Grow Youthful: How to Slow Your Aging and Enjoy Extraordinary Health
Grow Youthful: How to Slow Your Aging and Enjoy Extraordinary Health

Acne

What is acne?

Symptoms of acne

Causes of acne

Remedies for acne

References

What is acne?

Acne (acne vulgaris, cystic acne) is a common inflammatory skin condition characterised by outbreaks of pimples, blackheads, whiteheads and cysts. It affects the areas of skin with the densest population of oil glands (sebaceous follicles) - the face, the upper part of the chest, and the back. It is common in teenagers and normally tends to clear up after puberty, though the pimples can leave scars.

In the USA acne affects over half of all people in adolescence and early adulthood; in Australia around two thirds of all young people are affected. Acne tends to run in families, and for most people it tends to disappear or decrease substantially between the ages of 20-25. A few people have acne in their 30's, 40's and even older. The main effects of acne are psychological, as it usually appears during adolescence, when people already tend to be most socially insecure.

Acne can occur in inflammatory and non-inflammatory forms.

In older people acne is uncommon, and is sometimes confused with rosacea.

Symptoms of acne

Causes of acne

Remedies for acne

Different treatments for acne tackle the causes discussed above.

Do not touch the pimples or affected areas. It is easy to spread a bacterial infection. Be aware if you have the habit of touching your face absent-mindedly. Gently wash affected areas twice a day with lukewarm water and a mild soap. Keep your hair off your face.

References

1. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, January 2006.

2. Yosipovitch G, Tang M, Dawn AG, Chen M, Goh CL, Huak Y, Seng LF. Study of psychological stress, sebum production and acne vulgaris in adolescents. Acta Derm Venereol. 2007;87(2):135-9.

3. Ferdowsian HR, Levin S. Does diet really affect acne? Skin Therapy Lett. 2010 Mar;15(3):1-2, 5.

4. Smith RN, Mann NJ, Braue A, Makelainen H, Varigos GA. The effect of a high-protein, low glycemic-load diet versus a conventional, high glycemic-load diet on biochemical parameters associated with acne vulgaris: a randomized, investigator-masked, controlled trial. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2007 Aug;57(2):247-56.

5. Melnik BC, Schmitz G. Role of insulin, insulin-like growth factor-1, hyperglycaemic food and milk consumption in the pathogenesis of acne vulgaris. Exp Dermatol. 2009 Oct;18(10):833-41.

6. Mantle D, Gok MA, Lennard TW. Adverse and beneficial effects of plant extracts on skin and skin disorders. Adverse Drug React Toxicol Rev. 2001 Jun;20(2):89-103.

7. Koh KJ, Pearce AL, Marshman G, Finlay-Jones JJ, Hart PH. Tea tree oil reduces histamine-induced skin inflammation. Br J Dermatol. 2002 Dec;147(6):1212-7.

8. Khalil Z, Pearce AL, Satkunanathan N, Storer E, Finlay-Jones JJ, Hart PH. Regulation of wheal and flare by tea tree oil: complementary human and rodent studies. J Invest Dermatol. 2004 Oct;123(4):683-90.

9. E Spencer, H R Ferdowsian, N D Barnard. Diet and acne: a review of the evidence. International Journal of Dermatology. April 2009, 48(4):339-47.