Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What's Red and Embarrassing?

Give up? It's acne. But are you armed with the right tools to fight it off? They're bumpy, red splotches on your picture-perfect skin. But you don't have to put up with them anymore! Or do you? If you are not sure what to believe about acne and what it takes to get rid of it for good, you're not alone. The good news is you won't be in the dark for much longer.
Think back on all the chocolate you didn't eat in an effort to avoid unsightly acne? Didn't help, did it? That's because foods such as chocolate, pizza, and fried chicken don't put your skin at increased risk for acne. Granted, these foods aren't always the best choice for your overall health, but they're not going to give you a pepperoni face. So what causes it? Good question.
Sadly, there isn't one factor that causes every pimple on every face. However, the process for every zit is the same. First, the body's oil glands kick into gear. As you probably guessed, this usually happens during puberty. Occasionally, cells on the surface of your skin keep the oil from getting out. This causes bacteria your body is already housing to multiply and inflame nearby tissues, causing a pimple or other skin issues.
Don't think acne is a problem worth giving the time of day? You could be painfully wrong. If you allow acne to attack your skin without doing anything to remedy the problem, you could find yourself faced with acne scars that stay with you the rest of your life.
For most people, acne scars aren't a threat. But for a few, acne scars are a disturbing problem. Most likely to get acne scars are those with recurrent bouts of large amounts of acne. While the scars may become less noticeable over time, they can maintain their size, shape, and coloring throughout life.
In most cases, over-the-counter acne products are strong enough to help you fend against an acne attack. One of the products used most often is benzoyl peroxide lotion, which is easy to use and can be picked up at practically any drug or grocery store. If your parents suffered severe acne and scarring or you find yourself avoiding social situations because of your acne - despite regular use of over-the-counter medications - you should consider speaking with your physician or a dermatologist about further treatment.
Following over-the-counter medications, your physician will likely turn to a few different options. The first is topical lotion infused with medication, such as antibiotics. If this doesn't work, oral antibiotics and a topical lotion full of vitamin A and an antibiotic may be tried. As a final resort, a powerful medication known as an oral retinoid may be prescribed. Since this can have severe side effects, you may prefer to deal with the acne.
If you're not sure what to do about your acne, consult your physician. And, if you are thinking about going to a dermatologist for some expensive acne treatment, you may want to wait. According to experts, there is no reason to have your acne treated unless it is severe and is already producing scars.
However, don't let the experts' advice prevent you from getting the skin you want. If your acne is keeping you from socializing and enjoying life or is causing you to feel depressed about yourself, seeking medical assistance is fine. Most acne treatments are very mild and have few potential side effects, so there is no reason to shy away from a little personal attention to your skin.
Until next time - Live Life Well,
John Aaron Villarreal

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