Pimples or acne are tiny skin lesions or inflammations of the skin. They are commonly caused by clogged or infected pores. They may appear as deeper lumps (cysts or nodules) on the face, neck, chest, back and sometimes shoulders.
Severe acne can affect many facets of a person’s life, causing a great deal of embarrassment and stress. Some severe forms of acne like acne cysts may rupture and cause scars that can result in psychological effects on the sufferer. Having skin full of pimples and zits may significantly limit one’s social life. Although acne is not considered to be a life threatening disorder, the psychological impact of acne can be quite profound as it affects the most visible parts of your body.
If your acne condition is severe it can cause disfiguring and require years of treatment. In such cases seeking the help of a qualified dermatologist will be your best option.
Causes of acne
The cause of pimples is unknown. The process by which a pimple develops is highly intricate. While we do know that a pore collapses on itself and blocks sebum (oil) from escaping, we do not fully understand why this process takes place in one sebaceous gland versus another.
But the causes of adult acne and teen acne may include the following:
- Evolutionary biology
- Vitamin deficiency
Possible measures you can take to prevent pimples are:
- Relax regularly for a certain period of time. Your body restores and refreshes skin cells while you are relaxing. Teenagers are notorious for not getting rest but it is essential in helping to prevent pimples.
- Do not squeeze or pick at pimples because this has the risk of producing a more severe infection.
- After you exercise take a shower so that the sweat does not contribute to clogging your pores and producing another pimple outbreak.
- Wear clean white t-shirts to help keep pimple off your back. The white t-shirts tend to absorb the excess oils in your skin and will help to prevent pimple on your back at least.
- Before going to bed, clean off any makeup. Again, the key here is to keep your pores clear of oil and bacteria and help prevent pimple outbreaks. After washing, you can use a cleaning solution on your skin containing what is known as Salicylic Acid.
Acne in teens is very common. It usually appears at the onset of puberty and can be quite distressing for teenagers.
When the body begins producing hormones, the tiny oil glands known as sebaceous glands at the root of the hair follicle become over-active. This excess oil combine with the normal shedding of dead skin cells cause the pores to become clogged. The oil and bacteria trapped within a pore is the beginning of a pimple. It usually takes about two weeks for a pimple to surface which is why you can often ‘feel’ them before you see them.
There are many myths and misconceptions associated with the development of acne in teens – junk food, poor hygiene and even masturbation! Absolutely none of these ideas are true.
You do not ’cause’ acne. Hormone development is a fact of life and there is nothing that you can do about it. However, you can do something about the resulting acne. A good, consistent, skin care program can make a world of difference!
Acne is not caused by lack of cleanliness and excessive washing can exasperate the problem. Gently wash twice a day using warm water, a soft facecloth and a mild, hypoallergenic soap. Never scrub! You may even wish to try one of several very good acne skin care programs on the market designed specifically to control acne.
Most acne in teens responds well to over-the-counter products containing benzoyl peroxide. This ingredient is available in a number of different lotions and creams. The percentage of available benzoyl peroxide varies among brands. Choose a product with the highest concentration possible – usually around ten percent. Always test a dab on an inconspicuous part of your body to see if there is any reaction. Use only what you need to ‘spot treat’ the areas affected. Benzoyl peroxide can cause excessive drying of the skin if you use too much.
Although it is difficult, resist the urge to ‘pop’ pimples. This will only aggravate your acne by spreading the bacteria to other areas. It can also lead to permanent scarring.
It is better not to wear any makeup at all but if you do, choose cosmetics labeled ‘noncomedogenic’. They are specially formulated not to promote acne. Never go to bed without removing your makeup!
There are many options available today for treating and controlling acne in teenagers. If you find that you are having little success with your present skin care routine, visit the Acne Skin Care Guide for help.