What Is Acne?

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“A skin condition that occurs when oil and dead skin cells clog hair follicles. It causes pimples, white heads, or black heads.”

Acne is a type of skin lesion which is most common among teenagers, though people of all ages suffer from it. Even though there are effective acne treatments, acne can sometimes persist. Pimples appear and disappear slowly, yet when one begins to fade, another appears. The severity of acne varies depending on the type. Acne causes emotional distress as well as skin scarring. Acne symptoms differ depending on the severity of the condition.

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Types Of Acne:

There are many different types of acne, each with its own set of symptoms.

Types of acne
  • White heads –  Closed plugged pores
  • Black heads – Open plugged pores
  • Papules – Small red, tender bumps
  • Pimples or Pustules – Are kinds of papules which pus at their tips
  • Nodules – Large solid lumps under the skin
  • Cystic skin lesions – Painful, pus-filled the layer of skin

Common Occurrence:

Acne affects the face, forehead, chest, upper back, and shoulders most commonly. Acne is caused by a number of reasons.

  • Excess oil (Sebum) production
  • Hair follicles clogged by oil and dead skin cells
  • Bacteria
  • Inflammation

Because these areas of skin contain the most sebaceous glands and produce the most oil, acne commonly develops on the face, forehead, chest, upper back, and shoulders. Hair follicles connected to oil glands may bulge and develop a white head, or the plug may be exposed and darken, resulting in a black head.  

A blackhead may appear to be dirt caught in the pores of the skin. But actually the pores are clogged with bacteria and oil, which turns brown when exposed to air. When a blocked hair follicle becomes irritated or infected with germs, pimples appear as elevated red spots with a white center. Blockages and inflammation deep inside the hair follicles cause cyst-like lumps beneath the skin’s surface.  Other pores in the skin, which are the openings of the sweat glands are not usually involved in acne.

Things Which Can Worsen Acne:

There are certain things that may worsen acne which includes:

  • Hormonal changes – Androgens are hormones that increase during puberty, causing the sebaceous glands to grow and produce more sebum.
  • Diet — Eating a lot of deep-fried items in a short period of time might aggravate acne.
  • Family history – Acne is influenced by genetics. If both parents have acne, the children are more likely to get it as well.
  • Certain medications — This includes steroid, testosterone, and lithium-containing medications.
  • Stress – Stress does not cause acne, but it might worsen it if you already have it.
  • Age – Acne can affect people of all ages, although it is most frequent among teenagers.
  • Friction – Items such as telephones, cell phones, helmets, tight collars, and back packs can produce friction or pressure on the skin which can cause acne.
  • Greasy or oily substances – If your skin comes into contact with oil or oily lotions and creams, you may develop acne.

Prevention And Treatment:

There are many suggested home remedies for acne, but not all of them are supported by research.

  • Tea-tree oil – According to the Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology, and Leprology, 5-percent tea-tree oil can help treat mild to moderate acne.
  • Tea – There is some evidence that polyphenols from tea, notably green tea, administered topically may help reduce sebum production and treat acne, according to a reliable source.
  • Diet -It’s uncertain whether diet plays a role in acne worsening. Scientists discovered that those who eat a diet rich in vitamins A and E, as well as zinc, have a lower chance of severe acne.
  • Moisturizer – According to studies, moisturizers can help to calm the skin, especially in patients who are using acne medications like isotretinoin. Moisturizers containing aloevera or witch hazel at a concentration of at least 10% can be relaxing and perhaps anti-inflammatory.

Acne treatment is determined by the severity and persistence of the acne. Mild acne can be treated with over-the-counter (OTC) drugs applied to the skin, such as gels, soaps, pads, creams, and lotions. Sensitive skin responds best to creams and lotions. Alcohol-based gels are excellent for oily skin since they dry it out.

Starting with the lowest strengths is recommended, as certain preparations can produce skin irritation, redness, or burning when used for the first time. These side effects usually fade away with regular use. Consult a doctor, if not. More severe cases should be treated by a dermatologist. They may prescribe a stronger gel or cream over OTC drugs, as well as an oral or topical antibiotic.

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