Acne is a skin condition that can affect the face, back, chest, neck, arms, and shoulder. In this condition, the skin is inflamed with spots and bumps. It refers to whiteheads, blackheads, papules, pustules, cysts, and nodules. You may have seen blackheads or whiteheads on your nose or chin. It is the most common skin disease in the world. Teens undergo this condition at the time of puberty due to the production of hormones. Acne in puberty is very common, but anyone can have this condition after teenage as well. It can develop in infants as well which is known as infantile acne. It is possible that if your parents have this condition then due to heredity there is a great probability of getting this infection. There are different severities of acne and each of them has a different type of treatment.
Causes of Acne
Acne can be caused by several factors. It is due to bacteria, hormones, skin oil and dead cells. The bacteria that contribute to it are known as Propionibacterium acnes.
There are oil glands present under the skin which produce skin oil or sebum. The oil-producing hormones are actuated by androgen which is a male hormone, but it is present in females as well. The oil comes out with the help of pores on the skin. The oil comes out of the skin through a duct which is connected with the oil-producing gland. When the duct becomes narrow due to the deposition of dead cells, resistance is offered to oil. Due to the narrow duct, there can be an excess of oil under the skin, because a narrow duct offers hindrance to oil. Due to this, a blockage is created. At this time the bacteria start to grow and cause acne. The severity of acne depends on the growth rate of bacteria.
In puberty, it is very common because when puberty starts, the hormones start to develop. Androgen is a male hormone, but women also have this hormone. These hormones make the oil glands working due to which the oil is secreted. Due to the narrow duct and excess oil production, oil is blocked which produces inflammation and redness.
Types of Acne
There are six kinds of Acne and each has a different color, appearance, and size.
Whiteheads are from comedones family. They are also referred to as closed comedones. Comedones are caused by a small blockage in the pores. Whiteheads appear as a white lump over the skin. They are called closed comedones because there is a blockage in the pore. The swelling occurs under the skin due to the excess amount of oil.
Blackheads are called open comedones. When the blockage occurs inside the pore, the pore is widened. The blockage is due to oil and dead skin cells. The mixture of oil and dead skin cells produces a yellow plug under the skin which blocks the path of oil. This yellow plug contains dead skin cells and when it is exposed to air the skin cell changes its color and becomes black.
Papules are the red spots that are visible over the skin. There is no pus in it. The area of skin appears red and inflamed.
Pustules are just like papules, but they contain pus. Due to the presence of pus, the skin appears white and inflamed. The white pus is due to the presence of white blood cells which are present to fight with the bacteria.
These are painful solid spots which are more inflamed than the others. These are present deep in the skin. They contain a large amount of pus and can produce scars on the body.
Cysts contain more amount of pus and fluid than the other types. They are the worst type of acne and they can cause scars to the skin.
Acne treatment varies with severity. According to severity, acne can be classified into three types.
- Mild Acne
- Moderate Acne
- Severe Acne
Mild acne can be easily treated. In this condition, there can be blackhead, whiteheads, pustules or papules. Usually, doctors prescribe anti-acne creams and lotions to the patients. Such lotions contain benzoyl peroxide, resorcinol, sulfur, and salicylic acid. The anti-acne lotions and creams tend to reduce the production of oil in glands and they try to clear the blockage of the duct and pores. If there is no effect of using creams and lotions, then doctors prescribe antibiotics.
Moderate acne refers to the condition when at least one-fourth of the body part is covered with acne. This is treated by antibiotics with anti-acne creams and lotions. These medicines eradicate the bacteria and clear the blockage of pores.
Severe acne cannot be treated with antibiotics. There can be cysts and nodules. If it is not treated carefully then it can leave scars on the skin. Doctors sometimes drain the fluid present in cysts and nodules. It is done by special methods and you should not pop it on your own. Isotretinoin is used to treat severe cysts. It can treat acne, but it has some side effects. The woman who is taking this medicine cannot become pregnant these days and after some months of treatment.
Tips to remove Acne
- Keep your face clean and use facewash to wash it. If you have acne, then wash with anti-acne soaps or facewash.
- Never pop your pimples. Popping pimples can spread bacteria and pus over the skin which can cause more pimple.
- Take a bath after exercise.
- Visit skin care centers for the removal of blackheads and whiteheads.
- Do not rub acne as it can make the condition worse. You should try to keep your hand away from the affected area.
- You should have a separate towel for yourself.
- Avoid oil-based makeup. You can use water-based cosmetic items.
- Avoid stress because stress can make the condition worse.
- Eat healthy food and drink plenty of water.
- Visit your doctor and take the prescribed medicines on time.
Acne is a skin disease and it can affect any age group. The most common age group is 13-19 (teenage). Although it can develop in infants as well which are called as infantile acne. It is better to have acne treatment on time to avoid scars. Never try to remove blackheads or whiteheads and pop pimples at home because it can spread bacteria over your healthy skin as well. Use the proper medicine as prescribed by doctors and if you cannot see results then visit your doctor again.