Acne-Know It All!
All you need to know about Acne!
Know your ailment well, so you can manage it better!!
Here we come with the one ailment that most of us have experienced, Acne which doesn’t need an introduction!
What is Acne?
Acne is also known as Acne vulgaris / Severe Acne.
It is a disorder that affects the oil glands and hair follicles in the skin. Clogged pores and lesion outbreaks generally referred to as pimples or zits occur on the face, arms, back, chest, and shoulders.
It affects the pilosebaceous units (PSUs), which are distributed in most of the body. On the nose, upper back, and chest they ‘re the most numerous. PSUs are a sebaceous gland attached to a canal, called a follicle containing fine hair. In healthy PSUs, the sebaceous glands make an oily substance called sebum that empties through follicle opening onto the skin surface, called a pore. The follicle is lined with cells called keratinocytes.
If someone has acne, hair, sebum, and keratinocytes that plug the pore up and prevent the sebum from reaching the skin surface. The oil and cell mix allows bacteria to grow in the plugged follicles that usually reside on the skin and cause inflammation — swelling, redness, heat, and pain. As the plugged follicle ‘s wall breaks down, it spills the bacteria, skin cells and sebum onto surrounding skin, causing pimples or lesions.
Acne seems to go away for most people as soon as they reach their thirties but some people in their forties and fifties do have this skin problem.
Who Develops Acne?
- Persons of all races and ages get acne but in teenagers and young adults, it is most common. For some point, an estimated 80 percent of all people aged 11 to 30 have acne outbreaks.
Yes, it’s that Prevalent. Period.
Types of Acne:
Acne produces different kinds of bumps or pimples.
- A comedo: enlarged and clogged hair follicle.
- A whitehead or closed comedo: a plugged hair follicle that stays beneath the skin and produces a white bump.
- A blackhead or open comedo: a plugged follicle that reaches the surface of the skin and opens up. It looks black on the skin surface because the air discolors the sebum, not because it is dirty.
- Papules: inflamed lesions that usually appear as small, pink bumps on the skin and can be tender to the touch.
- Pustules or pimples: papules topped by white or yellow pus-filled lesions that may be red at the base.
- Nodules: large, painful solid lesions that are lodged deep within the skin.
- Cysts: deep, painful, pus-filled lesions that can cause scarring.
What Causes Acne Vulgaris?
Doctors don’t know exactly what triggers acne, but it’s likely the product of a variety of factors. This occurs mostly due to a rise in hormones called androgens, or male sex hormones. During puberty these increase in both boys and girls and cause the sebaceous glands to expand and produce more sebum. Acne can also be triggered by hormonal changes linked to pregnancy or beginning or stopping birth control pills.
Studies suggest that if your parents have acne, you may have a greater risk of having acne. Many medications may also induce acne, including androgens and lithium. Greasy makeup will alter follicle cells and make them bind together, causing pores to become obstructed.
Foods you eat such as chocolate or other greasy foods has nothing to do with your acne.
Dirty skin doesn’t get you acne. (However, you are advised not to take this point too seriously though)
Stress won’t get you acne. But, if you have acne stress helps it grow.
How to treat Acne?
Treatment helps to repair the current lesions, avoid the development of new lesions, and prevent scarring. Medicines can minimize various problems that play a role in causing acne, including excessive follicle clumping of cells, increased oil production, bacteria, and inflammation. A doctor may recommend medicines that are over-the-counter or recommended to take in a pill or apply to skin.
Some OTC topical medicines, which are applied to the skin, include:
- Benzoyl peroxide, which kills bacteria and may also reduce oil production.
- Resorcinol, which can help break down blackheads and whiteheads.
- Salicylic acid, which helps break down blackheads and whiteheads and also helps reduce the shedding of cells lining the hair follicles.
- Sulfur, which helps break down blackheads and whiteheads.
Topical medicinal products come in many different kinds, including gels, lotions , creams, soaps and pads. Some people can experience side effects such as skin irritation, burning, or redness caused by topical medicines, which often get better or go away with continued use. You should mention these to the doctor if you have serious or persistent side effects.
Several types of prescription medicines include:
- Antibiotics, which help slow or stop the growth of bacteria and reduce inflammation.
- Vitamin A derivatives, or retinoids, which unplug existing comedones, allowing other medicines, such as antibiotics, to enter the follicles. Some may also help decrease the formation of comedones.
- Other medicines may destroy bacteria, reduce oil production or reduce inflammation.
How to Cope up: (Do’s)
When you have acne, you might want to follow the following skincare guidelines to help yourself:
- Gently clean your face. Use a mild cleanser every morning, evening and after an intensive workout. Do not use solid, rough scrub pads or strong soaps. Use astringents only if the skin is very oily, and then apply only on oily spots.
- Shampoo your hair every now and then. When you’ve got oily hair, you may want to wash it every day.
- Avoid skin lesions from rubbing and touching. Squeezing or removing blemishes may cause the formation of scars or dark blotches.
- Shave carefully. Before applying shaving cream, make sure the blade is smooth, then soften the hair with soap and water. Gently shave to reduce the chance of nicking blemishes, and only when necessary.
- Avoid sunburn and lying in the sun. Many of the drugs used to treat acne will make you more vulnerable to sunburn.
- Carefully choose cosmetics. Both hair-care products and cosmetics should be oil-free. Select noncomedogenic branded items, which means they don’t clog pores. And even such products can make acne worse in some people.
Things that make acne worse: (Dont’s)
- Changing hormone levels in teen girls and adult women two to seven days before their menstrual periods start.
- Stay away from Oil from skin products (moisturizers or cosmetics) or grease in the work environment (such as a kitchen with fry vats).
- Do not pressurize from sports helmets, tight clothes or backpacks.
- Stay lowkey from environmental irritants, such as pollution and high humidity.
- Do not squeeze or pick at blemishes.
- Do not scrub your skin too hard.
- Don’t be Stressed.
“Selected Disorders of Skin Appendages — Acne, Alopecia, Hyperhidrosis” — https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mcna.2015.07.003
“Acne and acne scarring — the case for active and early intervention” — http://www.racgp.org.au/afp/200607/8194
Gopala Krishna Varshith,
Content Developer & Editor,