Acne Essay, Research Paper
Have you ever looked into the mirror and recoiled with horror at what appeared to
be the worst pus-filled abomination imaginable? Did you then react with murderous
intentions to kill the intruder? You think, ?Be gone, you damnable spot. I will rid myself
of you immediately. I will attack you and kill you, even if it kills me.? And kill you it
may, if you dare to pick it, for you are not a surgeon.
To pick at that thing on your face might set the wheels of disaster in motion.
Your hands may not be clean, your facial skin may not be clean, and your fingernails may
not be clean. Nothing would be sterile, and you could open up a pathway for hordes of
harmful bacteria to march right into that hole you dug and straight into your bloodstream!
Consequently, your squeezing, picking, and digging could possibly result in problems far
worse than the appearance of the monstrosity you set out to destroy.
The offending pustule you saw on your face is, of course, acne, the enemy of
youth. It is a common skin disorder that plagues mostly teenagers and causes them
misery, embarrassment, and even loss of self-esteem. It can flare up even in later adult
years, and one might have to deal with the scars of it all their lives, for acne cannot be
cured. It can be treated with some success, however, and it can be covered up to some
extent with cosmetics.
Acne is linked to hormonal changes that occur in the bodies of adolescent boys
and girls. Particularly, the sex hormones that cause oil glands in the skin to enlarge and
secrete more oil. Sometimes, producing too much oil, the hair follicles become clogged
and prevent dead skin cells and sebum, or oil, from escaping. The buildup of dead cells
and sebum form pimples in which bacteria grow, and the pimple may continue to swell
and rupture, transforming into pustules and cysts which cause the most scarring.
The cause of acne is heredity, for the most part. It tends to run in families. If
both your parents had acne, three out of four of your brothers and sisters will get it too.
But if your sister is pimple-free while your face is a war zone, be aware that other factors
can aggravate an acne outbreak. Stress, and exposure, seasonal changes, and climate can
bring out an acne attack, and even certain types of makeup can cause a breakout.
If you have acne, and it is serious enough to disturb your life, it is a good idea to
see a dermatologist. The doctor might prescribe antibiotics such as tetracycline or
minocycline, and/or a cream that is put on the pimples to kill the bacteria. The cream
also loosens the dead cells that have clumped together and Retin-A was the first cream
that proved successful in treating acne, and it is still widely used, but many new creams
have been formulated and are equally effective. There are over-the-counter medications
that work also, the favorite being Benzyl Peroxide, which kills bacteria and causes mild
drying and peeling.
It seems to be important to avoid putting anything on your face that contains oil.
Oil-free soaps and cosmetics are popular products that can be purchased in all kinds of
stores. And dermatologists say that price is not the measure of the product?s
effectiveness. The least expensive is generally as effective as the most costly, as long as
the item is oil-free. Fragrances can also be irritating, and it might help to look for
products that are not perfumed.
If you have oily hair, don?t let it touch your face any more than possible. When
the acne outbreak is bad, wear your hair back, away from your face, Also, don?t lean your
hands against your face and create pockets of oil and pressure. So often this is done
when a person is reading, studying, or on the telephone. No matter what treatment you
use, keep your hands off your face, and particularly off your pimples. You want to avoid
scarring by picking. It also helps not to wash your face any more frequently than
necessary. You can even sleep at night with your makeup on, thus eliminating the
bedtime washing. Washing and drying your face causes aggravation to the skin, so
minimize this as much as you can. Even wearing cotton gloves to bed at night will help
you to avoid rubbing and scratching your face while you are sleeping.
So next time you look at yourself in a mirror and you curse your polka-dotted
face, just remember that it probably will go away by the time you are twenty. Practically
everyone?s does. It is regarded as one of the miseries of the young. Remember, to hasten
acne?s departure, less is best in handling it by touching, picking, makeup, and washing,
and one day the face in the mirror will be spot-free.