Monday, January 9, 2012

Some Common Pre-Acne Signs

Acne is the most common skin condition affecting 17 to 45 million people in the United States, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Acne generally happens to people in their teens and 20s, but some people experience acne even through their 50s. Before acne is visible on the skin as a pimple or blemish, pre-acne forms when oil and dead skins cells combine to block hair follicles.
Pre-acne develops when sebaceous glands in the skin make too much sebum, which is an oily substance made to lubricate the skin and hair. Sebum gets onto the surface of the skin through the openings around hair follicles. Dead skin cells mix with the sebum and block the follicle openings, creating microcomedones. These are skin lesions that become bacteria-filled cysts called comedones. Comedones are what develop into the many types of acne. Blackheads and whiteheads are nonruptured comedones. Ruptured comedones are like popped zits. They allow inflammation to spread, causing more acne lesions such as pustules, papules and nodules.
Comedones and microcomedones are the main signs of pre-acne. They may appear anywhere on your body, but your face, back and torso are the most common places. Experts recommend washing your face and other acne-prone areas with a mild cleanser once or twice a day to prevent acne. A study on the best type of soap for pre-acne was published in the journal Infection in March-April 1995. The study compared a conventional soap and an acidic syndet bar, which is a bar made with synthetic surfactants; they are available everywhere. The syndet group experienced less acne and irritation.
Hormones may contribute to the development of acne in adult women. Occurrences such as menstruation, pregnancy and taking or stopping birth control pills all may lead to acne. Disease-related hormonal imbalances may lead to acne as well. Signs and symptoms such as thinning hair and irregular menstruation may indicate you have a hormone imbalance that can cause acne. Hormone therapy may be beneficial for acne treatment if you have these signs. Hormone therapy is a mix of low doses of the hormones progesterone and estrogen.
Topical Treatment
Topical acne treatments -- such as gels, lotions and creams -- can help reduce acne, but topical retinoids are the only medication that is believed to effectively combat microcomedones, according to Acne Net, a website run by the American Academy of Dermatology. Retinoids are vitamin A derivatives known to break up comedones. They are safe for most people though sometimes cause skin irritation. Additionally, topical retinoids may help decrease wrinkles and fine lines. Buy a topical retinoid over the counter or get a prescription from your doctor. Topical retinoids increase your risk of sunburn; always wear sunscreen.

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