Acne Part 1
Eamonn Brady is a pharmacist and the owner of Whelehans Pharmacies, Pearse St and Clonmore Mullingar. If you have any health questions e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Acne is a disorder of skin glands that produce a natural oil (Sebum). The face, neck, shoulders, upper chest and back are most frequently affected. It affects more than one in two young adults at some stage, usually beginning at puberty and clearing completely before the mid-twenties. However, in many adolescents, acne clears within a year or two. The characteristic white-heads and black-heads are caused by over-production of sebum, leading to a blockage of skin pores with a mixture of dead skin cells and oil. Bacteria on the skin surface intensify the problem by producing chemicals that inflame and irritate the skin. Diet has little influence on acne. Despite what is commonly believed, sugary foods and fatty foods, such as chocolate and chips, have not been proven to contribute to acne. Treatment can take between 2 to 3 months to get the full benefits but is worth it.
Whiteheads and blackheads
Whiteheads are tiny little clogged pores just below the surface of the skin which are not inflamed. Blackheads are like whiteheads except they are open to the air which oxidises with the sebum and keratin in our skin and gives them a brown/black colour. If you attempt to squeeze these yourself, they can get irritated and inflamed and cause a little red bump on the skin known as a papule. Papules are generally what most people would get especially on the T-zone (ie) forehead, nose and chin. Sometimes the healthy bacteria on our skin can find their way into these little papules, it can fill with pus and develop a defined white or yellow head on the surface called a pustule.
More pronounced lumps
Cysts and nodules are large painful lumps underneath the skin which can take weeks to heal. The only difference between the two is that nodules are hard and don’t have an obvious white/yellow head where cysts are fluid filled with a defined white or yellow head. Do not to squeeze these as they will leave you with a scar and possibly spread to surrounding pores.
Most cases of mild acne will be helped by washing affected areas twice daily, avoiding food stuffs that they themselves feel worsen the problem, and spend more time in the sun during summer. Girls should be careful to avoid greasy cosmetic products. Next week I will discuss treatment options.
Do You struggle with your Skin?
Whelehans Pearse St are hosting Uriage® Skin Event on Friday July 27th from 9am which will be of benefit to those living with acne. On the Day our Uriage® Skin Specialist Kayleigh will be doing complimentary Mini Facials using The Uriage® products suited to oily and acne prone Skin. Buy Two Uriage® Products and receive a free gift on the day. Get free notes on to manage your acne on the day. Call in to book you appointment or phone Whelehans on 044-933-4591.
To be continued…. next week I discuss treatment options
Products mentioned here are available in Whelehans.
Thanks to Kayleigh Ready, skincare consultant at Whelehans Pharmacy and the HSE and NHS for input into this article