Acne is the scourge of the teenage years and a source of great distress and embarrassment at an age when young people are most conscious of their appearance. Almost no teenager, or adult for that matter, is spared a prolonged period of acne problems.
Pubescent girls are generally affected to a more serious degree because of the hormonal upsurges associated with the onset of menstruation. Basically, acne is the result of increased hormonal activity, which causes excess oil production in the skin’s sebaceous glands. Unfortunately, the areas most affected by acne are those which are almost constantly visible with today’s youthful fashion trends.
In extreme and far from rare cases, acne can lead to extensive and permanent scarring. Because of the emotional trauma attached to this disorder, it has assumed top priority status among problems that must be avoided at all costs, but this is easier said than done.
It has now been proved that oil-saturated foods, chocolate, poor skin hygiene and emotional upset actually play no role in acne occurrence at all, so there go a number of time-honored prevention targets. In fact, the most widely employed means of addressing the problem of acne – camouflaging cosmetics – are actually among the main acne aggravators. Many of them cause subtle skin changes that exacerbate acne occurrence. They can also cause the obstruction of the sebaceous glands, thereby preventing the free drainage of excessive oils. Often, this even applies to some of the so-called acne-prevention compounds.
While there is apparently very little an individual can do to prevent acne, there are now effective methods of treating it medically. However, for optimal results, these must necessarily be employed before serious disfigurement can take place. Since these treatments may involve hormone manipulation, they must take place under strict medical supervision.