Sunday, January 24, 2016

Book review: Overcoming Acne, by Lucy von Mallon

As a teenager, I never suffered of acne and my interest for this book was rather of pure curiosity. However, after reading that you can develop it even in your 30s, 40s or even 50s, I took everything more serious and read the book with a pen in my hand. 
As a general impression, there are many valuable information and specific details, but the structure of the book is rather chaotic and many parts to not always make sense. For instance, it starts with a FAQ, with the definition of acne given only couple of chapters later followed again by a section where some of the issues addressed in the FAQ section are repeated. The language is sometimes clumsy and once in a while you can find assertions of the kind: 'Individuals that take multivitamins daily live longer'. 
Besides these shortcomings, the reader can find many information helpful for understanding acne before going to a dermatologist - which is always recommended as the books are for information not for self medication.

How do deal with acne

There are many things not know about acne yet and once manifested it is not possible to end this medical chapter for ever. It can be controlled or avoided, but never cured it seems, according to the author. But it is not contagious, and even though heredity plays an important role in its apparition,it is not an automatic link.It manifests on the face, back or neck. 
Eating foods rich in sugar can be problematic for health in general, but it is not a clinical proof of a direct connection between it and the acne. Drinking water is a good advice for a healthy skin not only in extreme cases as acne, but for the overall wellness of the skin in general. Stress can make the acne worse and too much exercise may increase the production of sebum, the oil whose excess can bring about acne. 
The usual treatment include antibiotics, but in order to avoid situations when resistance is developped, it is recommended to use them on a rotational basis. Salicylic acid can help to clean up blemishes. The same can be said about tea tree oil products or products from the Clearasil family.
Acne in general increases the risk of social alienation, but in the case of the cystic type, it also leaves marks. Thus, the author recommends skin resurfacing therapy and daily peeling preferably with products with a rich content of aloe vera and Vitamin E. Wearing sunscreen, especially when you have open scars is another advice of the author. The usual health treatment lasts at least one year. For the social issues manifested among teenagers, following a proper therapy is very important.

Acne as an adult

Although in the case of teenagers, 85% - regardless of the gender - are experiencing various types of acne, for adults the causes are even more mysterious. One reason can be the hormonal imbalance. The author also mentions the coffee as an element encouraging the production of the stress hormone that thereafter produces sebum, but after reading in the last years so many pros and cons the coffee, I prefer to put aside this argument. I am also an avid coffee drinker and thus, I prefer to be in denial. Smoking is considered in general a negative influence for the skin, especially in the case of acne, and it may take 10 years more of youth from your skin. 
In conclusion, the book is worth a try especially if you are looking for information about this issue. As in many other medical cases, the last word should belong to the specialist though. 

Disclaimer: I reviewed the free downloadable version available on Amazon.

No comments:

Post a Comment