AVRIL_PIXXBy the way I don’t have the best skin. Once in a while I struggle with acne. Actually why there are apps that distort one’s image is due to humans trying to run away from the truth. Distort is a harsh word, maybe I should have said, ‘enhance one’s outlook’ or filter as they call it on Instagram. Make up products were invented for this purpose too. To conceal a blemish here and an annoying pimple there. Acne faces and oily skins go hand in hand, talk of dangling a carrot.

Am sure this is not the first time you’re reading about acne. Few weeks ago, legions in social media were ‘surprised’ by an image uploaded by Avril, the musician on Instagram. She had not applied make up and her face seemed to battle with intense acne. This was an audacious move, very unprecedented in Kenya.The degree of boldness she portrayed attracted an equal measure of detest. As you would expect with this generation that appreciates hate more than anything else, insults were traded from here to the end of Africa. This is an abomination, at least they said. Kenyans are not familiar with celebs not looking ‘sharp’, otherwise why are they in that platform, in the first place? Kenya’s celebs depict a larger than life lifestyle only short of perfectionism. Is it self defeating to showcase this kind of life, at the expense of concealing our shortcomings? The jury is out.

What disturbed me is the hypocrisy in social media. Some of those hating are victims too. Many live in denial. Trying to hate a celebrity who is human anyway, is escapism to say the least. Avril gave them a chance to discard their self loathe.They should thank her. Before you trade aversion recklessly, get your facts right.

• Acne is a skin disease that involves the oil glands at the base of hair follicles. • Acne commonly occurs during puberty. • Acne is not dangerous, but can leave skin scars. • Types of pimples include whiteheads, blackheads, papules, pustules, nobules, cysts. • Approximately three-quarters of 11 to 30 year-olds will get acne at some time. • Acne can affect people of all races and all ages. • Experts believe the primary cause is a rise in androgen levels (hormone). • A susceptibility to acne could also be genetic.

Treatment for acne may depend on how severe and persistent it is.  Acne can be affected by the menstrual cycle, anxiety and stress, hot and humid climates, oil based makeup, greasy hair and pimple squeezing. Acne can be worse when one is under intense stress and depression, when in use of oily hair products, during menstrual cycle and after change of climate when one travels.

If you struggle with acne it is important to appreciate some ‘don’ts’ that might help in reducing acne prevalence. • Don’t try to burst the pimples. • Try to refrain from touching your face with your hands. When you are on the phone try not to let the receiver touch your face • Always wash your hands before touching your face. • Glasses should regularly be cleaned. They will collect sebum and skin residue • You skin needs to breathe. If your acne is on your back, shoulders or chest try wearing loose clothing. • Don’t go to sleep with makeup on. • Hair collects sebum and skin residue. Keep your hair clean and away from your face • Too much sun can cause your skin to produce more sebum. • If you shave your face, do it carefully. Irritating the skin causes acne.

You are not alone, some world famous personalities suffer from the ailment too, from Christiano Ronaldo, Miley Cyrus to Nelly Furtado. All the best comrades in crime.

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