Acne is a group of skin diseases that you are likely to suffer at point or another in your life. They include pimples, black/whiteheads and pinheads. You are likely to suffer any of these conditions on your face, chest and on your back. Acne can be inflammatory or non-inflammatory. On healing, you are bound to have acne scars, which can be disturbing. You are most likely to suffer acne during adolescence because of increased testosterone hormones. With time however, it disappears. For some people (both men and women), acne extends into adulthood, when you are likely to suffer the same, although to a lesser degree. Apart from acne scars that remain after healing, you are likely to suffer psychological effects. You are bound to have a low self-esteem, which can impact negatively on your life.
Symptoms of Acne
Acne presents itself in various forms with apparent symptoms:
- Scaly red skin – This occurs around the affected part of the skin (mostly around hair follicles).
- Black/Redheads – Depending on your skin color, you are likely to have either reddish or whitish bumps on the skin.
- Pimples – This is very common with the pimples swelling with oily and whitish substance.
- Scars – Acne scars occur due to inflammation. The scars are because of wound left behind as your immune system fights the condition.
- Skin coloration – Skin coloration (reddish) come about if you suffer severe acne, which is associated with inflammation and itchiness. If untreated, the coloration can last for several years before fading away.
Causes of Acne
While acne in adolescence is a result of increased testosterone levels, you may suffer acne in adulthood for various reasons:
- Hormonal changes – Changes in hormonal levels that occur in your menstrual cycle contribute a great deal on the occurrence of acne. In fact, some women experience acne attacks just a few days to their menstrual flow, which heal quickly soon after.
- Genes – The possibility of suffering acne increases if your parents or siblings have a history of acne attacks.
- Stress – Scientific studies have linked flare of acne to high levels of stress. Interestingly, the occurrence of acne has also been established to cause stress.
- Skin infections – Bacterial infections on the skin contribute towards the occurrence of acne. This is associated with lack of proper hygiene.
- Diet – From studies undertaken, diet plays a major role in the occurrence of acne. Although consuming a diet rich in unsaturated fats is the main culprit, dairy milk has also been established to worsen the flare of acne.
Regardless of the causative factor, acne develops due to blockage of hair follicles, leading to formation or buildup of keratin and sebum. The buildup enlarges sebaceous glands, which open to form acne. The possibility of inflammation increases if dead skin cells and other impurities are present.
Treatment of Acne
Acne treatment is through various medications that act in different ways. Such include oral medications including antibiotics and retinoids. Antibiotic and retinoid topical applications are also available in form of creams and ointments. It has been noted that hormonal treatment is one of the effective ways of treating acne in women. This is perhaps the reason why women who use contraceptive pills for birth control rarely suffer acne. Your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory painkillers in case you suffer severe acne. Apart from conventional drugs, herbal acne remedies are also available including the use of Aloe vera and Tea tree oil. In extreme cases, your doctor may recommend advanced treatment in dealing with acne attack. Laser surgery is now commonly used on those with serious acne that leave unappealing scars.