Acne disease – medical information for every day
Acne is a skin condition that occurs when hair follicles become clogged with oils and dead skin cells. It often causes whiteheads, blackheads, or pimples and usually occurs on the face, forehead, chest, upper back, and shoulders. Acne is more common in teenagers, although it affects people of all ages.
The signs and symptoms of this disease vary, depending on the severity of your condition:
- Whiteheads (clogged pores).
- Blackheads (open clogged pores).
- Small, painful red bumps.
- Blisters with pus on the edges.
- Large, hard, painful bumps under the surface of the skin.
- Painful bumps under the surface of the skin filled with pus (cystic wounds).
Need to see a doctor
You should see your family doctor. If self-treatments don’t help clear up your acne, he or she may prescribe strong medications. If your acne persists or is severe, you may want to see a dermatologist for treatment.
In many women, acne can persist for decades, with severe flare-ups in the week before menstruation, and this type of acne tends to go away without treatment in women who use birth control. The sudden onset of severe acne in the elderly may indicate an underlying medical condition that requires medical attention.
The FDA warns that some acne products, cleansers, and other skin products can cause dangerous reactions. These reactions are very rare, so do not confuse them with the redness, irritation, or itching that occurs at the site of any medication or product application.
Consult an emergency physician if you notice any of the following after using skin products:
- breathing difficulties.
- Swelling of the eyes, face, lips or tongue.
- tightness in the throat;
Causes of acne
There are four main factors that cause acne, which are as follows:
- Increase oil production.
- Hair follicles get clogged with oils and dead skin cells.
- Excessive activity of one type of hormone (androgens).
Acne usually appears on the face, forehead, chest, upper back, and shoulders because these areas of the skin contain the most sebaceous glands. Hair follicles are connected to the sebaceous glands.
The follicular wall may swell and create a white head, or the swelling may open up on the surface and darken, causing a blackhead. Blackheads may look like dirt stuck in your pores, but the truth is that pores are clogged with bacteria and oils that turn brown when exposed to air.
Pimples appear as red spots with a white dot in the middle when closed hair follicles become inflamed or infected with bacteria. The blockage and inflammation that occurs deep in the hair follicle causes cystic bumps to appear under the surface of the skin. Other pores in the skin, which are openings in the sweat glands, are usually not associated with acne.
Factors that make acne worse
Factors that can trigger or exacerbate acne include:
Androgens are hormones that increase during puberty in boys and girls, causing the sebaceous glands to enlarge and produce more fat. Hormonal changes related to pregnancy and birth control pill use can also affect fat production. Small amounts of androgens circulate in women’s blood and can make acne worse.
Examples are medicines containing corticosteroids, testosterone, or lithium.
Studies show that certain nutritional factors can make acne worse, including skimmed milk and high-carb foods like bread, cake and chips. Chocolate has long been suspected of making acne worse.
A small study of 14 men with acne showed that eating chocolate was associated with worsening symptoms. More studies are still needed to find out why this happens and whether people with acne benefit from following certain dietary restrictions.
Stress can make acne worse.
The following factors have little effect on acne:
Eating fatty foods has little or no effect on acne. Although working in a greasy area like a kitchen frying pan can cause this, the oils can stick to the skin and clog hair follicles, causing further skin irritation or acne.
Acne is not caused by dirty skin. In fact, rubbing the skin too vigorously or rubbing with harsh soaps or chemicals can irritate the skin and make acne worse.
Cosmetics don’t necessarily exacerbate acne, especially if you use oil-free cosmetics that don’t clog pores and remove makeup on a regular basis. And non-greasy cosmetics do not affect the effectiveness of acne medications.
acne risk factors
The risk factors for this disease are:
- Age People of any age can develop the disease, but it is most common in adolescents.
- Hormonal changes: These changes are common in teens, women, girls, and people who take certain medications, including those containing corticosteroids, androgens, or lithium.
- A family history of genetic factors in acne. If both parents have this condition, you probably will.
- Oily or greasy substances This condition can occur when your skin comes into contact with greasy lotions, creams or oils in the workplace, for example in the kitchen.
- Friction or pressure on your skin that can be caused by things like cell phones, helmets, tight collars, and backpacks.
- Stress does not cause acne, but if you already have it, it can make it worse.
If you’ve tried over-the-counter acne products for several weeks and they haven’t worked, your doctor may prescribe stronger medications. A dermatologist can help you with:
- Fight acne.
- Avoid scarring or other damage to your skin.
- Reduce the appearance of scars.
Acne medications work by reducing oily products, speeding up the transformation of skin cells, fighting bacterial infections, or reducing inflammation, thus preventing scarring. Most acne medications can take four to eight weeks to see results, and your skin may deteriorate before it gets better. It may take several months or years for the acne to clear up completely.
The treatment regimen your doctor recommends depends on your age, type and severity of acne, and the things you want to stick to. You may need to wash the affected skin and apply medication to it twice daily for several weeks. Topical medications and medications you take by mouth are often used together. Pregnant women cannot take prescription acne medications by mouth. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of medications and other treatments you’re considering.
The most common topical medications for acne include:
- Retinoids and retinoid-like medications.
- Salicylic acid and azelaic acid.
- Combined oral contraceptives.
In some selected cases, the following treatments may be recommended alone or in combination with medications:
Most studies of acne medications have been used in people 12 years of age and older. Younger children also get more and more acne. In a study of 365 girls between the ages of 9 and 10, it was found that 78% of them had acne breakouts. If your child has acne, see a pediatric dermatologist. Ask about medications children should avoid, appropriate doses, drug interactions, side effects, and how treatment will affect your child’s growth and development.
Lifestyle and some home remedies
You can try to prevent or control mild acne with over-the-counter products, good skin care, and other self-care techniques, as follows:
- Wash the affected areas with a gentle lotion, and some products such as facial scrubs, vessel plugs, and face masks should be avoided. Excessive exfoliation and rubbing can also irritate the skin.
- Try over-the-counter acne products that contain benzoyl peroxide as an effective ingredient to dry out excess oil and promote exfoliation. Products containing salicylic acid or alpha hydroxy acids may also be tried.
- Avoid irritants such as greasy or greasy beauty products, sunscreen, hair styling products, or products used to mask acne.
- Protect your skin from the sun. The sun makes acne worse for some people.
- Avoid rubbing or applying pressure to your skin and protect your acne-prone skin from coming into contact with things like phones, helmets, collars or tight belts, and backpacks.
- Avoid touching or plucking the affected areas as this can lead to more acne, infection, or scarring.
- After strenuous activities, showering with oil and sweat on the skin can lead to acne breakouts.
Complementary and alternative treatments for acne vulgaris include fish oil, brewer’s yeast, probiotics, oral zinc, and topical tea tree oil. More research is needed to determine the potential efficacy and long-term safety of these other integrative approaches such as biofeedback and traditional Chinese medicine. Talk to your doctor about the pros and cons of some treatments before trying them.
Dealing with illness and support
Acne and acne scars can cause anxiety and affect your social relationships and self-image. Sometimes it can be helpful to talk to your family, a support group or a counselor. And stress can aggravate acne. Try to control stress by getting enough sleep and using relaxation techniques.
Preparing for a doctor’s appointment
Make an appointment with your doctor if you have acne that doesn’t respond to self-care and over-the-counter treatments. Effective treatment of acne early will reduce the risk of scarring and permanent damage to one’s self-esteem. After an initial examination, your doctor may refer you to a specialist in the diagnosis and treatment of skin conditions. The following information will help you prepare for your appointment.
What should I do?
- Make a list of important medical information such as other medical conditions you may be dealing with and any prescription or over-the-counter products you use, including vitamins and supplements.
- Make a list of personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes.
- Write a question to ask your doctor.
Some questions to ask your doctor are:
- What treatments do you recommend for me?
- If the first treatment does not work, what do you advise next?
- What are the possible side effects of the medications you’re prescribing?
- How long can I safely use the medications you prescribe?
- When do symptoms start to improve after starting treatment?
- When will you see me again to see if my treatment has worked?
- Is it safe to stop taking a medication if it doesn’t seem to be working?
- What self-care steps can I take to improve symptoms?
- Do you recommend changing my diet?
- Would you recommend making changes to the over-the-counter products I use on my skin, including soaps, lotions, sunscreens, and cosmetics?
What do you expect from your doctor?
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of the following questions:
- When did you first encounter this problem?
- Is there anything that seems to cause acne, such as stress or PMS in women and girls?
- What medications do you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins and nutritional supplements?
- Do you use oral contraceptives for girls and women?
- For girls and women, do you have regular menstrual periods?
- For girls and women Are you pregnant or planning to become pregnant soon?
- What kinds of soaps, lotions, sunscreens, hair products or cosmetics do you use?
- How does acne affect your self-esteem and confidence in social situations?
- Do you have a family history of acne?
- What treatments and self-care steps have you tried so far? Were some of them effective?