Thursday, 30 October 2014
The Secrets to Beating Acne in Adolescents
Acne is a disorder involving sebaceous glands and hair follicles. It results from the clogging of sebaceous glands leading to the formation of pimples and cysts. The condition usually begins with the onset of puberty. During puberty the androgens also called male sex hormones are produced in high numbers leading to sebaceous glands becoming over active which results in sebum being produced in high proportions. Acne is one of the most common problems in adolescent teens affecting nearly seventeen million people in the United States. Oil is produced by sebaceous glands, called sebum, which travel to the skin surface through hair follicles gets trapped when skin cells block the follicles. This results in the development of skin bacteria which in turn results in swelling of the skin called acne. If the hair follicles are partially blocked it results in blackheads. If the follicles are completely blocked they result in whiteheads. If plugged follicles are not treated they ultimately burst causing the oil, bacteria and skin cells to spill all over the skin resulting in irritation and formation of pimples. Acne can be shallow or deep depending on the nature of skin and amount of oil produced. There are various reasons why acne forms. Rising hormone levels due to puberty, intake of drugs which contain lithium, barbiturates and corticosteroids, to excess grease and oil in the scalp, due to cooking oil and use of some cosmetics can all be reasons that acne forms. An acne problem can also be inherited. Acne can form at any place of the body but it is most common in the areas where there sebaceous glands are present in high proportions like the face, chest, shoulders, neck and upper back. The symptoms may differ from person to person but commonly seen symptoms are: formation of blackheads, whiteheads, lesions filled with pus and which are very painful and lastly nodules. There are lots of acne treatments available today. It is best to consult with a doctor as the doctor can best decide which specific treatment you need based on: the extent of acne problem, age, medical history, overall health, tolerance to specific medications and procedures, expectations and what you prefer. Treatment of acne is classified into topical and systemic drug therapies which are given based on extent of severity. The doctor may recommend a combination of both the for acne treatment. Topical medication is nothing but creams, gels, lotions and solutions. Some of the examples of topical medication are: - Benzoyl Peroxide which kills the Propionibacterium Acnes bacteria - Antibiotics helps in stopping or slowing down the growth of the bacteria and also reduces inflammation -Tretinoin which helps in stopping the formation of new acne lesions -Adapalene which reduces formation of comedo Systemic drug therapies involve prescription of systemic antibiotics primarily for the treatment of acne problem which is moderate to severe in nature. For teenagers with severe acne problem a drug is prescribed which shrinks down the sebaceous glands that produce oil. The results are pretty good and almost ninety percent of the adolescents have success with this oral drug.