Friday, August 31, 2012

Rediscovering Vitamin E…

An efficient & essential ingredient of Clear Skin Max

An introduction to Tocopherol acetate (Vitamin E)
Tocopherol is the scientific name for vitamin E. Tocopherol acetate is a lipid-soluble version of vitamin E. Natural vitamin E is used as a powerful antioxidant and free radical scavenger. One of nature’s most dynamic moisturizers, it also aids cellular renewal of the skin. Therefore, to date, vitamin E has been tried for the treatment of almost every type of skin lesion (problem) imaginable. For the same reason, many doctors and dermatologists lay people use vitamin E on a regular basis to improve the outcome of scars and several physicians recommend topical (locally applied) vitamin E after skin surgery or resurfacing.

What is vitamin E?
Vitamin E is considered as one of the most important oil-soluble anti-oxidant and free radical scavenger. It is also a photo-protector, protecting cellular membrane from free-radical damage.

Some basic skin-related functions of vitamin E
• Vitamin E is one of the best known antioxidants found in the human body. It means that its key biological function is to protect lipids from oxidation and free radical damage. Therefore, it basically serves a preservative function due to its ability to protect against oxidation.
• Vitamin E counts among the vitamins that protect the skin and the mucous membranes.
• It improves trans-epidermal water loss, thereby improving the appearance of rough, dry and damaged skin.
• It also helps to maintain connective tissue.
• Vitamin E seals the connective tissue and the vascular walls, makes wounds heal quickly and keeps the skin elastic and smooth.
• Vitamin E also prevents aging of the skin.
• It prevents irritation due to sun exposure. If applied before sun exposure, it acts protective against epidermal cell damage caused by inflammation.
• It also counteracts increased functioning of the sebaceous glands (as is the case in acne) and reduces excessive skin pigmentation.

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Understanding different stages of acne

An easy grading of acne

Based on the degree or the severity of the signs and symptoms produced in acne, the disorder can be categorized into three prominent or main stages or grades as follows:

Mild acne (“whiteheads” and “blackheads”)
Mils acne, also known as non-inflammatory acne, is caused by a plug of dead skin cells and oil in the canal that contains the hair, under the surface of the skin. Because the plugs are underneath the skin surface, scrubbing will not get rid of them. In fact, rubbing the skin or using harsh or abrasive soaps can irritate the skin and make the acne worse. Mild acne does not usually leave permanent marks on the skin.

Moderate to moderately severe acne
This type of acne, also known as inflammatory acne, consists of sev¬eral whiteheads, blackheads, papules and pustules that cover from ¼ to ¾ of the face and/or other parts of the body. It can be treated with antibiotic lotions or gels, as well as retinoic acid. Retinoic acid is an altered form of vitamin A. It helps prevent whiteheads and black¬heads. Your doctor may also prescribe an antibiotic pill, such as erythromycin. If you take birth control pills to prevent pregnancy, antibiotics can affect how well they work. Be sure to use a second method of birth control with the pill, such as a condom. Retinoic acid and antibiotic pills can make the skin sensi-tive to the sun. So, wear sunscreen and stay in the shade while using them.

Severe acne
Severe acne is rare and consists of a mixture of both inflammatory and non-inflammatory acne has all types of lesions including severe inflammatory lesions (markedly reddened pustules) and possibly cystic lesions (lesions over 0.5 cm in diameter with a soft top that are losing their inflammation). It is most common to have a mixture of lesions at any one time. You should see a dermatologist to care for this type of acne. Scarring can be pre¬vented with appropriate treatments. Topical treatment alone will not be effective at treating severe inflammatory acne because it cannot penetrate deep enough through the skin’s surface to treat the severely inflamed nodules and cysts.
Severe acne requires systemic treatment (medicine taken orally). Systemic therapies cause distribution of the drug throughout the entire organism. Your dermatologist can prescribe oral antibiotics and oral contraceptives. Large inflamed cysts can be treated with an injection of a drug that lessens the redness, swelling, and irritation, and promotes healing.

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Top 5 myths on what causes acne

Fact versus fiction…

When it comes to explaining acne to adolescents and some adults, it is necessary to separate fact from fiction, because having acne can tax a person’s nerves and send him off to an emotional roller-coaster. The teenage years are a great time to meet new friends and start dating and be accepted by one’s peers; being misinformed about acne is due to certain myths.
Following are some of the most common myths associated with the “causes of acne” today:

First myth: Eating too much chocolate will cause acne
Reality: Chocolate does not cause acne or make it worse. Even the most renowned doctors will insist, and can prove, that there is no direct link between chocolate and acne. However, even if there is no direct link between the two, you must still adhere to a healthy lifestyle that decreases the amount of sweets, salts and fat from your diet. Ensure you consume foods that are rich in nutrients, especially vitamin A.

Second myth: Dirt will cause acne
Reality: This is a myth that is widely held but while it is certainly important to keep the skin always clean because oil and dirt can block pores, dirt does NOT bring about the clumping together of skin cells against the follicle wall. This phenomenon occurs very deep in the skin where cleaning won’t reach it.

Third myth: Acne has something to do with sex
Reality: Some adolescents actually believe that once they’re married or give birth to their first child, their acne will disappear. A variation of this myth is the other side of the argument: that an active sex life causes acne. This link was made only because adolescence is that period in a person’s life when sex is of great concern. This particular myth became less popular in the 1940’s when the medical community finally declared that sexual activity and acne are not related.

Fourth myth: Hot climate causes acne
Reality: Some people think that people who live in cold climates are less likely to get acne, while those who live in the tropics are more prone to it. There is no link between where one lives and the incidence of acne. Nor is the color of one’s skin a precursor of acne, although it has been observed that dark-skinned people tend to have less severe acne compared to light-skinned individuals. Larger glands and more defined pores are common characteristics of dark skin, and these two attributes are known to protect against acne. Note though that hyper-pigmentation tends to occur more frequently with dark skin after acne is cured, so care must be taken to not irritate dark skin after a bout with acne.

Fifth myth: First time shavers will get acne
Reality: When a boy reaches the age of puberty, one of the first signs is hair on the face, especially above the lip and on the chin. The hairs are at first sparse but over time, a beard and a moustache appear, making boys want to shave them. After the initial shave, the hair grows back, this time thicker. As the hair grows back after each shave, it grows thicker and is denser resulting in repetitive shaving. Frequent shaving can cause the skin to dry out, because as more hair grows, the shaving becomes more frequent and more forceful. Some of these hairs could turn inward and grow internally which can cause acne. The inside growth, combined with the production of oil in the sebaceous glands can result in frequent skin breakouts. The myth that shaving causes acne is indeed a myth, but it is true that shaving too often and too close to the hair follicles may contribute to the growth of acne.

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