Monthly Archives: December 2012

Healthy Lifestyles Can Fight Acne

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If you’re seriously interested in knowing about acne, you need to think beyond the basics. This informative article takes a closer look at things you need to know about acne.

This information is simple. Make certain you don’t let important acne information slip by you.

I am sure that every one of you is familiar with acne. Almost all of us got this skin disorder, right? Well, technically known as acne vulgaris, this skin disorder affects millions of people from different walks of life, annually. Studies have found out that most of the adolescents are the usual target of this disease, although infants and adults are also affected. It is even found out that about 80 percent of the teenagers develop acne, particularly for women.

What is acne?

According to certain studies, acne varies from quite mild to tremendously severe. It typically forms when the lining of the skin duct as well as the sebaceous glands start to work overtime. With the onset of acne, the lining of the duct actually shed cells which are then transported away to the shell of the skin by the sebum. Once the duct is blocked, it is when the sebum and cells start to amass, forming a plug known as comedo.

Once the plug stays below the plane of the skin, whiteheads or “closed comedo” occurs. If the plug boosts and pops out of the skin duct, it is called “open comedo” or blackhead since the top is dark. As you may know, this is not absolutely dirt, thus it will not wash away.

There are a lot of factors that contribute to the formation of acne, but in terms of its real cause, no one is actually certain as to what exactly causes acne to develop or why it starts in adolescence. However, factor like hereditary top the list. It has long been deemed as the most important factor that plays a large role in the acne’s development. As what most people believe, if a member of your family had acne, there is a great possibility that you will have acne too.

Although acne is very prevalent among teenagers, acne should not control your life. There are a lot of ways to fight acne, and one of those is maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Healthy Lifestyle Changes

Experts have said that when treating a person for acne, the only way to obtain results from effective treatments is through various healthy lifestyle changes. When I say “healthy lifestyle changes”, it includes the way you eat, sleep, work, play, etc. As much as possible, you should try to focus on all areas that need changing. This is very important in order for a sustained effort to be completed. If your goal is to treat your bothering acne, then try to treat your whole self as many ways as possible.

Overcoming Stress

One of the most common dilemmas that face people is stress. Stress that is not normal. So what happens when the body gets too stressed out? Experts have found out that in this case, the adrenal cortex converts adrenal androgens to the hormone testosterone in both men and women, which in turn results in overactive sebaceous glands. As found out, the ovaries of women are capable of producing 25 percent of the testosterone, while 75 percent of the hormone comes from the adrenal androgens.

When the body of both male and female is stressed, more adrenal androgen is released, causing a double amount of testosterone. It is this doubling effect that causes the T zone of the face to be oily, while other areas are still dry from dehydration. Also note that adult acne is sometimes the by-product of stress and dehydration. And, water and estrogen are the factors that calm the body’s stress alarm system.

Now you can be a confident expert on acne. OK, maybe not an expert. But you should have something to bring to the table next time you join a discussion on acne.

December 31, 2012

Have You Heard Of This Acne Cure?

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People have been trying for centuries to tame the evils of a bad complexion. The nice thing about the methods of acne cure that are offered at present is that they do not involve monkey feces, or pig blood, etc. However the problem with most of the available cures offered is that they still don’t work. You could spend 8 hours a day for 3 weeks researching and sifting through all of the mumbo-jumbo, namby-pamby claims to secrets for a smooth face and you would still be sitting there with unwanted zits and no real solutions.

So what do you do? Well you look for people who actually have credible success with acne cure and good scientifically based evidence to back it up OR you try all of the things you can find and hope that one day you will stumble upon the truth. I for one recommend the former.

But you still have a problem and that is where do if find a person who really has success with good research to prove it. Well start with your doctor for one. They have access to lots of valuable information and the expertise to help you sift through the evidence. They also can refer you to a skin expert or dermatologist who spends a large part of their life training and then most of their time after that “practicing” helping people in their quest for an acne cure.

They will be able to help you understand the root physiological processes that cause acne including the skin cells and layers involved, hormones, stress, the reason for the inflammation, what inflammation involves and the available anti-inflammatories. They will also be able to offer suggestions on what you can do to prevent exacerbations in the future, as well as how to deal with current eruptions, what medications and products are best for acne cure and which ones are a waste of time.

You can be sure that there is such a thing as an acne cure. After all how many people with perfect complexions do you see in magazines, and on tv, and the big screen. There skin isn’t any different than yours but their lives depend on good complexions and they can pay other people to search for an acne cure for them. This isn’t to scare you off–you don’t need millions to have a pimple free photo! All you need is a little direction and some basic medical principles and medications and you too can be zit free! So don’t waste a second call your doctor and start out running on the road to improved self image and social confidence.

December 30, 2012

Hair Transplantation Surgery

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Proper hair transplant information is important before going for a hair transplantation surgery. Hair transplantation is the process of transplanting hair-bearing portion of the scalp onto the bald area. Recent technological advances have made the operation more convenient, affordable and effective.

Some basic hair transplant facts

Hair transplantation operation involves several steps like pre-surgery care, post-operation care.

Pre-surgery care – You are supposed to follow certain pre-operation precautionary measures. For example, you need to follow the list of dos and don’ts provided by the surgeon. These dos and don’ts include abstaining from alcohol and medicines not prescribed by the surgeon.

Post-operative care – You have to take certain precautions after the transplantation. For example, you must not expose the operated area to sunlight for some days. Shampoos and chemicals are also to be shunned.

You may experience falling of displaced hair from the recipient zone. It is a perfectly normal phenomenon.

Hair transplant cost – The hair transplant cost depends mainly on the clinic and the surgeon’s fees. The required number of grafts, that depends on the balding area size, also matters in this regard.

Hair transplantation is the most effective way to deal with pattern baldness. The process entails removal of the scalp’s hair-bearing portion and transplanting it onto the bald patch. Recent technological advances have enhanced the convenience and affordability of the surgery, making it most popular method of medical hair restoration.

Follicular unit transplantation

A discussion offering basic hair transplant information is incomplete without a special discussion on follicular unit transplantation. This process is considered the most effective among the various hair restoration methods. The surgery involves transplanting hair from the permanent zone in the back of the scalp onto the affected areas.

The donor tissue is removed in one piece to ensure that the follicular units being relocated from the scalp back are not damaged. An integral part of follicular unit transplantation is single-strip harvesting. It ensures that no damage is caused to the individual hair follicles.

December 28, 2012

Green Tea as a Natural Remedy For Acne

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Natural remedies have become very popular in recent years. People have stopped looking at the expensive medications and creams to cure various conditions, and have started looking at remedies found closer to home. This is, in part, because they are less expensive, but they are also on hand and easily obtained.

Acne is a common condition in teens and adults alike, and is no exception to the theory that a home remedy can sometimes be better. If it’s worked for many years, why wouldn’t it work now? One such remedy believed to aid in the healing of acne is green tea.

While many teas are fermented, green tea instead, is steamed soon after being picked so as to prevent the oxidation of its leaves. This helps to retain the active substances the leaves contain. Camellia Sinensis, or as we know it, green tea extract, contains a high content of Polyphenol, along with other important antioxidants.

Green tea can serve many purposes, and it is recommended for a number of reasons. It acts as an anti-bacterial substance, decreasing hormonal activity. Since acne is often caused by hormones, which produce excess oil and clog pores, thereby causing blemishes, green tea could be a good remedy for this problem.

The antioxidents contained in green tea have been shown as very beneficial to acne prevention because they help the body fight against free radicals that cause cell and tissue damage. Green tea also has very few potential side effects, especially when compared to other acne products and medications.

Because of its advantages, green tea is also used in various creams and other topical products used to treat acne. When compared with other commonly used acne treatments, it ranked high, because of its natural anti-bacterial properties.

Other products containing green tea extract are also sold and developed, and are available as herbal remedies. It can be purchased as a cream.

Green Tea and honeysuckle is often called “Pimple Tea” in China. It also helps your body rid itself of toxins, which helps prevent acne.

Green tea is also easily available. It can be purchased in most stores that carry various herbal and other natural remedies, and can also be bought through many on-line sources. It comes in the form of tea that you drink, or can be purchased in the form of the cream mentioned above.

Drinking green tea will help cleanse your body from the inside out, while applying the topical cream, which goes directly onto the skin, will help cure and prevent acne at the source. No matter how you choose to use it, it can serve many purposes, and may be a welcome alternative to harsh products or unwanted medications.

Steve

Acne Control

December 28, 2012

Got Acne? Limit your Dairy Foods Intake

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Many experts estimate that Acne affects 85% of Americans making it the most common skin disorder in the United States. While it mostly affects teenagers, unfortunately, Acne can carry through to adulthood as well causing self esteem issues for anyone who has this particular affliction. With so many remedies available, what is an Acne sufferer to do?

Dermatologists believe what largely determines whether a person develops acne are genetics and hormonal fluctuations, thus the tendency for it to occur during puberty, pregnancy and menopause. Many folks believe that another contributing factor is chocolate and/or greasy foods, but dermatologists are not quite sure yet. Continued research has now revealed there is one food group that has now been shown to contribute to higher outbreaks. The food group is dairy products. That’s right, got milk?

A study published last year in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology by a team at Harvard suggests that a diet high in dairy products can increase your likelihood of Acne.

The researchers analyzed the habits and diets of nearly 50,000 people, looking especially at what they ate while in high school. Those who drank three or more cups of milk a day, the study found, were 22 percent more likely to experience severe acne compared with those who drank one serving a week or less.

Skim milk had the greatest effect. Cream cheese and cottage cheese were also associated with outbreaks, while chocolate and greasy foods were not. The researchers attributed the effect to hormones in milk; other studies have had similar findings.

It is interesting to note the wide range of intake of dairy products for this study. Students who drank three cups of milk a day vs. those who drank one serving a week were the ones who were 22% more likely to experience severe acne. That is a huge difference in daily intake. Those in that group suffered “severe” acne.

As you know, each person reacts to a specific food or medication differently. Taking this study into consideration, it proves that diet can have an impact on your acne breakouts.

While dermatologists are in disagreement about chocolate and greasy foods, my own personal experience suggested that they did indeed impact my outbreaks. As an Acne sufferer, you need to monitor your diet to test if certain foods are contributing to your outbreaks. Our diets and the foods we eat are significantly different that what we ate 25, 50 or 100 years ago. It is very likely that these changes have contributed to such a high percentage of the population suffering from Acne at some point in their life.

So how can you tell which foods are causing your Acne outbreaks? Start keeping a log of the foods you eat and when Acne outbreaks occur. While this may sound simple enough, it will require some diligence on your part to truly keep an accurate log. Pay special attention to foods that are not natural. For example, it is unlikely carrot sticks will cause an outbreak, but that big bag of Sour Cream and Onion Ruffles might. I know from my own experience, it seemed like anytime I ate a chocolate bar, I had an outbreak within 1-2 days. When keeping your logs, pay close attention to these patterns. If you are a heavy consumer of dairy products, you may want to pay special attention to your intake in this area and modify your diet accordingly. Make sure to pay special attention to what nutrients you might be losing if you cut back on milk, such as calcium and vitamin D. As always, consult your doctor and/or dermatologist if your problem persists.

December 26, 2012

Going For Acne Laser Treatment?

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If some one has acne, they have a lot of spots on their face, neck and body. Acne is very common among teenagers. It is the most unfortunate situation for the youth to have stubborn case of acne on their face. For, that is the stage of life, when they like to be not only healthy but much more attractive and presentable!

Common skin problems related to acne include skin rashes; popping of blackheads, whiteheads and nodules in the form of pimples and acne; and formation of dry, oily areas and reddish-brown blotches on skin. Greasy and spicy foods can also cause acne prone skin.

Healing of the acne lesion is not the end of the problem. It is the beginning of a new series of problems, to solve which a lot of patience and understanding is required. Repeated trips to the clinic of the dermatologist are necessary thus.

The post inflammatory effects caused by acne are part of the skin’s natural healing process. Medication and practices in vogue can only help facilitate this healing process. Laser therapy, in the treatment of acne, is still at the kindergarten level. Researchers and scientists in this area are themselves confused a lot, and so far, unable to arrive at definite conclusions. Their problem is also the same as faced by the specialists of acne treatment in other branches of science.

No single treatment is right for everyone. Type of skin varies from person to person. The topography and skin texture of each person is different. Therefore, the person who opts for and the person who gives treatment, both have to be realistic about the results, while tasking up the option of laser treatment.

Two types of acne patients are likely to opt for laser therapy. One, those who are interested in getting rid of the scars, pimples or whatever it may be, on emergency basis and secondly those who are willing to wait but wanting to have a permanent cure. The typical side effects that go with other systems of acne treatment are applicable to laser therapy as well. The damage is likely to be caused by the laser system that is still in the stage of research and development. Well, no one should be in a hurry to own it.

Laser treatment specialists are also fully aware of their own limitations about the present status of this system. Proper skin care will still remain a problem even after you get rid of the unwanted part of the skin. Improved tissue metabolism that will boost the blood flow to pores, causing them to open, is the only answer. e researchers are not themselves convinced about the efficacy of laser treatment, how can your dermatologist advise you to go fort it? Even if he does, you please be guided by what you have decided for you!

December 26, 2012

Getting To Know Acne

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Acne

This factsheet is for people who have acne.

Acne is a skin condition that causes spots. Most people affected by acne are aged between 12 and 25.1 However, men and women in their 30s and 40s can also suffer. There are many treatments available to help deal with the condition.

What is acne?

Acne is a skin condition that typically causes one or more of the following:

* blackheads (comedones)

* whiteheads

* red or yellow spots

* greasy skin

* scars

Acne typically affects the skin of the face, back, neck, chest and arms and the severity of the condition can vary.

Acne affects people of all skin colours. The processes that cause acne are exactly the same in people with black or brown skin but the impact is altered by the skin pigmentation.

Acne is very common and affects about 80 in 100 people aged 11-30 at some time.

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Acne

This factsheet is for people who have acne.

Acne is a skin condition that causes spots. Most people affected by acne are aged between 12 and 25.1 However, men and women in their 30s and 40s can also suffer. There are many treatments available to help deal with the condition.

What is acne?

Acne is a skin condition that typically causes one or more of the following:

* blackheads (comedones) 2,3

* whiteheads2,3

* red or yellow spots2,3

* greasy skin2,3

* scars2,3

Acne typically affects the skin of the face, back, neck, chest and arms and the severity of the condition can vary.1,4

Acne affects people of all skin colours. The processes that cause acne are exactly the same in people with black or brown skin but the impact is altered by the skin pigmentation.

Acne is very common and affects about 80 in 100 people aged 11-30 at some time.4

The skin

The surface of the skin has lots of small sebaceous glands just below the surface. These glands make an oily substance called sebum that keeps the skin smooth and supple.

Tiny pores (holes in the skin) allow the sebum to come to the skin surface. Hairs also grow through these pores.

IIllustration showing the structure of skin

Illustration showing the structure of skin

What causes acne?

Acne is caused by the overactivity of the sebaceous glands that secrete oily substances onto the skin.

The sebaceous glands of people with acne are especially sensitive to normal blood levels of a hormone called testosterone, found naturally in both men and women.

Testosterone in people prone to acne triggers the sebaceous glands to produce an excess of sebum. At the same time, the dead skin cells lining the openings of the hair follicles (the tubes that hold the hair) are not shed properly and clog up the follicles.

These two effects combined cause a build-up of oil in the hair follicles. This causes blackheads and whiteheads to form.

For some people, their acne does not progress beyond this stage.

However in other people, the build-up of oil in the hair follicles creates an ideal environment for a bacterium called Propionibacterium acnes to grow.

These bacteria normally live harmlessly on your skin but when this ideal environment is created, they grow. They feed off the sebum and produce substances that cause a response from your body’s immune system. This inflames the skin and creates the redness associated with spots.

In more severe ‘inflammatory acne’, cysts develop beneath the skin’s surface. These acne cysts can rupture, spreading the infection into nearby skin tissue. This can result in scarring.

What makes acne worse?

There are a number of things that can make your acne worse. These include the following:

* picking and squeezing the spots may cause further inflammation and scarring1

* stress can make acne worse in some people, although it is not clear why1,

* in women, outbreaks may be affected by the hormonal changes that occur during the menstrual cycle1,

* excessive production of male hormones such as testosterone from conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome may be another cause.5 For more information, please see the separate BUPA factsheet Polycystic ovary syndrome

* some contraceptive pills may make acne worse. This is due to the type of progestogen hormone in some pills whereas some other types of contraceptive pills can improve acne – see Treatments section below. Your GP will advise you which contraceptive pill to take

* some medicines can make acne worse. For example, some medicines taken for epilepsy, and steroid creams and ointments that are used for eczema. Do not stop a prescribed medicine if you suspect it is making your acne worse, but tell your GP. An alternative may be an option

* steroids can cause acne as a side-effect

Treatment

Acne may cause you considerable emotional distress but there is a range of treatment options to help you tackle the problem. No treatment will completely ‘cure’ your acne. The aims of treatment are to prevent new spots forming, to improve those already present, and to prevent scarring.3

Home treatment

It is important to keep spot-prone areas clean, so wash the affected area twice a day with an unperfumed cleanser.1,6 The skin needs a certain amount of oil to maintain its natural condition, so avoid aggressive washing with strong soaps.

There are a number of over-the-counter remedies available from pharmacies to treat mild acne. These usually contain antibacterial agents such as benzoyl peroxide (eg Oxy and Clearasil Max).

As well as its antibacterial effects, benzoyl peroxide can dry out the skin and encourage it to shed the surface layer of dead skin. Together, these effects make it harder for pores to become blocked and for infection to develop.

Benzoyl peroxide can cause redness and peeling, especially to start with. This tends to settle down if you reduce the number of times you use it. You can then build up your use gradually.

No home treatments for acne will work immediately. It can take weeks, if not months, for significant effects to be noticeable. If home treatments have not worked after two months, or you have severe acne, you should visit your GP.

Prescription medicines

Your GP may start your treatment by prescribing a preparation containing benzoyl peroxide. If this does not work, or if you have more severe acne, there are a range of other treatment options that you can either rub onto your skin (topical) or take in tablet form (oral).

Topical treatments

There are several topical treatments you may be prescribed including those listed below:

* azelaic acid (Skinoren) is an alternative to benzoyl peroxide and may not make your skin as sore as benzoyl peroxide

* topical retinoids (eg Adapalene) are medicines based on vitamin A, which are rubbed into the skin once or twice a day.7 They work by encouraging the outer layer of skin to flake off

* a topical antibiotic lotion applied to the skin can be used to control the P. acnes bacteria (eg Dalacin T). Treatment needs to continue for at least six months. Preparations that combine an antibiotic with other acne medication are available (eg Benzamycin which combines an antibiotic with benzoyl peroxide)

Oral treatments

There are several oral treatments you may be prescribed including those listed below:

* oral antibiotics (tablets), such as tetracycline, can be prescribed for inflammatory acne. They should be taken daily for around three months, although it might take four to six months for the benefits to be seen.7 The success of this treatment can be limited because the strains of bacteria are often resistant to the common antibiotics. Antibiotics do not prevent pores from becoming blocked so treatment to prevent blackheads, such as benzoyl peroxide, is often also prescribed at the same time

* some types of oral contraceptive tablets help women who have acne. A combination of the usual pill hormone called ethinylestradiol with cyproterone acetate (eg Dianette) suppresses male hormone activity so is often used in women with acne

* isotretinoin (eg Roaccutane) is a medicine known as an oral retinoid, which also exists in a topical form (see above). Isotretinoin works by drying up oily secretions. It tends to be prescribed to people with severe forms of acne that have proved resistant to other treatments. There a number of serious side-effects of this drug, such as liver disorders and depresssion. You should not take isotretinoin if you are pregnant, as it is very dangerous to an unborn baby. For safety reasons, isotretinoin is only prescribed under the supervision of dermatology specialists.

December 25, 2012