An alarming discovery has been made about the rapid rise in the incidence of acne in the male population worldwide. However, despite the disclosure, the good news is that the effectiveness of acne treatments has also been on the rise and are getting better and better with the passage of time. As a bodybuilder or athlete you should be ecstatic about this development as it will sustain your ambitions and the careers of your fellow lifters.
The significance of the name – acne vulgaris
Even as a bodybuilder you don’t usually dwell on the names of many of the treatments that are available for treating acne. You just simply want them to successfully treat your acne today and are gone before the sun rises again the next day.
Sadly, it’s not as simple as that and perhaps it may benefit you to know and understand the actual processes that are involved in the very formation of acne.
One important feature of acne, is the name given to the common type, acne vulgaris.
The work vulgaris really rings a bell as to the demeaning kind of effect that acne has on your skin. We’ve come across the name ‘acne vulgaris’ many times and we have come to know what it is fairly well.
If we’ve delved into its meaning, we find that it actually expresses the meaning of what the condition represents. It’s a demeaning, ugly, vulgar and savage scourge that pervades the faces of many unwary and unfortunate adolescents.
Would you be immune to such a definition because you are a bodybuilder? Certainly not! You also have the same chance of getting the condition as everyone else particularly if you are lackadaisical about it.
The myth and the reality of acne
Many of us believe that once we are past the age of puberty or adolescence, we are also done with the skin scourge that is acne. This of course is a myth.
For many men, the condition remains as a scourge for them, no matter what they try to do to rid themselves of its and embarrassing and humiliating aftermath.
To make it a little more difficult the causes of acne have not yet been clearly identifies. There have been suggestions that stress, lack of sleep and poor diet, among others have been named as possible causes
Even so, there has never been a definite assurance that these are indeed the possible causes even from dermatologists who are viewed as wizards in this field.
One of the realities of acne is that it can leave inflamed spots on the face or elsewhere on the body for everyone to see.
Despite the reality of the traumas that can result from acne, for adult acne, the situation is less severe and urgent. But there are times when they recall their high school experiences and quickly scramble in search of acne treatment.
The reality here is that the treatments have become better for both teenagers and adults alike.
The zit and its disdainful anatomy
Did you know that the skin on your face to the naked eye appears as a smooth skin surface and nothing else? Well, actually it harbors millions of follicles that contain well camouflaged hair. Nothing appears to be going on.
Actually it’s from these follicles that substances ooze out from within that includes:
- a fatty substance known as sebum which empties into the follicles.
- Water from your sweat glands also find their way out of the follicles
- the natural oils of the skin also escape into the open air.
Of similar interest is the fact that as long as all these rejected substances just keep on flowing outwards by way of the follicles, your skin will continue to look finely smooth and clear.
The problem starts when the moving mass of rejected debris gets stuck in the follicle hole below the skin surface and the most immediate result is that the material that’s held back develops into a whitehead.
Let’s say that the backed-up debris manages to break through the top layer of your skin and comes into contact with the oxygen in the air. Straight away, it turns black and just as quickly transforms from a potential whitehead to an actual blackhead.
At this stage, if you happen to cut yourself while shaving, a hair follicle becomes infected producing condition called folliculitis which, while not a typical acne itself, is just as ugly to look at.
Detailed formation of the zit
The trapped substance gets stacked resulting in a buildup of pressure which stretches the follicle walls. The extra space provides needed breathing room for bacteria to survive and multiply inside the besieged follicle (comedo).
Once the follicle walls finally breaks from the pressure, your immune system hastily dispatches cells to attack the bacteria plus any other foreign substances and the battle is on.
From the din of the fight the surrounding skin becomes scourged as it turns red and becomes inflamed. You may even spy a little liquid pus full of dead bacteria and immune cells escape from the zit area.
Now you know and understand the formation of the red blemishes that appear around the hair follicles, which can also happen to you while you are busy doing your bodybuilding cycle.
Known effective treatments for acne
This is the right time to discuss the different types of effective treatments for your steroid acne which you already know that they are caused by taking of steroids.
Even though the causes may be different, the process of acne formation is similar as are the treatments and their application. Here prevention rather than curing is the pivotal point.
The most essential need for preventing an acne outbreak during the early stages of zit formation is to keep follicles open so that debris does not continue to build up and allow acne breakout to worsen and spread.
This is done by using various skin cleansers that exfoliate (remove) dead skin cells. For this the ideal treatments consist of over-the-counter products that contain ingredients of peroxide or glycolic acids that stop plug formation.
They are also active in exfoliating or peeling away the dead skin scales and comprise:
- benzoyl peroxide – a treatment that kills bacteria outright to prevent them from entering follicles and causing infection to set in.
- salicylic acid – which works in the same way as glycolic acid in unclogging the pores but it provides only temporal relief unless used each day.
If these two treatments don’t produce the desired effect, several other treatments may be prescribed by your doctor:
- antibiotics – these should be taken by mouth or rubbed directly into the skin to assist in controlling bacterial impacts.
- Viatamin A derivatives also known as retinoid treatments which also help to unclog pores and keeps them that way.
- Anti- inflammatory – these are treatments which are called corticosteroids that can be directly injected into active and inflamed cyst or pustule to calm violent breakouts.
Really bad breakouts of acne and their aftermath is never a welcoming site to look at especially because for some reason or other, they couldn’t be treated quickly or when they were treated the treatments used were not as effective as first though , or for some other unfortunate reason. Now you know all the essential information for safeguarding your health so that you can continue your quest of winning your first ever bodybuilding competition.