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Suffering from acne and acne breakouts? Hate the pimples, blackheads and whiteheads that dot your face and other parts of your body? Stress no more. Read this report to learn more about why acne happens and what you can do about it right away!
How To Get Rid Of Blackheads, Whiteheads, And Other Forms Of Acne by Audrey Roberts Contrary to popular belief, acne doesnʼt just affect adolescents and teenagers. For some people, acne persists into adulthood. It usually affects the face, but can also be found in other parts of the body, such as the back and the upper arms. Men and women are equally affected. Ranging from mild to severe, acne can have grave consequences on oneʼs self conﬁdence. In a society where physical appearance is highly regarded, clear glowing skin is a much sought after prize. Just open any magazine and youʼll see a multitude of product that promises to help people achieve clear, youthful, glowing skin. Most people who donʼt understand acne automatically associate it with poor hygiene or diet. While a good skin care regimen is important, and eating a healthy balanced diet will really do show on your skin, acne in most cases is usually caused by not knowing enough about oneʼs skin and how to care for it. In some cases, our genes predispose us to acne - but with the right regimen, even this can be overcome. In this report, weʼll look at how you can effectively get rid of blackheads, whiteheads and other forms of acne. At the end of this report, you should be able to: 1. Understand why blackheads, whiteheads and acne appear and multiply on our skin 2. Find out what factors can aggravate acne 3. Identify skin types that are susceptible to acne 4. Learn how to apply a basic regimen for treating and preventing acne Why Acne Happens. Our skin is the largest organ in our body. And since it is exposed to the elements, itʼs also the one that is most susceptible to irritants. These irritants, reacting to the properties of our skin, is the usual cause of acne. To understand this better, letʼs take a look at the properties of our skin. Our skin has many functions. Primarily, our skin offers a protective covering that shields our body against pathogens. Itʼs the ﬁrst line of defense against toxins and bacteria. Our skin also functions to regulate body temperature. Through nerve endings that are found on our skin, we can sense warmth, cold, pain, and other sensations which are important to our survival. Our skin has three layers. The topmost layer is the epidermis. The epidermis functions to keep bacteria out. It is further divided into 5 layers, with the bottom layer producing new skin cells that gets pushed up to replace the dead skin cells on the topmost layer. Beneath the epidermis, youʼll ﬁnd the dermis. The dermis is where blood vessels are found. The presence of blood vessels ensures that this layer of the skin receives the nourishment it needs, and that wastes and toxins are removed regularly. In this layer, youʼll also ﬁnd a number of glands, such as the sebaceous glands (responsible for keeping the skin moisturized and supple) and the sweat glands (responsible for sweating and regulating body temperature). The bottom layer of our skin is called the hypodermis. This layer serves to attach the skin to the bones and muscles of the body. This is also the layer where we ﬁnd the fat layer that provides insulation for our body. Our skin has the natural ability to care for itself - to heal and to renew itself whenever necessary. You see this when wounds heal and new skin is formed to replace dead skin cells. You also see this in the way the skin produces oil to seal in moisture and prevent itself from drying and being prone to breaks and cracking. However, the characteristics of our skin is not uniform for everyone. Depending on our age, race and gender, certain properties of our skin vary. In some cases these variations are responsible for making us more susceptible to acne. When it comes to acne, there are 3 skin categories to consider: 1. Dry Skin - This skin type is susceptible to whiteheads and blackheads. Dry skin is also more prone to wrinkling. However, it is less prone to pimples. 2. Normal Skin - These are the lucky ones. People with normal skin - or those with skin that are naturally balanced - are less prone to blackheads, whiteheads and pimples. They may get them occasionally when the natural balance of the skin is disturbed. 3. Oily Skin - The good news is, people with this skin type are less prone to wrinkling and other signs of aging. However, due to the overproduction of sebum on the skin, they are susceptible to whiteheads, blackheads and pimples. All three types of acne - blackheads, whiteheads and pimples - are usually caused by a disorder of the pilosebaceous gland. The pilosebaceous gland includes the sebaceous gland that produces the oil or the sebum, the hair follicle and the pore where the oil ﬁnds its way out onto the skin surface. In all three cases, there is a build up of sebum that clogs the pores. What causes the overproduction of sebum can vary from person to person. Hereʼs a rundown of some of them: • genes • hormones, like in the case of adolescents • certain medications • stress • the combination of humidity and tight clothing or impermeable clothing • dyes, oils and other chemicals found in products we apply to our skin Now, all three types of acne start off the same way - as sebum that blocks the pores. What happens after determines whether youʼll have a blackhead, a whitehead, or a pimple. Whiteheads In the case of a whitehead, dead skin cells and oil secreted from the sebaceous glands mix together inside the pore. Instead of being sloughed off, they plug the pore, preventing oil from getting out. The pore itself has a very small opening, so the plug doesnʼt get exposed to the environment, which means, it doesnʼt oxidize and it stays white in color. Blackheads Blackheads start out similarly as whiteheads. However, the pore that gets clogged with oil and dead skin cells have bigger openings. They get exposed to air, and this causes the melanin that is found in the dead skin cells to oxidize and turn a dark color. Pimples In the case of pimples, the process usually starts out with bacteria that is normally present on the skin. There are times when a follicle ﬁnds itself with an accumulation of these bacteria in addition to the sebum and the dead skin cells. When this happens, our immune system responds by calling in the white blood cells, which are responsible for ﬁghting off infection. What the white blood cells does is it breaks down the walls of the follicle. And this action allows the oil and dead skin cells to penetrate the dermis - the second layer of the skin. The result is the inﬂamed skin we call a pimple. Cystic Pimples Pimples are bad enough. But cystic pimples are even worse. Cystic pimples occur deeper in the skin, is painful and ﬁrm to the touch and appears as a huge raised red bump on the skin. Worse, it takes longer to heal and may leave deep acne scars on the skin. Treatment and Prevention Now that we know how various types of acne form on the skin and the factors that can make some people more susceptible to it, weʼll now look at the basic treatments that you can apply to treat these types of acne. When it comes to treatments, the characteristics of oneʼs skin should always be taken into consideration. This is because different skin types react to similar treatments differently. This is the reason why some treatments work well with some people, but are not effective and may even be harmful for other skin types. When ﬁnding a solution that works best on your particular skin type, it helps to start with the gentlest form of treatment. When it comes to acne treatments, no reaction is better than a disastrous reaction. Start with the gentlest treatments and if those donʼt work, thatʼs when you try stronger treatments. Another thing that you can do is start making lifestyle changes that promote healthy and clear skin. In many cases, lifestyle changes are sufﬁcient to signiﬁcantly improve acne. They are deﬁnitely worth following if you would like to not only treat acne but make sure they donʼt recur. Some of the simple changes you can do include: 1. Avoid touching your face. Our hands come into contact with various objects that contain dirt. When our ﬁngers touch our face, dirt transfers from our ﬁngers to our face, and this can clog and seal off pores, trapping oil and causing acne to develop. 2. Exercise. Exercising is a great way to stay in shape and to keep our skin clear and healthy. This is because exercise helps our body regulate hormones and keep them from ﬂuctuating too much. Exercise also causes us to sweat, which helps wash out dead skin cells, oil, bacteria and impurities from the pores onto the surface of the skin. After exercising, be sure to shower though. This is to make sure that the impurities that got pushed out onto the surface of the skin gets washed off of your skin. Otherwise, when you leave them there, thereʼs a good chance theyʼll clog your pores and cause acne. 3. Use non-comedogenic and dermatologist tested or approved skin care products. Check the cleansers, moisturizers, sunblocks and other skin care products that you apply on your skin and make sure that their labels clearly indicate that they are non-comedogenic and dermatologist approved. This is because some skin care products can also clog the pores and contribute to acne. 4. Never sleep with make up on. Be sure to remove make up before going to bed. Make up contains ingredients that can irritate the skin and cause break up. Aside from never sleeping with make up on, itʼs also good practice to give your skin a break and go without make up once in a while. 5. Relax. Stress can cause break outs. This is because stress affect the level of hormones in our body. Finding effective ways of coping with stress and relaxing once in a while can help restore balance and prevent acne break outs. 6. Get enough sleep. During sleep is when our body repairs and heals itself - this includes our skin. Getting sufﬁcient sleep gives our body enough time to re-energize itself, heal itself of acne and make itself strong enough to resist future break outs. 7. Drink plenty of water. Water helps ﬂush out toxins from our body. Toxins in our body can cause imbalances that leads to breakouts. Drinking 8 glasses of water can help make sure our body eliminates these wastes efﬁciently. 8. Avoid too much alcohol. Drinking too much alcohol overworks our liver, which in turn affects the quality of blood that circulates inside our body. 9. Do not smoke. Smoking is bad for your body and bad for your skin. One of its many effects on the body is that it triggers sebaceous glands to produce more oil, which can aggravate acne. It also makes hair follicles stiffer or more rigid, which in turn makes it more susceptible to being clogged. 10. Eat right. The way we eat, and what we eat both affect the quality of our skin. Eating right involves eating in the correct proportions and eating at the correct times. This means following the recommended portion sizes or serving sizes of the various food groups. It also means not overwhelming our bodyʼs metabolism by eating heavy meals. Instead, itʼs much better to eat lightly during meal times and then have a healthy snack in between meals. What we eat is also important. Foods that are bad for the body in general are likewise bad for the skin. For example, sweet, surgary food, fatty foods, food with high sodium content and food that is laden with chemical preservatives. This means foods that are generally good for the body will also do wonders for your skin. Having a lot of fruits and vegetables in your diet, and getting a good amount of vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E rich foods in your system can help you achieve and maintain clear skin. Now, letʼs look at a basic and speciﬁc regimen you can use to treat each of the acne skin problems weʼve discussed earlier. Whiteheads When dealing with whiteheads, the ﬁrst thing that I normally recommend is to use products that are meant for your skin. Next, choose products that are oil-free. You donʼt want to add to the oil that is naturally on your skin. Products to use include: a mild facial cleanser, a toner and a moisturizer. Wash your face, tone and moisturize at most two times a day. Twice a week, exfoliate your skin. This helps remove dead skin cells on your skin, so they donʼt combine with sebum to clog their follicles. There are medications and chemicals that are used for treating whiteheads. Letʼs look into some of them: 1. Benzoyl Peroxide Benzoyl peroxide works by killing excess bacteria on the skin. It also alters the lining of the follicle to keep it from closing on itself too much and in this manner, prevent whiteheads. 2. Salicylic Acid Salicylic acid help reduce the amount of cells which is shed by the lining of the follicle. This keeps the dead skin cells under control. At the same time, it can also help breakdown the oil and dead skin cells that are clogging the pores, eliminating whiteheads. 3. Tretinoin Tretinoin works a bit differently. What if ﬁrst does is it opens up the pores, which exposes the whiteheads to air, oxidizing melanin and turning it into a blackhead. It then causes the material lodged in the pore to be released. Aside from this action, tretinoin also makes dead skin cells less sticky, with less chance of getting stuck inside the hair follicle. 4. Linoleic Acid Linoleic acid is a type of essentially fatty acid that makes sebum more viscous. This makes it possible for sebum to do its job better - which is to coat and moisturize the skin. Thereʼs also less chance of it getting stuck with dead skin cells and unable to escape to the surface of the skin. Blackheads Awhile back, we talk about how whiteheads and blackheads are very similar. The main difference is that the pore or the follicle that got clogged in the case of blackheads is bigger. A bigger opening also makes them susceptible to getting clogged not just by dead skin cells but also from dirt in the environment. When choosing products for your skin, be sure to get products that are oil free. Just like with treating whiteheads, you donʼt want to add excess oil that can end up clogging your pores and follicles. Next, when choosing a facial cleanser, choose one thatʼs water soluble. This will make sure that no residue is left behind which can clog pores. After washing your face, always moisturize. Twice a week, exfoliate the skin to remove dead skin cells. Choose an exfoliant that contains salicylic acid or alpha hydroxy acid which can break down the oil and dead skin cells that forms the blackhead. When washing your face, use warm water - as warm as you can tolerate. Using warm water will help open up the pores, giving you an opportunity to wash away oil and dirt deposits inside the pores, preventing more blackheads from forming. When addressing blackheads, you can also use the medications and chemicals listed for addressing whiteheads. Among those chemicals, tretinoin is one of the most commonly used for treating blackheads. This is because tretinoin also helps to minimize the size of the pores, which can help prevent future blackheads from forming. Pimples For pimples, start off by making sure the products we use on your skin are oil free. Avoid hair gels and hair sprays. When you sweat, chemicals in the hair gel can come into contact with the skin on your face and clog pores. Likewise, hair sprays can land on your face and clog pores. Choose a mild facial cleanser that contains alpha hydroxy acids or beta hydroxy acids. After washing the face, apply a moisturizer. To get rid of pimples, you can try the same topical creams that you can use for blackheads and whiteheads. For instance, benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid and retinoids. Another thing that works really well is getting a dermatologist to formulate a gel or cream that you can use and that is speciﬁc to your skin type. For those with oily skin, using astringents can sometimes help. But again, this depends on your skin type. For some people, applying astringents after washing their skin can irritate the skin, while in others it can help reduce pimples. Sometimes, despite all the creams and ointments that you apply, pimples still keep on coming back. If this is the case, you might have to take antibiotics to treat the acne infection. Check with a dermatologist if you intend to go this route. While it is tempting to extract pimples to ﬁnally get rid of it, keep in mind that pimples, when extracted improperly, can leave acne scars. Either get a professional to extract it for you or make sure you do it properly. Cystic Pimples Cystic pimples are very tricky to treat. The best thing to do is to consult with a dermatologist. You may be given an antibiotic to help address the infection and to control the growth of bacteria. To get rid of cystic pimples quickly, a corticosteroid injection may be administered directly on the pimple to kill the bacteria and reduce the swelling quickly. One popular treatment for cystic pimples is called Accutane. This controversial treatment comes with plenty of serious drawbacks. For example, it can cause rectal bleeding muscle aches, nosebleeds, dry mouth, eyes and lips and impair liver function. It can also cause birth defects in a fetus in a pregnant woman. Before undergoing this form of treatment, be sure to talk to you dermatologist so that you are fully aware of the implications of taking this treatment. Because of the side effects and the harshness associated with conventional treatments and topical creams and ointments used to treat acne, a lot of people turn to more natural ways of treating acne. Whatever treatment you do decide for your speciﬁc pimple problem, remember to always choose a treatment that is appropriate for your skin type. *** Audrey Roberts is the author of the book “Clear Skin Magic: Zap Acne Away for Good!”. In this book, she talks about how to go about identifying your skin type and choosing acne treatments that match your skin type and particular acne problem. To know more about her work, please visit: http://www.clearskinmagic.com Disclaimer: The publisher and the author used its best efforts in the preparation of this publication. The information in this electronic publication is provided “as is,” and is being provided as information only. It is not to be used as decision making information or taken as health advice in any circumstance. The authors, publisher and associated company make no claims expressly or implied and no warranties about the contents of this report as being completely accurate, and it speciﬁcally disclaims any implied warranties for any purpose, and shall in no event be liable for any loss or damage, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, physical, or other damages.
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