Acne (acne vulgaris) is the most common skin disorder on the planet, which brings unpleasant bumps and spots on the skin. The most acne affected areas are forehead, nose, chin, and back.
The skin surface of a human body has underlying small sebaceous glands which are the reason for the production of the sebum that is oil in the skin that keeps the skin smooth and agile. The pores of the skin help the sebum to get on the skin and the hair to grow out of the skin. When a child is in his teenage, the skin produces more sebum because the body is changing which also include the hormonal changes and the time to move towards the puberty.
The reason why acne appears sounds pretty simple as pores of our skin sometimes overproduce cells and become blocked with sebum (oil), which normally would dry out. As sebum cannot get out, it mixes with your dead skin cells and bacteria, and that is all acne vulgaris bacteria needs to grow. Of course, later it transforms into very noticeable signs on our faces in the form of pimples.
|The most of the people (90%) suffers from acne in some period during their lives, somebody at the teenage years and somebody only at the adult ages.|
Although, acne can occur at any age, it usually begins when people reach puberty and becomes critical during adolescence. The majority of the people who suffer from acne are between the ages of 12-25 years. It is the most noticeable when pimples appear either on the face, chest and sometimes the back.
The stages of acne are different, starting with only a few pimples on the face and ending even up with the stage where almost all face is covered with a rash. No wonder that people who suffer from the most severe type of acne are faced not only reduced self-esteem but even a depression. Sometimes when the acne clears up, it leaves behind acne scars or marks which stay for a long period.
Can you imagine that around 650 million of people around the world suffer from acne in different stages exactly at this moment? Of course, acne can appear at the adult ages, but it is the most common in teens. If we compare by gender, then women suffer from acne more than men.
Few specific examples would make it clearer – there are around 60 million of Americans who live with acne, also in Australia around 5 million suffer from acne and more than 3 million of people in the UK. Do you think that all those millions act against acne? Not really, as studies show that around 40% of them are doing nothing. One-third is using drugs, one fifth is visiting acne care center, and one-tenth are seeing a physician. If doing nothing, then around 20 millions of Americans will have to live with acne scars.
Unfortunately, around 30% of people living with acne prevent themselves from participation in social events. At the initial stage, acne can be easy curable but there also are cases when it stays for years, and people have to fight with it again and again.
Acne Types (Symptoms)
There are six the most common acne types that affect people, and they can be classified into non-inflammatory and inflammatory. The first mentioned is relatively easier to treat, and often people get very good results by using over-the-counter treatments. The least serious non-inflammatory acne types are whiteheads and blackheads because they are usually very easy to manage and treat.
The inflammatory acne is formed by the inflammatory response of the pores that are clogged and blocked. The clogged pores are the basic reason behind it, but the oil and waxes irritate the body even more. The acne is caused by the oil production more than the usual amount, and this is because of the higher testosterone levels in the body. The hormones do play a key role in causing the inflammatory acne.
1Type #1 – Whiteheads
Whiteheads basically are caused by blocked or closed pores from the dead skin and sebum, the top of the skin pore is closed.
2Type #2 – Blackheads
Blackheads are caused when the oil from an open plug pore is exposed to the air, turning the oil brown, the top of the skin pore is open.
3Type #3 – Papules
Papules are inflammatory acne type, it is the swelling of part of the skin without any visible head or pus, they come in different shapes and sizes, they can be brown, red or pink.
4Type #4 – Pustules (Pimples)
Sebum is the reason why form pimples that collect under the pores being blocked. The small red and swelled spots are known as the pimples (pustules). These might be small and mild in some conditions and are full of pus.
5Type #5 – Nodules
This acne type is more serious than other mentioned types. Nodules develop much deeper in the skin than pimples. In the most cases, you will not be able to treat them by yourself at home and will have to look for a doctor to get prescription medicine.
6Type #6 – Cysts
Cysts are inflammations on the skin filled with pus and fluids. They are also usually very painful. The cystic acne is caused by the deep inflammation of the skin, and it appears as the scarring of the skin. This type of acne is the most severe and proper treatment must be taken to undergo the process of getting rid of it. It can spread over all the skin.
The doctors suggest Accutane as a treatment for the cystic acne. This product can help the people to get rid of acne for their lifetime. But the commitment demands to stick to the medication for about six to eight months until the conditions get normal. [td_smart_list_end
KEEP IN MIND! There are cases when one acne type develops into another so if you have a chance to start the treatment already at the early stage of acne do not hesitate to do it. Largely that can help to save your time and money and even reduce the probability that your skin will have acne scars afterward.
Nevertheless, there are still discussions about the real causes of acne, and there are plenty of acne causes mentioned in different sources, the most common are revealed below.
As acne symptoms appear only after a certain level of hormones in the body are produced it definitely can be classified as a hormonal disease. After male hormone androgen level increases, it comes with the appearance of acne signs. Of course, it also affects women, especially at the period of menstrual cycles or pregnancy. At the period when body changes there also is more sebum produced so there obviously is a larger chance that it can result in acne.
Sometimes, acne can be passed down in families. If your parents once had acne outbreaks when they were younger, there is a high possibility that you may also end up with acne. Studies have shown that if both parents of a child had acne at one point or the other, it’s very likely the child develops more severe acne outbreaks early in life. It also shows that if one a child’s parents had acne as an adult, it is possible the child gets acne as an adult as well.
Although how diet affects acne is not certain there are many unproven ideas about it. Studies have shown in most cases that specific meals which include food containing milk or any other products gotten from dairy and food containing a high level of carbohydrates such as bread and chips can be a very serious acne trigger. Also, chocolate has been seen as another significant suspect right from time, as studies have shown that most people tend to get more acne outbreaks after consuming chocolate. Vitamins may also trigger acne outbreaks or make existing outbreaks worse especially if taken above the regular daily dose.
Stress is something that might follow your acne already from its beginning. No matter that it can influence the appearance of acne it also follows you at the period when it already is developed. If you do have a chance somehow to avoid stressful situations, definitely do that as higher stress level will affect your acne progress and even make acne worse.
There is not definite proof does inflammation cause acne or is it just a part of acne development process, but still, they often go together when we talk about acne.
Even though this is also still uncertain, many medical literature reviews have stated that smoking cigarettes compound acne.
This more is in a case of already developed acne when it grows further and becomes already a severe acne type like cystic acne when the infection goes deep in the skin layers.
Other Acne Causes
These are not so common still possible causes of acne, just please keep in mind that some of the following causes are still under debate:
- Reduced intake of water;
- Excessive use of dairy products;
- Non-active lifestyle;
- The vitamin deficiency in the body;
- Medications containing lithium or androgens can make acne outbreaks. Steroid medications used to treat depression and bipolar disorders contain lithium, and so do some drugs used to fight epilepsy.
- Wrong skin care products which block your pores and cause acne outbreaks.
- Picking your pimples – it can end up helping the bacteria bury itself deeper into your skin, making it spread and multiplying your pimples.
- Hygiene, for example, women who do not clean off the makeup at night creates a perfect environment for acne development as lots of skin’s pores are already blocked with makeup and sweat. Also there might be added dirt and acne bacteria. Think twice before going to sleep with all that cosmetics on.
As acne is affecting millions of people, we wanted to create a useful article with tips for every person to implement into their daily routine. After long research and analysis, we created a post with plenty of useful tips which cover practically all sphere of your life, including lifestyle, skin care, eating habits, and even more.
Acne Treatment Methods
There are plenty of acne treatment options available nowadays, and the most popular of them are:
- Home remedies;
- Over-the-counter medications;
- Prescriptions medicine;
- Hormonal treatment (for women);
- Spot treatment;
- Chemical peels;
- Laser and light therapy.
No matter prescription medicine is one of the most effective acne treatment methods in the most cases people at first try to treat acne with home remedies or over-the-counter treatments as they are easier to access and you do not have to visit a specialist. At the first stages of acne, it even could be the right choice but when you feel that your methods do not work visit a doctor to find the best treatment solution for your skin.
The control of sebum oil is very important in the acne treatment process, main ingredients you might look for in acne treatment products are Salicylic acid, Tea tree oil, and Benzoyl peroxide. These will reduce the bacteria that have been causing the inflammation as well as reduce the oil and clogging factors. Please remember that early acne treatment is very important as that can prevent from developing severe acne type and also the appearance of acne scars.
Hormonal Acne Treatment
Regardless of your gender and age, sometimes acne can occur either once a month or week or multiple times a week, sometimes it is mostly caused by other factors like hormones. Regardless of the reason hormonal acne forms and the amount of time it appears, it is usually a very frustrating experience dealing with the breakout. To have clear skin, it is vital to clear hormonal acne from the skin and prevent further occurrence.
This acne is caused by some reasons, and although most of the treatments are similar for both, hormonal acne requires extra special attention to get rid of it. This type of acne can be treated or at least controlled as the case may be using the following methods:
- Using birth control pills or contraceptives – although not everyone is comfortable using pills to treat hormonal acne, there are prescriptions that help control hormones. There are some approved contraceptives that can be taken orally to help fight breakouts. Birth control pills help by reducing the androgens and testosterone hormones that cause breakouts.
- Because stress has a great impact on your hormones, which in turn bring out acne, it is best to try and reduce your stress level as much as possible. When you get stressed, your body releases stress hormones called cortisol in your system. Too much cortisol increases androgens and ends up causing acne.
- Reduce intake of drugs that aggravate acne like some anti-depressants, you can ask your doctor for other drugs that perform the same function without causing acne outbreaks for you.
- Use cleansers – using cleansers used for normal acne treatments can go a long way. Purchasing products that contain benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid would help unclog your pores leaving you a clear skin.
- Timing – since women who have acne consistently around their menstrual cycle, it’s best to purchase products containing benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid and attract the outbreaks as soon as they begin.
- You are advised to use more vitamins to help your skin dealing with this type of acne.
- Take more food that has anti-androgens so they can help reduce the androgen in your system which causes acne.
Here are some of the measures that must be taken into account to reduce the chances of getting acne or growing it more.
- You have to clean your skin gently, take care of your skin and use the cleaning lotions or gels.
- The scrubbing of the skin usually increases the chances of getting acne, avoid this process as much as you can.
- Do not touch your skin, if you feel irritated, do not try rubbing, pinching and popping the pimples as they can leave the marks (acne scars).
- The people who do shave their facial hairs must carefully complete this task, and the instruments used must be clean.
- The sun is bad for acne so avoid going out on the skin without the use of a proper sunscreen.
- The cosmetics must be chosen according to your skin type. If you have oily skin, then get products for the oily skin.
Different conditions cause different types of acne, so it is close to impossible to name all things you should avoid preventing acne. The affected people must follow their disease and the symptoms for better treatment. They should visit the doctor and start taking care of the skin if results are not achieved by using home remedies or over-the-counter treatments.
The treatment of the acne affected skin takes a prolonged period. It must be followed regularly, and people must be consistent to visit the doctors and take their regular medicine for a longer period. The irregularities can make less change.