Wednesday, August 31, 2011

How to cure Acne

Acne is caused by a blockage to the opening of the oil glands in the skin. These glands are called sebaceous glands
and normally provide an oily substance called sebum which is required to keep the skin supple and healthy. The tendency for these oil glands to block may be inherited. The blockage is sometimes visible and when it takes on a dark (melanin) pigmentation it is called a blackhead. Sometimes the blockage is invisible and the collection of sebum under the skin appears as a small white lump or whitehead.
Acne is a common problem. Acne will affect 85 per cent of the population at some time or the other and can be very severe in up to 5 per cent of all individuals.

Looking after your skin properly plays an important role in treating acne. You can help improve your skin by following these tips.

Tip 1: Don't over-wash.
Wash your face gently with a mild cleanser and pat it dry with a soft cotton face cloth - Do this morning and night. Do not scrub your face, research has shown that vigorous scrubbing can irritate your acne and make things worse - Remember, acne is NOT caused by poor hygiene. Try to limit yourself to two washings per day.

Tip 2: Don't squeeze or pick.
Squeezing or picking your blemishes can force bacteria deeper into the skin. You'll also increase the damage to the surrounding skin, so the blemish or pimple is more likely to leave a permanent acne scar. Try to resist the urge to pop, squeeze or pick your acne spots, this can, and usually will, make acne worse. The one area where you might need some assistance is with blackhead removal. If these don't clear up, it is recommended that removal is carried out by an experienced health care professional.

Tip 3: Skip harsh scrubs.
It's okay to exfoliate, but be sure to use a gentle formula with small, smooth grains. Avoid products with almond or apricot shell fragments.

Tip 4: Say no to alcohol.
If you use a toner, avoid products with high concentrations of isopropyl alcohol, or common rubbing alcohol.

Tip 5: Avoid too much sun.
Try to avoid too much exposure to sunlight, including the use of sun lamps and tanning booths. While it's true that small amounts of sun exposure may initially improve acne, don't be fooled; the benefit is temporary. In the long-term, tanning does not get rid of acne. In the short-term your acne may be less noticeable, but only because the sun reddens your skin and the acne will blend in more. Consistent sun bathing will dry your skin, causing your sebaceous glands to produce more oil.

Tip 6: Don't touch!
Propionibacterium acnes (the bacteria that causes breakouts) is a normal resident of your skin; it doesn't lead to acne until it gets trapped inside the hair follicle. Excessive touching of your face, including rubbing or even resting your chin in your hands, can drive bacteria into your pores - where it can begin its dirtywork.

Tip 7: Wash off after exercise.
When you exercise, your movement generates heat; clothing and equipment cause friction. Until you shower off, heat and moisture are trapped against your skin, creating an ideal breeding ground for the spread of bacteria. So whenever you can, shower off immediately after exercising.

There are a number of nutrients found in everyday foods that are known to promote a healthy body - and therefore healthy skin.

Vitamin A
Naturally occurring Vitamin A, or retinol, is found in fish oils, liver and dairy products. The Vitamin A produced by plants is known as Beta-carotene, and is found in yellow/orange fruits and vegetable such as carrots, yams, apricots and cantaloupe, as well as green vegetables like parsley, kale and spinach.

Vitamin B-2
Stress has been known to aggravate existing cases of acne, and Vitamin B-2 is often helpful alleviating stress. Foods with a high concentration of B-2 include whole grains, fish, milk, eggs, meat and leafy green vegetables.

Vitamin B-3
Found in peanuts, eggs, avocados, liver and lean meats, Vitamin B-3 improves circulation, promoting healthy skin.

Vitamin E
Vitamin E is found in almonds, peanuts, sunflower seeds, broccoli, wheat germ and vegetable oils. A powerful antioxidant, it protects your cells against the effects of free radicals, which are potentially damaging by-products of the body's metabolism.

Even in trace amounts, the antioxidant zinc is known to boost the immune system, improving overall health - which of course is reflected in the skin. Zinc can be found in eggs, whole grains, nuts and mushrooms.

You should notice a significant difference in a few days if you follow the above tips.

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