Acne - With Proper Skin Care, You CAN Win The Battle!
Who hasn't battled acne during their lifetime? At one point or another we all deal with blemishes and needless to say it isn't fun! Of all the skin conditions that people deal with, acne is the most common. Not only is acne embarrassing, it can be difficult to get rid of! Fortunately, you CAN battle acne and actually win! While it may take work (everything good comes with a price) it is possible to find the right skin care regime that best fits your needs and YES…gets rid of unsightly acne!
First of all, your plan of attack will be based on how severe your acne problem actually is. To figure this out, you may need to make an appointment with a dermatologist in order to get not only expert advice…but some direction as well. Most likely, you will need to make several life style changes including the incorporation of a daily skin care program and a healthy eating plan (yes, I know, both sound extremely fun!). You will also need to LEAVE YOUR FACE ALONE! Though it may be hard…a hands off approach when dealing with acne is much better than constantly squeezing and picking at your face as this will only irritate your skin and cause further complications (can you say…infection!?).
So what exactly is acne? Well, acne is defined as a skin eruption caused by the bacteria propionibacterium. Did you get that? Propionibacterium only grows in the skin (not in the body). If the skin "eruption" does not contain this particular bacterium, then what you are dealing with is not medically considered acne. Unfortunately, acne can be hereditary…in other words…part of a person's genetic makeup. Break-outs…or eruptions…can also be caused by extreme stress, anxiety, and poor eating habits.
Acne Goes to School
Believe it or not, there are different "grades" of acne. The grades below are actually used by skin care technicians.
- Grade One: Inactive acne - Basically, this means that you have "acne type skin" however; you have no inflammation or active blemishes. If you have grade one acne, your skin should feel normal with no visible redness or pain.
- Grade Two: Whiteheads and Blackheads and Bumps, Oh My!– Ahhh, whiteheads and blackheads (can you say YUCK!?). Technically, whiteheads are closed comedones and blackheads are open comedomes. Grade two skin may also have small red bumps just under the surface. Before I go on…allow me to explain what a comedone is. A comedone is a pore that is completely clogged with sebum and dead skin cells. Don't be grossed out…you know you wanted to know!
- Grade Three: Mild Eruptions – grade three involves skin that is not severely inflamed, however, there are closed comedomes under the surface…along with a few blackheads.
- Grade Four: Grade four skin has pustules or raised bumps. It also has many inflamed pores and closed comedones.
- Grade Five: Hard Nodules – At this stage, your skin is painful and tender to the touch. Basically, in a nutshell, you have cysts under the surface of your skin along with both closed and open comedomes.
- Grade Six: Unfortunately, if you have grade six skin you are dealing with full-blown acne. If you are dealing with grade six acne then you have just about everything under the sun including, whiteheads, blackheads, pustules, papules, and cysts. If you have grade six skin, you should go to the dermatologist as soon as possible in order to get some much needed relief and medication.
As mentioned previously, the "hands off" approach when dealing with acne is very important. The bacteria that causes acne thrives on inflammation and obviously, if you are picking and squeezing your skin, you are only making the situation worse. Even just one little squeeze can activate bumps that are close by.
There are a variety of good products on the market that can help with your acne problem. Proactiv, for example, claims to be the number one leading acne system in the world. I know several people that use Proactiv and they swear by it…so it is definelty worth checking out! If you have grade four acne or above, it is best that you visit a doctor before you try any skin care program. After all, you don't want to make your skin worse or waste your money. To learn about a variety of acne and skin care products, all you have to do is a simple internet search. Trust me, not only is there a lot of information available, there are many products to check out as well. Good luck, and here's to blemish free skin!