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Understanding Acne (Part 1)

Written by Courteney

Posted on June 5, 2016 at 7:22 pm

Acne is the most common skin condition in America, afflicting over 50 million people. Acne can effect anyone, but is most commonly associated with adolescence and young adulthood. Because of its prevalence, we wanted to take a peek behind the scenes of acne – what causes it? What worsens it? What treatment options are available? Read on to find out!

Acne Facts, Tips and Myths:

  • The term ‘acne’ encompasses pimples, boils, cysts, whiteheads, blackheads and other similar inflammatory skin issues.
  • 85% of adolescents and young adults will experience at least one minor bout of acne.
  • Acne is a product of hair follicles becoming blocked with a mixture of sebum (natural skin oil), dead skin and dirt.
  • Bacteria called Propionibacterium Acnes also helps cause and worsen acne.
  • Acne can show up virtually anywhere on the body but primarily effects the face, neck, back or arms.
  • People of all ages can develop acne – even babies! However, it usually first appears around the onset of puberty.
  • This skin condition can last for a few months, a few years or can intermittently afflict someone much of their life.
  • Treating acne early hails the best results and less scarring – treatments include topical prescription creams, oral medications or a combination of both.
  • Things that can worsen acne include: changes in female hormones, certain medications, pollution or humidity, squeezing, picking or irritating your skin.
  • Contrary to popular belief, stress does not cause acne but it can exacerbate the condition.
  • Acne can be comorbid with psychological issues such as anxiety or depression as it can adversely impact confidence and self image.
  • Twin study research seems to point to a genetic component with acne, but it is unclear just how strongly genetics factor into the equation.
  • Medical scar reducing procedures such as chemical peels and dermabrasion are often used to treat and minimize bad acne scarring.
  • Be careful in the sun if you have acne, the powerful UVA and UVB rays can further aggravate the condition.
  • There are 3 levels of acne severity: mild, which consists of a few surface-level pimples and blemishes that aren’t inflamed; moderate, which consists of deeper acne, some wound-like blemishes, soreness and redness; and severe acne which is usually very inflamed, infected, multiple cysts and pain or soreness.
  • Some acne medications can cause unwanted side effects or complications, such as problems for pregnant women, so it is important to thoroughly explore your options with your doctor or dermatologist to make sure you choose the right method for you.
  • There are certain myths surrounding acne such as: poor hygiene causes acne, acne will clear up without treatment or you can catch acne from someone. All these are 100% false. Don’t believe everything you hear!

There you have our fast facts on Acne! Keep an eye out for our next post, Acne Part 2 – Skincare Tips and Treatment to read about how telemedicine can effectively handle acne maintenance care. Tanks for visiting DocChat!

 

 

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