All You Need to Know About ACNE
What is Acne?
Acne is a chronic, inflammatory and a gruesome skin problem that leads to spots and pimples on face, neck, chest, back, upper arms, and shoulders. Though it largely occurs during puberty or in teenage years when the sebaceous glands get activated, it can also appear at any age throughout your life. Even if it is not a dangerous disease, it is highly frustrating and can leave a scar.
Hair follicles under the skin connect the pores to the oil glands. These follicles are small sacs that produce and secrete sebum- an oily liquid. Sebum carries dead skin cells through the follicles to the surface of the skin making it oily. This also blocks the pores which leads to accumulation of oil under the skin and hence leads to pimples.
Types of Acne
Acne are of various types based on the cause and appearance and vary in size, colour, and level of pain. There are broadly 6 types of acne:
- Blackheads: Dead skin that accumulate in clogged pores oxidise and look black. Usually found in T-zone that is nose and forehead, black heads need to be removed regularly in order to prevent them from turning severe.
- Whiteheads: Unlike blackheads that are present under the skin, white heads are the clogged pores on the surface of the skin. These are small in size and easily removable.
- Pustules: Pustules are the pores that get infected and are filled with pus. These are visible clearly on the surface of the skin. These are red at the base and have pus at the top.
- Papules: Papules are the red bumps and pimples on the surface of the skin caused by bacteria. These are small in size and are usually pink in colour that are visible on the surface of the skin.
- Cystic Acne: Cysts or cystic acne are the inflamed pus-filled nodules that are painful and cause scars. They look like large pimples and form deep under the skin.
- Hormonal Acne: Acne, papules, and cysts on face, chin, and around jawline caused due to hormonal imbalance and women with PCOD lead to these acne.
Causes of Acne:
- Sun Exposure and Damage: Heat in the summers cause skin drying which leads to oil glands producing more oil or sebum. This leads to increased frequency of pimples.
- Cosmetics and Hair products: The type of skin and hair products used could also cause reaction which could lead to accumulation of oil on the skin. Some products also contain oil in them that could aggravate the situation further.
- Lifestyle: Everyday eating habits, dietary choices, cosmetics used, medications, stress, and lifestyle changes all could also lead to acne and pimples.
- Acne Mechanica: Heat, friction, sweat, certain types of clothing, sports equipment, and other gears can trigger the outbreak of zits or acne. Sweating, rubbing or pressure on skin irritate and inflame the follicles thus leading to a certain type of acne called acne mechanica
- Hormones & Genetics: Genetics play a major roles in causing acne since it could be a hereditary factor. Certain hormonal imbalances related to PCOD in women and oral contraceptives affect the sebum production, which could lead to acne. Hormonal changes during puberty also cause sebaceous glands to enlarge thus increasing the production of sebum.
Though it is very easy to diagnose acne based on the physical appearance, it is difficult for common people to identify the type acne. Make sure you visit a dermatologist and get the root cause and type diagnosed before going ahead with any kind of medications. Based on the severity and other factors, you might need blood tests to check the hormone levels.
Treatment for acne differs from person to person. Severity, cause, genetic history, hormonal imbalance, underlying disorders, etc. need to be determined by a dermatologist to treat the disease effectively. Which is why, it is important to visit a dermatologist and get appropriate treatment for your type of acne.
Treatments such as microderma abrasions, dermapen, dermarollers, carbon facials, peels, and photofacials are also quite beneficial in treating severe acne. However the choice of treatment depends on how severe and persistent the acne is.
- Over-The-Counter (OTC) Medication: OTC medicines might help treat only mild acne. They are available in the form of creams, lotions, gels, soaps, and pads however it might take a little longer to see the results. One should however avoid taking medicines on own since it might not treat the underlying cause.
- Prescription Medicines: Based on the severity of the acne, you might need prescription medicines from a dermatologist. In such cases, OTC medicines do not give long term results. These medicines might include antibiotics to kill the bacteria and anti-inflammatory medicines to reduce swelling. However, make sure you inform your physician if you are pregnant or may become pregnant since many of the prescription drugs such as retinoids may cause serious birth defects.
Though the skin type, hormonal imbalances, sun exposure and genetic factors are not in your control, it is highly advisable for you to take utmost precautions whenever possible. Here are some tips and remedies for you to maintain a younger looking skin while reducing the breakouts as much as possible:
1.Wash your face with mild soap and warm water twice a day to remove dirt and oil from your face and wash your hair frequently to reduce production of oil.
2. Do not burst the pimples or scrub the skin often as it may push the bacterial infection further down and induce inflammation. It could also lead to scarring.
3. Maintain hygiene such as washing hands regularly before applying any skin care product, avoiding tight garments, caps, scarves etc.
4. Use oil-free cosmetic and hair products to reduce the production of sebum and make sure you remove makeup before sleeping.
5. Pay close attention to your diet and avoid food products that cause sudden increase in blood sugar and trigger a boost in insulin. High insulin levels could lead to increase in pore clogging cells and sebum.
6. Increase consumption of veggies, beans and grains in your diet and cut down on carbohydrate rich food like pasta, pizza, white rice etc.
7. If possible, avoid sun exposure but if it is non avoidable, make sure you apply oil-free sunscreen every time before stepping out in the sun.
8. Anxiety and stress are a leading cause of pimples and acne as they can increase the production of cortisol and adrenaline, which induce formation of acne.
9. Use tea-tree oil if you have mild to moderate acne as it is known to be effective in treating mild acne while also rejuvenating the skin.
10. There also is an evidence of green tea extracts being effective in reducing sebum production and treating acne when applied topically.
Acne is a very common problem that most of the teenagers and adults face. Though it can cause severe embarrassment, there are multiple treatments available that are quite effective. If you are suffering from acne, we suggest you visit an experienced dermatologist and get it treated as delay in the treatment could leave scars and blemishes on your skin.
At Royal Lush Skin Clinic, there are multiple treatments such as prescription treatment, medical facials, and laser treatment available to treat every kind of acne. Our experienced team of health professionals determine the cause of acne based on severity and surrounding causes and suggest appropriate course of action.
To book an appointment, call 9999822443 today.