LiveMD offers you advice on how to take care of your skin and keep it clear and free of acne.
What is Acne?
Acne is the term used to describe what happens when the oil glands of the skin become blocked, causing redness and inflammation. When this happens, red, inflamed bumps (also known as pimples) can appear.They can sometimes be quite painful and can become infected.
Pimples usually begin to appear during puberty and can continue into adulthood. They most commonly appear on the face but can also show up on the back, chest and shoulders.
Acne can be painful, embarrassing and if left untreated, it can sometimes cause permanent scarring to occur.
What Causes Acne?
Science is still trying to determine exactly what causes acne. It is known that genetics can play a role as can hormones, oil production and stress levels. Bacteria on the skin is also a factor in causing acne. It was once believed that eating unhealthy foods like chocolate and pizza would cause acne but this has never been scientifically proven.
How Can I Prevent Acne?
One of the best ways to try and prevent acne is to keep your face clean. Wash your face twice a day, in the morning and evening, with warm water and a mild cleansing soap. This should remove any excess oil and bacteria that has accumulated on your skin.
Makeup and face products can also clog pores. Use these items sparingly and try to buy good quality, hypoallergenic cosmetics. Hair care products can have the same effect and can cause irritation on the skin around the hairline and on the forehead. It is also important not to touch your face throughout the day. Oils, dirt and bacteria that are on your hands may also transfer to your face. If you do need to touch your face, wash your hands first.
What Treatment Options do I have?
With mild cases of acne, often an over the counter cleanser or topical solution is enough to clear up the problem. Many of these contain medicated ingredients like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid which can help to reduce the problem and prevent future breakouts. These items can be found at your local pharmacy.
For more sever cases of acne, a prescription treatment may be a better option. A doctor or dermatologist will be able to assess your specific condition and determine what solution is best for you. Prescription acne medication can be found in either a topical form or a pill form and the one prescribed for you will be based on the specific type and severity of the acne that you have.
Other therapy options include chemical peels and laser therapy which can help to reduce a current flare-up, but will not usually do anything to diminish the occurrence of future breakouts.
LiveMD has a team of dermatologists and doctors that are available online, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you have a question or need a treatment option to clear up your acne, visit www.mylivemd.com today and speak with one of our trained professionals live via a phone call, text message or video chat.
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