How does acne affect women?

How does acne affect women? Most young women have at least a few pimples over the course of their lives. Acne affect women tends to be more random and linked to hormone changes, such as the menstrual cycle.

Some women have acne for many years even get acne for the first time at age 30 or 40. But, as women get older, acne often gets better. For women, acne can be an upsetting illness. They may have feelings of depression, poor body image, or low self-esteem.

Acne affect women: different types of acne lesions
  • Comedo or papules. The comedo is the basic acne lesion, which is a plugged pore.
  • Whitehead. It’s called a closed comedo when the plugged pore stays under the skin and forms a white bump.
  • Blackheads. Comedos that open up and appear blackish on the surface of the skin. This black color is caused by the air reacts with the excess oil.
  • Pustules or pimples. Acne lesions that contain pus and are red at the base.
  • Nodules. These are more serious acne lesions lodge deeper in the skin, are painful, and can cause scarring.
  • Cysts. These lesions are deep within in the skin, are painful, and are filled with pus, and can cause scarring.

Acne affect women: Things can trigger acne

Many things can trigger acne in women:
  • Hormone changes during puberty. During puberty, girls have an increase in male sex hormones called androgens. It causes the glands to get larger and make more sebum.
  • Hormone changes as an adult. The menstrual cycle is one of the most common acne triggers. Other hormone changes, such as pregnancy and menopause, improve acne in some women.
  • Medicines. Certain medicines, such as those used to treat epilepsy and types of depression can trigger acne in women
  • Friction or pressure on the skin. Friction or pressure can make acne worse.
  • Make-up.
  • Family history. If your family have acne, there is a greater chance you will have it.

Acne affect women: Poor hygiene cause acne

Does poor hygiene cause acne? Women get acne because they don’t wash enough is a myth. Washing away surface oils doesn’t do much to prevent or cure acne, because it forms under the skin. Even if too much washing or scrubbing the skin harshly can make acne worse.

The best way to clean the face is to gently wash it twice a day with a mild soap or cleanser.

Acne affect women: stress

Can stress cause acne? Stress does not cause acne. Acne may be a side effect of some medicines used to treat depression or stress.

Acne affect women: chocolate or greasy foods

Can eating chocolate or greasy foods cause acne? Experts have not found a link between the diet and acne. Foods seem to have little effect on acne in most people. But, it’s important to eat a healthy diet for good health.

How is mild acne treated?

There are many treatments for mild acne. Mild acne can consist of whiteheads, blackheads and small pustules. At home, you can wash your face twice per day with warm water and a gentle cleanser or soap. Your doctor may suggest you also try an over-the-counter lotion or cream. These medicines may make your skin dry if you use them too much. Be sure to follow the directions.

If these medicines don’t work, your doctor may prescribe a cream or lotion with benzoyl peroxide, resorcinol, salicylic acid, or sulfur.
  • Benzoyl peroxide works to reduce oil made by the glands.
  • Resorcinol, salicylic acid, and sulfur help breakdown whiteheads and blackheads.
If your acne does not get better after six to eight weeks, talk with your doctor about changing your treatment.

Can more serious forms of acne be treated?

Yes. Work with your doctor to find the best treatment for you.

Moderate to moderately severe acne. This type of acne consists of several whiteheads, blackheads, papules and pustules that cover from ¼ to ¾ of the face and/or other parts of the body. It can be treated with antibiotic lotions or gels, as well as retinoic acid. Retinoic acid is an altered form of vitamin A.

It helps prevent whiteheads and blackheads. Your doctor may also prescribe an antibiotic pill, such as erythromycin. If you take birth control pills to prevent pregnancy, antibiotics can affect how well they work.

Be sure to use a second method of birth control with the pill, such as a condom. Retinoic acid and antibiotic pills can make the skin sensitive to the sun. So, wear sunscreen and stay in the shade while using them.

Severe acne. Severe acne consists of deep cysts, redness, swelling, extreme damage to the skin and scarring. You should see a dermatologist to care for this type of acne. Scarring can be prevented with appropriate treatments. Your dermatologist can prescribe oral antibiotics and oral contraceptives. Large inflamed cysts can be treated with an injection of a drug that lessens the redness, swelling, and irritation, and promotes healing.

Can birth control pills help treat acne?

For women who break out mainly around their menstrual cycle, some birth control pills can help. Research shows that these pills can clear acne by slowing down overactive oil glands in the skin. Sometimes, birth control pills are used along with a drug called spironolactone to treat acne in adult females.

This medication lowers levels of the hormone androgen in the body. Androgen stimulates the skin’s oil glands. Side effects of this drug include irregular menstruation, breast tenderness, headache and fatigue. Spironolactone is not appropriate therapy for all patients.

When is surgery used for acne scarring?

If you have scarring, your dermatologist may suggest surgery to help heal acne lesions and remove scarring. A laser can reshape scar tissue and reduce redness. Dermabrasion is a type of surgery that can remove surface scars and reduce the depth of deep scars.

Another option is to transfer fat from one part of the body to the face. In some cases, a single treatment can help scarring. But for lasting results, several are often needed. There are also topical treatments for acne scarring.

Photodynamic therapy is a new acne treatment. It begins with light microdermabrasion. This is used to remove dead skin cells on the face’s surface. Then, an acid is put on the skin for 30 to 60 minutes. After this period, the acid is taken off. Lastly, the skin is treated with a laser. This treatment is still being researched, but seems to give positive long-term results.

Prevent acne and acne scars

You can help prevent acne flare-ups and scars by taking good care of your skin:
  • Clean your skin gently with a mild soap or cleanser twice a day — once in the morning and once at night. You should also gently clean the skin after heavy exercise. Avoid strong soaps and rough scrub pads. Harsh scrubbing of the skin may make acne worse. Wash your entire face from under the jaw to the hairline and rinse thoroughly. Remove make-up gently with a mild soap and water. Ask your doctor before using an astringent.
  • Wash your hair on a regular basis. If your hair is oily, you may want to wash it more often.
  • Do not squeeze or pick at acne lesions. This can cause acne scars.
  • Avoid getting sunburned. Many medicines used to treat acne can make you more prone to sunburn. Many people think that the sun helps acne, because the redness from sunburn may make acne lesions less visible. But, too much sun can also increase your risk of skin cancer and early aging of the skin. When you’re going to be outside, use sunscreen of at least SPF 15. Also, try to stay in the shade as much as you can.
  • Choose make-up and hair care products that are “non-comedogenic” or “non-acnegenic.” These products have been made in a way that they don’t cause acne. You may also want to use products that are oil-free.
  • Avoid things that rub the skin as much as you can, such as backpacks and sports equipment.
  • Talk with your doctor about what treatment methods can help your acne. Take your medicines as prescribed. Be sure to tell your doctor if you think medicines you take for other health problems make your acne worse.

Is rosacea the same as acne?

Rosacea is a common skin problem often called “adult acne.” Faired skinned and menopausal women are more likely to have rosacea. Rosacea also seems to run in families. It causes redness in the center parts of the face and pimples. Blood vessels under the skin of the face may enlarge and show through the skin as small red lines. The skin may be swollen and feel warm.

Women with rosacea don’t have the same lesions as seen with common acne. They may have flushing of the face, when they are hot, drink alcohol or hot drinks, or eat spicy foods. This flushing causes the face to appear red. In the most severe form, this redness does not go away. The eyes may become swollen and nodules in the skin may be painful.

You can help keep rosacea under control by keeping a record of things that cause it to flare up. Try to avoid or limit these triggers as much as you can. Antibiotic lotions or gels can also help. Sometimes, you may need to take antibiotic pills. Your dermatologist may treat you with laser surgery. If you think you have rosacea, talk with your doctor about these treatments.

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