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Jan 22, 2008



Acne is a very common skin disorder that most young people suffer in early puberty. It is caused by inflammation of the small oil glands (sebaceous glands) that surround the fine hairs on the face,chest and back. Acne lesions are commonly referred to as pimples, spots or zits. Although acne is usually not a serious health threat, it can be a source of significant emotional distress. Severe acne can lead to permanent scarring.
Sebaceous glands are found together with a hair shaft in a unit called a sebaceous follicle. During puberty, the cells of the skin that line the follicle begin to shed more rapidly and stick together, when cells mix with the increased amount of sebum being produced, they plug the opening of the follicle. Meanwhile, the sebaceous glands continue to produce sebum, and the follicle swells up with sebum.
In addition, a normal skin bacterium called P. acnes, a common bacterium on the skin that feeds on sebum, begins to multiply rapidly in the clogged hair follicle, and produces waste products and fatty acids that irritate the sebaceous glands and make them inflamed. Sometimes, the wall of the follicle bursts, spreading inflammation to the surrounding skin.

A normal follicle looks like this:

Causes of acne

The cause of pimples is unknown. The process by which a pimple develops is highly intricate. We do not fully understand why this process takes place in one sebaceous gland versus another, why some people get acne and some do not. Several factors are known to be responsible for acne :-
One important factor is an increase in hormones called androgens (male sex hormones). These increase in both boys and girls during puberty and cause the sebaceous glands to enlarge and make more sebum. Hormonal changes related to pregnancy or starting or stopping birth control pills can also cause acne.

Other factors

• Heredity or genetics
• Hormonal activity, such as menstrual cycles
• Diet
• Stress, through increased output of hormones from the adrenal (stress) glands.
• Hyperactive sebaceous glands.
• Accumulation of dead skin cells.
• Bacteria in the pores, to which the body becomes 'allergic'.
• Skin irritation or scratching of any sort will activate inflammation.
• Use of anabolic steroids.
• Any medication containing halogens (iodides, chlorides, bromides), lithium, barbiturates, or androgens.
• Exposure to high levels of chlorine compounds, particularly chlorinated dioxins, can cause severe, long-lasting acne, known as Chloracne.

Acne myths

Myth: Washing your face more often will help clear up acne
Reality:Many people still believe that acne is caused by dirty skin. The truth is, washing alone will not clear up or prevent acne. Washing does, however, help remove excess surface oils and dead skin cells. Many people use all kinds of products, including alcohol-based cleansers, and scrub vigorously, only to irritate the skin further and worsen their acne. Washing the skin twice a day gently with water and a mild soap is usually all that is required. However, acne is actually caused by a variety of biologic factors that are beyond the control of washing. For that reason, you should use appropriate acne treatments for the acne.

Myth: Stress causes acne
Reality:Stress may have an effect on hormones and theoretically can promote acne, Stress can have many physiologic effects on the body, including changes in hormones that may theoretically lead to acne, but is not a very important factor. An effective acne treatment regimen is more powerful than a bout of stress any day. If the acne is being treated effectively, stress is not likely to have much impact on the majority of people. Better spend your time determining the right course of acne treatment rather than feeling guilt about stress.

Myth: Masturbation or sex causes acne
Reality: No, Don't believe the hype.

Myth: The sun will help get rid of acne
Reality: Many patients feel that sunlight improves their acne lesions and go to great lengths to find sources of ultraviolet light. The sun may work in the short-term to hasten the clearing of existing acne while reddening your skin, thus blending your skin tone with red acne marks. However, a sun tan is actually skin damage. Sun exposure causes irritation which can make acne worse. In addition , ultraviolet light in sunlight increases the risk of skin cancer and early aging of the skin. It is, therefore, not a recommended technique of acne.

Goal of treatment

The goals of treatment are to heal existing lesions, stop new lesions from forming, prevent scarring and minimize the psychological stress and embarrassment caused by this disease. Homeopathic treatment is aimed at reducing several problems that play a part in causing acne:

· abnormal clumping of cells in the follicles
· increased oil production
· bacterial growth
· inflammation

Homeopathic Treatment

Homeopathy has more then 40 medicines for Acne. Homeopathic medicines not only cure Acne but also reduce the scarring and dark pigmentation around scars. Homeopathic medicines work very specifically on Acne according to their location on body, patients physical constitution and mental trait.

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