Acne : The war on pimples
When most people think of acne, they think about the face. Yet this skin problem can also affect the neck, chest, back, arms and shoulders. Acne also involves various types of lesions, such as:
- Blackheads (comedones);
- Whiteheads (pustules);
- Cysts (deeper lesions) that are red and sore to the touch.
Causes of acne
Acne is generally caused by hyperactive sebaceous glands. These glands produce an oily secretion called sebum, which can clog pores when it accumulates, creating the ideal breeding ground for bacteria and leading to the appearance of pimples.
Among teens, hormones often play a role in the development of acne. The same is true for some adult women, who can be more likely to have acne during their periods. Heredity and the taking of certain medications are other recognized factors.
Preventing and treating acne
It is important to treat acne, since it can lead to physical pain, significant psycho-social discomfort, lower self-esteem and difficulty functioning in society. Left untreated, it can also cause unsightly scars. A few tips:
- Wash skin well with a gentle soap, removing all traces of makeup. Avoid excessive rubbing. Dry skin adequately.
- Use non-comedogenic cosmetics (products that won’t clog pores).
- Avoid touching your face with your hands.
- Do not pick at or pop pimples as this can cause permanent lesions or scars.
If you have mild acne, certain over-the-counter products with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide can help.
For moderate to severe acne, talk to a doctor or dermatologist. He can prescribe special cleansing products, creams to dry out the acne or, in some cases, oral antibiotics.
In addition, for women whose acne is caused by a hormonal imbalance, taking oral contraceptives can help reduce the development of pimples. Some contraceptives are even specially formulated for this purpose.
Do you have questions about acne and its treatment? Talk to your pharmacist. He can help!
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