Skin is the number one concern among teens, and acne is the most common skin problem among them. Acne occurs in 80 per cent adolescent girls and 90 per cent adolescent boys.
Acne is caused by small, overactive sebaceous glands connected to hair follicles. The hair follicles can become blocked and infected from an overgrowth of bacteria resulting in acne.
The sebaceous glands are controlled by androgens, which are male sex hormones. As puberty progresses, androgens increase the size of sebaceous glands to adult size, producing more sebum, causing acne.
Sometimes acne is mild and easily managed but often it becomes severe and persistent. Only about 27 percent of teens between the ages 12 and 17 have clear skin, free from significant lesions. Five percent of teenagers with acne have inflammations which leads to permanent scarring. When your acne is severe, seek medical help. Your doctor can prescribe antibiotics or other medication which will help control the acne.
If you have mild acne, or an occasional outbreak, here are some tips to help you manage acne:
- Wash your face with mild soap and water.
- Only wash your face about twice a day–washing too much may worsen the acne (by spreading it around your face!).
- Use a clean washcloth each time you wash your face–a dirty wet cloth is only a breeding ground for bacteria.
- Avoid using benzyl peroxide or other drying medication.
- Avoid wearing too many cosmetics or wear only water–based formulas.
- Keep your hair away from your face.
- Sunlight can have a beneficial effect (20 minutes in the morning or afternoon is just the trick).
- Don’t squeeze or scratch acne, as this will cause it to spread.
- Eat plenty of food rich in zinc, such as soybeans, whole grains, sunflower seeds or supplement your diet with zinc.
- Eat a diet that is high in fiber. This will help your body get rid of toxins.
- Try to avoid refined sugar.
- Try to avoid hydrogenated oils and saturated fats.
- Give up junk food.
- Drink plenty of clean water to flush out your system.
- Get enough sleep.
You have between 1,00,000 and 2,00,000 hairs on your head. The roots of hair are made of living cells and grow out of the dermis. A hair grows out of a follicle, which is a small packet that holds the root in the dermis. Through the follicle the root is supplied with blood and nerve tissue. Hair normally grows at about 6 inches per year. You can lose between 25 and 100 hairs daily.
Some hair tips
- Wash your hair regularly.
- If possible, let your hair dry naturally.
- Brush well once a day.
- Massage the scalp with the brush to promote circulation and hair growth.