It is a condition that traumatizes kids in their teen years, yet it’s also one that can last well into middle age and beyond. Of course, the condition is acne. Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). In all likelihood, you or someone you know deals with acne on a regular basis.
The interesting thing about acne is it is more than just a skin-deep physical problem. It also causes tremendous emotional harm because it is so visible and psychologically intrusive. Even worse, acne doesn’t necessarily go away as the teen years fade. According to the AAD, the number of adults dealing with acne is growing. People in their 40s and 50s – and sometimes even older – suffer from acne.
The Answers Are Elusive
Acne is one of those conditions that still is not well understood. The medical community thinks it knows some of the causes of the condition, but nothing is set in stone. For example, acne begins to appear when a skin pore clogs. Dead skin cells then build up in the pore, creating the perfect environment for bacteria to live and multiply. If the bacteria multiply enough and get under the surface of the skin, an acne cyst is born.
That seems simple enough except for one slight problem: what medical science has not yet determined is why some people have a greater tendency toward clogged pores than others. Furthermore, it’s baffling to researchers why there are individuals who have very little trouble with acne in their teen years but then suddenly break out in middle age.
As we search for answers that have been elusive thus far, the best treatment we know of is to keep the skin clean without doing harm to the natural moisture barrier the skin uses for self-healing. Organic acne skincare products, like CRUDE, for example, are an excellent way to accomplishing this. CRUDE’s Everything Oil and cleansing mask keeps the bacteria out while keeping the moisture in, thus allowing the skin to more naturally heal itself from the environmental damage done to it every day.
Not Just Pimples
Acne takes numerous different forms that don’t seem to follow any rhyme or reason. A typical acne cyst consists of an inflamed skin pore filled with white pus, also known as a whitehead. But acne can also take the form of pimples, blackheads, cysts, nodules and papules. In some people, it can even mimic a mild boil.
We also know that the excessive amount of skin oil (sebum) increases the likelihood that acne will develop. It is believed that the excess oil helps dead skin cells get trapped in the pores by causing them to clump together so they can rise to the surface of the skin. This may be one of the reasons teenagers are more susceptible to acne – their bodies produce more sebum during puberty.
At any rate, people go to great lengths to prevent or get rid of acne. As such, they use all sorts of over-the-counter medications that can contain some pretty harsh chemicals. Some people exfoliate excessively, unaware that exfoliation can aggravate acne if it is too severe.
The reality of acne is that it is a problem that goes deeper than the surface of the skin. There are a lot of unknown factors involved with this condition that medical science still hasn’t managed to figure out. Until they do, there will be people whose acne becomes a mental and emotional issue as well as a physical one.