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Pimples can be a major source of frustration and unhappiness. Acne is the most common skin disease, affecting more than 17 million people in the United States, according to the National Institutes of Health. Finding a skin care regimen to prevent and fight pimples can be difficult, but the $1.3 billion topical prescription acne market in the U.S. indicates how much of a priority banishing pimples is.
Factors like stress, hormonal changes, greasy skin products, certain types of medications and genetics can result in clogged pores leading to pimples, but for most people, pimples start appearing during puberty. When puberty begins, an overproduction of the male hormone testosterone can cause the skin's sebaceous glands to enlarge and produce sebum, which is mostly responsible for pimples.
Over-the-counter products exist that are designed to fight pimples with the ingredients benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. These pimple treatments aim to kill the bacteria, thus cleaning up the pimples, but they are not always effective depending on the severity of the pimples. Prescription topical creams and gels can be effective pimple fighting methods, as well as oral antibiotics that control bacteria growth that leads to pimples.
In addition to over-the-counter or prescription medications, diet and exercise can help with troublesome pimples. Doctors say that exercise is able to clear up pimples by mediating the production of testosterone related hormones like DHEA and DHT. In addition, evidence continues to support the idea that exercise reduces stress levels, so adrenal glands produce less testosterone type hormones that can contribute to pimple flare-ups.
Regular exercise also increases sweating, which can unclog pores and help prevent pimples from forming. Regular exercise is able to help control new pimples, with breakouts becoming less severe and clearing quicker for some people, as well as increasing circulation and delivery of nutrients to skin cells.
Pimples can be the source of great aggravation and feelings of self-consciousness, but there are more options than ever before available to help control and treat the breakouts.