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Scars are an unfortunate consequence for many people who suffer from acne. Fortunately, there are treatment options available.

Acne Scarring - What Are My Treatment Options?

Acne Scarring - What Are My Treatment Options?Acne Scarring can have serious effects on a person's self-image and emotional state. Fortunately there have been significant advances in the treatment of acne-related scarring in recent years. It is important to note that nothing will completely heal the majority of scars.Laser Therapy - Using lasers to treat scars is a new technology, but is one of the most promising options for severe scarring. The lasers remove the scarred skin, and encourage growth of new skin in its place. After treatment, the skin will be pink and swollen for a week or so. During this time, bandages need to be kept over the skin to prevent infection. It takes months for the skin to return to normal, but most people will see less noticeable scars and smoother skin. Laser scar treatment can be quite expensive, however.Surgical Therapy (Dermabrasion) - This form of scar treatment uses a motorized burr, which usually contains diamond particles. Diamonds are very strong abrasives when in a powder-form. A scab will form once the procedure is completed. Once the wound is healed, a smooth pink layer of new skin will appear. Multiple treatments are often necessary, and each one can cost $1500.Creams and Gels - There are many topical treatments that claim to reduce the appearance of scars. Some contain Vitamin E and other nutrients. Mederma is a popular brand name. Many people report that it can improve scars in as little as 8 weeks for new scars, or 6 months for older scars. Results with topical ointments like this will vary from person to person.Collagen Injection - This is a temporary fix, where the patient's own body fat or collagen is injected into the scar site. This works well for some people with deep-pitted scars. The material injected serves to raise the skin, and reduce the pitted appearance, and wrinkling from the scar. However, this procedure needs to be repeated every 6 months and can be expensive.Read more at www.adult-acne.org.

How To Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

How To Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

The holiday season is undoubtedly a time for rejoicing. Unfortunately, the average adult does a little too much celebrating during this time of year, which leads to extra baggage when the New Year rings in. Festivities that include indulging in extra helpings, snacking on seasonal treats, and little to no workout time all contribute to the increase in dieters in January.So, this holiday season buck the trends and avoid the Seasonal Seven (the average weight most of us will gain between Thanksgiving and the New Year). Thats one trend you dont want to participate in! Even though this time of year may bring upon additional stresses and challenges, there are ways to find balance and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Though at times it may seem impossible to bypass the season's traditional foods, there are many ways to partake in the fun without increasing your pant size. The festivities dont have to be eliminated or avoided. You can have a fabulous time while also maintaining your weight and your fitness regimen. Moderation is the word of the season. Its the secret to achieving a fun but also healthy holiday time. With a moderate approach both to what you eat (or dont eat) and how much exercise you do (or dont do), you can avoid packing on weight AND also partake in all the fun of this time of year. So this season, get a head start on the New Year instead of starting January with extra pounds to lose. Here are some tips to help you during those hectic holiday weeks:Create a plan ahead of time. Before the holidays sneak up on you, create a plan for incorporating fitness and good nutrition into your daily routine. Evaluate your holiday schedule and then determine how much time you will realistically have available to devote to working out.If you work in an office setting be prepared for the deluge of guilty treats your co-workers and other business associates will graciously want to share. Stash your own healthy snacks in your desk so you wont be tempted to overindulge when your grumbling stomach demands a 3:00 snack time.Dont put your fitness goals on hold until the New Year. If you cant exercise as often during this time period as you normally do, adjust appropriately. Dont use the excuse that since you dont have time for your full workout you just wont workout at all. Instead accept your limited availability and simply reduce the frequency and/or duration of your exercise. Its much better to cut your fitness time in half than to completely eliminate it.When attending a holiday function, try to eat ahead of time to lessen your hunger. If the party is in the evening, eat breakfast, lunch and a snack before hand (just as you would on any other day). Since you have eaten meals earlier in the day, youll be less tempted to go overboard and eat everything in sight. However, if you instead starve all day long attempting to save up all your calories for the party, you will be so famished by the time it begins that it will be difficult not to overeat.Schedule your workouts. Mark them on the calendar and set-aside time to complete them. Consider them as important as any other appointment or event you have marked on your calendar.At holiday dinners, skip the gravy, dressings, and high-calorie condiments.On days that you really lack motivation or simply do not have time for your complete exercise routine, commit to do just 10 minutes of exercise. Youll probably end up doing more than that once you get started. Even if you only end up completing 10 minutes, that is still a lot better than zero minutes.When at a party, scout out healthy food options rather than doing a grab and run on all the unhealthy selections. For example, vegetable sticks (without dip), fruit pieces, plain chicken pieces, etc. Then move on to some of the less healthy (but yummy) offerings. You will be less likely to overindulge on these foods if you have already filled-up on some of the healthier items. Yet, you will not feel deprived or unsatisfied.Exercise at home. Youll be more inclined to follow-through on your exercise commitment if you dont have to drive somewhere to do your workout. Plus, you wont waste any time on driving, parking, the locker room or waiting to use equipment. Working out at home requires very little equipment (it even can be equipment-free) and is quite inexpensive.Avoid wasting calories on alcoholic beverages. The average alcoholic drink contains 150-200 calories per glass. Indulge in just 2-3 drinks and youve drunk the equivalent calories of an entire meal. If you partake in these beverages, choose wisely. For example, instead of having a full glass of wine, try mixing half a glass of wine with sparkling water or with a diet soda. This will help cut your calories in half.When running errands or shopping, be sure to pack some healthy snacks to have on-hand. Then after you work-up a big appetite, you wont be tempted to grab something at the mall food court or the fast food restaurant on the way home.Dont linger at the buffet or in the kitchen. If you loiter in close proximity to all the guilty temptations, youll struggle to keep from unconsciously shoveling food into your mouth.Focus on socializing. Remember one of the great things about the holidays is spending time with friends and family. During get-togethers spend the majority of time sharing conversation instead of sharing desserts. Hopefully these tips will help you find a balance between staying fit and also enjoying the fun of the season. Remember, moderation is the key. Have a great holiday season!

Acne And Skin Changes In Pregnancy

Acne And Skin Changes In Pregnancy

All thanks to hormones your complexion may act up to during pregnancy. If you have had clear skin all along, pimples, acne, etc seems like unwanted guests. On the other hand, acne, pimples, etc prior to your pregnancy, your skin might just clear up. Irrespective of the situation, you can start by keeping your skin clean and moisturized. And if pimples, acne, start to appear, do not pick, squeeze, scratch or pop them. You make things worse for your skin by risking scars. Speak with your doctor if acne becomes worse.Acne prevention pointers- Wash your face twice a day with mild cleanser. Exfoliate but do not scrub your skin.- Exercise to reduces stress, increases blood circulation and oxygen penetration to your skin- Do not squeeze, pop, scratch or pick at your pimples, as this can make the infection spread.- Drink adequate amount of water each day to help detoxify the body from the inside out.- Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables and drink loads of water to maintain healthy skin. Avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates- Avoid oil based cosmetics and clean your cosmetic brushes in warm soapy water.- Avoid exposing your skin to too much sunlight, heat or cold. - Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothing as it can trap sweat against the skin.Acne Remedies- Apply lavender or tea tree oil on the acne affected area. These essential oils are natural antibiotics destroying a broad range of microorganisms and reduce redness, itchiness and stinging. Try a steam facial of boiling water mixed with couple of drops of tea tree oil. When you are finished, splash your face with cold water, to help close the pores again. - Cut fresh garlic clove in half and put it on the affected area. - Put a tsp of lemon juice and ground cinnamon on the acne.- Apply vinegar to the face with a cotton ball and let it sit for ten minutes and then rinse with cold water.- Lemon or any citric fruit are good natural exfoliates. Squeeze a lemon or citrus fruit into a bowl and soak a cotton ball in the juice. Apply the lemon juice to the face and then leave for 10 minutes before rinsing with cool water.- Beat one egg white and apply it on the face for 15 minutes and then rinse with cold water. Egg white with large amount of proteins and fatty acids replenishes the skin and tightens the pores.- If you see a pimple starting to break out on your face, rub an ice cube on the affected area.

The Many Causes Of Acne

The Many Causes Of Acne

Acne remains a bit of a mystery. It seems to be partly hereditary, but why some people are affected by it and others are untouched isn't exactly known. We do, however, understand some of the biology behind it. The main culprit is the excess production of sebum, an oily substance whose function is to keep skin and hair lubricated and supple. The production of the oily sebum blocks the skin's surface, which provides an ideal environment for bacterial growth. The bacteria multiply, the skin area becomes red and inflamed, and then a pimple pops up. The Role Of TestosteroneThe excess production of sebum is caused by testosterone, the male hormone. However, testosterone is present in both males and females. During puberty, the body changes in its reaction to testosterone, thereby producing extra sebum. This irregular reaction, occurring mainly during adolescence, causes the skin -- particularly the face and upper torso -- to become oily. The sebum then combines with naturally occurring dead skin cells to block hair follicles. The body usually regulates its reaction to testosterone by the early 20s, and then the annoying acne clears up. Hair Follicle TheoryNarrowing hair follicles could be involved with the production of acne -- so says a recent scientific theory. Evidence suggests that hair follicles may become restricted for several reasons, including excessive shedding of cells within the follicle, abnormal cell binding, or water retention which causes the skin to swell. The narrowed hair follicles prevent dead cells from being expelled from the body, creating a buildup beneath the skin. Combined with sebum, it produces ideal conditions for acne. Making Matters WorseMany people can't resist squeezing their pimples. This may make the condition worse, by spreading the bacteria to the surrounding skin area. It also can lead to scarring, sometimes permanently. Even touching the face can worsen acne. Without realizing it, most of us touch our faces many times throughout the day. The problem is that our hands contain oils and bacteria that will increase the acne symptoms. In fact, all objects, including eyeglasses and telephone handsets, that make contact with the face must be clean. Hair, particularly long hair, also touches your face, so it is important to keep your hair clean and oil free. Fabric accessories such as hats and headbands should be avoided or used as little as possible. Other FactorsOther things that seem to aggravate acne conditions include diet, skin irritation, stress, hormonal activities such as menstrual cycles, and certain medications. Dietary links show skim milk products to be related to acne. There is no statistical evidence, however, that foods such as chocolate and fast food have any association with pimples or aggravates acne. Medications associated with acne include anabolic steroids (used for bodybuilding), lithium, barbiturates, halogens, and androgens.

Treatment on Acne

It's important to know that there is no true cure for acne. If untreated, it can last for many years, although acne usually clears up as you get older. The following treatments, however, generally can keep acne under control.1. Use topical benzoyl peroxide lotion or gelBenzoyl peroxide helps kill skin bacteria, unplug the oil ducts and heal acne pimples. It is the most effective acne treatment you can get without a doctor's prescription. Many brands are available in different levels of strength (2.5 percent, 5 percent or 10 percent). Read the labels or ask your pediatrician or pharmacist about it. * Start slowly with a 2.5 percent or 5 percent lotion or gel once a day. After a week, increase use to twice a day (morning and night) if your skin isn't too red or isn't peeling. * Apply a thin film to the entire area where pimples may occur. Don't just dab it on current blemishes. Avoid the delicate skin around the eyes, mouth and corner of the nose. * If your acne isn't better after four to six weeks, you may increase to a 10 percent strength lotion or gel. Start with one application each day and increase to two daily applications if your skin tolerates it. 2. If you don't see results, consult your pediatricianYour doctor can prescribe stronger treatments, if needed, and will teach you how to use them properly. Three kinds of medications may be recommended: * TRETINOIN (RETIN-A) CREAM OR GEL helps unplug oil ducts but must be used exactly as directed. Be aware that exposure to the sun (or tanning parlors) can cause increased redness in some people who are using the medication. * TOPICAL ANTIBIOTIC SOLUTIONS may be used in addition to other medications for a type of acne called pustular acne. * ORAL ANTIBIOTIC PILLS may be used in addition to creams, lotions or gels if your acne doesn't respond to topical treatments alone. 3. What about the "miracle drug" Accutane?Isotretinoin (Accutane) is a very strong chemical taken in pill form. It is used only for severe cystic acne that hasn't responded to any other treatment. Accutane must NEVER be taken just before or during pregnancy. There is a danger of severe or even fatal deformities to unborn babies whose mothers have taken Accutane while pregnant or who become pregnant soon after taking Accutane. You should never have unprotected sexual intercourse while taking Accutane. Patients who take Accutane must be carefully supervised by a doctor knowledgeable about its usage, such as a pediatric dermatologist or other expert on treating acne. Your pediatrician may require a negative pregnancy test and a signed consent form before prescribing Accutane to females.If you are experiencing acne problems, remember that your pediatrician can help you. And as you begin treatment, keep these helpful tips in mind: * Be patient. It takes three to six weeks to see any improvement. Give each treatment enough time to work. * Be faithful. Follow your program every day. Don't stop and start each time your skin changes. Remember, sometimes your skin may appear to worsen early in the program before you begin to see improvement. * Follow directions. Not using the treatment as directed is the most common reason the treatment fails. * Don't use medication prescribed for someone else. This holds true for all medications, especially Accutane. Doctors prescribe medication specifically for particular patients. What's good for a friend may be harmful for you. Never take Accutane that's prescribed for another person. * Don't overdo it. Too much scrubbing makes skin worse. Too much benzoyl peroxide or Retin-A cream makes your face red and scaly. Too much oral antibiotic may cause side effects.

Acne Scar Treatments

There are many ways to treat acne scars. Determining your treatment depends on the type of scar and quantity of scarring. Before you consider a scar treatment you should have an in depth conversation with your doctor. It is very important you only use this information as an introduction to scar treatments and not a final guide. Your dermatologist and you can discuss the proper treatment after you have basic knowledge.For very mild acne, a chemical peel might be all that you need. Different types of acid are used in this procedure. It is recommended that you choose another method of treatment, if you have very noticeable or deep scarring. The chemical peel procedure takes about fifteen minutes. The resultant facial redness may last up to a few weeks.There are a few choices available to treat moderate acne scarring. The most popular are dermabrasion and laser resurfacing. Dermabrasion is a scar treatment in which a diamond plated wheel is used to sand your face. This technique has been around for a long time and sandpaper was once used instead of the new machines that utilize the diamond plated tool. Generally, this procedure takes around an hour to perform. You should expect some scabbing and redness for a few weeks. This method is most effective for individual with very pale or very dark complexions.The other treatment for mild acne scars is laser resurfacing. This treatment involves removing old skin with a carbon dioxide (CO2) or erbium laser. Depending on the size and frequency of the scars, the treatment may last only several minutes or in excess of an hour. This treatment is not advised for people with darker skin pigment, because it may result in uneven skin color. After treatment, redness should be expected for a few weeks and a mild pinkish tone may be evident even longer.For very deep, pitted scars, physicians utilize a "punch technique." There are several "punch" treatments available depending on your doctor, type of acne and other factors. The first type is a punch replacement in which a tool is used to remove the scar. Then a skin graft from another part of your body is transplanted over the site. Another technique is the punch excision where the scar is surgically removed and the area allowed to recover. Finally, there is a technique where the physician removes the scar at the bottom. The skin at the treated area is allowed to rise and fills the cratered area. Usually a punch technique is combined with dermabrasion or laser resurfacing for optimal results. Healing may take up to several weeks.Another type of acne scar treatment is subcision. With subcision the scar is detached from the lower tissue, which allows a blood clot to form under the skin. The clot forces the scar up to the surface of the skin. Similar to the punch techniques, combining subcision with dermabrasion or laser resurfacing yields the best results. This type of treatment can be effective for all types of scarring, but is best for deeper and more prominent scars.The last type of treatment is augmentation. Augmentation uses a material similar to collagen which is injected under the skin to bring the scar to the surface. Recovery is immediate and no time off work is necessary. The drawback, however, is that results are temporary and only last up to six months.Whatever acne scar treatment you decide upon, keep in mind that some may require more than one session with a doctor. Always consult your dermatologist to decide which treatment is best for you. There is a wide variation with the costs associated with the various treatments. Make sure you consider the financial ramifications with your treatment plan before you proceed. Remember, more than one treatment plan may be effective in your particular situation. Each plan has benefits and drawbacks so make sure you discuss all your concerns with your doctor.

Summary

Scars are an unfortunate consequence for many people who suffer from acne. Fortunately, there are treatment options available.