Fighting Acne

Acne. Zits. Pimples. Or what a teenager might say, “the worst thing that has happened to me.” It is not a disease and it is easily treated.

Acne can occur at any time during your life. Many newborns get acne in the first few weeks of life because they are still under the influence of their mother’s hormones.

Acne (zit or pimple) occurs when a hair follicle in an oil gland becomes blocked or plugged.  Oil from your skin glands and dead skin cells start to build up in the plugged hair follicle forming a “bump” called a comedone, or a whitehead.  If the “bump” is unplugged (or open) then you can see the dark appearance of the hair follicle, what we know as a blackhead.  A bacteria,  (Propionibacterium acnes), starts to eat the skin oil, which leads to inflammation and redness.  If left untreated then these bumps, pimple/zit become bigger forming papules or pustules which is called acne, which can lead to permanent scarring.

Does chocolate cause acne (zits/pimples)?  NO. Hormones, milk, and certain medications can cause acne. Covering your skin with headbands, shoulder pads, back packs, or under-wire bras can also cause acne (zits/pimples).

Does stress cause acne (zits/pimples)? No, but if you already have acne, stress may make it worse. But chocolate can reduce the stress.

Treating acne (zits/pimples)involves un-plugging the plugged hair follicle.  Reducing oil production, and fighting the bacteria.  Please do not pop your zits/pimples, this will only make them worse and can lead to scarring.

Over the counter treatments are generally all you need to treat acne (zits/pimples). Any product with salicylic acid will help un-plug the plugged hair follicle, it also decreases skin oil production. Benzoyl peroxide will help kill the bacteria.   Initially these medications may cause dryness and flaking.  There a lot of acne medications out there so you just have to find the one the works best for your skin.

If your acne does not improve with over the counter treatments within 2 months, consider seeing a dermatologist for stronger medications.

Bye bye acne, hello clear healthy skin.