ChemEssay - Deng 1 Shanni Deng Professor Kay Calvin...

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Deng 1 Shanni Deng Professor Kay Calvin Chemistry 1027B 31 March 2010 Acne Prevention and Clear Skin Solutions If you are a teenager, waking up one morning to a gigantic zit on your forehead is probably a common yet undesired occurrence. Acne vulgaris is the skin disease most frequently seen by dermatologists and affects almost all of us at some point in our lives. Although there is no current cure for acne, many effective treatments have been proven to control the incidence and severity of breakouts. This article will outline their respective benefits and drawbacks, as well as the unique ways in which they target acne. In order to compare treatment options, it is crucial that we understand how acne forms. Acne is caused by the overproduction of sebum, an oily substance that lubricates hair and skin. When too much sebum is produced, pores on the skin clog up and bacteria begin to grow. The resulting lesion is called a comedo, which can take up many forms. Whiteheads, also known as closed comedones, are white bumps where sebum and bacteria are trapped below the skin. The medical term for blackheads is open comedone; this involves the pore opening to the surface where the skin pigment melanin oxidizes and turns black or brown in colour. Acne becomes inflamed when the follicular wall ruptures and white blood cells rush in to repair the damage. A pustule will form several days later when the white blood cells make their way to the skin’s surface. The red, pus-filled bump is what we commonly call a “pimple”. In severe cases of acne, nodules and cysts are predominant on the skin. These lesions occur when sebum and bacteria collapse into surrounding follicles, inflicting larger, more painful bumps on the skin.
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2 With so many different cases of acne, it is important to find a treatment that suits one’s particular condition. Light to moderate acne patients usually start off with topical treatments that directly target affected areas of the skin. Benzoyl peroxide (BP) is one of the most popular over-
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This note was uploaded on 10/23/2011 for the course CHEMISTRY 1027 taught by Professor Calvin during the Fall '10 term at UWO.

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ChemEssay - Deng 1 Shanni Deng Professor Kay Calvin...

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