Take the quiz below to help you fight acne!
Acne on the face is a manifestation of acne, or, in other words, acne – a chronic disease of the sebaceous glands of the skin, which occurs in 80% of people. The mechanism of development is not so simple: the increased activity of the glands leads to an excess of sebum (sebum). Sebum clogs the ducts of the glands, which leads to the proliferation of bacteria and inflammation.
Acne looks like pustules or papules (inflamed nodules), and sometimes – as white and black spots (open and closed condones, respectively). They appear on the face, back or chest. It is much easier to get rid of the disease, if you understand, because of what it still appeared and what factors exacerbate the rash.
Sometimes the sebaceous glands become inflamed due to some irritating factor: for example, aggressive cosmetics, certain medicines or tight clothing. Then it is not acne, but symptomatic rashes. You can solve the problem simply by removing the influence of the provocateur.
The main causes of acne are:
If your parents suffered from acne, most likely the disease was inherited by you: a genetic predisposition is considered to be the main cause of acne. In this case, the appearance of acne is to blame:
The high concentration of androgens – male sex hormones – or hypersensitivity of skin receptors even to the normal level of androgens.
Features of the structure of the sebaceous glands: in people with acne, the excretory ducts of the glands are long and narrow. This makes it difficult to exit sebum, leading to permanent blockage and inflammation.
Features of the structure and chemical composition of the skin: in acne, the upper layer of the skin thickens – the epidermis. Thickening leads to water loss and disrupts the composition of the water-fat layer. An imbalance of acids necessary for healthy skin develops – linoleic and sapienic. Because of this, the scales of the stratum corneum of the epidermis begin to stick together and clog the pores of the sebaceous glands. All this facilitates the penetration of the bacteria Propionibacterium acnes and provokes inflammation.
- Hormonal imbalance
Sex hormones are the main regulators of sebaceous gland activity. The female hormone estrogen is responsible for the normal formation of the sebaceous glands of the skin. The male hormone dihydrotestosterone accelerates the growth and development of sebaceous gland cells. Acne appears if it is in the blood:
Estrogen level drops
That is why most women have acne after a few days before menstruation (on average 2–7 days): this is due to a sharp drop in estrogen levels before the start of the menstrual cycle. For the same reason, acne can begin during pregnancy or during menopause. And this is completely normal.
However, sometimes a decrease in estrogen levels is a sign of hormonal disease. Then the rash appears constantly and has nothing to do with the cycle. Therefore, a dermatologist asks to be tested for sex hormones: in case of an imbalance, it is useless to treat acne with external means only.
The level of male sex hormones is increasing
High levels of dihydrotestosterone stimulate the sebaceous glands and lead to excessively oily skin. An increased level of androgens in women also leads to male-pattern hair growth — a mustache, beard, hair on the chest, abdomen, and back appear. Such an imbalance can be a sign of various diseases (hyperplasia of the adrenal cortex, Itsenko-Cushing syndrome, polycystic ovary syndrome), so you should consult with an endocrinologist and gynecologist.
- Improper nutrition
Whether any specific products can cause acne is still unknown: there is no convincing evidence. However, some features of the diet are likely to increase acne.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, a high-glycemic diet (that is, one in which many simple carbohydrates: glucose, fructose, lactose) and a diet with a large number of dairy products can be harmful to the skin. Excess sugar increases insulin levels, and this through a cascade of reactions leads to excessive sebum production. What is wrong with dairy products is not clear, protein casein and excess milk sugar lactose, which also increase insulin levels, are most likely to blame.
Acceptance of anabolic steroids
Several studies describe the occurrence of acne in athletes-bodybuilders: the overuse of anabolic steroids, which stimulate sebum production in the sebaceous glands. Side effects in the form of a rash occur in almost half of athletes.
Lack of vitamins and microelements
Another controversial topic in dermatology: which microelements are still needed in the treatment of acne, and which – no. For the formation of skin cells, almost all vitamins are needed, especially A, D, E and Group B, but with a balanced and varied diet, deficiency of these substances (except vitamin D) is rare. Therefore, dermatologists are looking for life-saving drugs among substances with anti-inflammatory activity. For example, sometimes omega-3 fatty acids are prescribed: they reduce the inflammatory activity in the body and should have a positive effect on the course of acne. But there are still a few supporting studies. Among the most effective means – zinc. It participates in the synthesis of sex hormones and inhibits the excess production of sebum and is therefore actively used to treat acne.
Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract
Another controversial question is whether acne appears in diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. Presumably, acne provokes a change in the intestinal microflora (since bacteria produce signaling molecules that affect the work of skin cells), but there is no convincing data yet. Also, during inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract, the absorption of essential trace elements and vitamins may decrease, which leads to their deficiency and disrupts the maturation of skin cells.
But if you are worried about acne and constipation, diarrhea, bloating or abdominal pain – this is always a reason to go to a gastroenterologist. These may be signs of acne-like disease – rosacea, which is often associated with an imbalance of microflora.
- Stressful situations or overwork
The fact is that the skin contains receptors for the stress hormone cortisol. If it becomes too much, it disrupts the cells and may cause a rash.
If you have acne, go to a dermatologist: the doctor will determine the cause of the disease and select a comprehensive treatment. And do not forget that the skin is a delicately balanced organ. Therefore, the main thing you can do to care is to use as little irritating substances as possible: both mechanical (scrubs or hard washcloths), and chemical (alcohol-based lotions or tonics, dense products with oils or emulsifiers that clog pores). If you have a few acne, try to leave them alone and use only the means prescribed by the dermatologist for drying and washing.
Ways to cure acne in adulthood
15-16 years old with the appearance of acne on the face is difficult to reconcile, of course, but it is possible… Indeed, as practice shows, with age, this problem disappears. But what to do, if you are already far beyond 20, or even 30, and the rash on the skin still bother?
Any related to the activity of the sebaceous glands. In fact, we don’t need them at all. The need for these glands only in animals with wool – it requires constant lubrication of fat. Therefore, babies whose sebaceous glands are not yet active have perfect skin. As soon as the sebaceous glands are involved in the work, and this happens in adolescence, various inflammations begin to appear. Moreover, acne and comedones can be a symptom of not only acne but also other skin diseases, which also require expert advice and proper treatment.
Step 1. Decide on the diagnosis
suddenly you come across him after 25 years, it is always a signal that there are serious hormonal failures in your body. But do not rush to get upset ahead of time. Women over the age of 20 and older are dealing with rosacea. This disease, which is associated with hyperfunction of the sebaceous glands, may be accompanied by increased reproduction of pathogenic bacteria living on the skin.
It can be provoked by endocrine problems, external influence (chlorinated pool water), and digestive disorders. Rosacea and acne are very similar in appearance, sometimes even a professional is not easy to distinguish. Again, sometimes we are talking about single rashes – three or four inflammatory elements on the skin, which are often triggered by any external or internal factors: toxic food, malfunctioning of the gall bladder.
Step 2. Pass the survey
To find out the cause of the rash on the skin, it is not enough to visit a single cosmetologist-dermatologist. Consultations of the gynecologist, the endocrinologist, the gastroenterologist will be required. A hormonal study, the so-called reproductive status, ultrasound of the thyroid gland and (or) the organs of the small pelvis, and sowing from the skin of the face (to determine a bacterial infection) is necessarily made. Only then can you assign the correct treatment.
Step 3. Treat the cause
It is useless to treat oily skin in the event of inflammation unless it removes the cause, which led to increased secretion of the sebaceous glands. For this, including prescribed medication. It can be various hormonal drugs (depending on which organ is impaired: ovaries, thyroid, pituitary), antibiotics if a bacterial infection has joined the inflammation, retinoids, which. With a mild form of skin disease, you can do with drugs for external use.
Step 4. Properly care for your skin at home.
The most common cause of inflammation is improper cleansing of the skin at home, refusal to use exfoliating agents. Of course, our skin is programmed for self-renewal, but if you live in a big city, then it is unlikely to be able to cope with this task… A large amount of dust and dirt that deposits on the skin, clogs pores and provokes inflammation. The task is to speed up skin renewal. And for this, you must regularly use exfoliating means. The skin responds very well to their use: the secretion of the sebaceous glands is diluted, and the number of inflammations decreases.
Step 5. Do the procedures in the clinic
In the case of skin inflammations, the beautician may prescribe professional exfoliating care, as well as phototherapy. Photo exposure has an antibacterial effect, helps to remove stagnation in the sebaceous ducts. Depending on the severity of the problem, it may take from 5 to 10 sessions, with a frequency of once a week or once every 10 days. These procedures can be prescribed both at the beginning of the treatment of skin diseases and in its final phase. It all depends on what medications you are taking. For example, phototherapy is incompatible with treatment with systemic or external retinoids.
Unexpected Benefits of Acne
- Additional Protection
That is the conditions of our ecology is a very useful thing. Owners of oily skin, according to observations of dermatologists, are more prone to the appearance of acne. But do not rush to get upset. The sebum produced by your skin, the culprit of acne celebrations, also contains vitamin E, which helps protect your skin from free radicals and pollutants.
- Easy Care
In cosmetics stores, shelves with acne remedies most often hang owners of oily skin. It seems to us that if you buy everything and burn it all a little more and well, this is a disgrace in a magical way! – and disappear.
However, dermatologists believe that oily skin requires the most simple care. Clean it with a light foam or gel twice a day, and then moisturize. Yes, we were not mistaken; oily skin is also required additional moisture. If you scrub it with soap or alcohol lotion using the old grandfather’s method, you will get only a double portion of sebum. And that means acne.
A study in King’s College London in 2016 found that people who suffer from acne tend to live longer than their peers who do not have acne. Apparently, the cells of people with acne-prone skin contain longer protective caps (so-called “telomeres”) at the end of the chromosomes than people who do not have acne.
These things help protect the chromosomes, and as a result, people live longer. This is because telomeres shrink over time, so those with longer ones have more protection throughout their lives.
- Slow Aging
During the same study, it was noticed that those who suffer from acne look young longer. Rather, it was noticed long ago, and this study only revealed the reason. Which, by the way, is associated with the same elongated telomeres. It turns out that they affect not only the internal state of the organism but also the external. Cool, right?
- Warning Sign
Carefully monitor the location of acne. There is a theory that they can recognize health problems. For example, acne that forms along the chin in combination with weight fluctuations and hair loss is often a sign of polycystic ovary syndrome. There are even special “acne cards” that can help you recognize signs of internal irregularities.