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acne bacteria
what causes acne
sebaceous glands
food allergies
distant memory
lack of sleep
adult women
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I'm Too Old For Acne, Surely? What Is Acne And Why Me?
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I\'m Too Old for Acne, Surely? What is Acne And Why Me?

I'm too old for spots, surely? What is acne and why me?

I can answer from personal experience ‘what is acne?’ but I can’t answer ‘why me?’ I’m afraid. At some point in life we’ve all experienced a few spots here and there but why is it that some suffer more than others and at a time in our life when spots should be a distant memory?

Did you know that acne is a very common skin condition? Acne can affect up to nearly 90% of teenagers, up to 25% of adults with 50% of those being adult women and having suffered from this myself I am fully aware on the effect it can have on you mentally, physically and even socially.

What is acne? If you are asking this question then you probably have an idea of what acne is. To put it simply all types of acne develop when pores in our skin get blocked creating a home for p.acnes (the acne bacteria).

Essentially there are 6 types of acne.

  • Whiteheads – these are pimples that have puss under the skin and gives it their colour - hence the name.
  • Blackheads – are an opening in the pore of your skin and is blocked with skin debris
  • Papules – these are usually small bumps but don’t come to anything as they don’t contain any puss.
  • Pustules - clearly these are usually bigger bumps that are red at the base and have a head at the top filled with puss.
  • Nodules – these can be clearly visible and usually painful. These form when the Papules and Pusutles worsen and rupture beneath the skin.
  • Cysts – these usually form from a large breakout and are distinguishable by the feel of liquid/puss filled lumps underneath the skin and are painful.

What causes acne?

Unfortunately nobody is completely sure what causes acne and there is no one cause, so I have listed some of the common causes of acne below.

  1. Hormones
  2. Genetics
  3. Bacteria
  4. Food allergies
  5. Cosmetically related acne
  6. Stress, lack of sleep
  7. Diet
  8. Underlying health problems
  9. Overly active sebaceous glands
  10. Disturbed skin barrier function

Finding the root cause of your acne can be a mine field and searching for a solution can be just as daunting, as it was for me. Was I consuming too much sugar, caffeine or alcohol. Was I eating too much meat, dairy or soy foods? Figuring out why you get acne is one of the best things you can do for successful acne treatment. It's not easy to do and once your skin clears, you still may not know the exact reason behind it all. However, understanding the common triggers of acne will help narrow the search for a clear skin solution.

Having spent the last 8 years suffering from acne myself, years on medication and years of self medicating with home remedies, I have finally found an equilibrium (which means I can throw away my high neck tops that were my security blanket for many years hiding the bad acne I had on my neck) and feel I can be socially accepted now and avoid the staring eyes which befell upon me for so many years.

There are a lot of ‘cures’ available from topical treatments (medical/prescriptions) to changing your lifestyle (holistic), but persevere to find the right one for you. I believe it is important to find the root cause of your acne (it could be as simple as changing your diet) otherwise it could mean you’ll end up in the vicious cycle of treating the symptoms and not curing the cause.

What is acne? I hope I have answered that for you in very basic terms. Those who don’t or have never suffered from acne cannot truly understand the effect it can have on your life and how consuming it can become. Beauty comes from within, but I have learnt one thing in this world and the society that we live in that first impressions can count and they can have an everlasting impact on you.

Street Talk

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