Excoriated Acne – If you pick at it, it WILL get worse.

June 23, 2009 by  
Filed under Acne Tips, Featured

When your mother used to tell you that picking at a cut would make it worse, she wasn’t kidding. If you are still doing it to this day, however, then the chances are that you have a compulsive skin picking disorder – apparently not that uncommon in this day and age. But picking at a healed cut or spot is a big mistake. It can lead to a small scab becoming a large wound, and can very easily result in infection. The unsightly blemish that results is known as excoriated acne.

“Excoriate” means to strip the hide or skin off something. It is a word that is used figuratively as much as anything, often being used to explain the severe telling off that an unruly child might get from a parent. But it does have a literal application, and the obsessive habit of picking at our skin is an example of how excoriation is a genuine problem. Anyone can develop excoriated acne, but it is more common among women.

Excoriated acne is the result of a desire to pick, squeeze, or scratch at blemishes, even creating new blemishes in some cases. This leads to open sores which, when they scab over, are prime for picking again. It can be a very hard habit to break, sometimes only stopping when the skin ceases scabbing. At this point, what you are left with is open red sores and inflammation. This is excoriated acne, and can be very unsightly and also potentially very unhealthy.

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Hypertrophic Scars – Not Something You Need To Face

June 23, 2009 by  
Filed under Acne Tips

Among the many types of acne scar that can be found regularly among sufferers, the hypertrophic scar is unique in that it is rarely found on the face of a sufferer. It is also rare in that it is not seen where tissue has been eaten away by a breakout of acne, but rather where there has been extra tissue created. A hypertrophic scar – taken from the term “hypertrophy” which means an increase in the size of an organ due to overgrowth of cells – actually stands out from the skin rather than being sunken into it.

Most usually, hypertrophic scars are to be found on the torso of a male sufferer and look like a raised, firm bump of tissue. Often, a hypertrophic scar will grow larger than the original wound and they happen as the result of an overproduction of collagen, the tissue that allows our skin to be flexible enough that we can manipulate it easily. Hypertrophic scars are often confused with “Keloid” scars. Keloid scars routinely overgrow the area of the original injury, and may affect the ability to move the skin in the area where they grow.

In order to treat a hypertrophic or Keloid scar, cortisone is injected into the affected area, shrinking and flattening the scar tissue area. The shrinking and removal of this scar tissue is also aided by a softening process involving the injection of Interferon. If you suffer a hypertrophic scar and cannot fund the surgery, it may not be that big a deal – they often decrease in size and improve in appearance over a short time.

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Rolling Scars – A Rare Form of Acne Scar, But Unpleasant Nonetheless

June 23, 2009 by  
Filed under Acne Tips, Featured

Although the majority of scarring caused by acne, particularly facial breakouts, falls into the categories of ice pick or box car scarring, there are other forms of scar which can afflict the acne sufferer. One of the two other major forms of scar is the rolling scar, which is characterised by a rolling appearance, almost like a wave breaking across the skin. The skin around it will look absolutely normal, which throws the scarring into an ever clearer view. It is a form of scarring that causes discomfort and embarrassment.

It is caused when a fibrous band of tissue forms between the top layer of skin and the subcutaneous tissue as a result of weakening of the connection. These fibrous bands exert a pull on the epidermis and cause it to cling to the deeper structures of the skin. The aesthetic result of this pull is that some of the skin appears sunken while that around it is where it would usually be. This creates the familiar, wave-like appearance which, when moving, appears to be as the name would suggest, rolling across the skin.

In order to get rid of rolling scars on the skin, the most popular method of surgery is called subcision. This name comes from the Latin terms “Sub”, meaning underneath and “incisio”, meaning to cut. The practice of subcision involves cutting underneath the skin’s surface and inserting a needle which is used to cut out the fibrous tissue that his holding down the top layer of skin when this is done, the epidermis is freed and able to move independently.

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Thinking Outside The Box

June 23, 2009 by  
Filed under Acne Facts

Although there are plenty of products available for the treatment of facial acne, many of them are only partially effective, and the ones that are most effective have a tendency to carry side effects that are proportionately worse than the problem they are trying to cure. There are a number of less frequently used treatments for acne which can make a major difference by working on the less widely known causes of acne breakouts. Taken together with a more conventional treatment or on their own, these treatments can make a world of difference.

Tea Tree oil is one of the most popular essential oils on the market. Its effects have been compared to those of benzoyl peroxide – one of the major pharmaceutical acne treatments. When dissolved in a cream at a rate of about 5 parts per 100, it can be applied to the skin and works a double shift both as an anti-bacterial agent and as an anti-inflammatory. It takes a little longer to work than benzoyl peroxide, but has less harsh effects on the skin, and is even used in some moisturisers.

A detox program can also have an effect that is best described as “clean inside and out”. Much of what causes acne is due to impurities within the body. Flushing these toxins out of the body allows you to take acne on from a position of strength, by denying it the conditions in which it likes to thrive. If followed by a course of vitamin and mineral supplements it can have a very strong effect on the acne vulgaris bacteria.

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Acne scars – how to fix them

June 23, 2009 by  
Filed under Acne Tips

For many acne sufferers, the scars left behind by the condition pose as much problem as the papules and blackheads themselves. While papules and blackheads can, to a certain extent, be cleared by a rigorous facial cleansing regime, there is no such short cut possible when it comes to the scars. Some people have skin that is so badly marked by old acne scars that they go to the extent of saving up to pay for plastic surgery. If, however, you can get a grip on the problem before it becomes serious, then you can treat it and be over it before too long.

One step that is advised by more than a few sources is a method that is totally free of charge – drinking water. Drinking as much water as you comfortably can is a good idea anyway – it keeps you feeling vibrant and awake naturally – but in terms of skin condition it really is excellent. Dead skin cells drop off more rapidly, and the skin that grows in its place is a lot smoother and cleaner. Fruit and vegetables, and particularly citrus fruit (its juices more so than any other part) are also excellent for hydration and vitamins.

One of nature’s other gifts for the removal of acne scars is Aloe Vera. It is available in a number of compounds, including gel or juice which can both be rubbed into the skin. Aloe Vera has long been used for its kindness to skin, and its nourishing values.

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Acne treatments through the ages, from Ancient Rome to today

June 23, 2009 by  
Filed under Acne Tips

Although there are many who would suggest that acne is as much a result of a problematic lifestyle, and a product of the way we have changed from natural nutrients to artificial over the years, it would be fair to say that it is a little bit more complicated – and historical than all that. In fact, there are believed to be documents proving that in Ancient Rome, bathing in hot springs was considered a worthwhile acne solution. These springs contained sulfurous water, and it may have been from this knowledge that nineteenth century dermatologists discovered the effectiveness of sulfur as an acne treatment. Sine the beginning of the 20th century, however, the rate of experimentation has gone sky high.

It is a little known fact that, during the 1930s, laxatives were recommended as a cure. In this day and age, we speak of detox as being good for our skin. It can be seen that the same was true nearly eighty years ago, even if the reality was slightly more crude back then. Experimentation continued, however, and in the 1950s the focus switched to antibiotics. Although these were effective, it turned out that as much of the effect was down to the anti-inflammatory aspect of the pills as to the anti-bacterial factor.

The first serious side effect to an acne drug came in the mid-1980s, when the long-popular medication Accutane turned out to cause birth defects. Since those days, it has been a matter of trying to find ways of curing acne without causing serious problems. Light therapy and vitamins have since taken on a real importance.

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External symptoms of acne and how to identify them

June 23, 2009 by  
Filed under Acne Tips

The condition known to most of us simply as “Acne” is actually an outward symptom of a largely internal condition known as Acne vulgaris. This condition is something which affects the sufferer’s skin and causes “breakouts” of outward skin problems which are occasionally inflamed, and often painful. The difficulty caused by acne is that it presents problems on two fronts. The cosmetic difficulties, shallow as it sounds, make a big difference to sufferers because they can affect an individual’s confidence and self-esteem, and the way that others look at them. Physically, it also presents problems because the breakouts can be extremely painful and itchy.

Among the outward signs of acne are papules. These can be inflamed or not, and stand out from the skin. When scratched, these papules can open, breaking the skin and often becoming infected. This causes further pain and discomfort as well as looking unsightly. There are also problems such as blackheads, which are formed from excess oils which accumulate in the duct of a sebaceous gland. Blackheads themselves can be removed using pore cleansing strips and by squeezing with the tips of the fingernails.

These and other lesions on the skin can be clear signs of acne vulgaris, and for a sufferer they create endless problems from a cosmetic and physical point of view. As much as anything else, these skin blemishes can be itchy and when they are scratched the problem multiplies. The key to remember is that prevention is far, far better than cure.

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