Health & Beauty

Acne Explained: Symptoms, Causes, and Prevention

Acne Explained

Acne is derived from the Greek word ‘akme’, meaning a ‘point’ or a ‘spot’. Our skin excretes oil, dead cells, and sebum. These form a plug together and reside into our skin pores, and when infected by bacteria, it results into a swelling. When this plug starts breaking down, a zit or pimple gets developed. Acne is a condition where pimples or zits develop continuously.

Causes of Acne:

Oil, bacteria, or dead block the skin pores resulting into acne. Skin pores are openings to follicles. Hair and a sebaceous (oil) gland make up the follicle. The sebum is meant for keeping your skin lubricated. Acne results when there is a problem in the process. The possible causes of acne are:

  • Over-production of sebum/oil.
  • Accumulation of dead skin cells in the pores.
  • Build-up of bacteria inside the pores.

Risk Factors That Cause Acne to Develop

  • Hormonal changes due to pregnancy or puberty.
  • Medications like corticosteroids or birth control pills.
  • A diet with high quantity of carbohydrates or sugar.

Please note that some factors like pregnancy and puberty are natural and cannot be avoided. Your best solution in such cases is to avoid thinking of the acne as it will go by itself as time passes by.

Symptoms of Acne:

Acne can develop on any part of the body and is found normally on the chest, neck, shoulders, back, and face. Pimples can be either white or black. They are generally known as whiteheads and blackheads. The following are the symptoms of a developing acne and how they look like:

  • Papules: Tiny raised bumps, red in colour, caused by hair follicles that get infected.
  • Pustules: Small pimples, red in colour with pus at their tips.
  • Nodules: Painful, solid lumps beneath the skin surface.
  • Cysts: Beneath-the-skin infections that are painful and contain pus.

Treatment for Acne:

Home Remedies for Acne

  • Clean your skin daily with a mild soap so that excess oil and dirt is removed.
  • Maintain overall face hygiene, shampoo your hair regularly and keep it out of your face.
  • Avoid tight headbands or hats.
  • Do not touch your face frequently.
  • Use non-comedogenic makeup (water-based) only.

Acne Medication

The below given products are generally used to treat acne. But it is highly advised that you should use them only after consulting your dermatologist.

  • Topical creams
  • Acne lotions
  • Acne face-washes
  • Acne masks

Your dermatologist might recommend you additional treatments like dermabrasion, chemical peel, and photodynamic therapy to get rid of acne and acne marks. Also, your doctor may suggest cortisone injections in case you have really large cysts.

Prevention of Acne:

Acne often is caused due to change in hormones, which when it is out of your hands and will keep coming until the natural process stop. But if you are an adult without any of the natural acne-causing symptoms, then you can follow the below given tips to prevent acne.

  • Wash your face two times a day with a good face wash/oil-free cleanser.
  • If your skin is excessively oily, use an acne cream to get rid of the extra oil.
  • Avoid oil-based makeup.
  • Remove makeup and cleanse your skin before going to bed.
  • Make sure to shower well after exercising to remove dirt and sweat.
  • Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes.

Apart from the above given prevention steps, you must also follow a few obvious tips to keep your skin acne-free. For example, make sure you don’t keep touching your face frequently, as the bacteria in your hands can enter the pores, ultimately causing acne. Also, when suffering from painful acne, do not touch the pimple again and again as it can cause discomfort and also can cause the bacteria to spread to other areas of the skin.

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