Acne Information

For every acne sufferer, understanding the causes of acne and the mechanism by which it damages skin is an important step along the path towards controlling acne. All too often, acne sufferers get bogged down in the medical minutiae, whilst completely failing to grasp the essential bits of acne information required to manage and treat their own condition effectively.

Too Much Acne Information?

Acne sufferers seldom complain that there is a lack of information about acne. There are dermatology books, general medical books, acne pamphlets and acne websites galore. The real problem is that most sources of acne information are written by dermatologists for other dermatologists, or for general practitioners and medical students. For ordinary mortals, trying to make sense of medical tracts is about as easy as wading through waist-high treacle. It may be tempting for acne sufferers to rush round to the nearest medical bookshop and buy the biggest and most expensive textbook about acne available on the shelves. Please don't, for that is a path which leads to heartache and despair.

Avoid Dermatology Textbooks

It may seem strange that someone extolling the benefits of understanding acne should be advising acne sufferers to avoid the primary source of acne information. The following short extract should illustrate some of the dangers of reading dermatology textbooks.

Acne may thus be considered to be due to cohesive hyperkeratinization of the lower part of the hair follicle. Cytoplasmic organelles called membrane coating granules which appear to contain hydrolytic enzymes are necessary for the normal desquamation of keratin, and these granules are known to be sparse in comedones experimentally induced by the application of free fatty acids.

This piece was taken not from an specialist acne textbook, but from an introduction to dermatology written for medical students. To someone who understands medical speak it is perfectly clear and understandable, but the general reader is likely to be left feeling dazed and confused. Worse still, dermatology textbooks are extravagantly illustrated with pictures of acne. Not just the pictures of the type of acne you or I might suffer from, but of the very severest cases of acne and of the rarest and worst types of acne complications. Avoid acne textbooks and you avoid the risk of being left dazed, confused and terrified.

Demystifying Acne

The role of the Acne Control site is to bridge the gap between the complex medical information about acne required by doctors and the sort of information that it is important for an individual acne sufferer to know. Its something akin to a medical translation and abstraction service, separating the acne facts from the acne myths, the wheat from the chaff, in order to present essential acne information in a form which acne sufferers will find clear and easy to digest.

Medical Terminology

It would be tempting to think you could write an explanation of acne without using any medical terminology, but sadly many acne related terms carry a precise medical meaning which ordinary language has difficulty conveying. In the same way that eskimos have over 30 different words for snow of different types, so dermatologists have so many different words for types of spots - papules, pustules, comedones, blackheads, whiteheads etc. - that they never feel the need, as you or I might, to refer to then simply as zits. Whenever Acne Control introduces an exotic medical term, its meaning will be explained either directly in the accompanying text or via a link to the glossary of acne terms.

Understanding Acne

The aim of the acne information section of the site is not to overburden you with information about acne, but to provide sufficient information to allow an real understanding of acne. The two questions critical to an acne sufferer's understanding of their condition are What is acne? and What causes acne? Understand these two key aspects of acne and you are well placed to tackle other more complex issues relating to acne care and to make important decisions about your own acne treatment.