Acne

What is Acne?

Acne is medically known as acne vulgaris. It is usually a harmless and treatable condition. It occur due to effect of reproductive hormone androgen on the oil producing glands/sebaceous glands. These glands are present in the skin of face, upper chest, back and arms. Tiny channels or ducts connect the oil glands situated just under the skin to the skin surface. When these channels get blocked, oil accumulates under the skin and gives rise to acne. Bacterial infection in this accumulated oil in the blocked gland leads to inflammation and scarring.

What are the Types of acne/pimples?

Whiteheads acne: Whiteheads are closed comedones occurring under the skin and are very small and non-inflamed lesions.

Pustules acne: Pustules are small, red in colour with yellow or white pus centres. They are clearly visible at the surface of the skin.

Blackheads: Blackheads are open comedones, appear as small raised grey/black lesions; these are not inflamed.

Papules acnes: Papules are pink in colour and are cone shaped, visible on the surface of the skin.

Nodules and cysts: These are inflamed lesions which tend to leave behind significant scarring. Nodules are hard lesions and involve the deep layers of the skin. Cysts are filled with pus and soft lesions and are also lodged deep into the skin.

Back acne: Back acne is term given to acne occurring on back. Our back has a large area of skin and a lot of oil glands.

Acne conglobata: Acne conglobata is a rare and unusually severe form of acne. It is considered as a fusion of acne pustules and nodules. It is a result of a sudden eruption of dormant acne. It tends to leave very deep scars.

Things to Know

Hormonal imbalances: Enlarged and over-stimulated sebaceous glands due to androgens cause acne.

Clogging of oil ducts: Dead skin cells and oil are released to the skin’s surface through the ducts of oil glands normally. Androgens cause the cells in the lining of oil ducts to become sticky. This plugging initiates the growth of bacteria which result in acne formations.

Over secretion of sebum: Over-stimulation of sebaceous glands by androgens causes an extra production of sebum..

Inflammation or chemotaxis: White blood cells attack unwanted bacteria causing swollen and painful pimples. This process of elimination invites an inflammatory response or chemo taxis.

Acne signs and symptoms vary depending on the severity of your condition:

  • Non inflammatory lesions as open and closed comedones
  • Papules and pustules with pus at their tips
  • Large, solid, painful lumps beneath the surface of the skin (nodules)
  • Painful, pus-filled lumps beneath the surface of the skin (cystic lesions)
A positive family history of acne in one or both parents greatly increases your chances of getting acne.

Medications and Oral antibiotics are commonly prescribed to treat moderate to severe acne.

Oral antibiotic: lowers the concentration of acne causing bacteria, Propionibacterium.

Satya’s Magic Acne peel: Satya Skin Hair Clinic effectively uses magic acne peel to minimize the eruption of acne. Salicylic acid is commonly used as it is lipophilic and helps to unclog the pores. It also stimulates growth of new and healthy cells. 2 – 3 sessions of Magic acne peel is ideal for the treatment of acne and oily skin.

  • Wash face twice daily with a salicylic or glycolic acid based face wash.
  • Pimple picking should be avoided.
  • Do not scrub the face which has pimples as it move the infection further down.
  • Avoid using oily products as it can clog pores and aggravate acne.
  • Use a sunscreen regularly as it will prevent dark spots left after acne.
  • Avoid heavy makeup and always remove the makeup before going to bed.
  • Anxiety and stress can worsen the condition.
  • Reduce dairy products and processed foods in diet.
As per our expert dermatologist Dr. Ruchi Agarwal, acne is not considered a disease; it is a physiological condition due to effect of hormones on oil producing glands. It may affect you for a few months or for a few years and then usually subsides on it's own. However, it should not be left untreated. Three reasons which Dr. Ruchi gives for seeking treatment early are: 1. To reduce pain and discomfort caused by acne 2. To avoid long term sequelae like acne scars and pigmentation 3. To avoid social anxiety, depression and lowered self esteem seen in many persons affected by acne.

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