Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Pimple vs Acne

What are pimples and how can I get rid of them?

Pimples are small skin lesions or inflammations of the skin. They are commonly caused by clogged or infected pores. Pimples usually develop after blackheads or whiteheads have become infected. When breakouts of pimples occur often, it is considered acne. There are many causes of acne, including bacterial folliculitis, keratosis pilatis and other skin conditions. It is highly recommended that if these conditions exist, that they are treated immediately. Often, if not treated, these conditions can lead to severe acne. Most times, when acne is ignored, it can leave visible scars on your skin.

Many teenagers experience pimple outbreaks. It is at this time that the skin attempts to adjust to hormonal changes that occur during puberty. However, many adults suffer from acne as well. Women typically develop pimple outbreaks during their menstrual cycle. This happens because hormones surge before or during menstrual cycles causing excess oil to clog pores.

What causes pimples?

Our skin consists of millions of tiny pores. These pores are connected to oil glands. Once these oil glands are blocked by dirt or other factors, the oily substance, (called sedum) clogs our pores causing pimple outbreaks. A major contributor to the outbreak of pimples is the elevation of hormones, usually occurring during puberty or menstrual cycles in women. This results in the hormone by-product called DHT. This hormone by-product overstimulates the oil gland resulting in clogging of the pores, which then results in acne production. To address and help treat this problem, there are creams and ointments available over the counter. These ointments can easily be applied topically to the blemish. However, if the condition seems to worsen, it is recommended that you see a dermatologist or skin expert immediately.

How do you treat pimples?

The best advice to maintain a good complexion is to address the problem of acne before it begins to exist. You can begin by following a regular skin cleansing regimen to rid your pores of unwanted particles and dirt. The easier it is for your skin to breathe, the fewer problems will occur. It requires some discipline and patience to maintain a skin regimen, but you will be thankful in the long run.

However, if you have an already existing skin condition, there are many things that can be done to help this ongoing problem.

It is advised not to attempt to extract the sedum yourself. This could lead to further infection and scarring. Another piece of good advice, is to avoid touching your face often, especially if you already have pimples. Increased friction on the pimple will cause it to close up further, making extraction a lot more difficult.

Purchase oil-free and antibacterial cleansers made especially to combat pimple outbreaks. Be careful not to over scrub, however. Your skin needs a certain amount of oil to remain healthy. Over scrubbing or over cleaning your skin may cause your skin to become too dry, which then may aggravate skin and will result in another set of outbreaks. Cleanse deeply, but moderately. In fact, some skin experts even recommend that you wash only with water and mild soap, such as baby soap. It is also advised not to switch cleansing products too often. This may also cause allergies and other skin problems.

If you feel you are able to treat your own outbreaks by extracting pimples, be sure to do so under extremely sanitary conditions. Only attempt to extract blackheads or whiteheads. If red pustules are manipulated, they may result in the spread of acne when then results in scarring of the skin. Use sterile materials and be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before and after extraction. In severe conditions, an injection is available from dermatologists or aestheticians called kenalog. This is a steroid that can aide in clearing the breakout in six to twenty hours.

If your pimple outbreaks recur often, it may be best to consult a doctor for treatment.

What can make acne worse?

Menstrual cycle - Girls and women with acne tend to get it worse one or two weeks before their menstrual period arrives. This is probably due to hormonal changes that take place. Some people say they eat more chocolate during this time and wonder whether there may be a connection. However, experts believe the worsening acne is not due to chocolate, but rather to hormonal changes.

Anxiety and stress - mental stress can affect your levels of some hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline, which in turn can make acne worse. Again, stress can make some people binge-eat. Experts believe the culprits are most likely the hormone levels, rather than the binge-eating.

Hot and humid climates - when it is hot and humid we sweat more. This can make the acne worse.

Oil based makeups - moisturizing creams, lubricating lotions, and all makeup that contain oil can speed up the blocking of your pores.

Greasy hair - some hair products are very greasy and might have the same effect as oil based makeup. Hair products with cocoa butter or coconut butter are examples.

Squeezing the pimples - if you try to squeeze pimples your acne is more likely to get worse, plus you risk scarring.

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