- Acne is the most common skin condition faced by all age fellows & genders.
- Unfortunately, acne itself a broad term with so many signs & symptoms.
- The intensity of acne varies from person to person from mild to moderate that may further lead to severe condition.
- Acne is not much big issue but terrible myths associated with it turn acne into a troubleshooting situation that becomes more difficult to treat.
- Acne is one of the worst enemies of the skin that sometimes becomes unbearable as it spoils the visual appearance of the face.
Why did you get a pimple again?
Imagine a bright morning when you wake up fresh after having a sound & cozy sleep & now very excited for an event that’s going to happen tonight. Thinking about your outfit & jewelry as soon as you step forward in front of the bathroom mirror, all the dreams & thoughts vanish with a scream that “ Why again a pimple? “. It’s a sight of red & round pimple that pops up last night & now scares you.
Now moving towards the next scenario, In daily life as a student or an employer, One having acne is continuously being asked some common questions like
- Why is there so much acne?
- Are you not taking care of your skin?
- Why you use so many cosmetics?
Acne doesn’t only spoil your overall personality charm but also results in low self-esteem & low confidence. This gives you another valid reason to hate acne & wants a permanent solution to get rid of it.
What is acne?
Acne can be defined as a condition or state of the skin accompanied by dead skin cells, whiteheads, or pimples. Common sites of acne are the forehead, face, chest, shoulders & upper back. Acne may be mild, moderate, or severe, leaving its scars on the skin for a long duration even after treatment. It can cause trouble for people of all age groups, but mostly teenagers & youngsters seem to complain more about acne.
Why do you get acne?
The acne phenomenon can be well explained with a little briefing of the normal physiology of the skin. There are tiny pores in the skin connected with oil glands by hair follicles beneath the skin. The natural mechanism involves removing the dead cell with oil that moves up along with hair follicles out of the tiny pores. American Academy of Dermatology reported that everyday skin gets rid of about 30,000 to 40,000 skin cells.
How does acne start?
Acne starts when the normal mechanism of skin cells replenishing deviates from its natural pattern. When Dead skin cell, skin oil & hair follicles clumped together, & constitutes a “ plug.” This plug gives bacteria a good chance to grow. As a result of bacterial growth, plugs grow more & swell. As the plug will start to break down, a pimple will appears on the skin’s surface.
Types of skin acne
Acne does not always occur with pimples only; there are several other acne signs & symptoms, like whiteheads. Different type of acne has different requires a different type of treatment. Today, medical news has announced the following 6 types of acne, which are mentioned along with its treatment.
Types of acne/blemish are categorized into two main classes
1. Non-inflammatory acne
2. Inflammatory acne
The appearance of small flesh tones or white bumps on the skin is called whiteheads. As whitehead forms along with hair follicle so it is pretty normal to see hair emerges from whitehead. Popping whiteheads may be tempting but it is recommended not to do so because it may lead to skin scarring.
When the whitehead continues its exposure to air, the oil & bacterial content becomes oxidized and results in converting the whitehead into a blackhead. This name suits it because of its black color. Blackhead represents “ clogged pore.” The interesting fact is that black clour is not the marker of dirt but an indication towards collecting skin cells & oil together. Following a Skincare routine will give good results to avoid whiteheads & blackheads.
Treatment for mild & non-inflammatory acne:
As noninflammatory acne includes whiteheads & blackheads. They can be easily removed by a beautician or an individual himself too. The process involves two simple steps; however, it is recommended not to try in case of too young or too old individuals. Its two steps are mentioned as follows.
- Soften the skin either by massaging with cream or by taking the steam. As steam also opens the pores & ease in removal of white or blackheads.
- Use a whitehead removal pin. Keep its round lope on the whitehead/blackhead & press gently until whitehead/blackhead pops out of the skin.
Some over the counter medications are also listed below that helps to break down blackheads & whiteheads
- Salicylic acid
- Benzoyl peroxide
When whitehead or blackhead cause itching & inflammation on the surrounding skin, it results in the appearance of a red or pink color bump ( less than 5 millimeters in diameter) on the skin that’s most preferably known as ”papules.” Papules are the outcome of pore-clogging due to excess oil & dead skin forming a comedone. It may be painful on touch but do not possess any visible center. If someone breaches the skin, it will cause inflammation. This inflammation is a warning sign for preventing it from becoming pustules.
Botanical & herbal agents like pink clay, green tea, camelia & raspberry seed oil can provide teat inflammatory papules for soothing effects.
Infected papules lead to the formation of classic pimples or pustules. Pustules resemble whiteheads physically, but they are more solid bigger & painful, unlike whiteheads. They seem like a red swollen bump on the skin with a visible white center. Typically the center of pustules fills with yellow pus. This yellow pus is actually constituted due to bacterial & immune cells. The most common sites of Pustules are the face, chest & back. Regulation of skin sebum’s production is helpful to avoid the breakout of pustules.
Treatment for moderate inflammatory acne:
Moderate acne requires attention to take it seriously & to control it before it is transformed into several acne types. Remedies & over the counties medications work satisfactorily to treat it; however, it also requires some preventive measures to restrict it before becoming more worse. These tips will definitely help you.
- Don’t try to touch your pimple again & again as it will only end up the spread of bacterial content on the overall face.
- Don’t try to scratch it with a fingernail. Gently rub the surrounding with a cotton cloth.
- Use medicated soap to wash your face.
- Products having salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide works to treat acne by combatting bacteria.
- Application o warm compress on the affected area will allow the trapped debris to rise to the surface.
They resemble pustules, but they exist deep down the skin. Unlike papules, nodules miss the head or center. Nodules are the more severe acne type accompanied by deeper, more painful & hard bumps that appear on the skin when deep tissue & cells of the skin get damaged. It feels hard & painful to touch. Nodular acne needs a proper treatment plan by dermatologists & most commonly, home remedies are not enough to treat it. Application of cold compress for 10 minutes can help to relieve its pain & inflammation.
The last type of acne is cysts that resemble nodules physically but differ so that cysts are somehow soft, white, or red boils & exist deeper in the skin than nodules. Cysts are quite large & most painful & leave a scar on the skin. It may grow its size if it is infected & labeled as the “ Most severe” Type of acne. Poor skin hygiene, touching & picking the cysts will make the condition worst by spreading the infection.
Treatment for severe inflammatory acne
Severe inflammatory acne like noodles or cysts needs proper indications about treatment from doctors or dermatologists. Docter may suggest the following products or procedures according to your acne & skin type
- Use of topical corticosteroids
- Use of antibiotics
- Injectable steroids
- Hormonal medications by oral contraceptives
- Extraction & drainage to remove large cysts
Preventive measures to stop acne
Preventive measures are always beneficial to protect skin against acne. Moreover, it helps to restrict acne at a mild stage without causing long term scars & spots. Following a skincare routine is the best option to prevent acne that equally results in good for all skin types. Here we are mentioning a few guidelines that serve as preventive measures and help t schedule your skincare routine.
Keep your skin moisturized every time & especially before going to bed, after taking a shower, or applying foundation. It is recommended to use good quality moisture according to your skin type.
Cleansing is so essential as the open pores of the skin necessarily need to be clean either by the help of gentle massage with cleanser cream or raw milk with the help of cotton can also be used. Don’t forget to remove makeup & clean your face from the dust of the whole working day before going to bed.
Exfoliating your skin involves removing dead skin cells & this is performed with the help of scrubs or cream with granular particles. Gently massage your skin of the face with scrub & then wash it. Exfoliation should not be performed daily as it may irritate your skin. It is enough to repeat it 2to 3 times a week.
4. Close the pores
Open pores is another main cause of acne. Exfoliation also sometimes results in the opening of pores. These pores should be closed by using any good quality mud mask or peel-off mask. Icing with ice cubes or flashing the face with cold water also helps to close open pores. A spray of rose water is another option for immediate results.
5. Choose cosmetics wisely
Make a good choice in selecting your cosmetics & makeup & immediately stop the use of any product if it gives unusual effects like irritation.
Myths about acne
Every individual that suffers from acne has its own story about acne based on his/her individual experience. These are sometimes true & sometimes faraway from a logical point of view. Acne being the most common skin problem, has carried many myths with it, ultimately resulting in a worsening situation for people with low knowledge about skin & acne.
1. Acne only occurs at a young age
Well, this is not true. Acne is common in teenagers but also occurs in people of older age.
2. Pimple is acne
Basically, the pimple is one of the types of acne & a sign of acne. It doesn’t mean that we can neglect other types of acne like whitehead or blackhead etc.
3. Home remedies are enough to treat acne
Well, home remedies cannot work in case of severe acne; you must need to consult with a dermatologist for the right decision of treatment.
Here we sum up all the basic information about acne. There is no denying that acne is a sign of hate for most youngsters & teenagers, but appropriate preventive measures & following a skincare routine will help you get rid of it. As skin also requires your attention & time, therefore, learn to manage some time for your skin as wearing makeup does not make you glow so that healthy skin can.
A student of Pharm D from University of Karachi. She has keen interest in all the attributes towards pharmacy especially community pharmacy and hospital pharmacy with an objective to make medications sound and safe. She loves to provide information about Pharmaceutical Analysis and Pharmacology in a best way so people with no medical background can understand.