Acne is a very common skin problem. Inflammation of the skin's hair follicles and oil-producing (sebaceous) glands causes it.
Hair follicles are the tiny structures in the scalp that produce hair. Sebum is produced by sebaceous glands which surround the hair follicles in acne-prone areas. The "pilosebaceous unit," which consists of the sebaceous glands and hair follicles, is where acne pimples and cysts form. Sebum hydrates the hair and skin. Each hair, together with sebum, pushes up through the skin's surface.
Acne frequently appears during puberty. Acne occurs when the sebaceous glands in the skin are overstimulated to produce sebum. These sticky cells clog the hair follicles of the skin, trapping the sebum. The bacteria that normally live in hair follicles multiply as a result of the blocked, oil-filled follicle. As a result, there are inflammation, redness, and pimples (pustules). Acne flare-ups in adolescents are most likely caused by a natural increase in androgen hormones during the adolescent years. These androgens stimulate the sebaceous glands, causing them to produce an excess of sebum. Hereditary factors also play a role in the problem.
The following factors can cause acne:
Drugs such as Lithium Steroids
Poor diet or poor hygiene are not causes of acne. Excessive skin washing can aggravate an acne flare-up.
Acne can lead to :
Whiteheads and blackheads (comedones).
Comedones are enlarged hair follicles that contain sebum. Comedones that have pushed through the skin's surface are what cause blackheads. When exposed to air, sebum turns black. Whiteheads are comedones that have not broken the surface of the skin.
Acne scars (pustules). These are hair follicles that have become inflamed. Bacteria multiply in the follicle, attracting infection-fighting cells. These cause irritation and redness by releasing substances. The follicle then ruptures, allowing the contents to spill into the surrounding skin. This aggravates the inflammation.
Cysts and nodules These are more serious hair follicle infections. They penetrate the skin deeper, forming firm, deep bumps and swellings. They are caused by an increase in sebum production and bacterial growth, resulting in irritation and redness of the skin.
Acne frequently flares up during the menstrual cycle in both girls and women.
A simple physical examination by your doctor is usually enough to diagnose acne. He or she will examine your face, chest, back, upper arms, and shoulders for acne comedones, pustules, nodules, and cysts.
To identify contributing factors, your doctor will ask you questions about your medical history. You will be questioned about your:
History of menstruation
Hair growth patterns
Acne flare-ups can happen at any age after puberty. They are more common in adolescence.
Acne can never be avoided.
Acne appears in the majority of people. It is a normal part of growing up.
Acne can be treated with the following medications:
Salicylic acid cleanses. This helps in the removal of sebum from comedones.
Gels of benzoyl peroxide. This medication is applied to the skin in the form of a thin film. They become dry and peel the skin. Help in the clearing of clogged hair follicles
Azelaic acid cream. To begin, apply twice daily to clean, dry skin. The frequency can then be reduced to once per day. It usually takes a few weeks for things to improve. It aids in the fight against bacteria and may reduce the formation of comedones.
Tretinoin is a type of antibiotic (Retin-A). This is applied to the skin in the form of a cream, gel, or liquid. It aids in the removal of clogged follicles from the skin by increasing skin cell turnover. Tretinoin makes the skin more sensitive to sunlight, as a result, should be used in conjunction with sunscreen.
Antibiotics. Certain antibiotics can be applied directly to the skin to prevent acne-causing bacteria from multiplying. If these topical treatments fail, oral antibiotics are used to treat acne. These medications, however, may have side effects. They are only available with a prescription. Some antibiotics taken orally have been linked to birth defects.
Oral isotretinoin may be considered in severe cases. This medication has the potential to be extremely effective, but it can also have serious side effects, including severe birth defects. Strict protocols must adhere.
Acne is almost always treatable with medication. However, results may not be visible for several weeks or months. Most topical medications take four to eight weeks to take effect. Tretinoin may produce its best results in three to six months.