Acne – no reason to joke

Acne (or, scientifically, acne) is an extremely common problem. For this reason, many underestimate it. Almost every teenager experienced rashes on the skin, which later disappeared and were forgotten. Therefore, there is no reason to panic. In addition, the main discomfort in the case of acne  – psychological, because nasty pimples disfigure the appearance at the very age when looking at five points is especially important. Mental suffering is extremely acute (underestimates self-esteem, causes depression), but young men and women are in no hurry to consult a doctor, since apart from a “damaged reputation”, acne does not cause any health complications. Armed with the advice of friends and girlfriends, having read something from popular magazines, and having heard something from teenage TV shows, the younger generation is fighting eels on their own. People believe that acne occurs due to excessive enthusiasm for fatty foods or some special fruits and vegetables and think that acne can be cured by intensively washing the skin with special lotions or even spending an extra hour under the scorching sun. These are all common and dangerous misconceptions. We suggest that you familiarize yourself with how things really are.

Acne (acne) – inflammation of the sebaceous glands. The disease can be temporary (from several weeks to several years) or chronic. Inflammation occurs as a result of the accumulation of fat in the pores of the skin mixed with dead cells. In such an environment, bacteria actively multiply, which cause irritation and redness. 

The localization of acne is obvious : they appear where there are sebaceous glands. In other words, most often the skin of the face (forehead, temples, cheeks, nose, nasolabial folds, chin), neck, upper chest and back suffer. Acne may appear in other parts of the body, with the exception of the skin of the palms and feet, where sweat glands are present exclusively.

Many experts say that acne is a disease that is found in men and women around the world. Meanwhile, there are entire ethnic groups (the indigenous people of New Guinea and Paraguay, for example), because of their genetic characteristics, the skin does not suffer from this disease at all.

The causes of acne are quite diverse. In general, the appearance of acne is associated with an increase in the effect of androgens (mainly testosterone) on the sebaceous-hair complex of the skin. Male sex hormones, both in men and women, are most actively produced just at the age of 14 to 25 years. The influence of other factors, including: 

  • Heredity
  • Hormonal activity
  • Stress
  • Hyperactivity of the sebaceous glands
  • Accumulation of Dead Skin Cells
  • The action of pathogenic microorganisms
  • The use of anabolic steroids

Contrary to popular belief, the type of rashes practically does not depend on the nature of nutrition and personal hygiene. Beauticians often associate acne with demodex (microscopic mites, which are normal inhabitants of human skin). However, ticks rarely trigger the disease, they only actively multiply as a result of the already begun pathological process in the sebaceous glands.

Acne treatment is long and requires considerable exposure. You can’t help with sunbathing here. Excessive skin hygiene, especially with the use of antimicrobial agents (triclosan, chlorhexidine), not only does not reduce acne, but, on the contrary, upsets the balance of a healthy flora, injures and dries the skin, causing the sebaceous glands to produce even more sebum. To press unripe acne means to provoke even more inflammation (although sometimes it seems that the desire for this is inherent in people at the level of unconditioned reflexes). The popular doctor Sergei Yakovlev, chairman of the National Society of Industrial Medicine, recommends the following measures to prevent the disease: 

  • wash your face no more than 2 times a day 
  • use mild soap and warm water (neither cold nor hot) 
  • avoid traumatic skin scrubs and exfoliants
  • It is not recommended to abuse widely advertised antibacterial agents.
  • if possible, avoid makeup, and if one is nevertheless necessary,
    use non-comedogenic water-based products and be sure to
    completely wash off everything before bedtime.
  • avoid fat-based face creams (if you have dry skin, use water-based moisturizers)

Earlier, a number of methods were prescribed for acne treatment, which, according to modern data, are not considered effective: autohemotherapy (transfusion of one’s own blood), anti-staphylococcal gamma globulin, vitamin A at 100,000 IU per day for up to 2 months, estrogens (folliculin, diethylstilbestrol). Nowadays, women with acne are often prescribed oral contraceptives to regulate the balance of androgens. The most effective anti-acne treatment is isotretionine retinoid, which is effective in more than 85% of patients. However, you should always remember that this tool has serious side effects, which is why almost all over the world it is dispensed from pharmacies only with a prescription. In Russia, isotretionine can be freely purchased without a doctor’s prescription, but self-medication with the drug is extremely dangerous. In this regard, experts recommend the use of benzoyl peroxide, retinoids (Differin cream), azeloic acid (Skinoren gel) or clindamycin (Dalacin T gel). 

event_note May 7, 2020

account_box Dr. Peter B Milburn

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