We all keep hearing about "acne" especially from women but do not really know about it. Let us find out what this condition actually is. Acne is a disease of the skin that affects the hair and oil glands. It manifests itself in the form of pimples, black and white heads, reddishness of the skin and even cysts. Acne on the face adversely affects your looks whereas acne on the body makes you very uncomfortable. Some people tend not to give importance to acne or its cure/treatment and consider it only as a minor problem. But ask anybody suffering from acne and see how strongly he/she disagrees with this view. Therefore, the importance of ‘Acne skin care’ cannot be belittled in any way. Those already suffering from acne should never try to touch them or squeeze them; it can lead to permanent scars.
Acne problems mostly occur during teenage and early adulthood. At this time the skin glands are most active and they produce more sebum or oil which is the root cause of this problem. This is also the time when a person is particularly conscious about his/her looks and hence the concern especially about facial acne. Hence, preventive measures of skin care should really be taken without waiting for the problem to start, i.e. before the acne actually appears. You have to be pro-active and the following care of your skin may be helpful:
‘Acne skin care’ starts with the most elementary thing - cleanliness. So the morning shower is the best and easiest way of keeping the skin clean. Night showers will also help. They not only help in keeping your skin clean but also provide relaxation to your body thereby enabling good sleep in the night. If you are living in a hot /humid/ dusty place, a night shower becomes essential. In fact, a shower is recommended after any activity that causes high levels of sweat formation. It is the natural and most effective ‘acne skin care’ technique.
Acne skin care also involves wearing clean clothes. Tight clothes can cause sweat to accumulate quickly; so soft, sweat absorbing and comfortable clothes are recommended. Cotton clothes are ideal in this regard. You must also always use clean pillows. And also ensure regular cleaning of your make-up brush and any equipment that you use on your body.
You should use a cleanser that must be water-soluble, and without oil and soap for keeping your whole face, front of your neck and arms clean. Above all, it must be mild. The most important part of any acne skin care routine is of course cleaning and cleansing. Cleaners are necessary for removing dirt, pollutants, grease and excess oil from your skin. You should remove your make up with a make up remover, and this should invariably be done before you go to bed .
There are many acne skin care products available which can be classified into 3 broad categories –
* General acne skin care products which are essentially preventive,
* Specialized acne skin care products available over-the-counter,
* Acne skin care products for which prescription is required.
Now let us examine them.
The general acne preventive skin care products include cleansers, make-up removers and similar other products that help prevent acne. Actually speaking, these acne skin care products should be part of your daily routine. These acne skin care products act against the causes of acne viz. limiting the production of sebum/oil, preventing clogging of skin pores, cleaning the skin surface, etc. Actually, these products prevent the oil from getting trapped in pores and hence restrict the growth of acne causing bacteria. The general acne skin care products include exfoliation products also like skin peels which help in removing dead skin cells, again reducing the possibility of pore-clogging and bacteria development.
Then there are specialized acne skin care products that are available over-the-counter but without the requirement of a prescription.
For example, vanishing creams which extract the extra oil from the skin. These acne skin care products are mostly based on benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid; both are enemies of bacteria (and hence acne). Start with a product that has lower concentration of benzoyl peroxide (e.g. 5%) and observe how your skin responds to it. Alpha-hydroxy-acid based moisturizers are also well-known as acne skin care products. You may have to try out several products. This is a trial and error method. Each individual's skin is different. The same product may be very effective for one person but totally ineffective or even harmful for another. So it may take some effort and time before you are able to zero-in on the acne skin care product that is effective for you.
Then there are the acne skin care products prescribed by a dermatologist. These include ointments that can be applied on the affected area or oral antibiotics or just any topical treatment. Dermatologist could also suggest a minor surgical procedure to remove the contents of the pustules. But never ever try to squeeze or do this by yourself, it can lead to permanent scars on your skin. Your doctor could also prescribe a hormone-based treatment since hormonal changes are also known to cause acne. If your problem is due to hormones, then this treatment will be very effective.
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