Acne is a common, chronic skin condition characterized by various forms of scaly red skin, comedones (blackheads and whiteheads), and pimples. Although acne is not life threatening, it can be severe, leaving both physical and emotional scars. During adolescence, an increase in testosterone levels causes your sebaceous glands to produce more oil. Irregular shedding of skin cells lining your hair follicles can lead to clumping and clogging of your pores, and the increased oil production clogs pores even further. A bacteria that lives naturally on your skin, Propionibacterium acnes, then invades the clogged pore, grows, and creates inflammation. The result is a plugged, inflamed follicle that develops into a pimple that is potentially quite painful and irritating.
Some factors that can contribute to acne include:
- allergies to certain foods, chemicals or medications
- hormonal fluctuations
- wearing clothing on your face, e.g. headbands
- medication such as testosterone therapy
Drugs recommended for acne include benzoyl peroxide, which helps kill the bacteria growing in your clogged pores (although it may also dry out your skin and increase your skin's sensitivity to the sun). For more severe cases of acne, your doctor may recommend other forms of treatment, such as antibiotics, hormonal therapy, retinoids (which help normalize the life cycle of your hair follicles), or anti-inflammatories.
Some lifestyle changes, such as drinking more water and avoiding abrasive facial cleansers may help. Also, nutritional counselling can help provide you with a solid, healthy diet to minimize the adverse effects that food can have on your skin. Acupuncture and TCM is excellent for optimizing your skin's health and balancing hormone levels, while facial aesthetics can potentially have a dramatic effect on the health of your skin.
Contact us for a FREE consultation on how natural therapy can help you prevent and manage your acne.
These links may also be helpful:
Trellis Organics, Yellow Gazebo's specially designed skin care line.