Winning the Fight Against Long-Term Chronic Acne

Winning the Fight Against  Long-Term Chronic Acne

While acne is a problem that many people will experience at one point or another during their life, and not only as most think, during adolescence, most are fortunate enough to experience breakouts lasting for relatively short periods. Then, acne may be treated and clear up to either never return, or at least give an individual a longer break. Unfortunately, there are a growing number of acne sufferers who have to deal with mild to severe breakouts for much of their adult life. For these people, acne isn't simply a temporary nuisance-it's a real and chronic condition that impacts many different areas of their life.

If you're suffering from chronic acne you may be feeling hopeless because after years of trying you still haven't found a treatment that will work for you. While these feelings are understandable and justified, take comfort in the fact that the reason your chronic acne may continue to persist is because many products and treatments do not approach the issue from the correct angle. Acne treatments that address only the most visible symptoms of the condition are a dime a dozen, but they do nothing to treat the real problem-the underlying, internal causes of acne.

What Is Chronic Acne? How Do I Know If I've Got It?

Before we look at chronic acne and what you can do to help improve it, it's important to understand what it is and how it differs from other forms of acne. Determining which form you're suffering from specifically is vital in understanding what treatment methods will best address your problems.

If you have been dealing with breakouts for two years or more, you're a chronic acne sufferer. However, under the umbrella term of "chronic acne" there are varying degrees of the condition-mild, moderate, and severe.

Mild chronic acne is just that-mild. It usually involves only a small number of pimples that continue to recur. Most of the time mild acne is limited to the face and forehead. Even though this is the least debilitating form of chronic acne, it's still frustrating to have to deal with breakouts on a regular basis over the course of many years.

Moderate chronic acne, like mild chronic acne, is typically limited to the face and forehead. However, with moderate chronic acne your breakouts are likely to be more frequent and more severe. These breakouts will typically cover a larger area of your face and you may experience pimples that are larger in size as well.

Severe chronic acne can be a real burden. Many times this form of acne is not simply limited to your face-instead you will find that breakouts can occur across the neck, shoulders, and chest as well. Severe chronic acne is not necessarily limited to just pimples, either. With it, large acne cysts are possible as well.

Treating Chronic Acne-Addressing the Cause and Not Just the Symptoms

Most people are familiar with the surface-level cause of acne-clogged pores. When the oil glands (known as sebaceous glands) underneath your skin produce excess oil (sebum) this can cause your pores to clog, which allows acne-causing bacteria to develop. For people with mild and infrequent acne, treating these clogged pores is enough to keep the condition at bay because soon enough their bodies learn to produce sebum at a more acceptable rate.

However, have you ever stopped to think about what it is that causes your sebaceous glands to overproduce sebum in the first place? If you haven't, you should-because the answer has a lot to do with how we can effectively treat chronic acne.

The hormone known as androgen is the prime suspect in causing your sebaceous glands to overproduce sebum. Androgen's most well-known form is testosterone; however, don't let this association fool you into thinking that androgen is a male-specific hormone-women's bodies produce androgen as well, although at lower levels. While men are more likely to suffer from persistent, chronic acne because of the consistently higher levels of androgen in their blood stream, women are susceptible to the condition as well-especially during the menstrual cycle, when androgens are typically at their highest point.

It's this hormonal imbalance that leads to chronic acne, and as you can see, keeping your face clean and your pores clear does nothing to address the androgen issues that cause the condition.

What Can Be Done to Address the Hormonal Origins of Chronic Acne?

If you want to treat and manage your chronic acne, you will have to address the problem at its source. By targeting the hormonal causes of acne instead the symptoms, you will not only help treat your current breakout but will also help prevent future flare ups from occurring. In the midst of a chronic breakout, life without acne may seem like an unobtainable goal, but with patience and a smart plan for addressing acne's underlying causes, you too can live your life with clear skin and self-confidence.

With a Promise of Clear Skin,
Dr. A