A skin condition affecting a great number of people and in varying degrees at some point in their lives, acne can take the form of a simple pimple to full blown acne. Though not lethal, acne can do huge emotional damage to affected people. It strips them of their self-esteem and is quite difficult to get rid of.
There are so many available treatments for acne which makes it hard to choose the good products from the questionable ones since the market is flooded with products that promises instant and/or guaranteed cures.
Acne originates in the hair follicles and pores of the shoulders, chest, and face. This skin condition comes about when pores develop blockages caused by an overabundance of an oily substance called sebum. This substance is secreted by the glands, obstructing the pores making the gland very susceptible to bacterial infection.
When the gland becomes infected, the body begins to fight infection causing pus to develop in the pores. This is the way the body fights this condition. Acne is the manifestation of the fight between the bacteria and the body and the symptoms resulting from this battle include a core filled with pus inside swollen red welts.
As mentioned before, acne is not a lethal condition; however, it may lead to severe scarring in the face, which is a huge cosmetic disaster for the sufferer.
Pimples Can Manifest in Several Forms
Pimples typically appear in six forms. Knowing the correct type of treatment depends on knowing the type of pimple you have.
1. Blackheads – These pimples are caused by sebum and appear as a waxy concentration and when squeezed form like a black top.
2. Whiteheads – These pimples appear without any top. They look like a white spot and tend to stay under the skin’s surface. They contain a thicker, harder secretion and are difficult to squeeze.
3. Pustules – The name itself implies that these pimples contain pus with an inflamed, red base secreted from the top.
4. Papules – Bumps that are tender, small, and form without a top.
5. Cysts – These types of pimples are almost similar to boils. They form deep within the subcutaneous layer of the skin. They are capable of developing into scars and are painful.
6. Nodules – They are marked by painful and large concentrations of pus formed deep within the skin.
Acne Risk Groups
In the United States alone around 17 million individuals suffer from certain forms of acne. The fact is acne is the most common skin condition in this country. It can affect persons of all races and ages although teens and young adults are the ones most likely to suffer from this condition. It is not surprising then that over 85% of those with this condition are people between the ages of 12 and 24. The good news is that a majority of these sufferers see their condition heal by itself around the age of 30. People who may still have acne after that period may need to endure it even up to the start of their adulthood.
What Causes Acne?
No one knows what exactly causes acne although medical researchers list some possible factors that may be responsible for this condition. They include:
-Long term use of poor quality cosmetics
-High levels of testosterone and steroid use
-Allergic reaction to certain types of medication
-Taking birth control pills or ending their use
-Hormonal imbalance or change
-The start of puberty
There are dozens of acne treatments which make it difficult to select the right one for your specific condition. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), specifically acupuncture, and other forms of alternative therapies can be ideal modes of treatment for this disease. Due to the growing awareness of the safety and effectiveness of natural modes of treatment, more and more people are now opting for acupuncture for treatment of a wide range of conditions including acne.
The goal (or should I say goals) of acupuncture in treating a condition is to resolve the symptoms and address the underlying problem that caused the symptoms and illness in the first place. Although it may lack Western scientific validity, tons of anecdotal evidence exists proving that acupuncture works for acne and other skin conditions. The following must first be considered before one decides to embark in an acupuncture treatment for their condition:
1. Candidate patients need to have strong confidence in the experience and qualification of their acupuncturist. These patients need to query their practitioner about their qualifications and their experience in treating conditions they’re suffering from. The acupuncturist may not be the best choice if they feel uncomfortable answering such questions.
2. Acne treatments that produce the best results usually entail a combination of acupuncture and diet and lifestyle changes.
Being a long term treatment, acupuncture may involve weekly or monthly sessions and may last for several months.
For many young individuals, acne is a serious unsightly, annoying and sometimes painful problem. A lot of factors need to be taken into consideration when selecting a type of treatment program for this condition. It’s important to exactly know the severity of your acne and the proper initial step to treatment is to consult with a certified dermatologist. If the dermatologist fails to treat your problem, then trying out acupuncture and other TCM treatments may be the next sensible choice.