Acne is a skin condition, which happens when dead cells and oil plug the hair follicles. The acne can appear in various areas such as the face, chest, back, and shoulders. It is very common as it affects people of all ages. But the risk of adolescents having acne is higher than adults and other age groups.
In some cases, acne is very easy to treat. But it is also problematic in other cases. Some types of acne are very persistent—bumps and pimples surface again, even after treatment.
Acne, as a topical condition, can cause emotional distress to those who are affected. This is because acne often appears on the face. This has an impact on the confidence and self-esteem of acne patients. There are ways to treat it, although treatment and management methods vary depending on the type of acne.
Know more about acne to address it properly—in this article, we will discuss acne causes and treatment.
What Are the Common Causes of Acne?
Excessive production of oil is one of the main causes of acne. Sebaceous glands or commonly known as oil glands, which are connected to the hair follicles, are very widespread on some skin areas such as chest, shoulders, face, upper back, and forehead. When the oil produced by the glands exceeds to what is normally needed by the skin, then the excess oil along with bacteria will block the follicle and cause a bulge and the development of a whitehead or blackhead. Aside from whitehead or blackhead, the bacteria and excessive oil can also lead to the development of pimples when the plugged up hair follicles have been inflamed.
Although excess oil and bacteria are the usual causes of acne, there are other risk factors that can trigger the occurrence of this medical condition. Among these is the hormonal change which is commonly observed in adolescents, teenagers, girls, ladies and those who have been intaking androgens, lithium, corticosteroids, and other medications. Family history or genetic predisposition also stimulates acne development. Research found that the chances of a person having acne are high if both his or her parents had acne.
Skin friction or skin pressure also affects the development of acne in a person. For instance, those who usually wear clothes with tight collars, have helmets and backpacks as well as those who frequently use cell phones or telephones have a higher risk of having this condition. Often the use of oily or greasy compounds such as creams or lotions will also trigger acne. Lastly, in contrary to what we know that stress causes acne, it is not true as it doesn’t stimulate its development; however, it worsens this if you already have acne on your skin areas.
What Are the Factors That Can Lead to Having Serious Acne Conditions?
Aside from genetic predisposition, skin friction and bacteria, there are other factors around us that can worsen your acne. Knowing these is essential to alleviate its spreading on your skin areas.
Among these is the use of oral contraceptives or being pregnant. When women use oral contraceptives or are pregnant, their hormones change and the level of androgen decreases. Having a normal level of androgens is important to blood circulation that when left unchecked could worsen one’s acne.
If you’re having a hard time managing your acne, you might want to have a look at your daily diet. According to a medical research of 14 male acne patients, eating chocolate and other foods which are high in skim milk and carbohydrates like chips and bread worsens its symptoms.
Knowing the signs and symptoms of acne is essential in order to treat the medical condition appropriately and prevent it from worsening. Among the common symptoms are the appearances of blackheads and whiteheads as well as papules or small and tender skin bumps. Aside from these, pustules or pimples indicate common and cystic acne. Above all, the presence of painful bumps that are filled with pus beneath the skin is a solid sign of acne.
What Are the Effective Treatments for Acne?
Acne is very easy to treat as long as you have followed the instructions on cosmetic and drug labels. If you are having uncertainties with using over the counter treatments, you can always opt for natural treatments. Here is a roundup of the most common treatments that you can try to alleviate pimples and acne.
- Gentle soap and water – Wash your face twice a day and avoid scrubbing it aggressively. This might cause further skin problems
- Over the counter treatments and cleansers such as salicylic acid, glycolic acid and benzoyl peroxide
- Topical retinol gel
- Topical antibiotics such as erythromycin and minocycline to address deep-seated pimples
- Vitamin A supplements and spironolactone
When Does Acne Warrants Medical Help?
In most cases as long as it does not affect the emotional state of a patient, acne can be left untreated as it will disappear on its own. However, as acne has the potential to spread widely on other skin areas, it is helpful to know when this condition warrants medical help.
Firstly, if self-care treatments fail to address this condition, then it is best to ask for help from your dermatologist or your primary care doctor. It may be because the drugs that you are intaking may not be strong enough to address your condition. Thus, your doctor will prescribe you with a stronger medication.
Aside from these, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has also reminded patients to be cautious of using nonprescription acne treatments like cleansers and lotions as it can cause allergic reactions like irritation, redness, and itchiness.
Other symptoms that warrant medical assistance are breathing difficulty and faintness. Additionally, if throat tightness and eyes, face, lips, and tongue swellness are experienced, it is best to seek clinical help.
What Are the Common Myths About Acne?
Acne is very common and affects a lot of people. It is just normal that myths are developed and passed through along different generations about how the acne occurs. One of the common myths about acne is that eating greasy foods will trigger acne. This is not true although being exposed to or working in an oily place like kitchens will put you at risk of having acne.
Another myth is that cosmetic use can cause acne. This is debunked by experts especially if the cosmetics that are being used are oil-free. Lastly, having dirty skin will not cause acne. In reality, hard cleansing or scrubbing of the skin will put you more at risk of developing acne.