Many other hormonal changes take place but I think the most “disturbing” will be the appearance of those tiny or big, painful or not, spots on the face.
This usually involves any and every vice that will make an old dented vehicle look spectacular.
For the average adolescent, the beginning of puberty is greeted with mixed feelings.
Firstly, puberty is like an unexpected visitor. You could go to bed with your normal “mummy I want….’ Voice and wake up to what might appear as a “ hoarse” attachment to your voice. The next thing is everybody is asking ‘ what happened”, “wow! You are now a man”
… Of course you want to grow up, I mean who does not want to be able to drink Coca-Cola when, where and how you choose? Who doesn’t want to have chocolate cakes at midnight if they choose? Who doesn’t want to drive a car? Where high heels, jewelry and makeup? Who doesn’t want to decide when, how and even IF homework needs to be done?
At the same time you know that it would mean more chores, more responsibilities. So this becomes your dilemma… to be, or not to be?
Well, growth is a phenomenon that happens irrespective of how we feel about it. Many other hormonal changes take place but I think the most “disturbing” will be the appearance of those tiny or big, painful or not, spots on the face.
It is more disturbing, therefore when you still have to deal with zits,way after adolescence. It can be very embarrassing and disturbing for a young adult.
A pimple is caused by sebum (an oily substance), when it clogs the pores of the skin. Acne on the other hand implies frequent breakouts of pus filled pimples.
We will not go into the technicalities of whether you have pimples or acne; for the sake of this blog these words can be used interchangeably, ok?
They occur usually on the face but have been known to appear on other parts of the body like the chest, back, arms, neck and shoulders.
Why do some teenagers get pimples and others don’t? There is no justifiable answer to this question, in my opinion; like many other incidences in life it just happens. My mother said she rarely had pimples as a teenager. I do not recall having to deal with more than one or two pimples at any time as a teenager but all my sisters had; some more than others.
Androgens (hormones that are vital in puberty of both boys and girls) appear to be the cause of pimples. This is because they increase the size of the oil glands and increase the production of sebum.
It should be noted that, some medications can also cause acne.
Genetics plays an important role here too. So if your parents had pimples at puberty chances are, you might also.
The changes in hormonal levels of girls especially with reference to the menstrual cycle could be responsible for the presence of pimples.
Another significant cause is stress, and WHEN does a teenager or young adult not experience one form of stress or the other? Now, you see why those spots show up from time to time?
Some medical journals (medicalnewstoday.com) basically classify pimples as being two types;
Inflammatory and Non-inflammatory
We will be discussing three common forms:
1) Acne Vulgaris (A.V.)
Whiteheads: they appear as white spots.
Blackheads: as the name implies, appear as bumps with dark spots on the skin.
Nodules: these are hard to the touch but usually have no pus. They can be painful.
Pustules: they are inflamed and contain pus.
Papules: they are inflamed and can be painful to touch. Sometimes they appear like boils but they are not. If squeezed, it can lead to scarring,
Cysts: They need medical intervention and cannot be treated without prescription drugs.
2) Acne Mechanica (A.M.)
Can be triggered by heat or friction on the skin. It is more common among athletes and teenagers whose work is physically demanding e.g. Mechanic, Carpenter etc.
3) Acne Fulminas.
Is a very severe form, affecting other parts of the body, causing inflammation, among other health issues. There is a need to see a Specialist, for treatment.
Read Also: The plight of a working mum
PIMPING YOUR PIMPLES
I bet you just scanned through the “types of pimples” part of this blog, because you must be thinking “who medical analysis epp? “; a pimple is a pimple is a pimple; what is important is “how can I pimp my pimple?’ what if you have a big day or night ahead; For instance prom night, birthday parties, a date? How can you pimp your pimple ahead of this memorable occasion?
Here are some quick remedies that are commonly used; they are preferably applied directly on the pimples, zits or acne and not all over the face , to avoid irritations that might be worse off than the pimples! You should know about these remedies and use them when the need arises.
ICE – icing is when you apply ice for about a minute or two, on the pimple. put one or two blocks of ice in a freezer bag , wrap it in thin cloth and apply on the pimple. Do this at five-minute intervals for 30 minutes.
GREEN TEA- if you are not taking any now, I bet you know some people who are ! Green tea is a natural antioxidant and helps to neutralize the effect of toxins in the body. I recommend putting a bag in a cup of hot water and allowing it to cool, naturally. Deep cotton balls in the tea and apply sparingly. Rinse out after a couple of minutes.
SEA SALT- they can be found in almost every major mart in the country. Sea salt acts as an antiseptic and when diluted with water and applied on the spots , they appear to shrink.
WHITE TOOTHPASTE- now in my opinion, this is quite harsh but it has been known to work for some. If your skin is sensitive, I will not advise this. It can be applied on the zits and left for a few minutes before rinsing. One thing you don’t want to do is leave it on your face over night!!!
EGGWHITE – separate the yolk from the white of two raw eggs. (You can fry the yolk and eat later!) Whisk for two minutes and apply sparingly on the spots. When it dries up, rinse off. It is very likely that the skin will feel dry after rinse; apply moisturizing lotion.
HONEY AND CINNAMON MIX - it is easy to understand the need for honey- it has antibacterial and soothing properties. The ratio of honey and cinnamon mix is2:1. This is applied as a mask to the whole face, rinse after fifteen minutes. You might need to apply moisturizing lotion to solve the dryness problem.
LEMON AND TUMERIC – turmeric helps to remove excess oil and lemon acts as an antibiotic. The ratio of lemon juice to turmeric is 1:2 and the mixture is applied to the affected are for a maximum of 15 minutes ( P.S. you don’t want to fall asleep !). A rinse with cold water will give a soothing effect.
There are other mixtures that you can make at home, an example being Aloe-Vera ( although there are refined pure mixtures in the supermarket).
Remember that these solutions are more effective for the random zits that pop up unexpectedly. Severe acne needs medical attention.
So some might work for you and others might not, the only way to find out is to try them when the need arises and once you find the “magical” one, you may not need to hide your face at an event, simply because pimples “broke out “ the day before. That’s right, you can pimp your pimples and enjoy the occasion.
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Bo Adesoye is a Pharmacist turned Children’s Counselor and Educationist.