Skin Acne – Acne Causes and Acne Treatment

What is Skin Acne

Acne is a skin condition that causes pimples or “zits.” This includes whiteheads, blackheads, and red, inflamed patches of skin (such as cysts).  Acne

Acne affects mostly skin with the densest population of sebaceous follicles; these areas include the face, the upper part of the chest, and the back. Severe acne is inflammatory, but acne can also manifest in non-inflammatory forms. Acne occurs most commonly during adolescence, and often continues into adulthood. In adolescence, acne is usually caused by an increase in testosterone, which people of both genders accrue during puberty. For most people, acne diminishes over time and tends to disappear or at the very least decrease after one reaches one’s early twenties. There is, however, no way to predict how long it will take to disappear entirely, and some individuals will carry this condition well into their thirties, forties, and beyond.

Causes of Skin Acne

Acne occurs when tiny holes on the surface of the skin become clogged. These holes are called pores. Each pore opens to a follicle. A follicle contains a hair and an oil gland. The oil released by the gland helps remove old skin cells and keeps your skin soft. When glands produce too much oil, the pores can become blocked. Dirt, bacteria, and cells build up. The blockage is called a plug or comedone.

  • White Head. If the top of the plug is white, it is called a whitehead.
  • Black Head. If the top of the plug is dark, it is called a blackhead.
  • If the plug breaks open, swelling and red bumps occur.
  • Acne that is deep in your skin can cause hard, painful cysts. This is called cystic acne.

Acne is most common in teenagers, but anyone can get acne, even babies. Three out of four teenagers have some acne. Hormonal changes may cause the skin to be oilier. Research does not show that chocolate, nuts, and greasy foods cause acne. However, diets high in refined sugars may be related to acne.

Acne Treatment Comparison Chart

Acne Triggers 

It may be triggered by:

  • Hormonal changes related to puberty, menstrual periods, pregnancy, birth control pills, or stress
  • Greasy or oily cosmetic and hair products
  • Certain drugs (such as steroids, testosterone, estrogen, and phenytoin)
  • High levels of humidity and sweating

Symptoms of Acne

Acne vulgaris
Acne vulgaris (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Acne commonly appears on the face and shoulders, but it may also occur on the trunk, arms, legs, and buttocks.

  • Blackheads
  • Crusting of skin bumps
  • Cysts
  • Papules (small red bumps)
  • Pustules
  • Redness around the skin eruptions
  • Scarring of the skin
  • Whiteheads

Proactive Acne Treatment

Back to the three basic causes of acne and you can understand why the focus of both home treatment and prescription therapy is to

  • Unclog pores
  • Kill bacteria
  • Minimize oil.
  • Lifestyle: Moderation and regularity are good things, but not everyone can sleep eight hours, eat three good meals, and drink eight glasses of water a day. You can, however, still control your acne even if your routine is frantic and unpredictable. Probably the most useful lifestyle changes you can make are to never to pick or squeeze pimples.

Acne Treatment and Acne Medication

Scars-cropped
Scars-cropped (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since everyone gets acne at some time, the right time to treat it is when it bothers you or when the potential for scarring develops. This can be when severe acne flares suddenly, for mild acne that just won’t go away, or even when a single pimple decides to show up the week before your prom or wedding. Antibiotics may help some people with acne:-

  • Oral antibiotics (taken by mouth) such as tetracycline, doxycycline, minocycline, erythromycin, trimethoprim, and amoxicillin
  • Topical antibiotics (applied to the skin) such as clindamycin, erythromycin, or dapsone

Creams or gels applied to the skin may be prescribed:-

  • Retinoic acid cream or gel (tretinoin, Retin-A)
  • Prescription formulas of benzoyl peroxide, sulfur, resorcinol, or salicylic acid
  • Topical azelaic acid

For women whose acne is caused or made worse by hormones:

  • A pill called spironolactone may help
  • Birth control pills may help in some cases, though they may make acne worse

Minor procedures or treatments may also be helpful:

  • A laser procedure called photodynamic therapy
  • Your doctor may also suggest chemical skin peeling, removal of scars by dermabrasion, or removal, drainage, or injection of cysts with cortisone

People who have cystic acne and scarring may try a medicine called isotretinoin (Accutane). You will be watched closely when taking this medicine because of its side effects. Pregnant women should NOT take Accutane.

 

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. wartica says:

    My niece suffers from this, so I will be sending this to my sister to check out for her:))

  2. Roni Dorris says:

    Acne is a term for the over manufacturing of oil, which results in plugged pores and outbreaks of lesions called pimples or zits, whiteheads, blackheads, nodules or cysts. Acne most often appears on the face, neck, torso, back, shoulders and arms.

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