Saturday, November 29, 2008

Who Gets Acne?

Acne is a skin disorder associated with one and all. It knows no discrimination on the basis of caste or creed. A person of any origin can suffer from it. An American or an Australian, a black or a white, a kid or an old man, a man or a woman, all can fall victim to acne. Nobody is out of its reach.

The acne sufferers can basically be divided into the following segments along with the type of acne mainly affecting them:

If you thought that acne can not extend its pangs to affect kids, you are sadly mistaken. Kids as well as infants are very likely to suffer from acne. This type of acne is basically referred to as Infantile Acne. It attacks kids up to six years of age. Kids and infants can also fall prey to Acne Mechanica due to prolonged use of caps or due to straps of school bags.

Teenagers are the most acne prone batch. This is the age when acne attacks are at their peak. Why? Well at the time of puberty, several hormonal changes lead to the development of acne. Majority of acne types spread their pangs during adolescence. Acne Vulgaris, Acne Mechanica, Excoriated Acne, Pomade Acne, Acne Conglobata, Acne Fulminans, and Gram-Negative Folliculitis Acne are some forms of acne that mainly start during teenage and are found the most in adolescents.

There is a whole array of types of acne that may affect the adults, whether males or females. Acne can affect anybody, even till the age of 60 and above. So, if you are old, you are still not out of its reach. Adult women run a very great risk of Pyoderma Faciale, whereas adult males may very likely suffer from Acne Conglobata and Acne Fulminans. The other general types of acne may also affect adults of all age.

Whichever segment you may belong to, do not fret. It is very much possible to cure acne with a variety of treatments, techniques and medications available. All you need to do is, just go to your dermatologist and get the right option prescribed for yourself.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Types of acne

From a small red dot to large, pus-filled cysts...acne has many forms. These may be interrelated, meaning developing from one form to another, or may be completely independent in origin.

Acne develops when the hair follicle of skin gets plugged by overproduction of sebum, dead cells and become infected by bacteria. This leads to swelling, redness and pain at the site of infection.

The basic acne lesion, called the comedo (KOM-e-do), is simply an enlarged and plugged hair follicle. If the plugged follicle, or comedo, stays beneath the skin, it is called a closed comedo and produces a white bump called a whitehead. A comedo that reaches the surface of the skin and opens up is called a blackhead because it looks black on the skin's surface. This black discoloration is not due to dirt. Both whiteheads and blackheads may stay in the skin for a long time.

Acne Vulgaris is the most common form of acne which includes several types of pimples. These acne lesions include blackheads, whiteheads, papules, pustules, nodules and cysts.
Whiteheads: Whiteheads result when a pore is completely blocked, trapping sebum (oil), bacteria, and dead skin cells, causing a white appearance on the surface. These types of acne lesions sometimes seem to be begging to be popped. Make sure you read about how to pop a pimple before you attempt this. Whiteheads are normally quicker in life cycle than blackheads.

Blackheads: Blackheads result when a pore is only partially blocked, allowing some of the trapped sebum (oil), bacteria, and dead skin cells to slowly drain to the surface. The black color is not caused by dirt. Rather, it is a reaction of the skin's own pigment, melanin, reacting with the oxygen in the air. A blackhead tends to be a stable structure, and can often take a long time to clear. You can view a diagram of a blackhead on the what is acne page. The Regimen provides a step-by-step program on how to treat blackheads.

Papules: Papules are inflamed, red, tender bumps with no head. Do not squeeze a papule. It will do no good, and may exacerbate scarring. The Regimen provides a step-by-step program on how to treat papules.

Pustules: A pustule is similar to a whitehead, but is inflamed, and appears as a red circle with a white or yellow center. Pustules are your garden variety zit. Before you pop or squeeze such a lesion, be sure to read about how to pop a pimple. The Regimen provides a step-by-step program on how to treat pustules.

Nodules: As opposed to the lesions mentioned above, nodular acne consists of acne spots which are much larger, can be quite painful and can sometimes last for months. Nodules are large, hard bumps under the skin's surface. Scarring is common. Absolutely do not attempt to squeeze such a lesion. You may cause severe trauma to the skin and the lesion may last for months longer than it normally would. Dermatologists often have ways of lessening swelling and preventing scarring.

Cysts: An acne cyst can appear similar to a nodule, but is pus-filled, and has been described as having a diameter of 5mm or more across. They can be painful. Again, scarring is common with cystic acne. Squeezing an acne cyst may cause a deeper infection and more painful inflammation which will last much longer than if you had left it alone. Dermatologists often have ways of lessening swelling and preventing scarring.

Acne Rosacea can look similar to the aforementioned acne vulgaris, and the two types of acne are sometimes confused for one another.
Rosacea affects millions of people, most of whom are over the age of 30. It appears as a red rash which is normally confined to the cheeks, nose, forehead and chin. The redness is often accompanied by bumps, pimples, and skin blemishes. Blood vessels may also become more visible on the skin. Blackheads are not a part of rosacea. It is more prevalent in women, but often more severe when found in men.

Left untreated, it can cause swelling of the nose and the growth of excess tissue, a condition called rhinophyma. Treatment is often different for rosacea than for acne, and it is important that you consult a doctor can determine if what you are experiencing is acne vulgaris or rosacea.

Severe forms of acne are rare, but they are a great hardship to the people who experience them, and can be disfiguring--and, like all forms of acne, can have psychological effects on the sufferer.

Acne Conglobata: This is the most severe form of acne vulgaris and is more common in males. It is characterized by numerous large lesions, which are sometimes interconnected, along with widespread blackheads. It can cause severe, irrevocable damage to the skin, and disfiguring scarring. It is found on the face, chest, back, buttocks, upper arms, and thighs. The age of onset for acne conglobata is usually between 18 and 30 years, and the condition can stay active for many years. As with all forms of acne, the cause of acne conglobata is unknown. Treatment usually includes isotretinoin (Accutane), and although acne conglobata is sometimes resistant to treatment, it can often be controlled through aggressive treatment over time.

Acne Fulminans: This is an abrupt onset of acne conglobata which normally afflicts young men. Symptoms of severe nodulocystic, often ulcerating acne are apparent. As with acne conglobata, extreme, disfiguring scarring is common. Acne fulminans is unique in that it also includes a fever and aching of the joints. Acne fulminans does not respond well to antibiotics. Isotretinoin (Accutane) and oral steroids are normally prescribed.

Gram-Negative Folliculitis: This condition is a bacterial infection characterized by pustules and cysts, possibly occurring as a complication resulting from a long term antibiotic treatment of acne vulgaris. It is a rare condition, and we do not know if it is more common in males or females at this time. Fortunately, isotretinoin (Accutane) is often effective in combating gram-negative folliculitis.

Pyoderma Faciale: This type of severe facial acne affects only females, usually between the ages of 20 to 40 years old, and is characterized by painful large nodules, pustules and sores which may leave scarring. It begins abruptly, and may occur on the skin of a woman who has never had acne before. It is confined to the face, and usually does not last longer than one year, but can wreak havoc in a very short time.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

What really causes acne!

Classic acne patient doesn't exist. Those people who have acne are all from different ethnic groups, age groups, and different lifestyles. But one thing is common : frustration with the state of their own skin. They are searching for informations about what is the real cause behind the acne and why this disease is happening to them.

There is no such a thing as a single cause of any health problem. We can only talk about cofactors, causative agents and life situations that like pieces of puzzle interact with each other, and together promote a chain of events ending with a named set of symptoms and health problems & with Acne.

All disorders and health problems that happen to humans are multidimensional, because we, humans are multidimensional.
Modern medical science is manly interested in physical and tangible world. It blames too many problems on bad genes, bad viruses, bad bacteria, ...

Genes are always a factor of our health, but that is the only factor we can't do anything about. Genes only represent our predisposition & potential to encounter certain problem or disease. It is our life and our lifestyle as whole that makes the final decision on whether we are going to experience certain problem or not. The truth is, no illness and no disorder or any health problem is caused by a single factor!
There are virtually hundreds of cofactors / hundreds of causative agents that each have casual relationship to poor immunity, poor health, accumulation of toxins inside body, poor thoughts, and that promotes illness!

Let's start at the beginning.

There are three major organs in the human body that are responsible for the elimination of waste and toxins: the liver, the kidneys and the skin. We take for granted that the skin is an organ involved in the excretory process. Many of us treat our skin like we might a vinyl floor, scrubbing, overcleaning, overdrying and applying harsh chemicals to it. Not only is this type of treatment unnecessary, but it can cause longterm harm to the skin, and will probably not improve the situation much.

If the liver and the kidneys are overwhelmed by the number of substances to be cleared and eliminated from the system, the skin takes over. The liver will clear caffeine, hormones, allergens or sources of sensitivities, chemicals, including food additives and coloring agents, as well as a host of other substances to which you are exposed on a daily basis. It is no small wonder why many of our livers are crying out for a little support.

The skin, in an effort to back up the liver and the kidneys in the removal of unnecessary substances from the body, will become overwhelmed and affected by the amount of waste that is forced out through its pores. This process disrupts the skin's integrity and affects its appearance.

Sometimes the appropriate topical treatments are enough to help the skin cope with the overload. By keeping pores open, by absorbing excess oil and keeping the proliferation of bacteria in check, the correct product may work to clear the skin.

However, if the problem is more extreme, or of a deeper underlying nature, more may be required.

Serious medications such as accutane have serious side effects. They correct the problem, at a cost. In some respect this type of medical treatment simply kills the symptom (the acne) without addressing the underlying cause. In some cases, acne recurs, albeit in time.

If your objective is the preservation of longterm and comprehensive health as well as beauty, the key is to lighten the load on your other excretory organs, and watch the skin begin to clear. This sounds easy, but is in fact no small task.

Anyone who survived adolescence knows that hormones begin to rage during the teenage years. This is usually the time when acne makes its first appearance. Later in life, we may experience it again with hormonal changes, including premenstrual and perimenopausal episodes.

While any hormonal excess can promote acne, the male hormones (which are present in both males and females, only in differing amounts) are particularly notorious for stimulating the cells in the hair follicle to produce more keratin (a hard protein that forms hair, skin and nails). Additionally, male hormones such as testosterone cause the oil glands to enlarge and produce more oil. This traffic jam of substances trying to escape the pore can cause a blockage.

The blockage of the hair canal can in turn promote the overgrowth of bacteria, which will promote inflammation. This is the redness that you see when a pimple becomes infected. Not all pimples, however, become infected.

If the bacterium grows out of control, the hair canal can rupture. If it does so on the surface of the skin, the result is a pustule. If it does so more deeply into the skin, the result may be a cyst, which requires a doctor’s intervention to successfully treat. Cysts can result in significant damage and possibly scar formation, so it is well worth the doctor’s visit.

Interestingly, blood levels of testosterone are not always indicative of a hormonal overload. The problem appears to lie in the skin’s ability to metabolize the hormone. Acne patients show a greater activity of an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase, which converts testosterone into a more potent form, dihydrotestosterone (DHT). The conversion into DHT seems to be the more direct cause of the acne, and is also the primary cause of unwanted facial hair in women.

Ok, we have learned that really cause of acne is different in everyone. We've learned that all toxins,hormones etc, that liver can't deal with,goes straight to the blood and end up on the skin surface. Now,we will go straight to the problem.

One or more of this things causes acne in you, but have in mind that all those factors are interconected:

- toxins in your blood (from junk food etc. -> it leads to -> liver function problems,poor digestion)
- hormonal imbalance (overproduction of hormons that liver cannot deal with )
- skin’s inability to metabolize the hormones ( problem is 5-alpha reductase enzyme, which converts testosterone into a more potent form, dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which actually causes acne).
- simply lack of one or more vitamins or minerals (very rare)
- combination of all this factors (when problem cannot be traced)

However, it is not yet known why this takes place in certain sebaceous glands.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What is acne?

Do you often ask yourself what is Acne? We’ve all had acne. Nobody wanted to have a face with those red pimples,zits or blackheads. In some people they are mild, but in others - acne can become a real problem and can have a serious impact on all aspects of patient's life. Lot of people experience acne in period of adolescence but in some cases, acne continue to appear in their adult life. But,you still ask what is Acne?

It is the name for plugged pores, whiteheads and blackheads, pimples, and deeper nodules and cysts that can appear on chest,neck, back, shoulders and worst of the all - on the face. Acne affects high percent of adolescents, but problem is when severe acne comes to the scene. But it is not reserved for specific period of life or age groups.It is well known fact that adults in their 20s - even after year of 40 - can deal with serious acne. While not a life threatening condition, acne can be upsetting and disfiguring. If acne comes in severe form, it can left very bad and permanent scars.

Acne appear in many different types and forms. Most commonly, acne refers to clogged pores that turn into puss filled whiteheads or small black colored points known as blackheads. Deeper lumps types of acne can lead to scarring and they are usually very hard to treat. They are painful nodules or cysts that usually form deeply,below the skin surface. All of them must be treated correctly or there is a risk of serious scars. On this site, i am sure that you will find your final cure for acne. Just read and learn what causes,and how to finally be free of them.