Yes, I'm fixating on the one that stares back at me in the mirror. And when a thing is on my mind (or in this case, on my chin), it ends up on the Thursday Thirteen.
1) Whether it's a blackhead, a whitehead or a pimple, it started the same way -- as dead skin cells settling into a pore, made worse by oil.
2) Blackheads are small and usually flat. They are dark not because of dirt but because that's what happens to oil when exposed to the air.
3) Whiteheads tend to be raised bumps, white because of the sebum and dead skin cells collected there.
4) Pimples -- like the one ruining my life -- are blackheads gone bad. When a blackhead bursts and releases bacteria into the surrounding tissue, you get what I'm seeing in the mirror.
5) Scrubbing doesn't help prevent acne, since it begins below the skin's surface. Washing too often with a too-strong cleanser will only irritate your skin.
6) There's no credible, conclusive evidence that chocolate or caffeine cause acne. Of course, if cutting down on these foods helps reduce your breakouts, no reason not to do it!
7) There's even less evidence tying stress to acne. However it is believed the reverse is true -- that acne can cause stress.
8) Touching your face can be a factor. Not because your hands are dirty, but because touching can stimulate oil production.
9) Sunscreens do not necessarily cause zits. If you find that your skin is worse when you're slathering on the protection, try a different brand. Pimples come and go, but the impact of sun damage -- including carcinoma! -- is forever.
10) Oh yeah, and hormones'll do it to us, too. Hormones are powerful buggers, aren't they?
11) That could help explain why more women than men between 30 and 60 suffer from adult acne.
12) You can find over-the-counter treatments for your acne, which is not a surprise, since the skin care business is worth more than $40 billion dollars and continues to grow every year.
13) Benzoyl peroxide is most often recommended for teen acne, salicylic acid for adult acne. But a doctor can prescribe more sophisticated treatments to specifically target your problem.
Thanks to WebMD for most of this information.
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