What are Acne?
Acne, also known as acne vulgaris is one of the most common skin ailments for adolescents and also for many adults. It is caused by the blocking of the hair follicles by excess secretion of sebum (oil glands) coupled with dead skin. You could be having simple blackheads or painful cystic lesions.
They are commonly seen in the areas of the skin with a higher incidence of sweat glands – like the face and forehead, however, often are also found also on shoulders, back, and chest.
The adolescent acne (the commonest form), generally begin during puberty (around 10-12 years of age). They are more common and even more severe in boys than in girls. Their normal progression continues around the early twenties age group. In the mid-life age groups, women are more likely to have acne as compared to males of the same age group.
The challenge with Acne
The challenging part of acne treatment is that – if untreated – they can be quite persistent. If one lesion heals, others crop up and the disease for the patient continues.
This can be a particularly distressing condition for many patients because it has a direct impact on the patient’s – physical appearance, self-image, and social life. Many patients experience varying degrees of emotional, psychological and social stress as a result of acne. Severe cases even result in severe forms of anxiety, depression and other psychological conditions.
Modern dermatological advances have brought various treatment modalities within the reach of the common patient. Because of the psycho-social aspects of acne, it is even more vital that acne treatment is addressed at the right time and with appropriate seriousness.
Types of Acne
The commonest forms that acne takes are explained below:
1. Whiteheads: When the pores are clogged with oil, bacteria, and dead skin, they close at the top to appear as little bumps and are known as whiteheads. They are painless and do not usually leave scars.
2. Blackheads: When the pores are clogged with dead skin, bacteria, and sebum, but remain open they usually take their colour from melanin and are found as blackheads. Like whiteheads, blackheads too are painless and non-scarring.
3. Pimples: Pimples are usually red and swollen. This type is more difficult to get rid of. The pores, in this case, are still clogged with sebum, dead skin and bacteria, but the bacteria go in deeper to cause infection and inflammation.
4. Papules: When the infection and inflammation are severe enough for the walls around the pores to break down it turns into papules which are clogged pores turned hard. The skin around these papules is pink and the papules themselves are tender to touch.
5. Cysts: Cysts are formed like papules when the walls around the pores break down. However, the cysts contain pus and appear red or yellow with bumps.
6. Nodules: Nodules, like cysts, are filled with pus but are larger and deeper into the skin. This type may leave scars and marks on your skin.
What causes Acne?
The exact cause of acne is still being researched, but there are many advances in dermatology that explain the possible causative mechanisms that patients can be aware of with respect to their condition.
Genetics: Genetic predisposition is considered to be one of the biggest contributory factors for the incidence of acne.
Hormonal changes: It is found to have been connected to the changes in hormones, perhaps explaining the high occurrence of acne during puberty. Also pregnancy, discontinuance of oral contraceptives, etc. has been seen to have a strong impact on the occurrence.
Stress: Emotional or work-related stress is also known to worsen the condition, although not necessarily causing it.
Other factors: Such as excessively oily skin or excessive sweating may exacerbate the problems.
Why treat Acne?
At best acne can look ugly. However, in a severe condition, acne can be very painful and lead to cystic lesions. They can leave your skin scarred for life.
Acne affects the appearance of a person. As a result hey is often a common cause for worry or distress. Moreover, they can be uncomfortable and unpleasant because of inflammation.
In extreme cases, not all that rare, they can be painful and may affect your daily life.
- Although treatment is usually optional in more benign forms and can even be left to home remedies or Over the counter medicine, it may not be so easy in the more severe forms. A professional treatment is recommended for these.
- Treatment also includes getting rid of the scars and marks to regain your soft and smooth healthy skin.
- Treatment too can range from changing the hygiene regimen to prescription medicine.
Acne treatments we offer
At Kiara Skin clinic we recognize the importance of this seemingly simple but potentially challenging condition. Our experienced experts provide treatment based on the latest scientific and medical developments in this field.
General Guidance: The following is merely general guidance for the treatment of acne. For specific cases, it is best to approach our team of experts at Kiara Skin Clinic – where we can provide treatment customized to your particular condition and skin type.
1. For blackheads and whiteheads, we prescribe topical medication based on salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, which are easily available over the counter.
2. For the more serious types of acne an oral treatment combined with the topical treatment may be necessary.
3. We thoroughly diagnose your condition to identify the condition and the causes for it and prescribe the best treatment depending on the severity of the condition.
We aim to provide customised treatment and help you achieve healthy and youthful skin.
Caution: never try to pop the acne bumps at home. They may worsen the infection and leave a permanent scar. Always consult your dermatologist before treatment.