Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Do You want to be Acne Free?

Acne vulgaris ill artlibre jnImage via Wikipedia
Zits! UGH.
Don’t you just hate those stupid zits? They seem to appear at the most inopportune time. Do you want to be acne free? Why must this continue to be a problem? We all expect to have to deal with this issue when we are teenagers, however, many people deal with acne long after they have past those hormonal years. For those that are left with acne scars, it can be a major blow to their self esteem. What can you do to get a handle on this situation once and for all.
Blackheads and Cystic Acne

As a teenager growing up, I dealt with blackheads. I hated them, but in hindsight, this was nothing compared to the trauma my ex-husband suffered through dealing with cystic acne. I constantly watched it take a major toll on his mental state during what should be a otherwise normal day for him. It was an agonizing constant struggle. His acne ran in the family. He would break out and pustules would form, and then over the course of a week they would swell up into a huge painful bumps under his skin. He would complain of the pain, and he would be an emotional wreck. Not only would this problem affect his face, acne would pop up on his back and chest. Even though he had dark hair, his skin would burn easily in the sun. Well, he did have freckles. Either way, I do know a little about this subject and what worked for him.

Ouch!  Don't Scrub:  Give Your Face Some Love
      First, let me say that there is an excellent tutorial on the proper way to wash your face if you have acne at acne.org. Also, this website let’s you know what chemicals in medication to avoid. It is a very informative site that covers most all products. Dan really stress the importance of not scrubbing your skin during facial cleansing. Another important point that he makes is the importance of moisturizer. Moisturizing your face will protect it against the harsh effects of acne medicine. Even though this seems counterproductive, it is crucial to prevent increased irritation of the skin. Benzoyl Peroxide is the main ingredient in acne treatment, and if you use the correct strength it will dry your skin. This is why moisturizing the surface of your skin is so important.

Vitamins are a Must!
     Another important ingredient in treating your skin for acne is sunlight. About 10 to 20 minutes of sunlight will give you the necessary vitamin D that your body needs. Vitamin D will help the body absorb calcium which can be deficient in acne suffers. Small doses of vitamin D and sunlight will help clear up the skin. If you are going to be exposed to the sun for any length of time, then use a sunscreen. To much of a tan will thicken the skin and actually decrease the affects of vitamin D absorption. There are many other vitamins that are essential for clearing up acne. You can find a great list of these here.

Steam is Everything!
Conair Facial Sauna Systems with TimerGive your face a steam bath at least once a week. You can hover over a pan of very warm water with a towel over your head, you can use a facial steamer, or if you have access to a sauna, this is the best way to go for all over acne. This will open up the pores and allow the skin to breathe. Follow this process with your facial cleansing regime. Always pat the skin dry, and never rub it.
Does your diet affect your acne? Some say yea and some say nay, however, regions where low fat foods and diets rich in starch are the brunt of the daily intake hardly ever suffer from acne. Many red meat have added hormones. These hormones can increase the testosterone in the body. Testosterone is one of the many components that affect acne. It only makes sense that decreasing the diet in fatty red meats will decrease testosterone levels in the body. Drink plenty of water. That is another thing that we all could do a better job of because we need water to hydrate the skin. Hydrated skin will increase the release of sebum when we sweat. Furthermore, water helps to flush the body of toxins and increase a sluggish circulatory system in healthy individuals.

What is the Last Resort?

These steps are all important factors in maintaining healthy skin. Changing the way that you care for your skin will improve the clarity of it, decrease irritation, and open up the pores. For those of you that have tried everything, I will share this with you. My ex-husband finally resorted to Accutane. There was some side effects one of which was his upper lip became very swollen, however, it worked. After taking it for several months, his cystic acne went away and never returned. He did suffer with some acne scars before he decided to use it, but I have to admit that it did do the job. After he ended his treatment, as I recall he had to take it for 7 to 9 months period, he easily tanned without burning and he has never had to take it again.

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