What Are Acne Or Pimples
Acne is a general term for pimples and deeper pustules that are clogged pores. Medically acne is a disorder of skin resulting due to blocking of pores of skin called pilosebaceous units (pilo - means related to hair and sebaceous means related to sebum or oil). These pores contain hair follicles and oil secreting glands which lubricate the hair and skin.
Acne eruptions are caused by an interruption of the skin's natural processes. Acne can range from a thinly scattered area of pimples and blackheads to an area covered with large cysts.
Pimples begin in the skin's hair follicles which are connected to the oil-producing sebaceous glands. When onset of acne occurs, it means the body is not performing two jobs necessary for the maintenance of healthy skin:
- The Hair Follicles Are Not Getting Rid Of Dead Cells Fast Enough.
- The Sebaceous Glands Are Pumping Out Too Much.
When dead cells stick to a hair follicle full of sebum, it provides a breeding ground for the growth of bacteria which can acne or pimples.
Although acne or pimples is a disorder associated with teenagers but it can occur at any age of life. Acne usually appear on face, neck, back, and chest due to the abundance of pilosebaceous units in these areas. It affects about 80% of people between the ages of 12 and 24.
During puberty hight levels of hormones are produced in both girls and boys. This leads to production of large quantities of sebum. Sebum is an irritant that can clog the pores and lead to formation of pustules. Hormones do not go away after adolescence. Many women still get premenstrual acne from the release of progesterone after ovulation.
Acne or pimples is not a serious health threat but it can lead to scarring and disfigurement of the face that can have a significant impact on the patient.
Acne or pimples is perhaps the most common health condition that can affect people for their entire life. The scars of acne or pimples go much deeper than the skin. Acne scars the vital self-image of an individual which can orchestrate success of failure, happiness or oppression, and many other outcomes in life.
The British Journal of Plastic Surgery published the article, "The Quasimodo Complex." The two physicians reported on a random study of 11,000 prison inmates who committed serious crimes (murder, rape and so on). They clearly documented a trend showing 60% of the 11,000 offenders had facial deformities: acne scars, birth marks, protruding ears, misshapen noses or receding chins.
In the average adult population only 20.2% of all people may be said to have these characteristics. The article ended suggesting that hostility and rejection these criminals encountered from classmates through school could have pushed them towards the state of emotional imbalance that ultimately led to criminal acts.
People form a self-image based largely on what kind of images other people mirror back. We give inordinate regard to the physical body (shell) we inhabit. It takes a rare individual to look through that shell and acknowledge the true inherent human worth that God equally gives to all. The universal stereotype of equating ugly with bad and beautiful with good is a worthy challenge for all. But homeopathy offers a vital piece of the puzzle to restoring the individual's constitution for overcoming acne or pimples. Whether teenager or middle aged, there is hope for the condition of acne or pimples that scars in more ways than one.
Signs And Symptoms Of Acne Or Pimples
Acne or pimples typically appear on face, neck, chest, back, shoulders and the areas of skin with the largest number of functional oil glands. People with acne or pimples frequently have a variety of lesions. The basic acne lesion, called the comedo, is simply an enlarged and plugged hair follicle.
Acne Or Pimples Can Take The Following Forms:
- WHITEHEADS: These Are Created When The Openings Of Hair Follicles Become Clogged And Blocked With Oil Secretions And Dead Skin. These Are Minute Pimples That Reside Under The Surface Of The Skin.
- BLACKHEADS: These Are Similar To Whiteheads, But Are Open To The Skin Surface And Darken. A Comedo That Reaches The Surface Of The Skin And Opens Up Is Called An Open Comedo Or Blackhead Because It Looks Black On The Skin's Surface. This Black Discoloration Is Due To Changes In Sebum As It Is Exposed Air. It Is Not Due To Dirt. Both Whiteheads & Blackheads May Stay In The Skin For A Long Time.
Other Troublesome Acne And Pimple Lesions Can Develop Which Include The Following :
- PAPULES: Inflamed Lesions That Usually Appear As Small, Pink Bumps On The Skin And Can Be Tender To The Touch.
- MACULES: A Macule Is The Temporary Red Spot Left By A Healed Acne Lesion. It Is Flat, Usually Red Or Pink, With A Well-Defined Border. A Macule May Persist For Days To Weeks Before Disappearing. When A Number Of Macules Are Present At One Time They Can Contribute To The "Inflamed Face" Appearance Of Acne. It Shows The "Red Face" Appearance.
- PUSTULES: These Are Raised, Reddish Spots That Signal Inflammation Or Infection In The Hair Follicles. Papules Topped By White Or Yellow Pus-Filled Lesions That May Be Red At The Base.
- NODULES: Large, Painful, Solid Lesions That Are Lodged Deep Within The Skin.
- CYSTS: These Are Thick Lumps Beneath The Surface Of The Skin, Which Are Formed By The Buildup Of Secretions Deep Within Hair Follicles. Deep, Painful, Pus-Filled Lesions That Can Cause Unsightly Scars On The Skin. After Resolution Of Acne Or Pimple Lesions There May Be Prominent Unsightly Scars.
Following Are The Commonly Recognized Types Of Acne :
- Acne Vulgaris
- Acne Rosacea
- Acne Conglobata
- Acne Cosmetica
- Acne Fulminans
- Acne Keloidales Nuchae.
What Causes Acne Or Pimples
The exact cause of acne or pimples is unknown; several related factors are :
- Increase In The Level Of The Male Hormone Testosterone Can Cause Acne Or Pimples. Too Much Of Testasterone Causes Excessive Secretion Of Sebum Which Leads To Blockage Of Pores.
- During Menstrual Cycles And Puberty.
- During Pregnancy And Menopause, Changes In Hormones Lead To An Imbalance In The Levels Of Testosterone And Can Result In Acne.
- Starting Or Stopping Of Oral Contraceptive Pills May Also Lead To Acne In Some.
Heriditory And Genetic Constitution: Many School-Age Boys With Acne Have A Family History Of The Disorder.
- Stress: It Plays A Mojor Role In Development Of Various Physical Disorders. Emotional Disturbance Can Often Lead To Improper Secretion Of Hormones.
- Accumulation Of Dead Skin Cells.
- Bacteria In The Pores To Which Body Becomes Allergic.
- Skin Irritation And Scratching Of Any Sort Will Activate The Inflammation.
- Side Effects Of Certaing Medicines : Corticosteroids, Androgens, Oral Contraceptives, Lithium, Halogens, Isoniazed, Phenytoin, Phenobarbital, High Levels Of Iodine And So On.
- Use Of Inexpensive, Comedogenic Makeup; Greasy Makeup.
In Some Patients, Contributing Factors May Be :
- Pressure Can Aggravate The Acne Or Pimples: Sweating And Friction On The Skin Caused By Headbands, Back Packs, Bicycle Helmets, Or Tight Collars.
- Squeezing And Pricking Comedones.
- Environmental Factors : Pollution, Humidity And So On Can Contribute But May Not Be Causative Of Acne Or Pimples.
Life Style Management Tips
No matter what's causing your acne or pimples, there are lifestyle management steps that can help you in the preventive maintenance of your skin:
- KNOW WHAT FOOD ARE THE OFFENDERS: It's Good Idea To Avoid Foods Such As Sugar, White Flour Products, Soft Drinks, Refined Foods, Artificial Sweetness, Chocolate, Butter, Meat, Cheese And Iodized Salt.
- MANAGE YOUR STRESS: Regular Exercise Is Important For Overall Health As It Boosts Endorphin Levels, Which In Turn Can Ease Stress, Anxiety And So On. Exercise Can Also Help Flush The Impurities Through The Skin By Way Of Perspiration.
- BE GENTLE: Your Skin Is Already Irritated If You Have Acne Or Pimples, So Be Sure To Use A Mild Soap. Do Not Use A Washcloth Or Exfoliate. Gently Massage Soap Into Skin With Fingertips.
- Oiliness Can Be Minimized By Wiping Skin With An Astringent.
- Clay Masks And Mud Packs Can Help Lift Off Superficial Grease, Dead Skin, And Tone The Skin.
- Avoid Wearing Heavy, Oily Makeup Which May Clog Pores And Cause Acne Or Pimples. Teenage Girls Are Better Off Not Using Cosmetics Regularly.
- Do Not Prick, Press, Or Rub Acne Or Pimples As You Risk Spreading Bacteria Which Increases The Chances Of Scarring.
- Acne Or Pimples Can Effect Self Esteem. Children Should Be Treated Fairly Young If They Start Showing Signs Of Acne Or Pimples. Especially If Parents Suffered From Acne Or Pimples. Encourage Them To Follow A Healthy Lifestyle Management Program.
- Men With Moderate To Severe Acne Or Pimples Should Use A New Razor Blade Every Time They Shave To Lower The Risk Of Infection. Instead Of Alcohol-Based Aftershaves, Try Herbal Alternatives That Include Essential Oils Lavender, Chamomile Or Tea Tree.