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Acne is a well known and immediately recognisable skin problem normally associated with teenagers, eight out of ten of whom are affected by it to some extent. However it mainly affects the oily glands within the hair follicles of skin on the face, outer ear canal, back, chest and groin, resulting in an outbreak of angry looking pustules. Severe out breaks can be uncomfortable as well as distressing. Spots and other skin eruptions are the hallmarks of acne, a sometimes chronic condition of the face, back, chest, neck, shoulders and other areas of the body. The most common form encompasses blackheads, whiteheads and raised red blemishes with semisolid centres. However in severe cases, clusters of painful, fluid filled cysts or firm, painless lumps appear beneath the skin’s surface, so both can lead to unsightly permanent pitting and scarring. Therefore for teenagers especially acne can be an embarrassing and emotionally difficult condition.

However the onset of acne is linked with excess production of skin grease and the consequent blockage of oil gland ducts. Therefore these secretions increase the risk of infection with bacteria and cause inflammation as enzymes produced by the bacteria break the grease down into fatty acids and inflammatory chemicals. So the oily glands respond to hormone changes occurring at puberty. In women, menstrual periods or pregnancy can also create acne producing hormonal disturbances. However other acne triggers include emotional stress, the friction or rubbing of clothing against the skin and certain medications, particularly steroids, contraceptives or drugs that affect hormonal levels.

On the contrary to popular belief, acne is probably not caused by eating chocolates, nuts, or fatty snacks or by drinking colas. However there is no evidence that acne is solely caused by the bad diet, although poor nutrition can certainly make symptoms worse. In some cases, acne is exacerbated by drinking excess coffee, tea and alcohol. Lack of zinc, selenium, or vitamin A, B, and E has been linked with acne in some cases, as has lack of essential fatty acids which are found in nuts, seeds and whole grain cereals. But premenstrual acne has been helped by increasing intake of vitamin B6. A healthy, whole food diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables, pulses, seeds and wholegrain cereals helps to supply vitamins and minerals needed to damp down inflammation and fight infection. Therefore fighting acne with natural supplements may be an attractive option for women of childbearing age, most of whom cannot take the powerful prescription drug isotretinoin because it may cause birth defects. Some of this things can help to cure acne just like wash face daily using ordinary soap and water. Eat a balanced diet; avoid foods you feel may act as acne triggers. Always choose cosmetics labelled non comedogenic or oil free. And never forget to avoid squeezing spots, as it increases inflammation and cause scarring. Drink enough water to keep the skin hydrated.  Fortunately there are a variety of ways to control out breaks no matter how old you are when they occur.

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