What is Acne?
Acne is an inflammation of the skin marked by blackheads, the whiteheads and red spots usually called “buttons.” The name of most common acne is “common acne”. The acne appears most often on the face, but also on the chest, back and upper arms. The acne affects about 90% of adolescents and between 20% to 30% of individuals aged 20 to 40 years. It generates a more significant number of medical consultations than any other problem of the skin.
Acne is not life-threatening, but it can irritate, disfigure and cause psychosocial problems.
What are the causes of Acne?
Acne occurs when follicles of the hair become obstructed by lifeless skin cells mixed with sebum, an oily substance produced by glands attached to hair follicles, called sebaceous glands. In people with acne, these glands produce an excess of sebum that mixes with dead skin cells and forms a plug clogging the follicles. This creates a favorable environment for Cutibacterium acnes, a bacterium that is usually present under the skin, to grow and cause inflammation.
The activity of hormones can give rise to acne breakout or an increase in the number of lesions. The hormones of puberty actively stimulate growth and sebum production by the sebaceous glands. The sebaceous glands are extremely sensitive to hormonal changes. Hormones that have pronounced effects on the sebaceous glands are the androgenic male hormones, secreted by both men and women though it is higher in the males.
These hormones also cause acne during the female menstrual cycle.
The ingestion of junks such as cake is not a cause of acne; neither is oily hair and skin though oily skin is often a sign of hyperactivity of the sebaceous glands which is responsible for acne.
Research insinuates that stress is likely to exacerbate existing acne, but it does not cause it.
A predisposition to acne can be hereditary. Family history can increase the chances of developing severe acne. However, the role played by heredity is less certain for moderate acne because adolescents are generally affected regardless of their family history.
Anything that causes skin irritability can also trigger acne, such as:
- rubbing clothes
- the licking of a dog
- contact with certain sports equipment
- administration of certain beauty products
- exposing the skin to direct sunlight or extreme temperatures
- Medications called corticosteroids can induce a skin disorder similar to acne.
Acne Symptoms to Look Out for
Acne symptoms vary from one individual to another, and they can manifest themselves by:
- of blackheads (black spots the size of a pinhead) that open on the surface of your skin and does not leave scars ;
- of whiteheads or pustules that form the type of acne most common injuries and form the first – they do not become blackheads because they are not exposed to air;
- of pustules and cysts in depth which are inflamed; they are usually red and swollen and naturally contain pus;
- deep acne can be more severe with red lesions, inflamed, burning, sensitive, and tender to touch.
The deep acne often develops on the back and chest region. It is usually the most painful form of acne which leaves scars after treatment. This acne has pustules and cysts that often occur on the skin surface, or in deeper layers of the skin. When ruptured, the pus causes the formation of other purulent lesions.
Deep acne can lead to scars especially when ruptured; leaving small craters that can become permanent.
Treatment and Prevention
Many acne treatments are available, and in some cases, you need more than one product. Your treatment will depend on the severity, location, and acne. In many cases, it will be necessary to wait for 2 to 3 months before being able to determine if these treatments are effective because the acne lesions take about two months to mature. Initially of treatment, the acne may worsen before showing signs of improvement. Here are some examples of some of the most common acne treatments.
- Non-prescription acne products, including benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and glycolic acid. When used individually, these treatments are effective in cases of moderate acne. These are exfoliating agents that open out obstructions and help the skin get rid of dead skin cells. Benzoyl peroxide is also an antibacterial.
- You should take Topical antibiotics for the treatment of acne bacterium that causes inflammatory acne.
- Retinoids are often used to treat non-inflammatory acne but are also useful for treating inflammatory acne. They work by accelerating the renewal of the skin and can cause skin irritation at the beginning of treatment (which usually disappears as the skin gets used to it).
- Topical products should apply throughout the infected area and not only on the buttons. Many available drug combinations are consisting of different combinations of the above products.
- In some women, the use of a contraceptive pill can help regulate the hormones that cause acne breakouts.
- In cases of severe inflammatory acne, you should take an antibiotic tablet (e.g., tetracycline *, minocycline, doxycycline).
Isotretinoin, a potent oral retinoid, is very useful in treating severe acne. However, because of its potential side effects, it is typically only used when many other treatments have failed, especially in women of childbearing age.
Many of these methods can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. They must be used concurrently with adequate protection against sun rays. Talk to a specialist about the risks and benefits of the different treatment choices available to you.
Most skin cleansers promoted in advertisements are not necessary. Some may even worsen your acne. Follow the basic principles below to help prevent and treat acne:
- wash your face two times daily with mild, unscented soap at best, or choose a soap-free cleanser;
- do not rub, but dry skin by dabbing it with a clean towel;
- refrain from crushing, squeezing or puncturing buttons;
- Avoid washing your skin with hard or granular (abrasive) soap;
- use a new washcloth daily
- use non-comedogenic beauty products that will not obstruct skin pores and not trigger an acne breakout;
- do you shampoo at least twice a week;
- remove as soon as possible the sweat and sebum that are spreading on your skin;
- let your doctor extract comedones;
- It is true that foods are not among the causes of acne, but some people find that their acne increases after the consumption of certain foods. If this is relative to you, avoid these foods.
Use collagen injections and laser skin resurfacing to treat cases of severe acne scars.
How Acne Scar Removal Works
The acne scar removal is usually a very costly process, and this can be a little more complex and complicated when compared to the typical forms of treatment of acne. Sometimes many sessions will have to be scheduled to complete these procedures, and occasionally many more sessions will have to be scheduled for a follow-up, and it could take a long time for the acne scars to be adequately removed.
Faint scars – Some people have very faint scars, which are not as prominent as keloids and these marks do not have an appearance, which is similar to that of a crater. Topical cures are more than adequate for acne scar removal. Retinoids and AHA ointments are some of the kinds of treatment, which can help in curing these scars. They will help in removing the blemishes, which have been caused due to these scars. Such forms of treatment are available over the counter at the local drugstore, but it is always better to consult a dermatologist before starting any such treatment.
Superficial scars – A chemical peel is the most popular forms of treatment, which has been adopted to remove superficial acne scars. These marks usually have no height or depth, and they also do not have any specific color. In this form of treatment to remove acne scars, the medication, which is used, helps in removing the topmost player of the skin or that part of the skin where the pigmentation has taken place. Once the damaged skin has been removed, the skin will regenerate and start growing once again and will be replaced with a new skin, which is fresh and smooth.
Small scars – Dermabrasion is a procedure, which is very similar to chemical peeling. A machine is used to eliminate the uppermost skin layer instead of chemicals. Though this is a more advanced method when compared to peeling, it helps in removing the damaged parts of the skin and makes room for new and fresh skin to reappear. This procedure is more than adequate for the acne scar removal which is not wider than one centimeter in diameter.
Keloids – Cryosurgery, laser treatment, and radiation therapy are some of the methods of treatment, which can help, in acne scar removal known as Keloids. These are acne scars, which have some height. The bump, which has been caused as a result of the acne scars, will be burnt in this form of treatment.
Crater marks – Scars, which have caused depressions on the surface of the skin, can be removed using autologous fat transfer to collagen treatment. Fat from another portion of the body is taken and used to fill the depression, which has been caused by the acne scars. This could be a suitable method of acne scar removal easily.