It’s embarrassing. A situation no one would want to be in.
These are considered as long-lasting pimples or zits and even mild acne can leave scars on your face.
When your skin pores block, this condition will happen. These get blocked by things like oil, bacteria, dirt and even dead skin cells.
The condition is long-term and can cause severe distress.
However did you know acne is one of the most common skin conditions you can have?
It is not a life-threatening condition but it is painful and it impacts your self-esteem and confidence.
This stands true especially for teenagers and young adults.
Leaving a physical scarring, it’s a common issue many go through at some point in their lives.
We will talk in detail how it has been around for a long time, how you can identify it from other physical concerns and how to combat it.
Read on to know how you can manage your acne in a good way:
What is Acne?
So what is acne and why is it a long-term problem?
It is basically a chronic condition which also has inflammatory properties.
It can take place on your shoulders, chest, neck and arms; however the main affected area is the face.
It usually kick-starts when you hit puberty. This is when the sebaceous glands activate and it will block the pores more often due to oil or dirt.
It has long-lasting effects which will leave scarring on the face. If not treated on time or properly diagnosed, it can also lead to skin cancer.
According to Medical News Today, at least 85 per cent of people in the U.S. experience acne between the ages of 12 and 24 years.
Now let’s look into the kinds of acne you can get. There are several forms:
Blackheads– These are black spots on the nose. They are open bumps which happen because of clogged follicle.
Whiteheads: Similar bumps to blackheads but they are closed due to excessive oil and dead skin accumulation.
Papules: Small red or pink bumps and they become inflamed.
Pustules: It consists of pus and look like whiteheads surrounded by red rings. Scarring happens if you pick on it or scratch the surface area.
Fungal acne– It is a complex kind in which excess yeast develops in the hair follicles. They can become itchy and inflamed.
Nodules: These are solid pimples deep in your skin and can be large and painful.
Cysts: Pus-filled pimples which create scars. It can be triggered by dry skin too.
Now that we have a good understanding on the types of acne, we will now look into other factors associating to acne condition:
Complications of Acne:
One thing you need to know is that people who have dark skin are more likely to have acne. They are also prone to having certain complications. These include:
Pitted skin- You will likely experience acne scars and what are called thick scars. These scars are considered permanent as even after your acne clears, you will still have them.
Colour change- One of the major effects of acne is that it bruises your pigmentation. You will either get hyperpigmentation which make your skin darker or you will face hypopigmentation which will make your skin colour lighter.
But how do they occur? Why are some people more prone to developing them as compared to others?
Let’s talk about that:
Causes of Acne
* Genetic build can play a role
* Hormonal changes will lead to pimple creation
*If you are subjected to emotional stress, it will lead to heavy oil build-up
*In some cases, menstruation can also be a reason, especially if you get heavy bleeding
*Excess oil production- Since the human skin has oil glands under the skin, the hair follicles connect these to the pores. The follicles secrete this oil which is called sebum.
The follicle is responsible for carrying dead skin cells onto the surface and sometimes the follicle gets blocked.
This leads to oil build-up and some people will have excessive sebum production also.
*Hair follicles clogged by oil and dead skin cells
Risk factors of Acne:
Certain risk factors that we associate to this condition are:
- Age- It can happen to you at any point in time but chances are higher in teenagers.
- Hormonal changes- If you are facing hormonal concerns, you can have acne problems. Women who are expecting a baby or those who are going through puberty will most likely face acne problems.
- Genetics– Your family history and genetic build also plays a strong role in the onset of this skin condition. If you had family members, especially your parents facing this problem, you too will develop it at some point.
- In contact with Greasy elements- In the event of coming in contact with something oily or greasy, you are likely to develop acne. Using heavy face creams and beauty products will cause this problem.
- Skin Pressure- If your skin is being rubbed against a material which is causing friction like backpacks and tight collars , you are likely to face acne.
Bursting the Acne Bubble
There are certain myths relating to Acne formation. It is time to look into these and get the air cleared:
Chocolate causes acne- You must have heard this plenty of times. Eating chocolate isn’t good for you. But the fact is eating chocolate, no matter the quantity, while affects your health will not have any disastrous effects on your skin.
Scrubbing and Cleaning- People adapt heavy cleaning methodologies so your skin is clean because people suggest dirty clean leads to acne development. However that is not true. In fact if you exfoliate your skin too hard, you will have a negative impact as the harsh soaps and hard scrubbing will make the skin irritable.
Use of Cosmetics- There are many kinds of cosmetics out there. You need to be wise enough to know which kinds to use. Makeup which is oil-free is good for your skin. It will not clog your pores however make sure to remove all makeup before sleeping.
Medical Help- Acne Treatment
In certain cases in which acne is severe and is painful, affecting your daily lifestyle, you will need to turn to medical experts.
There are a few over-the-counter medications you can try, which have proven to be effectual in many cases. These aim to kill the bacteria and reduce the oil. Opt for products that include the following ingredients:
*Benzoyl peroxide– it helps to dry your pimples and prevent the formation of new ones. It also kills bacteria which causes acne.
*Sulfur-while it has a strong, foul smell, it is very effective. Find lotions and cleansers that have this active ingredient.
*Resorcinol- it is used to help remove dead skin cells effectively
*Salicylic acid– it is very effective in the prevention of pores from getting plugged.
In situations where your symptoms are not getting better at all, you will be prescribed advanced medication like:
*Antibiotics– in case your acne is painful and causing inflammation, you will get short-term antibiotics to make the symptoms less severe.
*Prescribed Topical Creams– these are much stronger and help to combat oil production. It helps in the prevention of acne-causing bacteria.
Home Remedies for Acne
You must have learned of various treatments, promising you great results right at home.
However these are not proven tactics and research but people who are using them say they are effective and give good results.
They don’t have any side effects so there isn’t any harm in applying them:
A Balanced Diet- Acne is triggered by certain food types. It is still unclear how it really plays a part but if you consume food items which consist of vitamins A and E, you will have a lower chance of developing acne.
Those with long-term acne concerns have said that when they moved onto a low glycaemic diet, it helped to keep their skin fresher and clearer.
Tea tree oil– There are claims that using tea tree oil helps to treat and keep acne in control. This is for acne which isn’t as severe and is in moderation.
Tea- Researchers are discovering how tea leaves have amazing benefits on the body. It seems they also have a positive impact on acne. The polyphenols in the tea helps to reduce sebum and helps to treat acne effectively.
Moisturizers– There are various kinds of moisturizers you can use. But it is important that you make use of the right kind of moisturizer. For example using something with aloe vera helps with acne scars and inflammation because of its soothing properties.
After a good understand on what is acne, you would want to know if it can be prevented.
While it isn’t possible to prevent those triggered due to certain reasons, you can take certain simple steps that you can include in your regular regime to maintain good face condition.
- Wash your face with a good cleaner
- Make use of cold or normal water to cleanse your face
- Use makeup which is oil-free
- Make a habit to remove complete makeup before hitting the bed
- After heavy exertion, don’t let the sweat stay on and take a shower
- Wear loose clothing
- Adapt a healthy diet which doesn’t include refined sugars.
- Adapt intermittent fasting and steer clear of complex carbohydrates too
- Make use of breathing exercises to reduce stress
Speak with your doctor to learn more about strategies to manage your acne.
Your Acne is Controllable
No matter how hard and frustrating the situation may seem, know that you can control your acne. If you feel your symptoms are too advanced, you should seek professional care.
We at Dr.Amal Al-Qedrah have a dedicated team with excellent skills you can provide you with a great consultation session to determine the real problem in hand.
Book your session today and let us help you gain your confidence back!