You have heard so much about Acne, can nature provide a fix to this common disease? Acne is the term for plugged pores (blackheads and whiteheads), pimples, and even deeper lumps (cysts or nodules) that occur on the face, neck, chest, back, shoulders and even the upper arms. Acne affects most teenagers to some extent. However, the disease is not restricted to any age group; adults in their 20s - even into their 40s - can get acne. While not a life threatening condition, acne can be upsetting and disfiguring. When severe, acne can lead to serious and permanent scarring. Even less severe cases can lead to scarring. For reviews of anti -acne products, see: http://www.acne-treatment-adviser.com/product-reviews.htm
And more information is available at: http://www.skincare-news.com/articles.php?Page=1&CatID=1 and http://acne.a1net.biz/26805.php
Types of Acne
When you read about acne or other skin diseases, you encounter words or phrases that may be confusing. For example, the words used to describe the lesions of acne—comedo, papule, pustule, nodule and cyst—are understandable only if you know each word’s definition. It also is helpful to have a photo that is characteristic for each type of lesion.
There are many misconceptions and rumours about acne. Exactly why some people get acne and some do not is not fully known. It is known to be partly hereditary. Several factors are known to be linked to acne:
Stress, through increased output of hormones from the adrenal (stress) glands.
Hyperactive sebaceous glands, secondary to the three hormone sources above.
Accumulation of dead skin cells.
Bacteria in the pores, to which the body becomes 'allergic'.
Skin irritation or scratching of any sort will activate inflammation.
Use of anabolic steroids.
Any medication containing halogens (iodides, chlorides, bromides), lithium, barbiturates, or androgens.
Exposure to high levels of chlorine compounds, particularly chlorinated dioxins, can cause severe, long-lasting acne, known as Chloracne.
Traditionally, attention has focused mostly on hormone-driven over-production of sebum as the main contributing factor of acne. More recently, more attention has been given to narrowing of the follicle channel as a second main contributing factor. Abnormal shedding of the cells lining the follicle, abnormal cell binding ("hyperkeratinization") within the follicle, and water retention in the skin (swelling the skin and so pressing the follicles shut) have all been put forward as important mechanisms. Several hormones have been linked to acne: the male hormones testosterone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS), as well as insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-I). In addition, acne-prone skin has been shown to be insulin resistant .
Development of acne vulgaris in later years is uncommon, although this is the age group for Rosacea which may have similar appearances. True acne vulgaris in adults may be a feature of an underlying condition such as pregnancy and disorders such as polycystic ovary syndrome or the rare Cushing's syndrome. Dermatologists are seeing more cases of menopause-associated acne as fewer women replace the natural anti-acne ovarian hormone estradiol whose production fails as women arrive at menopause. The lack of estradiol also causes thinning hair, hot flashes, thin skin, wrinkles, vaginal dryness, and predisposes to osteopenia and osteoporosis as well as triggering acne (known as acne climacterica in this situation).
There are many products sold for the treatment of acne, many of them without any scientifically-proven effects. Generally speaking successful treatments give little improvement within the first week or two; and then the acne decreases over approximately 3 months, after which the improvement starts to flatten out. Treatments that promise improvements within 2 weeks are likely to be largely disappointing. Short bursts of cortisone, quick bursts of antibiotics and many of the laser therapies offer a quick reduction in the redness, swelling and inflammation when used correctly, but none of these empty the pore of all the materials that trigger the inflammation. Emptying the pores takes months.
Modes of improvement are not necessarily fully understood but in general treatments are believed to work in at least 3 different ways (with many of the best treatments providing multiple simultaneous effects):
normalising shedding into the pore to prevent blockage
A combination of treatments can greatly reduce the amount and severity of acne in many cases. Those treatments that are most effective tend to have greater potential for side effects and need a greater degree of monitoring, so a step-wise approach is often taken. Many people consult with doctors when deciding which treatments to use, especially when considering using any treatments in combination. There are a number of treatments that have been proven effective.
Pomegranate seed oil containing Omega 5 oil is known for its anti - inflammatory benefits, see: