If there’s one thing teenagers dread, it’s waking up in the morning and finding a pimple lurking under their nose or on their chin. It’s guaranteed to damp their exuberance. No teenager wants to ask if they’re a target for acne, in case it somehow jinxes them and makes it happen.
Despite all the myths and legends you might have heard, acne is basically caused when dead epidermal cells and excess sebum clog up the pores of the skin. Once that happens, bacteria move in and start to breed, which is what causes acne eruptions. Acne can appear in the form of white heads, black heads, pustules or pimples.
Although the face is the most common location for acne, because the skin is so sensitive, it’s also possible to get acne on your neck, upper back and chest. The facial region contains a high concentration of oil glands, particularly in the notorious “T” zone, which covers the forehead, nose and the chin. They’re the oiliest, and so that’s where acne most commonly occurs. Often the first sign of acne outbreak is a pimple in the crevice of your nose or at the very tip.
Your skin type has a big influence on how severe any acne outbreaks are likely to be. Both oily and dry skin are more susceptible to acne breakouts than other skin types. There are other factors that also have an effect on the frequency and severity of acne attacks, including dietary habits, lifestyle and your genetic makeup.
Hormonal changes play a part in the development of acne, which is why the teenage years are often when acne is at its worst. The more you touch, rub or pop pimples, the more you aggravate the condition and make it worse. Squeezing or popping a pimple is a bad idea, because that often pushes the bacteria further into the follicle. This makes it easier for the bacteria to spread into other follicles as well. Plus your hands always have bacteria on them, which you can transfer into a pimple when you touch it, and make the infection worse. This can just mean that the pimple takes longer to heal, but it can also increase the chance of a permanent scar.
Unfortunately, there’s no actual cure for acne, but you can certainly reduce its severity and frequency if you look after your skin properly. In the winter, it’s common for the skin to become dehydrated and flaky. Bacteria love flaky skin and multiple, which increases the risk of acne. The skin also becomes very sensitive when it’s lacking essential oils. So you need to hydrate your skin regularly with a good moisturizer.
During summer, the humidity and heat cause the skin pores to open up, which makes bacterial infection easier. You tend to sweat, which mixes with dirt and debris and helps to clog up the pores. Make sure you use a mild cleanser to wash your face twice a day, and avoid wearing make up. It’s also important to use an antiseptic solution to wash your hands before you touch your face.
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