ONE OF THE MOST CHALLENGING TIMES IN A PERSON’S LIFE IS ADOLESCENCE WHEN THE ONSLAUGHT OF SURGING HORMONES, PEER PRESSURE, AND SELF-QUESTIONING ARE AT AN ALLTIME HIGH. UNFORTUNATELY, ACNE VULGARIS IS ALSO EXTREMELY COMMON AND APPROXIMATELY 90 PERCENT OF ALL ADOLESCENTS EXPERIENCE IT. HEALTH REVEALS THE MAIN CAUSES OF ACNE AND TREATMENTS THAT CAN HELP.
Rising hormone levels during puberty are hugely, but not exclusively responsible for acne and acneic conditions. “The androgens (male hormones) in particular are believed to stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum,” explains anti-aging expert Dr. Maria Angelo-Khattar. Sebum eventually reaches the surface of the skin and mixed with dead skin cells, bacteria, and white blood cells, will form an acne lesion.
Stress can play a role in acne by over-stimulating the adrenal glands, causing overproduction of hormones. It is a vicious cycle that can leave the individual stressed and the stress in turn, can worsen the acne. Stress from a positive/ negative event may cause hormonal irregularities; in the ‘flight or fight’ stage, the adrenal cortex secretes male hormones causing the sebaceous glands to produce more oil.
Certain individuals suffer from a genetic predisposition to this disfiguring condition simply because a parent or even a great grandfather may have had it.
In a study published in the Journal of Archives of Dermatology, they noted the link between minimal consumption of processed foods with minimal or no acne in teens. In The Kitava Islanders in Papua New Guinea and The Ache of the Amazon, acne is almost unheard of and the only foods available are minimally processed.
MILD ACNE – Benzoyl peroxide is antibacterial and decreases sebum; side effects are excessive dryness. Salicylic acid helps unclog the pores and helps resolve the present lesions. Retinoids (Retin A) produce superficial peeling of the surface of the skin; it helps loosen the existing acne plugs under the skin.
MODERATE TO SEVERE ACNE – Antibiotics: The management of severe acne might require the administration of topical or oral antibiotics. Combined topical creams with oral antibiotics such as tetracycline may help slow down the body’s production of bacteria that causes acne. Accutane: This medication is taken orally and used for severe nodular or cystic acne with serious side effects. This acts on the oil gland directly by reducing the size and function of the gland, thereby curing the acne by correcting the basic defect. It MUST be prescribed by a dermatologist.