is a common problem faced by almost all teen-agers and youth.
What is acne and why do we get them. Acne is actually caused
because of hormone imbalance. Your skin breaks out because
of a hormone called testosterone. Both men and women have
testosterone in their systems. In fact, did you know that
in order to make testosterone, boys bodies have to make
female hormones first? If you have acne, you haven't got
abnormal levels of testosterone. You've got skin that reacts
abnormally to this hormone. You start producing testosterone
around the time you start sprouting body hair. Testosterone
tells glands in your skin, called sebaceous glands, to produce
oily stuff called sebum. To add to the problem the inside
of the tubes that hold each hair become gummy and get partially
blocked - giving you blackheads. Put together if sebum blocks
the tubes --- you have big acne.
So go to your pharmacist or doctor to get your acne treated.
Here are a few tips that will help you know how to treat
acne at home.
1. If you have red angry looking acne, don't touch it. If
you squeeze now, all you'll do is force the contents deeper
into the skin that will make matters worst. And all you'll
end up with is redder, angrier acne than you had before.
Don't do it.
2. If you have a yellow custard top? Go for it. These beauties
CAN be squeezed but there's an art to it. Here's how. Wash
your hands thoroughly to avoid trouble and infection. Put
a tissue over your finger. Why? Because you want the contents
of the spot on the tissue, not splattered all over the mirror.
Using the side of your thumb and the end of your finger,
very gently start to squeeze. Don't whatever you do, use
your nails as this will damage your skin. Stop when you're
applying a lot of pressure and nothing is happening and
you see clear fluid, rather than yellow grotty stuff and
the spot begins to bleed. When you've finished dab it with
antiseptic. Once the custard bit is out, the spot will heal
more quickly than an unsqueezed yellow top would, providing
that you now leave it well alone. Now wash your hands again.
3. Whiteheads and blackheads. If acne is left untreated
they may cause this problem. Here the rule is if they're
black, squeeze but if they're small, white raised lumps
leave them alone. All that stuff about clean hands, tissues
and stopping if nothing is happening or you see blood, apply
Tips for acne treatment
1. DON'T TRY TO WASH IT AWAY
Acne isn't caused by dirt. In fact people with oily skin
have cleaner skin than average because they wash it more
often. But it's a fact that washing too much can make acne
worse because it makes the skin dry and sore. So, wash no
more than twice a day, using mild soap and water. If you
have patches of dry skin, don't worry about putting moisturizer
on. It won't make your acne worse. If you're still concerned,
use an oil free moisturizer.
2. DON'T NUKE 'EM
There are lots of over the counter creams, gels, lotions
and potions. Most contain a powerful bleaching agent called
benzoyl peroxide. You'll find the strength written on the
label. You might be tempted to go straight for the highest
sort, working on the 'let's nuke 'em principle. The likely
result is that you'll irritate your skin like mad. It may
also go all dry and scaly on you. But if you still are willing
to bleach then use the mild one.
3. MAKE A DATE - THE TWO MONTH RULE
If you have been using over the counter remedies for two
months and there is no real improvement in your spots, this
is the moment to go and make an appointment with your doc.
4. YOUR DOCTOR - THE TWO MONTH RULE
The thing you are most likely to be given by the doctor
is a prescription for antibiotics. These will either be
topical (which means something you put on your skin) or
tablets you have to take every day. Whatever treatment your
doctor or pharmacist recommends, follow the instructions
carefully and keep using for at least two months. There
should be a noticeable improvement by this time. If not,
go back to discuss other possible treatments Antibiotics
are perfectly safe to take. You should take them for at
least two months and then go back to your doc. If they seem
to be working, he will probably tell you to keep taking
them and give you some more. If they aren't doing their
stuff, don't despair - he has loads of other spot busters
in his black bag.
5. YOU ARE NOT AN ALIEN - BUT JUST BE PATIENT
Hundreds of thousands of teenagers seek help for acne. You
are not alone. You are not an alien. And if people really
care about you, they don't even notice your acne, however
bad you think they are. But you will need to be patient.
Most treatments take time to work. At least two months.
And some treatments, like antibiotics will work well but
may have to be taken for months, or even years.
6. THE MONTHLY CURSE... OR EXAMS
Acne does tend to get worse just before a period. It's because
there is a surge in hormone levels at this time. But boys
don't get away lightly either. Being hot and sweaty (particularly
after sports like football) makes acne worse. And for everyone,
stress - particularly at exam times - is a cue for a mega
breakout. This is normal - and of course, even more reason
for feeling stressed. Go chill. They'll get better - promise.
7. WATCH WHAT YOU PUT ON YOUR SKIN AND HAIR
Some beauty products are big no-nos. These include pomades
and defrizzing agents for hair that tend to cause an outcrop
of blackheads along the hairline and some of the heavier
cosmetics. And be wary of suntan oils. Not all will make
you break out, but some may. Try a friend's first before
you buy. By the way, the sun might dry up acne and a tan
might hide them, but your skin is still vulnerable in the
sun and needs protection.
8. CARRY ON KISSING
You can't catch acne during kissing - go for it!
9. CARRY ON EATING CHOCOLATE
It's a myth that eating chocolate and fried foods causes
acne. However, eating a good diet improves your general
well-being and this is reflected in your skin.
Common Questions asked about acne
Does wearing make up cause acne?
It is not necessary that wearing make up causes acne. Acne
is caused because of hormonal imbalance mostly during puberty.
But you have to take special care while you apply make up
and thereafter if you have acne. Make sure you wash any
make up tools, including sponges and brushes as often as
possible as these become a breeding ground for bugs which
can cause your spots to pop up. Stop wearing make up if
you have too many spots and you can resume after you have
treated them. Don't forget to clean the make up after you
come home and and make sure you cleanse your face properly
Do skin toner and moisturizer cure acne?
One thing that you need to know is acne is not caused by
dirt, so no amount of cleaning and toning is going to get
rid of them. So for treating acne you must consult your
doctor and eat lots of healthy food and drink lots of water.
That is the natural way to keep you face spot free.
Is it ok to do facial?
It can be a real treat to have the facial done, as they
can be very relaxing and make you feel properly pampered.
However, you should be aware that they should not be used
to help 'treat' spots, as this can be quite dangerous if
the beauty therapist is not trained. Sometimes a beauty
therapist will also squeeze out any spots and blackheads
that if it's not done properly, may cause a bigger problem
What is the best way to cover up spots?
Foundation is okay to use and may give you more confidence
if you've got a hot date, but remember to look for oil-free
one. Whatever you use to put on your skin, wash your hands
or sponge before applying foundation.