Don’t Pop That Pimple!


Acne is a chronic skin disease involving inflammation of the sebaceous glands. Sebaceous glands lie under the surface of the skin and secrete the oil (sebum) that keeps the skin supple. The pores on our skin allow the sebum to come to the skin’s surface. However, hairs also grow through these pores. Hair follicles and pores can become blocked by an excess production of sebum and dead-skin cells. Clogged pores then become the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. This is the cause of breakout in our skin. Nobody likes any kind of blemishes or skin breakouts, although it forms a major part of our growing years. Teenage boys are more likely to have acne than girls. But throughout our adult lives, it is women who are more likely to get acne than men.

Acne can be painful, form pimples from minute breakouts, can cause leakage of puss, redness and inflammation, but the reason why it is abhorred by most women and men is that they are a major blow to our self esteem. Although over the years the meaning of beauty has metamorphosed a billion times yet people are judged by their external appearance. Often acne is linked with lack of hygiene and disinterest in skin care regime. This is hardly the truth and the myth needs to be busted. Here are some plausible reasons for acne in adults, particularly women.

Hormones: Although our hormones surge during adolescence, adult females from the ages of 20-40 may experience acne due to changes in hormone levels through their menstrual cycles. Typically, these breakouts worsen right before, or at the start of menses.

Diet: The debate over acne and diet continues and some women report an improvement after modifying their diet. One of the findings suggested that people who consumed high sugar diets had higher instances of acne. If a patient has found that altering their diet has improved their skin, and if the changes are not detrimental to their general health, it is worth continuing with.

Genes: Acne has a strong hereditary basis. Your family’s genetics can be to blame for your blemishes and since there’s no way to change your genes, it can’t be prevented. Up to 80% of acne cases have a genetic component.

Cosmetics and hair styling products: Although cosmetics are not the cause of post-adolescent acne they can aggravate low-grade acne. Facial beauty treatments can also contain cosmetic ingredients that elicit acne. Make up not labeled non-comedogenic, and hair styling products can clog pores leading to breakouts in the area of use.

Stress: Whether you work full-time, are a full-time homemaker, or juggle both, chances are your stress levels are high. When you’re stressed, you have an organ called the adrenal gland that makes the stress hormone cortisol, and puts it out into the body to help the body deal with stress. Unfortunately, a tiny bit of testosterone leaks out with it. For a woman, this male hormone can drive the oil glands to produce more oil – the root cause of breakouts.


The treatment of acne depends largely upon the cause that has triggered the acne to burst. There are many home remedies which fly over the internet; many of these are largely non dependable but some of them sound promising. They help only till a certain advantage. If your acne is chronic, it is always advisable to consult a dermatologist. Your treatment then will vary on the severity of your condition.

OTC drugs: This should be used only topically. The safer options are Salicylic acid and Benzoyl peroxide. While Salicylic works by exfoliating gently to unclog pores. It’s in a ton of OTC cleansers and spot treatments, and it’s gentle enough to use on your whole face. Benzoyl peroxide works by actually killing the acne bacteria, while exfoliating the pores at the same time. It’s not so gentle, and can make skin really dry and irritated if you use too much. Stick to spot-treating with this one.

Treating the hormonal imbalance first: Hormones are ruthless, and all the topical treatments in the world won’t make a difference if yours are seriously out of whack. In that case, you need to fix things internally first. Ask your Dermatologist about what might work for you.

Reduce stress: It’s no use panicking if acne shows up. Stress will only aggravate things. Getting eight hours of sound sleep will reduce excess cortisol and let your skin regenerate through stress relieving activities like a daily workout or yoga session. Exercise lets the skin breathe by delivering oxygen to your cells. It is hard for acne bacteria to thrive in such condition.

Beauty is skin deep, of course and yes your outward appearance is not a reflection of your true worth. But who wouldn’t want a supple and clear skin? And it is very important to treat a problem when it surfaces. Thinking that the acne will go away on its own will only worsen the condition.

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