Copyright 2006 Tony Buel
Acne can often be considered the worst thing to happen to a teenager. Where in the world does it come from and how do you get rid it once you have it? They are a source of endless embarrassment and inconvenience! And while everyone has suffered from them to some extent, no one likes them. Major culprits in causing acne can be simple hormones.
Specifically, the male hormone 'testosterone' can cause acne. During puberty the teenagers' body is changing. During this time, most teenagers produce abnormal levels of the male hormone testosterone. Most people outgrow this condition by their early twenties, but with some people it lasts longer.
Women also produce additional hormones during the menstrual cycle, and for many women this can lead to more problems with acne. If this occurs, visiting with a doctor or other medical professional can provide a cure or remedy.
There is also a medical theory that stress contributes to acne because it causes an increased output of hormones from the adrenal glands. Additionally, hyperactive sebaceous glands are secondary to other hormone sources, menstrual cycle, stress and testosterone.
Some people's bodies also over produce something called sebum, which is a contributing factor to acne. While this is not the only cause, it certainly contributes. Add to this the accumulation of bacteria in the pores of the skin, dead skin cells accumulation, and irritation caused by scratching or rubbing.
Acne can also be caused, or made much worse by the use of anabolic steroids, used by some athletes. Also some medications contain halogens, including iodides, chlorides, and bromides. These medications can contribute to acne, as can lithium, barbiturates and androgens. Chlorine exposure can also cause a type of acne known as chloracne, which is especially severe and can be long lasting.
With the knowledge that hormones play a major role in causing acne, many of the misconceptions about acne can be addresses and discounted. One of these is diet. For many years people thought that fried foods and chocolate caused acne. There are a couple of reasons for this. People associated fried foods with oily skin, and assumed that consuming oil or grease had to make the skin greasy and more prone to acne. This is not the case. Also, teenagers are food-consuming machines. In fact, many dieticians have said that the fact that teenagers consumer so much food is the main reason their diets usually include nutritious foods - the fact that they eat everything. However, pizza, hamburgers, French fries, chocolate shakes, candy bars, and other foods that are often favorites of teenagers, have been erroneously blamed for acne for years.
While eating good, nutritious foods and making sure that you include vegetables, fruits, lean meats and whole grains in your diet will certainly improve your health, and therefore might improve acne, there is no direct link of diet and acne. French fries are not to blame, and neither are pizza or candy bars. There is just no real connection.
Also, bad personal hygiene has been blamed for acne and caused many teenagers embarrassment. No matter how clean they kept their faces they still had zits. In addition, excessive cleaning can actually make acne worse. If the skin is damaged by rough washing, or becomes dried out, then chances are acne will be worse. Also many over the counter products sold to make acne better can actually clog pores and make acne worse as well.
There are many good treatments available for acne. Of course, seeing your doctor is best. Many good prescription drugs are available. Many of these drugs can control the output of testosterone, and some can help women with menstrual cycle difficulties. If that is not an option, visit a pharmacy and consult with the pharmacist on over the counter remedies that are beneficial. Also moderate washing, good nutrition, protection of the skin when out in the sun, and time seem to be the best cures. Be encouraged that with the passage of time, everyone recovers from acne, the bane of the teenager's existence!
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