Everything You Want To Know About Acne And How To Treat It: Acne is a common inflammatory skin condition that affects most people at a particular stage in their life.

Naturally, there are tiny holes on the skin’s surface; according to experts, acne is bound to happen when these tiny pores are blocked beneath the skin.

These blockages are sometimes caused by hair, sebum (an oily substance), bacteria, and dead skin cells. When this happens, it produces blackheads, whiteheads, nodules, and other types of pimples and can sometimes be very painful to touch.

Acne is the most common skin condition that people experience and it’s estimated that 7 out of 10 people between the ages of 13 to 30 (teens and young adults) will have at least a mild form of acne on the face, shoulders, back, neck, chest, and sometimes the upper arms.

When acne occurs during teenage years, it is more common in males, but when it continues into adulthood, it is more common in women. For most people, acne goes away by the time they reach their thirties, but others, in their forties and fifties, continue to have this skin problem.

Acne is not dangerous, but it can leave skin scars. According to the WHO, in 2015, acne affected approximately 633 million people globally, making it the 8th most common disease worldwide. In this article, we take you through everything you need to know about acne, its causes, symptoms, and how to treat it.

Acne

What Is Acne?

Medically, the definition of Acne can be confusing, but in basic terms, Acne can be described as a very common skin condition that causes pimples mostly on the face, forehead, chest, shoulders, and upper arms.

Acne mostly affects teenagers but can occur at any age with several causes including infections, stress, genes, increasing hormonal levels, high humidity, and using oily or greasy personal care products.

However, acne is less common in adulthood even though it’s sometimes seen in affected persons into their 20s and 30s with a small number of people continuing to have acne even in their 40s.

What Are The Different Types Of Acne?

Like many ailments, several types of acne affect people at different points in time. Below are the types of acne.

  • CYSTS: This is another type of acne that forms below the surface of the skin. They look reddish, filled with pus (the thick fluid, maybe whitish or yellowish). They sometimes feel soft to the touch and can be painful. Cysts normally form along the face and jawline, or even as bacne. They are caused by the usual blockage of excess oil, dead skin, and bacteria.

 

  • BLACKHEADS: These can also be referred to as ‘open comedones’ (comedones exposed to air), as the name implies, blackheads appear as dark spots on your skin and are also caused by clogged follicles that are pushed to the surface of the skin and open up. They look dark because the air discolors the sebum

 

  • NODULES: They are severe forms of acne that look similar to papules but they are located deeper within the layers of your skin. Nodules look larger, painful, and sometimes difficult to treat and nearly impossible to pop.

 

  • WHITEHEADS: Whiteheads get their name because they appear as whitish spots in your skin. This can also be described as ‘closed comedones’ (comedones that are not exposed to air). They appear on the skin as small bumps usually whitish and its caused by clogged hair follicles beneath the skin and can also occur when a mix of dead skin cells and sebum plug a pore.

 

  • PAPULES: Like other acne, papules develop when excess oil (Sebum) and dead skin cells clog your pores. When this happens, there’s pressure in the blocked pore, therefore, causing the walls of your pore and the surrounding skin to swell hence making it look reddish.

 

  • PUSTULES: Pustules can form on any part of the body, but they’re mostly found on your face, chest, and back. Experts describe pustules as papules filled with pus (the thick fluid, that may be whitish or yellowish). Due to its inflammatory nature, it’s ringed with redness and swelling.

Acne

What Causes Acne?

There’s a cause for every ailment and Acne is no different. As stated earlier, Acne occurs when pores of your skin are blocked either by oil, dead skin, or bacteria.

According to scientists, each pore of the skin opens to a follicle, which is made up of hair and a sebaceous (oil) gland. The oil gland releases sebum (oil), that travels up the hair to the pore, and onto your skin.

This process is necessary to keep the skin lubricated and soft. When there is a mishap during the lubrication process, it causes acne. However, researchers believe that the following can lead to the development of acne.

  • Growth of bacteria in the pore
  • Excess or high production of oil in the pore
  • Accumulated dead skin cells in the pore

What Are The Symptoms Of Acne?

For every ailment, there is a symptom to it. These symptoms show there’s an indication of the existence of something, especially of an undesirable situation. Some symptoms show physical features and acne is no different. Below are some.

  • Whiteheads
  • Blackheads
  • Scarring of the skin
  • Crusting of skin bumps
  • Pustules (small red bumps with white or yellow pus)
  • Redness around the affected area
  • Papules (small red bumps)
  • Cysts

What Are The Risk Factors For Developing Acne?

To date, researchers still don’t know why some people experience acne and others don’t. However, they recognize several risk factors that might increase a person’s risk of developing acne.

  • Diet
  • Scrubbing your skin too hard
  • Squeezing blemishes
  • Environmental irritants (pollution and high humidity)
  • Stress
  • Hormonal changes due to pregnancy or puberty
  • Cleansers, creams, and other products with high oil content
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Poor sleep
  • Family history of acne
  • Pressure from helmets, tight clothes, or backpacks

Acne

Getting A Diagnosis For Acne?

Diagnosing Acne is not a difficult task. A dermatologist can easily diagnose acne by looking at your skin. After thoroughly examining your face, chest, or back, dermatologists would be able to spot the actual type of spot of acne. However, the degree of the severity of the acne will determine where to go for treatment and what treatment you should have.

Treatment For Acne

As it is for every ailment, it’s no different with Acne. The first of treating acne is to know how bad the problem is either mild, moderate, or severe. Most mild and moderate cases are easily handled by resorting to simple recommendations and over-the-counter products.

However, for severe acne cases, an expert recommends an individual in such a situation see a dermatologist for proper examination as well as treatment. In some cases, it requires the administration of powerful medications including creams and oral antibiotics.

When To See A Doctor For Acne Treatment?

Mild and moderate acne cases could be easily handled by a pharmacist. In the case where the prescriptions given do not control your acne or they become chronic, then it’s important to see a specialist since they need to be treated well to leave scars or dark spots on your skin.

Source: Blackgh.com

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