What is Acne? Causes, Symptoms, prevention, and treatment8 min read

Are you searching to get rid of prolonging acne (pimples, blackheads, or whiteheads)? We have here all the essential information; you need to know to combat this sensitive skin problem. 

In this piece of writing, we’ll reveal what acne is? Along with its symptoms(types), causes, and Medicaid treatments.   

What is Acne? 

In acne, the hair follicles become loaded with oil, dead skin cells, or sometimes bacteria_causing blockage. It often leads to breakouts; blackheads, whiteheads, and, most commonly, pimples. 

Mostly, the affected areas include cheeks, forehead, chin, chest, and shoulders. It is common among teenagers; however, it could hit all ages. Usually, people find it challenging to deal with their acne.

It is necessary to start treating your problem as soon as possible because a delay can cause it to grow more severe.

Symptoms of Acne

The imitated breakout of any of the four given below is the indication of acne. By learning about these types, you’ll be able to understand your skin condition. Further, it will help you out to get your acne type.

Whiteheads (Medical name: Closed comedo)

When a skin pore plugs with oil, dead cells, or bacteria, it causes the clogged pore to bulges out. This bulge white material filled area or spot is known as a whitehead.

Blackheads (Medical name: Open comedo)

The pore clogged with bacteria or dead cells and opens from the top surface is called a blackhead. These pores are blocked or filled with oil or bacteria which turns black in contact with air due to a chemical reaction.

Pimples (Medical-name with pus_ called a pustule and without pus,_ called a papule)

Pimples are red swell bulge surface with white center usually occurs when excessive sebum, infectious bacteria, or dead cells get trapped in skin pore and give rise to inflammation.

Acne nodules

Nodular acne is similar to skin tone. However, it may turn red due to inflammation in the skin. It can persist for several weeks or months.

Acne cyst

Cyst acne is a severe type in which swell red colour bugles appear on the skin. These are usually soft in touch with a whitish-yellow centre and grow deeper in the skin.

Causes of Acne

The most common factors that contribute to acne are:

  • Oil production in excess
  • Excess of androgens (Harmon) production
  • Blockage of hair follicles dead skin cells
  • Bacterial attack
  • Inherited
  • Other causes may be:
  • Medicine reaction
  • Certain Cosmetic reaction
  • Oily food
  • Hygiene

Oil production

The most pointing factor in acne condition is overactivated sebaceous glands and greasy skin texture.

The hair follicles and oil glands are interconnected. Generally, at puberty, these glands start producing sebum in high quantities. Their excess oil begins packing the base of the hair follicles, and it gradually blocks them.

Bacteria

Sometimes, the bacterial attack causes or worsens the existing situation. It is due to unhygienic, infection, or any other reason.

Androgen Hormones

The Androgen Hormones trigger the enlargement of sebaceous glands when producing in excess. In puberty (in both males and females) and during pregnancy(in females ), the body starts producing Androgens in higher quantities.

Such Harmon’s compel the sebaceous glands to manufacture sebum in elevated amounts. 

Dead skin cells

The dead cells can also clog in pores is also a cause of acne breakouts. Thoroughly, there is a need for regular skin exfoliation.

Other Reasons

Sometimes the use of medication or creams on the skin can lead to acne trouble. The allergic reactions by these creams are also a reason for worsening this problem. 

It is proven that diet has a vast influence on skin problems such as acne. The consumption of oily, junk, and carbohydrates rich food can direct to severe conditions.

Hygiene is necessary if you want to get far away from diseases and, for skin health, it is undeniable. In acne or any other skin problem, ignorance of hygiene can bring up drastic results.

Medical treatments for acne

The occasional pimples are not so problematic as they can conceal easily with makeup. Besides, they disappear after a few days. 

However, for prolonged skin acne dermatologist recommended antibiotics for the treatment of mild to severe. It can take several weeks to show their results and months to get you rid of it.

These antibiotics are of two types: 

  • Topical antibiotics
  • Systemic antibiotics

Topical antibiotics 

Topical antibiotics are used on the upper layer of the skin. These usually come in the form of creams, gels, solutions, pads, foams, and lotions.

Such ointments prevent by killing the acne-causing bacteria and help in reducing inflammation. 

However, these antibiotics are not very effective against severe acne due to their low ability to penetrate underneath the skin. These have fewer side effects.

Commonly used topical antibiotics are Erythromycin(macrolide antibiotics), Clindamycin(lincosamide derivatives). Both are effective against several bacteria. 

However, antibiotics never prescribe separately; instead, they are used with benzoyl peroxide to reduce the bacteria’s resistance against them.

Other useful “tropical medicines” are:

Retinoids

The derivatives of vitamin A or Retinoids are used to deal with acne. Sometimes these are utilized in combination with benzoyl peroxide; however, both (Retinoids and benzoyl peroxide) can not operate simultaneously.

The working mechanism of retinoids is simple; these work by reducing and preventing clogging.

Some retinoids are tazarotene (Tazorac), tretinoin (Avita, Retin-A), adapalene (Differin), etc.

Retinoids make the skin sensitive.  Some common side-effects of retinoids are skin redness, drying, and itching.

Azelaic acid

Azelaic acid produced by yeast is a non antibiotic topical medication used for the treatment of acne. It can eradicate bacteria and reduces inflammation. 

Conventionally, it is used for the treatment of moderate acne and discolouration (due to an. Azelaic acid is in the form of gels and creams that can easily apply to the affected area twice a day. Moreover, it can be prescribed during pregnancy.

Clascoterone

Clascoterone is a non-antibiotic topical acne treatment. It acts on the Harmon activities that are the reason for acne. It is valuable in females as well as males. It can deal with both mild to severe acne forms.

Systemic antibiotics

Usually, for the healing of moderate to stubborn acne, doctors prescribe systemic antibiotics(oral). These antibiotics circulate in the blood and work on disease-causing sebaceous glands.

The major drawback of systemic antibiotics is that the disease-inducing bacteria can develop resistance against it. Therefore, these are usually used with benzoyl peroxide but not for an extensive period. The most beneficial antibiotics include tetracycline, doxycycline (Vibramycin), minocycline (Minocin), and erythromycin.

Keep in mind!

  • Do not use any systemic antibiotic without your doctor’s permission, especially during pregnancy.
  • Do not use topical antibiotics and benzoyl peroxide at the same time.
  • The systematic antibiotics can upset the stomach.
  • Stop usage of medicines if the symptoms like swelling of the tongue or face, breathing difficulty, and itching appears. 

Other treatments

Some other procedures for the treatment of severe acne include:

Chemical peeling 

In the Chemical peel method, skin repeatedly peels off with the application of certain chemicals. This procedure is employed for the treatment of mild acne, alone or along with antibiotics. The peeling process improves the skin’s texture to some extent, but the effects are not long-lasting. 

However, the process requires repeated application of chemicals (like salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or retinoic acid) on the skin after regular intervals. 

Steroids

In severe acne conditions (Nodular and cystic lesions), Steroids are injected into the skin. This treatment affects rapidly and reduces the appearance and pain of acne. 

Along with its effective working, it can induce issues like discolouration and skin thinning of suspected areas. 

Use of medical tools

Sometimes the persistent acne, which can not be reduced with topical medications, is treated physically with special medical tools. The breakouts mostly whiteheads, and blackheads, gently plug out from the skin. However, the treatment can cause scars. 

Light therapy

Although there is not much evidence about light therapy reliability, however, it has been used for acne treatment and required several visits to doctors.

Prevention from Acne 

Usually, acne due to highly activated Androgen Hormones is difficult or impossible to prevent. But you can reduce it by following some precautions.

For a person with acne,  it is crucial to take some proper measures.

Use a mild face wash

Do not use hard soaps or face washes on acne because it can dry the skin, which increases the chances of redness and stretching.

Avoid scrubbing on the face; instead, do a gentle massage in a circular motion and rinse thoroughly.

Try not to use shower towels or any cloth on the skin( particularly on the face) as it can spread the infection; instead, you can use cotton or tissue. 

Take care of skin hydration

Dehydration signals the oil glands to start producing more oil. Use non-comedogenic moisturizers _ oil-free after washing the face to hydrate your skin. It is better to use natural and less harsh moisturizers.

Avoid unnecessary makeup

Try not to wear unnecessary makeup on the skin as its chemical content can make the problem more severe. Must wash your face before bed.

Further, the sufferers must avoid using makeup applicators that contact acne on other skin parts and share with others because the bacteria can stick up the brushes and other such stuff.

Avoid oily products

Do not use cosmetics or other oily skincare products on the skin; significantly the area suspected of acne. Also, even some doctors recommend avoiding oily food.

Protect skin from sun exposure

Sometimes, the medication use of the treatment can make the skin sensitive to sun rays and can be vulnerable to sunburn. Therefore, it is beneficial to use oil-free sunblock whenever you go out.

Conclusion

We have mentioned all the vital details, including causes, symptoms, prevention, and acne medical treatments. It is important to start your medication before the problem gets more severe to handle. It is keeping in mind all these aspects while identifying and dealing with this painful problem. 

Fariha Khan

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