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The Menace of Acne Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Temi Ige, Nigeria Nov 13, 2003
Health   Opinions


Acne is an inflammatory skin disorder characterized by pimples, blackheads and whiteheads. In recent times, acne has been the most commonly treated disfiguring skin abnormality and it has been a source of emotional stress and decrease in self-esteem. Acne is usually a signal that something is wrong with your body function, the food you eat or your skin care routine, and most times, a good diet coupled with good skin care products may be all that is needed to solve the problem.

However, as in cases of pubertal (teenage) acne and premenstrual acne flare-ups in some women, acne may occur as a result of hormonal imbalance and other factors. Acne is often a pubertal experience, especially in boys, caused by increased production of androgens (male sex hormones). These hormones stimulate the production of keratin (a type of protein) and sebum (an oily skin lubricant).

In acne, sebum is usually secreted faster than it can move through the pores in the skin thus causing a blemish. The excess oil makes the pores sticky, allowing bacteria to become trapped inside. When the sebum combines with skin pigments and plugs the pores, blackheads are formed. When epithelial cells below the skin surface become filled with sebum, whiteheads are formed. In severe acne, whiteheads build up, spread under the skin and rupture, thus spreading the inflammation.

Although proper skin care is important in the treatment of acne, acne is not caused by lack of cleanliness per se, but is more likely to be the result of overactive oil glands.

Acne can also affect adults, and unlike teenage acne that occurs on the face and/or upper body, adult acne is usually limited to the skin and jaw-line and involves fewer, but possibly more painful, blemishes.

The release of progesterone after ovulation causes pre-menstrual acne flare-ups and oral contraceptives that contain a high level of progesterone can also cause acne. The presence of candidacies can also cause hormonal changes that encourage the liver to produce the wrong substances in place of healthy sebum.

Candidacies are caused by Candida albicans, a single-celled fungus, which is always present in the genital and intestinal tracts. It causes candidacies when it is present in disproportionate quantities. Symptoms include rash, vaginitis (inflammation of the mucous membranes lining the vagina), and thrush (infection of the mouth and throat).

Factors contributing to acne include heredity, oily skin, hormonal imbalance, monthly menstrual cycles and candidacies. Others are allergies, stress, and use of certain types of drugs. It can also be caused by nutritional deficiencies, and/or diets high in saturated fats, hydrogenated fats and animal products. Exposure to industrial pollutants such as machine oils, coal tar derivatives, and chlorinated hydrocarbons are some environmental factors that can have an adverse effect on the condition. A body pH that is too acidic or too alkaline also fosters nesting and breeding of acne-causing bacteria. The skin is responsible for elimination of a part of the toxic wastes produced by the body, through sweating.

When there are too much toxins in the body, the liver and kidney cannot completely eliminate them and so the skin joins in. But these toxins affect the integrity of the skin and the result is a variety of possible skin disorders, including acne.

The skin also respires (“breathes”) through its pores and when these pores become blocked, acne-causing microbes flourish because they are protected against the microbe-limiting action of sunlight. Thus, any pore-blocking substances, for example dirt, dust, oils etc, may cause acne. Using proper skin care products can prevent this.


• Eat a high fiber diet.

• Increase your intake of raw food, especially those that contain oxalic acid, e.g. almonds, beets, cashews, except for spinach and rhubarb, which contain oxalic acid but should be taken in small amounts only.

• Eat lots of fresh fruits.

• Eat more foods rich in zinc e.g. shellfish, soybeans, whole grains, sunflower seeds, fresh nuts etc.

• Your diet must contain vitamins A, C, E and essential fatty acids (For more details, consult a licensed medical practitioner). Be sure not to take too much vitamin A.

• Drink at least 8 glasses of quality water per day.

• Avoid the food that you have observed to stimulate an inflammatory reaction. These foods vary from individual to individual.

• Keep the affected area as free of oil as possible.



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Temi Ige

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Good one
Shah Khanam | Nov 15th, 2003
I like this article, veery informative for me.

oluwaseyi Famubode | Nov 18th, 2003
it was really informative

Please correct
Temi Ige | Nov 19th, 2003
Please note: "Candidacies" in the essay should be replaced by "Candidiasis". Candidiasis is a disease and the word "candidacies" does not apply in this respect. Thanks.

Amalia Miralrio | Mar 31st, 2004
You should write for teen magazines! Your stuff is so much better than their's!

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