers from severely dry peeling skin, chapped lips, hair loss and severe sun sensitivity. Be aware that although this drug has some effect on the treatment of severe acne it is extremely toxic and must be taken with caution. It can cause birth defects and should never be prescribe to women who are pregnant or considering having children. It is also reported to cause severe depression in teenagers resulting in suicide. A study published in Cosmetic Dermatology, November/December 1989, states that of 154 pregnancies in which Acutane exposure occurred, 95 ended in elective abortions, and 12 ended in spontaneous abortions. Infants that was carried to term there was a characteristic and easily recognizable pattern of malformations involving the cranio-facial area, the heart and or thymus, in almost half the infants. There are many different treatments for acne given by skin care specialist and treatment selection will be based on the type of acne, skin care history, and lifestyle. One very effective treatment in the skin care clinic and also at Dermatologist clinic is glycolic acid a family of the (AHA) alphahydroxy acids. This acid is derived from sugar cane and has the smallest molecular structure of all the other AHA’s. This allows the effective penetration into skin uppermost layers of the skin to effectively heal and prevent acne. When applied to the skin it sloughs off dead skin cells and un-plug clogged pores. A higher strength is generally selected for use in the clinic while a lower strength is given for home care. This treatment is generally highly effective on black skin and produces satisfying results. Acne affects 9 out of every 10 adolescence. This occurs in varying degrees and for some acne never goes away. It sometimes leaves its mark in the form of acne pit scars, hyper- pigmentation (darkening of the skin) that frequently occurs on black skin due to its sensitivity and tendency to scar. Acne can resurface in our twenties, thirties and even middle to later years. Acne is not life threatening but can have significant psychological effect on the individual. Individuals with acne can become insecure, depress, and display low self -esteem. It is very important when taking a course of treatment to follow a diet high in water intake, and avoid fried foods, alcohol and caffeine. When purchasing products for your skin care at home look for products with high water content and products that are plant based and hypoallergenic (less likely to cause a reaction). NEW SPA TREATMENT & LIMITED TIME OFFER If you or someone you know is battling moderate to severe acne please give me a call. I am offering the first 10 individual that call 50% off their acne treatment. This is an excellent treatment that will rid you of your acne in 3 months or under if instructions are adhered to. This treatment uses a blue light and special acne treatment products and or procedure depending on the severity of the problem. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 416-964-2505 for an appointment.
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