Acne 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 here too.
Tips for acne
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
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
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
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
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 each night.
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 than before.
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.