Both sexes get it, but males are more likely to have a more severe case.
|More boys than girls have severe acne.|
The plug consists of sebum, dead skin cells, hair fragments and, possibly, bacteria. If bacteria are present, they may cause infections and inflame the follicles. This plug is called a whitehead, but when it emerges on the skin’s surface, it is referred to as a blackhead, due to the presence of melanin.
Preventive measures include washing the face twice a day and patting it dry, avoiding picking or squeezing the pimples, avoiding prolonged exposure to airborne grease such as in a fast food restaurant or motor oil in an automotive shop, and selecting cosmetic skin products labeled noncomedogenic.
Chemical treatments such as benzoyl peroxide are used to kill the bacteria by oxygenating its environment. A safe dosage is 2.5 to 10% as illustrated in the following formula from RT Vanderbilt.
Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Cream
Magnesium aluminum silicate 0.90
Xanthan gum 0.40
Propylene glycol 6.00
Benzoyl peroxide (70%) 7.15
Acetylated lanolin alcohol 5.00
Procedure:Mix the first two powders together in phase A and then add to the water slowly. Mix until smooth. Mill phase B ingredients until smooth. Blend B with C and add to A. Mix until smooth and uniform.
Another chemical treatment is sulfur, which kills the bacteria by exfoliating the outer layer of dead skin. It is safe and effective at concentrations of 3-10%. Sulfur’s efficiency may be enhanced by using it with 2-3% resorcinol. A typical formula might be as follows:
Glyceryl stearate 6.0
Isopropyl myristate 3.0
Stearic acid 2.0
Alcohol SD40 10.0
Propylene glycol 3.0
Methyl paraben 0.2