What is Acne?
The occurrence of inflamed or infected sebaceous glands in the skin is called acne. Acne is a disorder resulting from the action of hormones and other substances on the skin’s oil glands (sebaceous glands) and hair follicles, i.e. the small holes in the skin (pores) connect to the oil glands under the skin. These glands make an oily substance called sebum. The pores connect to the glands by a canal called a follicle. Inside the follicle, oil carries dead skin cells to the surface of the skin. A thin hair also grows through the follicle and out to the skin.
All this happens due to the bacteria Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) which is allowed by the mixture of oil glands and cells of our skin. These bacteria normally live on the skin to grow in the plugged follicles. They produce chemicals and enzymes and attract white blood cells that cause inflammation. Acne lesions usually occur on the face, neck, back, chest, and shoulders. Although acne is usually not a serious health threat, it can be a source of significant emotional distress.
It can occur at any age, but, people of the age between 11 and 23 are more affected by the disease. Severe acne can lead to permanent scarring.
Types of Pimples
Acne is actually a produced level of different types of pimples including:
Whiteheads: They remain under the skin and are very small.
Blackheads: Clearly visible, they are black and appear on the surface of the skin. Scrubbing your face vigorously when you see blackheads will not help.
Papules: They are visible on the surface of the skin in the form of small bumps, usually pink.
Pustules : These are also clearly visible on the surface of the skin. They are red at their base and have pus at the top
Nodules: They are large, solid pimples clearly visible on the surface of the skin. They are painful and are embedded deep in the skin
Cysts: They are clearly visible on the surface of the skin as well as are painful and filled with pus. Cysts can easily cause scars.
What is the difference between acne and pimples?
Acne is an inflammation of the skin in which the secreted sebum gets collected in the pores of the skin and gets trapped there. That causes the skin to elevate in the form of a breakout. It may or may not have a head. If it is acne, it will most likely have a white head and is painful to touch. If it is a pimple, it is not painful unless it is too severe. Pimple is also a form of acne. Any breakout on the skin can be termed as acne and then, acne is classified into various categories depending on its size and severity.
Pimples are generally milder than a full-blown acne attack. But, the reason for both the skin conditions is same – clogged pores. Both occur mostly on oily skin types because, the skin secretes more sebum and is more likely to have deposits of sebum on the skin.
More or less, acne can be a due to genetic factor too, but, if it comes for pimples, there is no such reason.
How does Acne develop?
The exact cause of acne is unknown, but doctors believe that an increase in the hormones called androgens is a major factor of Acne. Acne occurs when the pores on your skin become blocked with oil, dead skin or bacteria. The oil keeps your skin lubricated and soft. Acne can be caused by one or more problems in this lubrication process.
Acne can occur due to:
- Too much oil produced by your follicles.
- Dead skin cells accumulation in your pores.
- Bacteria build up in the pores.
- Hormone changes during pregnancy.
- Some types of medicines.
- Heredity (Child gets the problem from parents).
- Starting or stopping birth control pills.
- Hormone increase in teenage years.
Apart from all this, there are some types of foods may also cause acne.
What type of foods can cause acne?
People today are undoubtedly very conscious about their diet. But still, we can never deny the fact that, in this era of life, are more time conscious than being health conscious. Food containing excess of oil, fat, excess sugar and salt etc. can lead to cause acne. Some Examples are:
Sugar in any form can cause spikes in certain pimple producing hormones. Foods such as chocolates, sweets and other sugary treats increase blood sugar, which may trigger acne.
Cheese is placed at the top of the harmful dairy products. all types of cheese, cream, creamy, caramel should be limited because they contain progesterone and steroids that can leave on our body negative effects as it can increase the activity of the gland fat, leading to acne.
Caffeine drinks is the worst thing when it comes to the list of foods that cause acne as it causes the spread of acne on our skin. drinking coffee and alcohol can increase the likelihood of active cortisol hormone – the stress hormone – while stress is one of the main causes of skin problems, including acne skin.
Grease and fat makes your skin looks unhealthy and they will even lead to the accumulation of fat. Experts agree that foods high in fat are the enemy of human skin. It is very easy to make your skin more acne-prone. You should minimize the fat-rich foods consumption to improve the vitality and radiance of your skin noticeably.
Although fruits are a good source of many types of vitamin, minerals and fiber, still, excess intake of fruits like mango, apple, pear, guava etc. can lead to acne with various reasons.
If you find pimples around mouth and along your jawline, tofu and other soya products could to be blamed. It is all due to the natural plant estrogens found in soybeans.
If you’re prone to acne, baguettes, croissants, and all that other good stuff may make the situation worse. “Wheat causes inflammation,
It contain an androgen, which can make acne worse by increasing sebum production. “Peanuts will generally make people more oily.
We’ve already established that a high glycemic (or a diet that raises your insulin levels) can contribute to the severity and frequency of acne breakouts. This is because science tells us that high insulin levels encourage an inflammatory response, in turn triggering the release of acne-promoting hormones.
Fast food items like pizza, burger, chips etc. contain lots of oil and fats which can cause severe acne. This occurs when oils, cells, and debris block the sebaceous glands (which is linked to the skin), clogging soft and healthy pores and causing inflammation and the inevitable pimple.
Canned or packed Foods
Maybe canned and packed foods are really delicious and tempting, but they are one of the most prominent reasons of causing acne. These food items contain lots of chemicals that are very harmful to our health as well as skin.
What can make acne worse?
Acne is itself a worst problem, especially when it comes to face, but there are different things that can make acne worse.
- Pollution and humidity.
- Hard rubbing the skin.
- Squeezing and picking at pimples.
- Changing hormones level in teenage girls and adult women 2 to 7 days before their menstruation cycle starts.
- Oil from skin products or grease encountered in the work environment
How can Acne affect our daily life and self-esteem?
Acne can affect more than just the skin — it can impact your entire life in very real ways. Even mild breakouts can make you feel less-than-confidant.
Acne is often thought to be a trivial problem, especially when compared to other diseases. But some studies have shown that people with acne experienced social, psychological, and emotional ramifications at the same level of those with chronic health problems, like epilepsy, diabetes, and arthritis.
Having acne can make you feel depress, angry, and anxious. It doesn’t matter if your acne is mild or more severe, your feelings are valid.
It also doesn’t matter your age. Adults are just as likely as teens to feel that acne negatively affects their lives – regardless of how severe their acne is. This may be because their acne has been longer-lasting or resistant to treatment, or because there is a greater social stigma for adults with acne.
What are the myths and wrong beliefs about acne?
- Acne is not a result of poor hygiene. In fact, excessive washing may make it worse.
- Stress does not cause acne.
- Acne is not just a simple skin infection. The cause is a complex interaction of changing hormones, sebum, overgrowth of normally harmless germs (bacteria), inflammation, etc You cannot catch acne – it is not contagious.
- Drinking lots of water cannot cure Acne.
- There is no evidence to say that sunbathing or sunbeds will help to clear acne.
- Some people believe that medical treatment are not helpful in the treatment of acne. This is not true. Treatments usually work well if used correctly.
How should people with acne care for their skin?
Here are some ways to care for skin if you have acne:
- Clean skin gently. Use a mild cleanser in the morning, evening, and after heavy workouts. Scrubbing the skin does not stop acne. It can even make the problem worse.
- Try not to touch your skin. People who squeeze, pinch, or pick their pimples can get scars or dark spots on their skin.
- Shave carefully. If you shave, you can try both electric and safety razors to see which works best. With safety razors, use a sharp blade. Also, it helps to soften your beard with soap and water before putting on shaving cream.
- Stay out of the sun. Many acne medicines can make people more likely to sunburn. Being in the sun a lot can also make skin wrinkle and raise the risk of skin cancer.
- Choose makeup carefully. All makeup should be oil free. Look for the word “noncomedogenic” on the label. This means that the makeup will not clog up your pores. But some people still get acne even if they use these products.
- Shampoo your hair regularly. If your hair is oily, you may want to shampoo daily.
Treatment of Acne?
- Heal pimples
- Stop new pimples from forming
- Prevent scarring
- Help reduce the embarrassment of having acne.
There are different types of treatment that work in different ways. A doctor or pharmacist will advise and the treatment they advise will often depend on the severity and type of your acne. Treatments can be those that you apply to the skin (topical) and/or tablets. Usually, mild acne is not prefer to treat because it is common and goes in time without leaving any scars. But inflamed acne can cause severe scars on your skin.
Various gels, lotions and creams are used for the treatment of acne, each having its own benefit.
Whatever treatment is use, it is normally take up to four weeks to show any improvement that you can see. There is often a good response to treatment by six weeks. However, it can take up to four months (sometimes longer) for maximum response to a treatment and for the skin to be generally free of spots. Normally people give up within a couple of weeks or so saying that treatment is not working. Continuity is very important factor to understand and decide whether a treatment is working or not. Although treatment can usually clear most spots, there is no treatment that will make your skin perfect and the odd spot may remain.
Once the spots have cleared, acne commonly flares up again if you stop treatment of acne. Therefore, after the spots have gone or are much reduced, it is common to carry on with a maintenance treatment to prevent acne from flaring up again. It is common to need maintenance treatment for 4-5 years to keep acne away. It is always advised to start the treatment before the occurrence of acne to prevent from influence of scars.