Acne occurs when the pores of the skin get blocked with oil, dead skin or bacteria. Each pore of the skin opens to a follicle. This follicle is made up of hair and sebaceous glands. This is an oil gland which releases sebum or oil which travels up the hair, out of the pore and onto the skin. It causes blackheads, whiteheads and pimples. Although acne isn’t a life threatening condition, it can be painful and affect the confidence of a person which causes emotional distress. Additionally, it also causes permanent physical scarring. Acne mostly begins occurring in teenagers who attain the age of puberty.
Symptoms of acne
Acne signs vary depending on the severity of the condition. Some of the common symptoms are :1. Blackheads, open clogged pores
- White heads, closed clogged pores
- Small red, tender bumps known as papules
- Pimples which are papules with pus at the tip
- Large, solid, painful lumps under the skin known as nodules
- Painful pus filled lumps under the skin known as cystic lesions
Acne most commonly appears on the face, chest, upper back and shoulders.
Causes of acne
Acne is largely a hormonal condition that is driven by androgen hormones, which typically become active during the teenage and young adult years. Production of these hormones combined with surface bacteria and fatty acids within the oil gland can result in acne.
The given things can cause/trigger acne :
- Fluctuating hormone level around the time of a woman’s period.
- Stress which increase the hormone cortisol
- Picking at acne sores
- Clothing and headgear like helmet, caps etc
- Some medications
- Using oily or greasy personal care products
How is acne treated?
Acne can be treated through non-prescription medicines prescribed by a doctor. The dosage is prescribed based on condition severity, age and type of acne. The use of certain contraceptives can sometimes help a woman’s acne go away. The Food and Drug Administration has approved three types of birth control pills for treating acne. All four contain a combination of estrogen (the primary female sex hormone) and progesterone (a natural form of steroid that helps regulate menstruation). Various medications and therapies have proven to be effective. They target the underlying cause of acne. Certain medicines can be taken orally, some are applied topically and other remedies are laser treatments, chemical peels etc
5 things to know before acne treatment
- It could cause dry skin or other side effects
Most of the acne treatments can cause specific side effects. For instance, benzoyl peroxide could cause temporary redness, inflammation or skin irritation in the beginning. The consequence of this could be flaking and peeling of skin. It gets severe when skin is not moisturised. If you happen to have sensitive skin, begin treatment with mild dosage until the skin develops a tolerance for it. For certain people, antibiotics could cause stomach related issues which eventually fade away after continuous use of the medicine.
- Using previous skin care products might make acne worse
Certain chemical and physical exfoliates like scrubs and face washes can worsen acne by irritating the skin and causing inflammation. Hence, it is usually advised to avoid usage of these products when you begin an acne treatment. Instead, utilize the products that will moisturise the skin and clean it without over-drying it or increasing oil production. Also, avoiding make up initially could help as this could irritate sensitive acne lesions and prolong the healing process.
- It is essential to follow the medication routine
One of the most common mistakes people commit during acne treatment is disregarding the instructions on the package. Due to this, the healing process slows down to a great extent which could also cause irritation and inflammation of skin. It is highly recommended to follow the instructions encased on the treatment to work properly. Moreover, this also decreases the side effects caused by a medicine.
- Patience is the key
Irrespective of what medications are utilised, the results take around 8 weeks to show up. The time definitely varies from person to person based on various factors like severity of acne and overall health. Most treatments require a certain amount of time for the body to get rid of the bacteria which cause the blemishes. It can take several months for the significant results to appear.
- Homeopathic acne is always better to treat acne
One must understand that one type of acne medication will not work for all skin types. It varies from person to person. If you are not satisfied with the results shown by current treatment, you could always shift towards homeopathy treatments. These medications utilise the natural ingredients and hence produce very negligible side effects. Homeopathy cures acne using natural roots.
Acne can be very troublesome. Apart from pain, it could also cause emotional distress. Acne could be treated by using various home remedies. But, during extreme acne breakout, consult a doctor or prefer trying an acne treatment. Unfortunately, These treatments are coupled with side effects. In addition to treatments, you must also follow a balanced diet, hygienic habits and a healthy lifestyle.