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What is Acne?

Acne is a treatable disease. Unfortunately, every person is a different “chemical factory,” producing different kinds and amounts of oil and bacteria. That is why this simple problem has to be treated on a very individual level. To treat your problem, you first need to learn the basics of acne- how it is formed, what causes acne, how to clear it, and how to keep it clear. You need to pay attention to our face and become your own doctor. Basically, using the knowledge we give you, products we recommend, and close observation of your progress, you are your best hope of solving your problem. The system is very simple if you follow directions, and invest a little time and money into your future.

Acne develops in the follicle or pores of your skin. If the follicle has oil glands attached, this gland produces oil 24 hours a day- it never takes a vacation. Inside every pore is “Corynebacterium acnes” or “C Acne” as we call it. The “acne bacteria” greatly multiplies at puberty. This bacteria produces an enzyme which feeds on the oil produced by your oil glands, and splits it into glycerol and fatty acids. It is believed that these fatty acids are aggravating factors for acne.

At puberty, not only do acne bacteria greatly multiply, but oil production is also increased. This combination is bad news for acne-prone individuals. There are about 10,000 follicles or pores on your face, making this bacteria a potential enemy.

Acne Myths

Over time, people have made up many myths about acne. The general public, and even some professionals, misunderstand the truth about acne.

Here are some common misconceptions about acne:

1. Your skin is dirty and you need to wash your face often to avoid acne.

Acne appears under the skin’s surface, and therefore excessive washing will not help. You need to cleanse your face with a powerful cleanser to remove buildup from oil produced by your skin’s oil glands, because your oil glands are working very hard to produce large amounts of oil. The more oil produced, the better the cleansing must be performed.

2. Some foods cause acne, such as chocolate and greasy foods.

It has never been proven that certain foods cause acne. There is only one ingredient that has been proven to irritate and aggravate acne: large amounts of Iodine. So you have to watch the labels of vitamins, foods, and drinks. Kelp, tortilla chips, beef liver, and turkey can have high levels of Iodine, and it is best that these foods are avoided as much as possible.

3. Sexual frustration causes acne.

The myth was basically created by mothers from another generation. There is absolutely no proof for this.

4. Acne is only a disease that affects teenagers.

During adolescence your body starts to produce more hormones which trigger oil production in your body. From childhood until you are an adult, your hormone level is trying to balance inside of your body. This causes many problems for people who are acne prone. An interesting fact is that males usually reach a balance by the age of 23, and after that they usually do not have any problems. Females, however, have more to worry about. They go through monthly periods when hormones fluctuate from ovulation to periods, and back and forth. Childbearing, menopause, and foremost stress are other factors. Females don’t have it easy. They do not have a high progesterone level in their bodies to begin with, so every slight elevation of progesterone, stress, hormonal pills, periods, or ovulation shows up in the form of a pimple. Unfortunately there is another factor which makes it even worse, cosmetics. There are so many cosmetic companies out there which make millions of dollars on products that make people break out and cause women to have major problems. It is common sense that if you find a product that doesn’t make you break out- stick with it. You do not need to make a change just for the sake of change.

Acne Irritants

Stress is a major factor of acne. Simply, stress activates the adrenal glands to produce extra hormones. We can say that stress affects us in two ways. One is the immediate reaction when your body resistance is very low and there is a sudden increase of hormones. This influences oil production- and here we are breaking out. Mainly this occurs overnight. The second way that stress affects us is called the delayed stress reaction, when it can take a week to a month to start breaking out.

What is stress? Stress is any change. It can be positive, when you are too happy. It can also be negative, when you are too sad. Your acne condition will react to both changes. This is very frustrating.

Another irritant is sunlight. UV rays not only damage the skin but it has never been proven that sunlight can help the condition. Let’s talk about vacation time spent at the beach. First of all, you probably use greasy sunblocks and unfortunately there are not many sunblocks formulated for acne sufferers. We will talk about cosmetics alter on because sunblock can be put into that category. Second of all, it is usually more humid on the beach. Heat and humidity often makes the skin worse. This includes saunas.

Climates and seasons belong in the same category. The more humid and hot a season or climate is, the more acne appears. Thus, Benzoyl Peroxide treatments need to be doubled about three days before you leave so that the skin will not get shocked because it is prepared for the worst.

Pressure and friction by mechanical manipulation also causes acne. This would include glasses which touch your face. Some people develop acne there. Others develop acne from talking on the phone a lot.

Picking, or unauthorized manipulation, causes acne as well. The pimple can be pushed deeper under the skin, or you can break the skin. In both cases big red marks which take about six months to heal and disappear will form. For men another factor is shaving. It is recommended to use an electric shaver so that you don’t shave as close and so that the acne is not “stripped”. This could cause red scars. If you pick, often you do not get all of the pus out and damage is caused to the walls of the follicle. This pore will heal slower and will scar. We can distinguish many types of pickers. The compulsive picker is the picker who does not have much acne but from manipulating compulsively they will create a scar from just a tiny little pimple. It is recommended to find a therapist who can help with this kind of behavior. Then there is the practical picker. This person knows that the pimple will heal better when the oil from the follicle is extracted, but they do not know how to do it and they cause more damage. Next there is the “nervous habit picker” who picks while watching TV, studying, reading, driving, etc.. They are not aware that they are doing it. The worst enemy for a picker is a mirror.

Hormones are basically the main aggravating factors for acne sufferers of any form. Whenever you deal with stress, birth control pills, or certain foods (such as peanut oil, wheat germ oil, or corn oil) you can count on some breakouts. Hormones are not predictable and cannot be measured. Also, everyone’s hormones are different. It is difficult to maintain the good balance that your body needs. Everyone has their own hormone factory and only you can balance it.

Diets have never been proven to aggravate acne. However just in case it is best to avoid certain foods such as peanut oil and corn oil. The big flag that you must watch for is Iodine, it has been indicated as a major trigger for acne. It doesn't matter if it is used topically or internally, it is bad news no matter what. Always check for Iodine in everything. Note that multivitamins are a major source of Iodine.

Cosmetics are a big one, and they deserve a lot of attention. There is actually a name for acne which is caused by cosmetics, and this is called Acne Cosmetica. This is a problem mainly for women. Comedogenic, which means acne causing, is an important term. Many cosmetics are comedogenic. But you do not need to know a lot about this term because all of our products are non-comedogenic. In other products, try to make sure that they are also non-comedogenic.

Clearing Acne

1. Through the bloodstream

A doctor can prescribe antibiotics, most commonly tetracycline or similar treatments. Unfortunately a very small amount of this treatment ends up in a pore and kills the acne bacteria. A doctor can prescribe Accutane for severe acne, which was developed in the late 1960’s. This very potent drug basically stops oil production in the body by about 70%, causing dryness, itching, nosebleeds, dry nose, and additional problems. It is a powerful drug which was proven to work, but it has too many side effects for a young body.

2. Topically

There are a tremendous number of topical medications, creams, lotions, and potions for you to buy. You can buy either prescription or over-the-counter. They are all designed to clear your acne and are developed with different ingredients and strengths. It can be very confusing if you do not know exactly what you are looking for. The safest and most effective medication is Benzoyl Peroxide.

Staying Clear

Your skin care specialist will guide you and teach you how your skin works. In a couple of weeks you will have all the knowledge about your particular skin condition and will know a few helpful hints about how to keep your acne under control. You will fail in your skin clearing process if you do not follow this simple regime or if you stop your treatment prematurely. The acne will come back and you will have to start again and again until you learn to do the process properly to keep you clear. It works and it is simple. So do it for yourself- you deserve it.

Emergency Tips

Cleanse your skin twice a day

Use the recommended Mask daily, at least on the problem area

Use Benzoyl Peroxide daily

The more you peel the faster you heal

Don’t pick

Ask questions-make sure you are clear on your procedures and treatments

Never stop using the products just because you are clear- or it will just come back

Always use Sunblock

Skintek we are about RESULTS.