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Acne


Acne is a skin condition that occurs when pores in the skin become blocked and infected. A waxy substance called sebum, secreted primarily in the area of the face and neck to prevent water loss, is the major cause of the blockage. Excess secretion of sebum is caused by a number of factors, the most significant being hormonal changes during adolescence, which is greatly influenced by genetic heredity.

Other factors include climate (especially hot and humid areas), stress, and hormonal changes during menstruation. Diet has not been proven to influence the severity of acne, however, individual observations should be considered. Approximately 80% of persons between the age of 12 and 25 have an acne condition, and it is estimated that 350,000 Americans seek medical treatment for acne each year.

Proper hygiene can control most mild cases of acne, but more severe cases may require medications or medical treatment. Medications available in drugstores include products containing benzoyl peroxide, which aids in killing bacteria and also removes blemishes by causing a fine peeling of the skin, and sulphur products, which are antibacterial only. Prescription drugs used to reduce acne include Tretinoin, Isotretinoin, and antibiotics such as tetracycline, clindamycin and erythromycin.

A Few Tips To Help Control Acne

  • Gently wash your face regularly with soap and water; blot dry. Test different kinds of soap and avoid soaps that irritate the skin or aggravate the acne.
  • Use water-based cosmetics instead of oily or greasy ones, and use as little as possible.
  • Avoid clothing that rubs the affected areas, and don't rub or pick at the skin.
  • Always carefully wash the skin before using any treatment, and avoid applying too much medication - more is not necessarily faster or better.
  • It is important to consult your physician or pharmacist before using any over-the-counter drugs or treatments. They will be able to advise you on proper usage and can warn you of possible side effects and contraindications.

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