Acne doesn’t just leave scars on the outside; it can leave people feeling embarrassed, self-conscious and with feelings of low self-esteem. The emotional damage is as real as the physical damage.
It is the most common skin condition in the United States and acne affects up to 50 million Americans annually. People of all races and ages get acne. But it is most common in teenagers and young adults. Approximately 85 percent of people between the ages of 12 and 24 experience at least minor acne. (www.aad.org/media/stats/conditions).
What Causes Acne?
Acne occurs when hair follicles become plugged with oil and dead skin cells. The actual cause is unknown but many doctors feel there are several common triggers. These triggers include:
Genetics/Heredity: Genes play a big role in the make-up of your skin; a strong family history is usually present in acne patients.
Hormones: Hormones can trigger excess oil production, leading to clogged pores and breakouts. This frequently occurs during: puberty, menstrual cycles, pregnancy and menopause.
Cosmetics: Oily lotions, creams and moisturizers, eye creams, pomades, hair oils, and makeup can all lead to pore-clogging acne if not used and removed properly.
Medications: Although it is not very common, certain drugs, including corticosteroids, lithium, anticonvulsants, barbiturates, androgenic steroids, DHEA and medications that contain bromides or iodides can cause true acne or acne-like eruptions. (http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/acne/features/medications#1)
Diet: Certain dietary factors, including dairy products and carbohydrate-rich foods like bread, bagels and chips, may trigger acne.
The Biggest Myth About Acne
Myths about acne are as common as the actual skin problem. One common myth is that people should let acne run its course. Letting acne runs its course is not a good idea. Without treatment, dark spots and permanent scars can appear on the skin as acne clears. More importantly, it can cause more than blemishes.
Studies show that acne is associated with anxiety, depression, feelings of anger and lower body satisfaction. (http://www.the-dermatologist.com/content/acne-vulgaristhe-psychosocial-and-psychological-burden-illness). When the skin clears, after appropriate treatment, people have shown to have enhanced self-esteem, body image and social functioning.
Today, there are many effective acne treatments as well as new treatments being studied. Dr. Gigi Lefebvre and her team at Meridien Research in St. Petersburg, Florida conduct dozens of clinical research studies each year and many of these studies focus on dermatology conditions such as acne. For information about their current studies, please call the office at 727-347-8839 or click here to submit an online inquiry.