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Acne Remains the Leading Skin Condition June 30, 2010

FOR MORE INFORMATION, contact Rebecca Sylvester at 706/828-2394.

Acne Remains the Leading Skin Condition

AUGUSTA, GA. (Feb. 9, 2010) – Are you one of the 80 percent of Americans who are suffering from acne? Tips from Beth Barranco, R.N. from University Hospital could help alleviate the condition.

Acne forms when pores are filled with sebum or oil, and bacteria begin to grow, Ms. Barranco said. “The exact cause of acne is unknown, but doctors believe it results from several factors: hormone changes, genetics, some medications, diet and greasy cosmetics.”

There are 2 different types of acne, non-inflammatory and inflammatory. Non-inflammatory consists of whiteheads and blackheads, and inflammatory acne breaks the skin with papules and pustules.

“Acne is the most common of all skin diseases,” Ms. Barranco said. “It affects people of all races and ages. It is most common in teenagers and young adults, but people in their 40s and 50s can still get acne.”

Mild forms of acne often can be treated with over-the-counter topical creams. Dermatologists, or physicians who specialize in skin conditions, should be consulted for moderate or heavy cases because oral medications may also be warranted, Ms. Barranco said.

“Early treatment is best to prevent scarring and to stop new pimples from forming,” she warned. “If you do have acne scarring, there are treatments available to help reduce the scarring such as microdermabrasion, chemical peels, surgery and laser procedures. These should be guided by your dermatologist.”

While there is no real “cure” for acne, the following things could worsen the condition:

  • Changing hormone levels before a woman begins her menstrual cycle
  • Pressure from sports helmets or equipment, backpacks, tight collars or tight sports uniforms
  • Environmental irritants
  • Squeezing or picking at blemishes
  • Hard scrubbing of the skin
  • Emotional stress

For more information on acne, contact ASK-A-NURSE at 706.737.8423 or log onto www.universityhealth.org.

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