Sunday, May 10, 2009

Acne Vulgaris

Acne vulgaris is the most common form of acne, and is simply what we refer to as common acne. Acne vulgaris can affect anyone, and almost 100% of the population has had acne vulgaris at one time. Over 85% of teens suffer from acne, and although it is caused by an increase in hormone levels which affect and over-stimulate the sebaceous glands, the resulting acne is still called acne vulgaris.

Acne vulgaris is usually found on the face and upper body area including the back, chest, neck and arms. Both facial acne and body acne are considered acne vulgaris. In most cases, acne vulgaris will not cause scarring. Acne that scars is usually much more severe, when several papules or pimples join together causing cysts (known as cystic acne or severe acne). Acne vulgaris affects people of all ages, though it is mostly predominant in teenagers.

Acne vulgaris can be both prevented and eliminated by using a combination of pore-cleansing, anti-bacterial treatment and pore strengthening. ZenMed Derma Cleanse is a product that is able to clean pores effectively, while directly treating the blemishes, naturally using two pronged approach. We recommend the ZenMed acne system for people experiencing any level of acne.
Acne Vulgaris Treatment

Acne vulgaris treatment comes in many forms. Pharmacies and supermarkets are literally inundated with new products for fighting acne. It’s important to remember that acne products work differently for different people. Some topical acne treatments work well for some, but irritate the skin of others. Some ingested treatments work well for some but cause complications in others. Talking to your doctor and choosing the best medication for you is always the best method of choosing your acne solution. Some examples of the types of acne products available are:
Natural Acne Treatments

Within the last decade, natural medicine has made a significant comeback. Naturopaths are available for consultation in every town, as people begin to lose faith in ‘chemical’ products and their outlandish guarantees. Some natural products that have been used for decades to clear acne are rose water, milk of magnesia, lemon juice, tea tree oil and ginger root.

Topical medication

Topical medication is probably the most popular acne vulgaris treatment method. Topical medication can contain natural or synthetic ingredients (or both), and are used to kill the P. Acnes bacteria, clear oil from the skin, and generate healthier skin. Some topical medications are prescription based, and can only be obtained by a physician. Examples include topical steroids and antibiotics, and the chemical compound isotretinoin (retinoids) which is common for sever or chronic acne treatment.

Ingested Acne Vulgaris Treatment

In some cases, a doctor may prescribe an ingested medication for the treatment of severe acne vulgaris, but the practice is becoming rarer. Some examples of ingested or oral medication are antibiotics and retinoids. Antibiotics tend work only when being prescribed, and acne flare-ups can start again days after treatment is stopped. Antibiotics also lose their efficacy over time. Retinoids have also been shown to have side effects and cannot be used by pregnant women.
Laser Acne Therapy

Laser therapy is another acne vulgaris treatment that is gaining in popularity. Although pricey for some, laser treatment requires only a few visits. Lasers are used to burn away either one or more layers of the skin (resurfacing), the underlying layers of skin (fractional laser therapy) or the burning of follicles or sebaceous glands (cauterizing). Laser therapy is relatively painless and its side effects include a few days of redness of the skin and minor irritation.

When to See a Doctor

If you have acne vulgaris, and your pimples are getting worse by the week, it is always a good idea to talk to your doctor regardless. Further, if you notice that some pimples are banding together, forming even larger pimples, you should speak to your doctor or dermatologist as acne scarring may result. Always see your doctor if medication or acne vulgaris treatments are causing unusual side effects.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Types of Acne

There are many variations of acne, ranging in severity from mild to severely disfiguring. The regimen works well to combat moderate to light acne. Severe acne may require more aggressive treatment.

Acne Vulgaris (mild or moderate) is the most common form of acne which includes several types of pimples. These acne lesions include blackheads, whiteheads, papules, pustules, nodules and cysts.

Whiteheads: Whiteheads result when a pore is completely blocked, trapping sebum (oil), bacteria, and dead skin cells, causing a white appearance on the surface. These types of acne lesions sometimes seem to be begging to be popped. Make sure you read about how to pop a pimple before you attempt this. Whiteheads are normally quicker in life cycle than blackheads.

Blackheads: Blackheads result when a pore is only partially blocked, allowing some of the trapped sebum (oil), bacteria, and dead skin cells to slowly drain to the surface. The black color is not caused by dirt. Rather, it is a reaction of the skin's own pigment, melanin, reacting with the oxygen in the air. A blackhead tends to be a stable structure, and can often take a long time to clear.
Papules: Papules are inflamed, red, tender bumps with no head. Do not squeeze a papule. It will do no good, and may exacerbate scarring.

Pustules: A pustule is similar to a whitehead, but is inflamed, and appears as a red circle with a white or yellow center. Pustules are your garden variety zit. Before you pop or squeeze such a lesion, be sure to read about how to pop a pimple.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Acne Prevention

What's the best way to get rid of acne? Prevent the pimples from forming up in the first place! Articles below provide information and tips that will help you in preventing acne.

Acne prevention often becomes essential during our teenage years. It can cause great distress and embarrassment at an age when young people are very concerned about how they look. Almost no teenager – and many an adult on drugs like lithium – is spared a prolonged period of acne problems. Pubescent girls need to pay greater attention to acne prevention because of the hormonal upsurges associated with the onset of menstruation.

Increased hormonal activity is the root cause of acne occurrence. This in turn causes excess oil production in the skin’s sebaceous glands. It is a sad fact that the areas most affected by acne are those that are almost constantly visible with today’s youthful fashion trends. Most acne prevention and control compounds contain specific compounds to address the problem. The packaging will indicate the presence of these compounds. One of these is benzoyl peroxide (sometimes in combination with the antibiotic erythromycin). The popular Clearasil contains this agent.

Most affected teenagers address acne prevention with manic scrubbing and dieting. They do this because of a mistaken assumption that the problem is related to poor hygiene or improper nutrition. Avoiding fat-laden junk foods like cheeseburgers is definitely a step in the right direction for other health-related reasons. However, it will do little by ways of acne prevention. Skin hygiene is important, and one can prevent acne to a certain extent by increased and regular cleansing. However, one tends to go overboard and resort to using extreme measures like a face wash of strong toothpaste and other harsh compounds. This will only aggravate the problem by encouraging increased compensatory oil production in the skin.

The belief that astringents discourage excess oil secretion is nothing but a myth. Astringents do take care of superficial oils. However, they are of no use in acne prevention because they cause the skin to contract. This clogs pores and causes long-term aggravation for short-term cosmetic benefits. The best course of action is using a mild cleansing agent to wash town the entire face (not just the fabled T zone or only acne-affected areas) and regular shampooing of hair.

Oily hair causes facial oiliness. This is especially true for those who sport chin/shoulder-length hair. Most importantly, picking at or rubbing of acne blemishes is strictly contraindicated. Doing this can lead to permanent scarring and skin discoloration that will require measures like laser treatment to correct later on. Excessive exposure to sunlight is also a definite no-no - especially if one is using a compound like trenitoin, which increases the skin’s photosensitivity. Tanning lamps can cause the same harmful effect. Females affected with acne must rigorously scan the contents of their cosmetics before using them – only those without an oily base and with the tag ‘noncomedogenic’ (non-obstructing to skin pores) on the label should be used. It is also important to avoid sports headgear such as headbands and cycling helmets. Many fashion accessories that cover part of the facial skin can cause constriction or irritation, too.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

At What Age Does Skin Aging Begin?

Your skin loses its elasticity as you age, and before you know it, skin aging has acted upon your skin making it lose its usual suppleness and smoothness. But at what age does aging begin? Just when you feel you are at your prime at the age of 25, that is, when most people think they are most beautiful is when aging begins to act up on your skin. Although it’s not immediately noticeable, your skin begins to lose its elasticity once past this age. Fine lines may start to develop around the eyes and mouth.

Is that news scary? Skin aging is part of the aging process itself which comes to everyone. While it cannot be stopped, it can be delayed with proper skin care.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

What is AHA? What are the Natural Sources of AHA?

Alpha-hydroxy acids are present in most, if not all, anti-aging skin care products commercially manufactured today. But little do many of us know that alpha hydroxy acids are naturally found in lactic acid (in milk) and other fruit extracts. AHAs are carboxylic acids which include lactic acid from sour milk, glycolic acid from sugar cane, and citric acid from citrus fruits.
AHA: Natural Skin Care Exfoliation

What AHA does is make skin look younger by stripping away dead skin cells through exfoliation and moisturizing the skin to make it supple and smooth. AHAs are also been proven effective for skin treatment of acne.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Delay Skin-Aging With These Tips

Limiting sun exposure.
Sunlight is a major cause of skin aging. When out in the sun, always protect yourself with sunscreen and avoid sun exposure when the sun is strongest, that is, between 10am to 4pm.

Moisturize your skin.
Do not be misconstrued into applying commercial moisturizers with synthetic ingredients because they may hasten rather than delay aging. Little do most us of us, but natural moisturizers can be found right in your own kitchen. Honey has been an ancient moisturizer and so is milk. In fact, Cleopatra was reported to pamper her skin in the luxury of a milk bath.

Drink water, drink water, drink water.
It has been said many times but it’s worth reiterating. Drinking eight to 10 glasses of water a day is one way to keep your skin hydrated and revitalized. It works wonders on your skin as well as on your system.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Are You Wasting Money on Multivitamins?

Advertisements with tantalizing promises of improved health, prevention of cancer and heart disease, and greater energy have lured millions of Americans to spend billions of dollars on the purchase of multivitamins.

An article in the February 9 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine reported that multivitamin use did not protect the 161,808 postmenopausal women enrolled in the Women’s Health Initiative Study from common forms of cancer, heart attacks, or strokes. And the numbers of deaths during the 8 years of the study were the same in vitamin users as in non-users. Still, it is important to recognize that this was an observational study, not a more meaningful clinical trial. Although these findings apply only to women, other studies have failed to show benefits of multivitamins in older men.

These results are not at all surprising for several reasons. No large study has shown that multivitamins significantly benefit healthy men and women. In addition, for some years physicians prescribed folic acid and vitamins B12 and B6 in the hopes of preventing heart attacks and strokes by lowering blood levels of homocysteine. (High blood levels of homocysteine are associated with an increased risk of coronary and other vascular diseases.) A number of recent studies, however, have shown that, while these vitamins do lower homocysteine levels, they do not prevent heart attacks or strokes.

Many doctors have also prescribed the antioxidants vitamin E and beta-carotene to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Alas, studies have now proven that these supplements are not protective–and may even be harmful.

No one denies that an adequate intake of vitamins is essential; however, vitamins can and should be obtained from eating enough healthy foods rather than from swallowing vitamin supplements.

Then what about vitamins being a great source of energy? Some multivitamin ads do indeed claim that their supplements boost energy; and some professional athletes gobble handfuls of vitamin pills to increase their energy and strength. But researchers proved long ago that energy comes from calories, not vitamins. The highly touted cholesterol-lowering effects of substances added to some multivitamin supplements? Still unproven.

All this is not to say that specific vitamins supplements are never desirable. Vitamins can be valuable in certain situations:

* Folic acid supplements in women who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant can help to prevent serious neural-tube defects that affect the baby’s brain and spine.

* Supplements that contain more vitamin D and calcium than is present in regular multivitamin pills can help older men, and especially women, avoid osteoporosis and bone fractures.

* Supplements of vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, zinc, and copper may slow the progression of vision loss in people with early macular degeneration.

And multivitamins are beneficial for some entire groups of people:

* those on a very-low-calorie weight-loss diet

* strict vegetarians

* heavy alcohol drinkers

* individuals who are not getting an adequate diet because they are too sick or too poor–or live by themselves and are unable to prepare proper meals for themselves

I also agree with a comment made by one of the coauthors of the Archives of Internal Medicine article about postmenopausal women mentioned above. An 8-year follow-up period may not be long enough to show that multivitamins protect against cancers that take many years to develop.

All the same, the results of the studies on vitamins so far point to one conclusion: Healthy people who eat enough calories from a varied diet do not benefit from multivitamin supplements.