POSER VOS QUESTIONS AU DR.AGNES, CEO de Herborium et experte en médecine naturelle.
Severe acne can lead to feelings of self imposed isolation and if left untreated may lead to more permanent scars and acne marks. There have been many advances in the understanding of what causes acne and how to treat acne effectively.
The best approach is in keeping with the old adage that... "An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure".
Preventing the formation of acne is more effective then treating pimples that already exist. AcnEase® does exactly that... prevents the formation of acne and reduces the influence of hormones on sebaceous gland secretions.
Acne is a disease of the sebaceous hair follicles associated with pores of the skin. At the base of each hair follicle is a gland called the sebaceous gland, which makes sebum. Sebum is an oily substance, which under normal circumstances travels along the hair follicle to the surface of the skin. Sebum's job is to form a protective layer between your skin and the environment; normal levels of sebum keep your skin soft and smooth. Sebaceous glands are most numerous on the face, chest, back, neck and scalp; consequently, these are the most common sites of Acne. This situation is exacerbated in teenagers with hormonal acne.
As teenagers enter puberty androgens become more prevalent in the body increasing sebum production by the sebaceous glands. The extra oil accumulates and can clump together with dead skin cells on the top layer of your skin. This mixture of sebum and dead skin cells clogs pores, trapping oil and bacteria inside. Unfortunately, under the influence of androgens the sebaceous glands continue to produce oil, and the follicle becomes swollen. Next your body's natural defense system, white blood cells, migrate to the area and initiate a local inflammatory reaction.
Cleansing with soap is not capable of removing the bacteria entrapped at the base of the hair follicle. (This of course should not mean we do not use soap and water). Unfortunately, however topical acne remedies rarely work for this very reason. The rapid growth of bacteria in combination with the accumulated oil and dead skin cells cause the follicle to enlarge and can result in a mild form of acne called comedones (blackhead, open comedone or whitehead, closed comedone) both of which are non-inflammatory.
Acne may progress to an inflammatory type of acne lesions that are red in color called papules, pustules and nodules. Papules are the earliest stage in the development of what are normally considered the typical "pimple". Papules are an intermediate in the progression of acne between the non-inflammatory and inflammatory stages. The next stage is the development of a clearly inflammatory lesion called the pustule, which contains limited number of bacteria and pus below the surface of the skin. Nodules or cysts are the most advanced and severe form of acne. In teenage women cystic acne is common due to the increase in circulating androgens.
In puberty (adolescence), the body begins to produce hormones called androgens. These "male" hormones are a natural part of development for both boys and girls, but boys tend to produce more of them - and therefore tend to have more severe breakouts. Teenagers actually have "two strikes" against them; not only do they have to contend with the onset of puberty and the first appearance of androgens but also their hormone levels fluctuate with time which can cause acne to form even easier. For women a good example of the effect of fluctuating hormones on acne is the common flare up of acne during the menstrual cycle. Unfortunately, a common denominator in teenage acne is the change in hormonal levels for both boys and girls. AcnEase® works to limit the effect of fluctuating hormones on the sebaceous glands. The herbs in AcnEase® do not effect hormone levels but rather inhibit the effects of hormones on the over production of oil by the sebaceous glands.
The treatment of teenage acne can be challenging, because their hormones are unstable. Many teenagers will initially respond well to first-line treatments, such as topical retinoids and benzoyl peroxide, perhaps accompanied by an oral antibiotic. As their bodies develop, however, they may undergo severe hormonal shifts and stop responding to the current medications. Courses of acne treatment may need to be adjusted more often with teenagers to accommodate these hormonal changes.
In these cases the standard treatments do not address the cause of acne; AcnEase is the only specifically formulated treatment that blocks the effects of fluctuating hormones on sebum production and prevents pimples from forming.
50 million people in the US suffer from Acne. Currently there are no FDA approved drugs to treat the causes of acne or products that cure Acne. Many of the Over The Counter Products (OTC ) are topical and only address the clinical manifestation of acne (pimples). With the exception of Accutane, which helps to decrease sebaceous gland secretions but carries many severe side effects, systemically administered Acne treatment drugs are restricted to broad-spectrum antibiotics, which non-specifically kill bacteria associated with acne.
Benzoyl peroxide is the single most effective topical treatment of Acne and is available over-the-counter in preparations of 2.5% to 10% strengths (Clearasil Maximum Strength Cream, Clean and Clear, Oxy-10 Balance Maximum Medicated Face Wash, etc.). Available in lotion, gel, and cleanser forms, it should be used daily in order to be effective. Benzoyl peroxide targets bacteria in the skin. Salicylic acid products, are also available over-the-counter, their primary action is to help unclog pores (Aveeno medicated cleanser, Neutrogena Clear Pore, Noxzema 2-in-1 Maximum Strength Pads, and Stri-Dex Clear Gel).
Systemic antibiotics such as tetracycline, minocycline, are mainstays of Acne therapy. For non-inflammatory Acne, two recent medicines for skin application are available, an anti-microbial cream Azelex, azelaic acid, which requires 4 weeks of treatment. Differin Cream, adapalene, is a retinoid-based topical medication with a recommended treatment phase of 8 to 12 weeks. Exacerbation of the existing skin condition is frequently observed with Differin prior to improvement.
For severe, persistent cases of Acne, Retin-A (tretinoin) Cream or Accutane (isotretinoin) oral tablets are often recommended. Both products are retinoid derivatives and have a multitude of side effects. Accutane is a known potent teratogen and strictly contraindicated in women not practicing a proven method of birth control. Topical antibiotics such as Cleocin T (clindamycin solution) or erythromycin are often combined with benzoyl peroxide.
The best way to make pimples disappear is to prevent them from showing up in the first place! The following tips are a few simple practices than can help you minimize your breakouts.
Since teenagers produce more oil, it's important to wash your face of affected area twice a day with warm water and a mild cleanser. Since your skin does need some sebum in order to stay healthy, don't be tempted to over wash since your glands will respond by producing even more oil. Do not use harsh detergents that may aggravate your skin use products that are "non-comedogenic". It's okay to exfoliate periodically to remove dead skin cells, but be sure to use a gentle formula with small, smooth grains and no alcohol. Avoid products with almond or apricot shell fragments; they can irritate your skin, cause infection and further aggravate your acne.
If you use a toner, avoid products with high concentrations of isopropyl alcohol, or common rubbing alcohol. Alcohol strips the top layer of your skin, causing your glands to produce more oil. The result is dry, flaky skin - and possibly more blemishes.
Squeezing or picking your blemishes with fingernails, pins or any foreign object can force bacteria deeper into the skin causing even greater inflammation and infection. Once you have an inflammatory response this increases the risk that your pimple will leave a permanent scar. The bacteria that causes acne, Propionibacterium acnes, is normally present on your skin; it doesn't lead to acne until it becomes trapped inside the hair follicle. The more you touch your face the more likely you are to drive bacteria into your pores and initiate pimple formation.
If you wear make-up, be sure it's oil-free and non-comedogenic. Small amounts of sun exposure may improve acne for a few days. But suntans (and burns) produce dead skin cells faster, which can lead to more clogged pores. It is important to note: some kinds of acne medication make skin more sensitive to the sun, please read the labels. If you're headed outside be sure to use non-oily non-comedogenic sunscreen at least 15 for both UVA and UVB rays.
Choose your treatment wisely and stick with it. Most cases of, moderate or even serious teen acne can be improved and most importantly prevented with AcnEase® the all natural and unique acne treatment equally effective for females and males.