Acne is also known as acne vulgaris, cyst acne; pimple acne.
Acne is an inflammatory condition, characterized by rashes on the derma and within the hair follicle and neighboring area.
Acne appears most often during the adolescent years, but it can develop at any age. The condition usually begins at puberty and if it is not treated properly, it can last for many years. 75% of adolescents present/display certain degree of acne, probably caused by hormonal changes that stimulate the sebaceous glands of the skin. Other hormonal changes can happen with the menstrual periods, pregnancy, use of contraceptives and stress, which also aggravate the acne.
Acne takes place when the pores of the skin get obstructed with the oil that the glands secrete. The obstruction causes swelling of the follicle (causing white points) and the superior part of the obstruction can turn black (blackheads). If the obstruction causes a rupture in the wall of the follicle, the dead cells of the skin, the fat and the bacteria, found normally on the surface of the skin, can penetrate it and form small infected areas calls pustules (also known as pimples). If these infected areas are deep within skin, they can increase in size until forming a firm and painful cyst.
Acne appears commonly on the face and shoulders, but it is possible to see it extend to the trunk, arms and legs. Acne does not take place because of dirt, bad hygiene habits, masturbation or other activities, but unclean skin can aggravate the condition. Other factors that increase the possibilities of acne are hormonal changes, the exposure to extreme climatic conditions, stress, greasy skin, endocrine upheavals, some medicines used for tumors (such as cortisone, testosterone, estrogens and others).
Acne is not contagious and seems to have a genetic tendency in its development. The tendency to present/display it can persist until the person reaches thirty or even at the beginning of their forties.
- Eruption or injury on the facial skin, trunk (chest), neck, back or another area.
- Obstructions (white points or black points).
- Reddening of the injuries or of the skin around an injury.
- Inflammation around the skin eruptions.
- Scab Formation.
The diagnosis is primarily based on the appearance of the skin, and generally, a dermatologist won’t require many tests. Still, in acute cases, testing will be required.
Usual treatment is directed to prevention of new lesions, or to arrest the development of this condition. To avert it, proper skin care is recommended.
Most topical medicines dry the oil and promote the loosening of the plugs that block sebum. They can contain benzoyl peroxide, sulfurs, resorcinol, salicylic acid or derivatives of vitamin A (retinoid).
Antibiotics can be prescribed (such as tetracycline or erythromycin). Topical antibiotics (applied in a located area of the skin), such as clindamicine or erythromycin are also used to control the infection. Note: oral tetracycline is not usually prescribed for children.
Acne vulgaris is a very common form of acne. It is a chronic and mild, and will usually subsides after adolescence. The treatment methods for mild forms of acne usually revolve around good hygiene and medication such as benzoyl peroxide and vitamin A.
However, some people do get more severe forms of acne that need to be treated in a specific way. Severe acne may include acne conglobata, acne fulminans, gram negative folliculitis and nodulocystic acne. Before moving on to the acne solutions for these types of acne, let’s see what each one entails.
Acne Conglobata – Severe form of Acne Vulgaris.
Acne conglobata is a chronic and severe form of acne vulgaris that include symptoms like deep abscesses, scarring, and inflammation and severe damage to the skin. This type of acne has nodules that form around multiple blackheads and gradually grow larger until they erupt. Due to ulcers under the nodules, keloid scars may form.
Sometimes acne may remain dormant for years and suddenly flare up to acne conglobata.
Acne Fulminans – Sudden Inflammation.
Acne fulminans is characterized by a sudden and destructive inflammation. It includes such symptoms as fever, inflammation and aching of the hip and knee joints, and ulcerating acne.
This type of acne cause by a bacterial infection resulting from long-term antibiotic treatment. It usually affects people who are under antibiotic treatment for other severe forms of acne.
Nodulocystic Acne – Enlarged Cysts.
This form of acne usually presents large painful cysts that appear over the scalp, chest, face, neck, back and shoulders.
Be warned that these cysts should be done by a professional under sterile conditions. If not done so, you may risk the chance of getting an infection.
Severe forms of acne should be treated with medical supervision. For the most part, acne remedies for these types of acne are fairly strong and can lead to complications. Always consult your doctor, even if you are using an over-the-counter acne medication.
Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics, although, Isotretinoin is generally the best option for acne conglobata. This treatment may span several years until the acne is under control.
Acne fulminans requires anti-inflammatory medication to reduce swelling. This type of acne may also require long-term treatment with isotretinoin.
Gram negative folliculitis is complicated to treat the bacteria that causes it is resistant to many antibiotics. Once again, this type of acne may need to be treated with isotretinoin.
Nodulocystic acne usually requires a treatment regimen that includes isotretinoin, antibiotics, intralesional corticosteroids and even surgery.
Since all of these forms of acne cause great damage, you may have to seek an acne scar treatment once the acne flare-ups are under control.
Dealing With Acne Scars
Acne scars can be removed by several different methods. Depending on the cost and your personal preference you can choose which way is best Acne Scarsfor you.
Acne usually appears in the teenage years or puberty when hormones produced by the body can cause excess sebum in the facial skin. Acne often passes in the mid twenties, but if it is severe it can leave scars and marks that can stain your face for life. Acne scar removal may be accomplished by natural methods or dermatological procedures, the difference in cost can be huge. The success of the acne scar treatment will depend on the severity of the scar and the treatment.
Natural methods to remove acne scars are listed below:
- Keeping the skin hydrated is very important treating scars. Water is believed to be one of the most successful methods in removing acne scars and it also helps to prevent acne.
- Vitamin E is excellent for the skin. Taken orally it can help skin cell renewal. Some experts are recommending using the oil from Vitamin E and appling it directly to the scar. Either option is excellent for your facial skin and can help reduce acne scars.
- Another natural remedy for removing acne scars involves rosehip seed oil. Rosehip seed oil contains an agent that is known to prevent wrinkles and regenerate the skin. Rub rosehip seed oil on your acne scar a couple of times a day for best results.
- Your diet can play a large part in removing acne scars. A balanced nutritous diet can help your scars heal faster by giving your skin the nutrients it need to repair itself.
- Sandal wood and rose water make another excellent natural remedy for treating acne scars. Mix the paste of sandal wood with a little rose water and place directely on the acne scars. Leave the treatment on overnight and remove in the morning with cold water.
You may want faster results than you can get from natural remedies. Certain dermatolocial methods can definitely get rid of acne scars quicker. But, if you are pregnant or have health conditions that make getting these treatments risky you can stick with the natural treatments. Some techniques specialist use to remove scars are:
Salons, spas and dermatoligist now use dermabrasion to remove to treat acne scars. Dermabrasion uses a machine to chafe off the top layer of skin. Your upper layer of skin will heal and renew itself leaving a cleaner, smoother apperance.
Laser resurfacing uses a concentrated light source that essientialy burns the skin and can remove small scars and keep wrinkles at bay. Laser treatments are often the least expensive acne scar removal methods available.
Chemical peels are very similar to dermabrasion but chemials are used to remove the top layer of skin instead of mechanical means. Results are very similar also, you will get a new top layer of skin when it heals. Chemical methods expose you to risks that should be understood before you try them. Harsh chemicals can cause allergic reactions to sensitive skin.
There are many treatments available for removing acne scars. If cost is an issue natural methods are less expensive. You don’t have to live with acne scars, natural remedies or dermatogical procedures can safely treat your scars, it is up to you which method you choose.