Acne is a fun killer. That is a fact. Instead of just letting loose under the sun or enjoying a night out with friends, many people afflicted with acne are constantly re-touching with make-up or avoiding unflattering light, conscious about the way they look. For most who suffer from acne, if no solution is found soon, the condition can risk becoming the center of their lives that clouds over almost everything they do.
It might also baffle them why many people their age do not suffer from the same condition. Sure, their peers might have one or two zits every now and then, but nothing like the breakout that they’re experiencing. Not only confined to teens, acne can also affect older people in their 30s or 40s, leaving them to also wonder , “why me?” So why exactly do people get acne? Why does it affect some and not others?
Acne is a condition that is different from just the having the occasional 5-pimple breakout on the face. Acne is actually a breakout of multiple bumps on the skin, caused by an irritation on the hair follicles. This can occur around the face, the back, or the chest— areas where there is a significant production of sebum or oil. It can be caused by a combination of the overproduction of oil, the irritation of the hair follicles because of the irregular shedding of dead skin cells, and a buildup of bacteria. Acne usually appears in dense, inflamed clusters which make it very visible against the skin. Left untreated, acne can cause permanent scarring—not just physically but also emotionally. Acne may leave a person with a withdrawn personality, low confidence and low self-esteem.
People with acne usually will have one or more of these risk factors:
- Family history – if your parents or siblings have suffered or are suffering from acne, there is a higher chance that you will also have acne.
- Gender— the hormonal changes associated with the menstrual cycle as well as pregnancy will have an effect on developing acne. Women usually experience breakouts about 2-7 days before their periods.
- Age – teenagers are more likely to get acne than most.
- Taking medications – medications that contain cortisone will usually trigger or aggravate acne, as well as hormone medications, most commonly birth control pills that contain female hormones.
- Use of comedogenic cosmetics – using pore clogging cosmetics like foundations, blushers, etc. that are too greasy and heavy, as well as using brushes and sponges on the face that do not get washed between use.
- Friction and pressure – such as from telephones, from the ends of the hair from helmets, etc.
Fortunately, there is a solution to acne. With the proper regimen, people suffering from acne can expect their skin to slowly clear up. The first step is to gently cleanse the area regularly using products that contain active ingredients such as salicylic acid that works to get rid of oil. Next is to apply topical lotions that also contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide—these dry out the pimples and discourage bacteria growth. They should also keep from touching their face, or letting other things get into contact with it to avoid irritation.