HEALTH AND WELLBEING: A monthly column by Jo Esdale, of Essential Well-Being of Spalding
Following on from my article last month, I would like to explain more about acne ,which is often misunderstood and incorrectly treated.
Over 645million people suffer from the bacterial skin disorder Acne Vulgaris worldwide and it is the eighth most prevalent skin condition and is believed to affect as many as eight in ten individuals aged between 11 and 30 in the UK.
Forty per cent of sufferers do nothing about it and just suffer the symptoms, 30 per cent try to self treat with over the counter creams, only 20 per cent seek advice from a skin therapist like myself and just 10 per cent see their doctor for medical advice.
Understanding the condition and the triggers
Genetic: if one parent suffered from acne, their child is four times more likly to developit and if both parents suffered the likelihood increases to eight times.
Stress: influences hormone levels in the body, in particular cortisol which can negatively affect the skin by stimulating sebum production and sensitivity.
Diet: excessive protein and dairy intake increases cell renewal.
Hygiene: poor cleansing, excess bacteria on the skin’s surface and the use of incorrect products.
So what happens?
An imbalance of follicle activity developes, increasing the production of Propionibacterium acnes (P.acne) which grow deep inside our pores and feed on sebum, keeping the follicle healthy, like the good bacteria in our gut.
A combination of the triggered listed above lead to increased production of skin cells and oil, these combine and create a mass within the folicle which becomes unstable and irritated, this irritation stimulates the P.acne bacteria to over produce, the mass builds until excess pressure causes the follicle to fracture, the bacteria floods out, inflammation occurs and stimulates healing by the production of more skin cells to mend the folicle wall. However, once the skin cells have been triggered, the oil production and P.acne bacteria trigger again and the development of the Acne condition occurs.
Prescriptive lotions and medication from the doctor.
LED light therapy: blue LED light stimulates Porphyrins within the P.acnes, killing them from within.
Home care products: it is always best to seek advice before self medicating as all acne treatments contain active ingredients which may cause further damage if used incorrectly.
Here are a few ingredients to look for: Niacinamide, Colloidal Silver, Benzoyl Peroxide, Nordihydroguaiaretic Acid and Activated Binchotan Charcoal.
Antibiotics have been used historically, however P.acnes are becoming increasingly resistant and they are less effective. Lifestyle and diet changes my be required to treat acne effectively. Don’t be one of the 40 per cent who suffer in silence, seek advice.