Acne – Skin’s Miniture Volcanoes Essay, Research Paper
This purpose of this paper is to explain the cause of acne, give some examples, and how to get help prevent it. This paper will also dispel some of the myths of acne and how it is caused.
Acne is a condition of the skin that ranges in appearance from raised bumps to pustules (large cysts and pimples). Acne is so common that more than 80 percent of the population will have some form of it at some time in some time of their lives.
Although there are several theories about what causes acne, authorities generally believe that acne is a by-product of hormonal changes in the body during puberty- that period of life when a child develops the secondary sex characteristics (such as facial and body hair, deepened voice, and increased muscle mass in boys and breast development and breast development and menstruation in girls). At this time, production of hormones (particularly the male hormone testosterone) increases and stimulates sebaceous glands in the skin to produce sebum (an oily secretion). Most excess oil produced by these glands leaves the skin through the hair follicles (the tube like structures from which the hair develops). Sometimes, oil clogs these tubes and creates comedones (blocked hair follicles). Comedones are what form the initial lumps in acne.
If comedones are open to the surface of the skin, they are called blackheads. They contain sebum from the sebaceous glands, bacteria, and any skin tissue that accumulates near the surface. Comedones that are closed at the surface are called whiteheads. Plugged follicles can rupture internally, resulting in a discharge of their contents into the surrounding tissues. This process begins an inflammatory response that sets the stage fore the development of acne.
The role of the bacteria is acne is unclear. Bacteria may act by causing chemical reactions in the sebaceous fluid, leading to the release of very irritating compounds called fatty acids. These in turn may cause inflammation that increases susceptibility to infection.
Authorities disagree about the role of diet as the cause of acne. Diet alone does not cure acne, nor does stem from an allergic reaction to a specific food. However, some cases of acne appear to improve after eliminating certain foods, particularly chocolates and fats. In addition, emotional stress seems to increase the severity of acne in certain cases.
Acne causes raised swellings, most frequently on the face, neck, and back, chest and shoulders. In severe cases, there may be pus filled sacs that break open and discharge fluid. Soreness, pain, and itching may accompany the bumps. These symptoms could be acne, or they could indicate skin reactions to such substances as cosmetics, medications, and grooming or cleaning products.
Since puberty plays a role in the onset of acne, the condition usually appears during the teenage years. However, it can extend to age 25 and over particularly in women. Although acne is not life threatening, it can be problematic. If untreated, acne lesions can leave permanent scars, which can cause embarrassment and emotional stress.
Acne has no prevention or cure, but there are several treatments. The simplest home remedy is to wash the affected areas thoroughly at least twice a day with warm water and mild soap. Washing gently will not dry or irritate sensitive skin. Regular shampooing helps, especially if the hair is oily. Use of makeup should be limited. In addition, skin may heal with exposure to the sun. However, sunlamps and ultra violet lamps should be used very cautiously, and only under a doctor?s supervision.
One form of treatment not recommended is picking or squeezing pimples, since more inflammation and scarring may result. Also, the risk of infection is increased.
Some of the over-the-counter acne medications, particularly lotions or creams containing benzoyl peroxide, can help troubled skin. However, most of these preparations tend to dry the skin if the manufacturer?s directions are not followed carefully.
For persistent acne, a doctor may prescribe an antibiotic preparation that can be applied to the surface of the skin of and oral antibiotic, such as tetracycline and erythromycin. These antibiotics act to suppress bacterial growth, which may be a factor in worsening acne.
Another drug, tretinoin (vitamin A acid), has reduced acne more than 50 percent of the persons who have tried it. This drug can be taken independently or in combination with an antibiotic, and must be used under a doctor?s supervision. A newer drug, isotretinoin, is related to tretinoin and is used to treat severe cystic acne. It is usually not prescribed, however, unless all other acne treatments have failed. This drug works temporarily suppressing the production of secretions by the sebaceous glands. It is important to note that this drug can have very serious side effects and should never be used without the knowledge and supervision of and experienced medical doctor.
For more information and help you can visit a dermatologist. For support you can visit support groups to talk with more people with the same problem.
In this paper acne was explained to a certain extent. Ways to help prevent this problem were also mentioned.