What is acne?
Acne is a skin inflammation in which oil glands and hair glands (sebaceous glands) become inflamed and filled with pus.
What causes acne?
Even though there is no known cause for acne, there are contributing factors: heredity, onset of puberty, oral contraceptives, allergies, stress, and excess junk food. When the pores become plugged, clogged, or congested, pimples occur. These pimples, spots, or zits can be found on the face, neck, back, chest, shoulders, and the bum. Although acne is usually not a serious health risk it can be a source of significant emotional anguish and embarrassment. Severe acne can lead to permanent scarring. Other predisposing factors and common causes are:
- diets high in refined carbohydrates
- hormonal insufficiency
- insufficient zinc, magnesium and vitamins A and E
- diets high in hydrogenated fat
- gland and hormone imbalances
- sugar-saturated skin
- poor liver function
- emotional stress
What are blackheads and whiteheads?
Blackheads and whiteheads are formed when skin cells (pores) are completely blocked trapping bacteria and dead skin cells. This cause the blockage to become visible on the top of the skin. The blockage can range in color, hence the name blackhead or whitehead.
What can I do to prevent acne?
There are some things that you can do to prevent acne.
- Never sleep with makeup on. Leaving your makeup on can cause breakouts or worsen existing breakouts. Additionally, wash your makeup brushes a few times a week so they do not harbor bacteria.
- Do not pick at your skin. Picking at your skin can make pimples worse and even cause more pimples to form. Resist the temptation to pick at your skin.
- Keep your face clean. Keeping your face clean (washing in in the morning and at night) can help prevent dirt from getting in your pores and causing zits.
- Change your pillowcase often. All of the sweat, dirt, bacteria, and dead skin cells from your face is seeping into your pillowcase every night while you sleep. Using a clean pillowcase is a proven method to help prevent breakouts.
- Shower or bathe right after exercise. Regular exercise is great for your whole body (including your skin). Just make sure to bathe soon after exercise so you aren't leaving sweat and dirt on your face as it might cause pimples.
- Astor, Stephen. Hidden Food Allergies. N.p.: Avery Group., n.d. Print.
- Bland, Jeffrey, and Donald R. Davis. Medical Applications of Clinical Nutrition. New Canaan, CT: Keats Pub., 1983. Print.
- Erasmus, Udo. Fats and Oils: The Complete Guide to Fats and Oils in Health and Nutrition. Vancouver, Canada: Alive, 1989. Print.
- Rector-Page, Linda G. Linda Page's Healthy Healing: A Guide to Self-healing for Everyone. Carmel Valley, CA: Healthy Healing, 2004. Print.
- Taylor, Mark. Chinese Patent Medicines: A Beginner's Guide. Santa Cruz, CA: Global Eyes International, 1998. Print.
- Wigmore, Ann. Be Your Own Doctor; Let Living Food Be Your Medicine. New York: Hemisphere, 1975. Print.