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The Aggravation of Acne



The Aggravation of Acne
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 3 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   3.88

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    acne-thing, ak-nee, blackhead, consult, culprit, grossiest, humidity, overdo, pimple, sea-bum, trigger, voila, water-based, whitehead, zits, despite


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The Aggravation of Acne
By Joyce Furstenau
  

1     Pimples. Blemishes. Zits. Spots. Whatever you call them, they aren't pretty. One day your face is smooth as a peach and the next day you wake up looking like a pepperoni pizza. What happened? Pimples. Zits. The correct term is ACNE VULGARIS (ak-nee vul-gair-iss). Its not that acne is vulgar, but the word "vulgaris" means common. That's the thing. Acne affects more than 85 percent of the teenage population. That's more than three out of four. It's a common problem. If you suffer from acne, you're not alone.
 
2     We all have tiny little pores on our skin that hold a hair and an oil gland. The oil gland is called a SEBACEOUS (si-bay-shuss) gland. Normally, these sebaceous glands make SEBUM (sea-bum), which helps keep our skin soft. Sometimes the glands produce too much sebum or oil. Acne happens when these tiny little pores on our skin become clogged. The pore gets filled with bacteria, dirt, and dead skin cells. There is no place to go but out. Before you know it, you have a pimple the size of a balloon ready to pop right there in plain sight on the tip of your nose. GROSS!
 
3     Sometimes, the tip of the plug is white. Voila! You've got a whitehead. Sometimes, the tip mixes with air and turns dark. Gross! You have a blackhead. Sometimes the pimple can become infected with lots of bacteria. That's when your pimple starts to fill with pus. (This is the grossiest!) These kinds of pimples make those mammoth size red lumps in the most noticeable spot. It's no fun having acne, but there are some things you can do to help.
 
4     First, clean your skin with a mild soap. Remove makeup and wash your face at least once or twice each day, especially after exercising. (Don't overdo this washing thing, though, or you could get a rash on top of your pimples. Ouch!)

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