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ACNE: All You Need to Know About ACNE Types, Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

What Is ACNE

So that troublesome, nasty zit made a surprise appearance?

Whilst it’s often thought of as merely a teenage problem, acne can strike at any age, and of course at any time! During teens, acne usually makes its appearance on the T-zone, whereas adult acne generally manifests more across the cheeks and jawline.

Whichever type of acne you may suffer from though, it can have a debilitating effect on your self-esteem. After all, you can’t hide your face behind makeup for long, can you?

To get to know our nemesis, aka the infamous acne better, let’s get started.

What Is ACNE?

Acne is a condition that affects the skin’s pores & oil glands. The small holes in your skin (pores) connect to oil glands under the skin. These glands make an oily substance called sebum. Due to excessive oil secretion and dead skin cells the pores get blocked. Sometimes, the hair, sebum, and skin cells clump together into a plug. Bacteria start growing in this fertile mixture causing swelling and inflammation which pushes out of the pores as acne. . Most pimples are found on the face, neck, back, chest, and shoulders. Acne is usually not a serious health threat, but it can cause scars.

What Are The Types of ACNE?

In order to successfully treat your acne, it’s essential to recognize and diagnose the different acne types you are struggling with (you may have more than one).

WARNING! These aren’t the nicest names or descriptions.

 

You may want to read further, Different Types of ACNE

Acne Vulgaris presents different types of acne lesions: blackheads, whiteheads, papules, pustules, nodules, and cysts:

1. Blackheads:

These are the clogged follicles that appear as a dark bump on the skin

2. Whiteheads:

Whiteheads are clogged follicles covered by a thin layer of skin that appear as white bumps or spots.

3. Papules:

Papules are inflamed lesions that may appear red, and can be sensitive and painful.

4. Pustules:

Pustules are inflamed lesions that are generally pus-filled. They may appear white or yellow, and popping pustules can lead to acne scarring.

5. Nodules:

Nodules are a severe form of acne lesion that develops under the skin; they don’t generally contain pus but are hard to the touch.

6. Cysts:

Cysts are a severe form of acne lesion that are inflamed and filled with pus. They are generally painful and require professional medical treatment.

Beyond Acne Vulgaris, there are different kinds of acne conditions, including Acne Fulminans and Acne Mechanica.

1. ACNE Fulminans:

This is a rare but very severe form of acne that comes on abruptly in adolescent male, characterized by inflammatory nodular acne on both the chest and back. It can result in severe scarring and painful joints, along with other health issues.

2. ACNE Mechanica:

This form of acne is triggered by excess pressure, heat, and friction on the skin, and is often found among athletes and those already prone to acne breakouts. It’s characterized by small bumps that can range from tiny comedones to inflamed lesions.

Is ACNE & Pimple the Same?

Difference between Acne and Pimples

Acne and pimples—we use the terms interchangeably to describe those nasty breakouts that plague our skin. But are they the same thing? If you’re like many acne-sufferers, you might notice that different parts of your body exhibit different kinds of acne and pimples that you just wish would disappear once and for all. Here’s a brief guide on the difference so you too can beat the breakout-blues.

 

A) PIMPLE:

1. They are skin lesion or inflammation of skin
2. Usually pop up due to a specific blockage in the skin pore
3. Not always genetic

B) ACNE:

1. It is a chronic skin condition
2. Usually occurs due to increased stimulation of androgens
3. Can be caused by genetic factors

 

You may want to read further, What Is the Difference between Acne and Pimples?

 

ACNE Signs & Symptoms

The first sign of acne is comedones, and they appear most often on the face, chest, back, and shoulders. Bacteria populations can grow quickly in comedones. If the follicle wall ruptures, an inflammatory lesion develops, which induces redness, swelling, and pus-filled lesions, accompanied by infection. Inflammation that persists can result in the formation of a large, often painful acne cyst or nodule (collection of inflammatory cells). When a cyst heals, it can leave a pitted, discolored scar, known as a pockmark. Scars can be treated with dermabrasion, laser resurfacing, or collagen injection.

What Causes ACNE?

Acne can cause more than blemishes. These are some of the damages it does apart from being on your skin.

  • General Causes

You might have been told to wash your face more or cut down on your chocolate-eating habits, perhaps even told to get some more sun for your skin condition. Poor hygiene doesn’t cause acne, chocolate won’t make you break out, and sun exposure can actually damage your skin and make breakouts worse. Acne is caused mainly by genetics and hormones, and there are many factors that can aggravate this skin condition.

  • Hormonal Changes

As hormone levels rises, especially testosterone, the skin glands begin producing larger amounts of sebum. Puberty isn’t the only time we experience hormonal changes. Women experience regular variations in hormone levels, specifically that of estrogen and androgen. Men also experience hormone level fluctuations, especially in their teens, but this usually mellows out by adulthood.

  • Hereditary Factors

Acne is also a result of hereditary factors. Children whose parents have dealt with acne are more likely to struggle with this skin condition. While it’s not a genetic disease, hereditary components have been linked to the presence of this skin condition. Genetics has a huge bearing on how your immune system works.

  • Stress

While stress doesn’t directly cause acne, it can trigger a breakout. When you’re stressed, your body releases cortisol and androgens. When these hormones fluctuate, your skin secretes more oil, which can bring on a breakout or worsen pre-existing pimples.

You may want to read further, Causes Of ACNE

 

Where Does ACNE Breakouts Appear On the Body?

ACNE Breakouts Appear On the Body

Acne is a condition of the skin and it can show up on any part of the body. Some areas of the body are more prone to develop acne, including the face, chest and back. These areas have a higher percentage of sebaceous glands, which produce sebum. When bacteria mix with sebum near these glands, an acne lesion is formed. Areas of thicker skin, like the palms of the hands and soles of the feet do not develop acne; however, it is possible for acne to appear on the neck, arms, legs or genital regions. While these areas are less common, some people have more sebaceous glands than others and may be prone to acne on any portion of the skin with a high percentage of these glands.

 

What Is The Possible Treatment For ACNE?

To diagnose acne, we will first examine your skin to make sure you have acne. Other skin conditions can look like acne. If you have acne, we will:

  • Grade the acne. Grade 1 is mild acne. Grade 4 is severe acne.
  • Note what type, or types, of acne appear on your skin.

If you have a lot of acne, cysts, or nodules, a medicine that you can buy without a prescription may not work. If you want to see clearer skin, you should meet our skin specialist at Skin City. For all kinds of acne, our treatments include:

  • Lasers and other light therapies: These devices reduce the acnes bacteria.
  • Chemical peels: We use ‘Carbon peel’ to treat 2 types of acne — blackheads and papules.

How to Prevent ACNE?

What can you do if you have acne?These self-help techniques may be useful:

  • Don’t wash affected areas of skin more than twice a day. Frequent washing can irritate the skin and make worsen the symptoms.
  • Wash the affected area with a mild soap or cleanser and lukewarm water. Very hot or cold water can make acne worse.
  • Don’t try to “clean out” blackheads or squeeze spots. This can cause permanent scarring.
  • Avoid using too much make-up and cosmetics. Use water-based products that are described as non-comedogenic.
  • Completely remove make-up before going to bed.
  • If dry skin is a problem, use a fragrance-free, water-based emollient.
  • Regular exercise can’t improve your acne, but it can boost your mood and improve your self-esteem. Shower as soon as possible once you finish exercising, as sweat can irritate your acne.
  • Wash your hair regularly and try to avoid letting your hair fall across your face.

You may want to read further, 18 Easy Ways Tips to Prevent Acne & Pimples

What Could Worsen ACNE?

Are you faithfully treating your acne but still seeing new breakouts? Your skin care routine could be to blame. Here are the skin care habits that can worsen acne which you should actually stop doing!

  1. Touching hair on the hairline

If you use an anti-frizz product, or a thick gel or pomade, apply it away from your forehead.

  1. Washing your face too much

Washing too much can strip the skin of essential oils, leading the body to paradoxically produce more oil, which can lead to more pimples.

  1. Using too much of zit cream<

More cream is not necessarily better. In fact, [some] ingredients can be quite irritating to the skin.

  1. You pick and pop pimples

As tempting it might be while popping your pimples, the reality is that you’re aggravation it further and that can lead to scarring.

However, there are still several misconceptions and myths about acne and treatment that many people still believe to be true.

Time to Bust Myths About ACNE For Good!

  1. Myth: Only teenagers get acne

Fact: Approximately 25% of adult men and 50% of adult women suffer from some form of acne. The causes can range from fluctuating hormones, medication or face and hair products.

  1. Myth: Acne is caused entirely by genetics

Fact: While genetics do play a role in how acne develops, there are also lifestyle changes you can make to control your breakouts.

  1. Myth: Tanning can clear or prevent acne breakouts, while sunscreen clogs pores.

Fact: Just the opposite. Excessive tanning of any kind is harmful to the skin, and is also particularly irritating to acne. The exposure to UV rays will really dry the skin out, which can actually lead to future breakouts.

  1. Myth: Acne is caused by dirt or grease

Fact: Acne starts from within the skin and takes time to form. Blackheads and whiteheads occur when glands within the skin produce too much oil and/or become clogged within the pore along with acne-causing bacteria and dead skin cells.

  1. Myth: Popping pimples helps to get rid of acne faster

Fact: Popping a pimple before it’s fully formed will risk pushing the bacteria further into your skin and spreading it to other unaffected areas of your face. It’s best to let the pimple heal, which should normally take about a week or two.

While pre-teen acne may not need strong medical treatments; the most-effective strategy, however, is to treat acne when it first appears. Here is why treating acne is your best option.

Why Treat ACNE?

  • Get faster results from treatment

    Acne treatment takes time regardless of whether you’re treating mild or severe acne. That said, it does take less time and effort to clear the breakout with administered medical treatments.

  • Reduce scars

    Treating acne early may prevent acne scars.Treating at the first sign of acne may also prevent from developing a habit of picking at acne.

  • Prevent mild acne from becoming severe

    Early treatment can prevent a few pimples from progressing to widespread blackheads, whiteheads, and deep, painful acne.

  • Avoiding emotional distress

    The severity of the acne doesn’t seem to matter. Acne can have negative effect on self-esteem and relationships whether one has mild or severe acne.

Having said that; you must consider that when acne starts interfering with your life, it’s definitely a good time to see a dermatologist to keep in check.

When To See A Doctor?

Acne is a medical condition so the smartest thing you can do is seek medical advice for your pimples, especially if it’s starting to interfere with your enjoyment of life. If you get medical treatment for your acne sooner rather than later, it can reduce the risk of physical scars and help with the emotional distress acne can sometimes cause. If you have mild or moderate acne, we may be able to prescribe some treatments for you. If your acne is more severe you may need advanced treatments which our skin specialist can assist you with.

Waiting for acne to clear on its own can be frustrating. Without treatment, acne can cause permanent scars, low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety.To avoid these possible outcomes, we recommend that you treat acne. When the skin clears, treatment should continue.

At Skin City, we understand that acne can be frustrating and embarrassing to deal with. Our skin specialists offer a variety of skin treatments including lasers, IPL, facials, chemical peels to treat acne and reduce acne scarring. We welcome you to contact our clinics to learn more about acne treatments and to set up a consultation with our caring acne experts.

Having healthy skin is the first step in having a more attractive appearance. Contact us today to learn more, and to set up your consultation!

About The Author

Skin Specialist in Pune

Dr Niteen Dhepe is a Board Certified Dermatologist and has developed himself as a pioneer in field of Cosmetic Dermatology and Lasers in India. He is the biggest entrepreneur in contemporary dermatology world of India.

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