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All You Need to Know About Acne

One of the most widespread medical conditions in the world still has no cure and is nearly unavoidable at some point in your lifetime. Acne affects almost everyone: more than 90% of adolescents, nearly 50% of adult women and 25% of all adults. While there is no cure for acne, recent technological developments allows us more control over the condition than ever before. One of the best weapons in the fight against acne is knowledge. For anyone to effectively treat their own acne, it is important to understand what causes acne, distinguish the different types of acne, learn preventative measures, and find specific treatments that will work for your skin.




  There are five primary causes of acne that vary drastically between individuals, but all contribute to the process. For the majority of acne sufferers, the trouble begins with puberty, when the body begins to produce hormones called androgens.

These hormones cause your glands to enlarge and become overstimulated, causing flare-ups. These hormones are also associated with the menstrual cycle and pregnancy. When androgens are overstimulated, glands produce extra sebum. Extra sebum mixes with skin bacteria and dead skin cells to clog follicles and cause acne.

In patients with overactive sebaceous glands, which is nearly everyone during puberty, dead skin cells are shed more rapidly and form the plug in the follicle that mixes with the extra sebum. Once a follicle is plugged, the skin bacterium Propionibacterium acnes, (P. acnes for short) multiplies rapidly, creating the chemical reaction we know as inflammation in the follicle and surrounding skin. The bodyís response is to send an army of white blood cells to attack the bacteria, causing pimples to become red, swollen, and painful. The inflammatory response is different for everyone, but seems to be especially strong in adult women.

All acne begins with one basic lesion: the comedo, an enlarged follicle plugged with oil and bacteria.

  But different people react differently, creating two different types of acne: non-inflammatory and inflammatory. Non-inflammatory acne comes in two forms: closed comedo, or whitehead, and open comedo, or blackhead. If the plugged follicle stays below the surface of the skin, it is known as a closed comedo, or whitehead. They usually appear on the skin as small, whitish bumps. If the plugged follicle enlarges and pushes through the surface of the skin, it is an open comedo, or blackhead. Its dark appearance is not due to dirt, but rather a buildup in melanin, the skinís dark pigment.

Inflammatory acne can come in four different forms. The mildest form is called papule, which appears as small, firm pink bumps. They are usually tender and an intermediary step between non-inflammatory and inflammatory lesions. Pustules are also small round bumps, but they are visibly inflamed and contain pus. They appear red at the base, with a yellowish or whitish center. The most severe form of acne appears as nodules, or cysts, and are large and usually very painful. They appear inflamed and pus-filled, and are lodged deep within the skin.

They may persist for weeks or months and harden into deep cysts. Both nodules and cysts leave deep scars.

The rarest form of inflammatory acne is conglobata.


  Conglobata develops primarily on the back, buttock and chest and are caused by severe bacterial infection.
One of the most common misconceptions about acne is that it is caused by dirt, but itís not. There are several different factors that cause acne that is out of our control, but there are things that you can control that may help keep it in check.

The secret to managing acne is prevention. Since acne is not caused by dirt, it is important that you donít over-wash. Try to limit yourself to two washes a day, anything else can leave your skin dry and irritated. It can even overstimulate oil production and cause more breakouts. When you do wash, use a gentle formula with small, smooth grains. Avoid almond or apricot shell products, as they will aggravate your acne further. If you use a toner, avoid products with isopropyl or rubbing alcohol. This results in dry, red skin that will possibly cause more blemishes. Donít squeeze or pick pimples yourself, since that might cause the bacteria to sink deeper in the skin, causing greater inflammation, damage, infection, and possibly a scar. If you exercise regularly, you should always shower or wash off immediately. Come to our salon & spa for further advice and excellent treatments.

Remember! The future of your beautiful skin is at Githa's Salon & Spa in Sanur.



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