Thursday, April 14, 2011

Why Steam Is So Beneficial For Treating Acne

By Alex Morgan

Acne is a common and distressing skin complaint. It
predictably starts during puberty, affecting approximately
three quarters of all 13-18 year olds, and can sometimes
continue to affect people well into their adult lives. While
research remains to be done on the exact cause of acne and
there is no one definitive cure yet available, there are a
number of treatments which can help to greatly reduce the

So, what exactly is acne? Basically acne is a disease which
causes spots and redness on the skin, most often on the
face, neck, chest and back. These spots can be either
whiteheads, blackheads, red or yellow spots or hard red
swellings just below the surface of the skin. It occurs when
the little glands below the surface of the skin produce too
much sebum. This is an oily substance, used to keep the skin
soft and supple. However if too much sebum is produced it tends
to clog up the tiny pores through which hairs grow out of
the skin and this causes blackheads and whiteheads. To make
matters worse, this build up of oil creates a perfect
environment for a bacterium (Propionibacterium acnes) to
grow. Your bodies immune system tries to fight this growth
in bacteria causing the redness and inflammation which often
comes with spots.

There are some factors which are known to contribute to
acne. Hormones, for example testosterone, known to be high
in both boys and girls during their teenage years seems to
aggravate acne. Stress is also a contributing factor, one
theory being that stressed people touch their face
frequently and so help to spread bacteria. Acne also seems
to have a genetic cause, since if your parents had acne, you
are more likely to suffer from it too. There are however a
lot of misconceptions about acne - that it is caused by poor
hygiene, or eating chocolate, for example, these are not

There are many effective treatments for acne and your doctor
will be able to prescribe the most appropriate one for you.
There are also a number of self-help treatments which you
can try. Basic hygiene is important to get rid of bacteria
on the skin, so you should wash twice a day with a gentle
cleanser and try to wash your hands before you touch your
face, for example when applying make up.

Steaming the face or other affected parts can be a useful
addition to your acne treatment program. Although people
with very severe acne are advised not to use steam
treatment, for the vast majority of suffers, steaming can
really help clear the complexion since it opens up the pores
and at the same time increases sweating and so helps to
flush impurities out of the skin. Since sweat is salty, it
can also act as an antimicrobial agent, killing some of the
bacteria found on the skin. Steaming also increases blood
circulation, bringing greater amounts of oxygen and
nutrients to the skin.

Adding herbs and essential oils to your steamer just before
use, can bring many additional benefits for your complexion.
Lavender helps to aid relaxation and can be a very effective
way of reducing stress, which is a known contributor to acne
outbreaks. Mint too can be used to dissolve the grime
clogged in facial pores and make it easier for it to be
flushed away. Other herbs and oils provide more general
benefits, like rose hips which is great for skin

There are a variety of ways to steam your face. Perhaps the
most basic is to do it yourself at home over a very hot bowl
of water! However, there are a selection of fantastic facial
steamers available to buy, which can make the job a whole
lot simpler and safer too, no wandering about with kettles
of boiling water. Perhaps the cheapest model available is
the portable steamer. This is lightweight and very easy to
use, just fill up the reservoir with water and turn it on.
You can safely add essential oils to the water reservoirs of
commercial steamers and one great advantage is that you can
control the steam volume, having either a fine mist or a
strong steam spray delivered. Some facial steamers are
designed to be used with ozone which is antibacterial and
dries the skin, giving even greater benefits to users.

Once you have finished your steam treatment, you must always
wash your skin immediately afterwards to remove all the
impurities which have been drawn out by the steaming
process, otherwise you will make the condition worse. The
results of steaming your skin in this way will not be seen
for a few weeks, in common with all other acne treatments.
But if you continue to regularly cleanse your skin in this
way, you should be rewarded by a much improved complexion.

Are you tired of suffering with spots? Discover the benefits
of using ( steam for acne and how it
can radically improve the condition of your skin. Visit us
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