Acne(Acne Vulgaris)is a skin condition that purges when hair follicles get accumulated with dirt like dead skin cells or polluted particles and sebum. Acne is a general term that covers whitehead, blackhead, pimple. It usually occurs in your face, chest, shoulders, upper back. Many treatments topically and advances have come for acne. But it is not a permanent cure. There will be a recurrence of acne without proper skincare hygiene. Even it could cause stress and severe scars.
Causes of Acne
Hair follicles are present in your face, upper back, chest, and forehead. These follicles are connected to the sebaceous or oil glands. Whiteheads occur when the hair follicle bulges or sometimes the follicles get open and become dark called blackhead. Externally it looks like dirt but it is the pores filled with pollution dirt and bacteria. When these follicles got inflamed and affected by bacteria infection it raises as bumps mostly red in color, sometimes filled with pustules called pimples.
The main factors that cause acne are,
- Excess sebum in the face causing oiliness
- Clogged pores
- Poor skincare hygiene(Over exfoliation)
Symptoms of Acne
Depending upon the severity of acne, the symptoms would be varying. Common symptoms are,
- Red bumps
- Papules(pimples with pus at the tip)
- Large painful bumps beneath the surface which is inflamed
- Cystic lesions(pus below the skin surface)
Factors that worsen or trigger your acne. Such as,
Hormones: When you attain puberty, due to the increased production of hormone androgen your sebaceous gland will enlarge and there will be more production of sebum. This process will be same when you are going through pregnancy and also when using contraceptive pills that increase the androgen production.
Certain medicines: Medicine containing chemicals like corticosteroids, lithium could aggravate acne.
Diet: Food like packaged and processed foods like cookies, chips could increase the production of sebum. It is better to avoid food rich in cholesterol and carbohydrates. Chocolate intake is widely related to acne but there is no scientific evidence. To know more about diet check our blog for the article on our Digestion and Diet
Stress can make your acne purge more and worsen your condition
Treatment for acne
Mild acne does not need any treatment. It goes away in a few days and gets concealed. But medical treatment is needed if your condition is getting worse. The general treatment methods are,
Antibiotics: It is prescribed topically or in a oral intake. It is used to treat the infection caused by the bacteria and control it.
Vitamin A derivatives: Retinols or retinoids are Vitamin A derivatives it can be given for oral or topical usage. In the severe cases given with the combination of antibiotics.
Azelaic acid: It has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Many other advanced treatments like chemical peels, laser, derma rollers are suggested for severe acne and to treat acne scars.
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- It is important to keep track of your hormonal changes. Women should have a menstrual diary and consult a doctor about frequently missed periods
- Maintain your skin hygiene
- Avoid using chemicals that irritate your skin
- Do not over-exfoliate your face. Using scrubs and harshly rubbing your face irritates your skin
- Use a clean towel and frequently change your pillow cover