What is acne?
Acne is a skin condition caused by oil and dead skin particles clogging up pores. It is manifested as spots on the skin, which can go from small red spots to big, solid and painful lumps which can cause a lot of discomfort.
Types of acne
There are basically three main groups of acne, different in appearance and the difficulty of treatment, and they are all caused by clogged pores. Blackheads and whiteheads are the easiest to treat and they are the least visible. Papules and pustules belong to the second group, they are larger pimples than blackheads and whiteheads and they are more difficult for treating. Nodules and cysts are the most visible, the most stubborn and the most difficult to treat group of acne. They are large, painful and go deeper under the skin, and their treatment requires visiting a doctor.
The causes of acne
While all types of acne are caused by clogged up pores, the reasons for the pores clogging up and the skin producing more oil can be different. Acne most commonly occurs during puberty, due to hormonal changes. Hormones also affect the appearance of acne in women in the pre-menstrual period. Some health conditions, such as polycystic ovary syndrome and other endocrine system conditions can also cause acne, as well as taking certain medicines such as corticosteroids or lithium.
Acne can be treated in a variety f ways, depending on their type, size, cause and persistence. Some acne types can easily be treated by store-bought lotions and natural remedies, whereas the others may need medical treatment.
Depending on the cause of acne, they can be medically treated by using several kinds of medicines. If acne is caused by bacterial infection, antibiotics are used for treatment. If acne is a consequence of hormones in women, contraceptive pills are often prescribed. Products containing Retin-A or isotretinoin can also be prescribed for unplugging the pores and reducing skin oil.
Acne can be treated at home by using some of the commercial products, which usually contain salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, alpha hydroxy acid or tea tree oil. Not every product is suitable for every skin type, so make sure to consult with a pharmacist or a doctor and read the label carefully.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so if your skin is prone to acne, you should pay additional attention to skin care and proper lifestyle.
The outburst of acne can be prevented by gently washing the skin every day, possibly with a products containing salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide or alpha hydroxy acid. Avoid using heavy creams and oils on your skin, as well as exposure to oils and aggressive chemicals. Keep your hair off your face, especially if it is oily, and avoid touching your face. Also, avoid overexposing your skin to sunlight.
Preventing acne-related scars
Mistreating acne can leave permanent scars on your skin, which can often turn out to be a bigger problem than acne itself. Therefore, prevent the scars by not squeezing the pimples, because squeezing will only worsen the problem with acne and create scars. Use light, moisturizing creams and in case of severe acne, use prescribed medical treatment.