Acne

Acne pus

Last Updated December 20th, 2021

A brief about acne

Living without skin ailments has become a major challenge today. The queue outside a dermatologist’s chamber is probably becoming longer than elsewhere. Perhaps the most common question faced by a skin-care expert about hundred times a day is – “What to do with my acne?” It is clear that this skin disease is bothering people more than other skin related problems.  In a world afflicted with more than one factor behind skin diseases, avoiding “acne” seems impossible. Studies show that nearly 80 % of the global population within the age bracket of 11 to 30 is suffering from the disease.

 

What is acne?

Acne pusAcne Vulgaris or simply acne is a more common occurrence in adolescents.

It is a skin disorder characterized by red rashes, eruptions, black spots, and lesions.

It occurs mainly in the oil-secreting parts of the body like face, neck, back, chest, shoulders and upper arms.

Two other variants of the disease are – acne fulminias and acne conglobata. The effects of the disease can vary from mild to severe and is at times incurable.

 

What are the common causes of acne?

There are well-ingrained myths about acne one must get rid of. Pollution, dry and unclean skin, oily foods, mental state – are few factors that are falsely stated as causes of the disease. The actual triggers of the disease are detailed below-

  • Excessive secretion of oil: Surplus oil produced by the sebaceous glands come out via hair follicles and accumulate on the skin surface causing acne. This type of skin eruptions is more prevalent in puberty.
  • Hormones: Acne is often the outcome of over-activated hormones called androgens, which is more prominent in teens and adolescents. The estrogen hormones are known to cause skin rashes during the menstrual cycle in women. In many cases these hormones interact with skin and produce dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which triggers the sebaceous glands further to produce oil which causes skin problems. Variations in hormonal levels during pregnancy also cause eruptions. The same hormones lead to acne when birth control pills are stopped.
  • Bacteria: Propionibacterium acnes bacteria, often present in skin release harmful chemicals (that degrades the sebaceous secretions) and henceforth cause eruptions due to acute inflammations.
  • Drugs: Aversive response of the body to certain corticosteroids and androgenic steroids causes acne in many cases. Even drugs containing bromides and iodides can be the cause of skin problems.
  • Clogging of oil ducts: Sometimes dead skin cells accumulate at the tips of oil ducts which obstruct the duct secretions and cause skin rashes. These types of acne are typically manifested as whiteheads and blackheads.
  • Diet: Food does not directly contribute to acne, but a diet rich in sugar and starch content can exacerbate existing skin diseases.
  • Toxic chemicals present in make-up crèmes and foundations block the skin pores causing acne.
  • Heredity: Family history of acne paves the way for recurrence of acne in future generations.

 

Categories of acne

Acne scarsThe chances of recovering from skin infections depend mainly on which type of acne one is suffering from. The disease mainly manifests itself in three dominant types:

  • Non-inflammatory acne: They usually appear as “whiteheads” and “blackheads” and are caused due to plugging of skin pores and oil ducts. They are more or less benign in nature.
  • Inflammatory acne: These are characterized by raised or suppressed reddish nodules (more commonly called pimples or zits). These types of pimples usually leave impressions called “lesions” even after healing. Inflammatory acne is often accompanied by pus-filled eruptions.
  • Nodular/cystic acne: These are the harmful and painful categories of pimples which are usually larger in diameter (0.5 cm). They are characterized by acute skin inflammations and leave scarred lesions on disappearing.

A more generalized classification of acne is presented below:

  • Papules: They are also called micro comedones and appear as clusters producing a rough patch on the skin. A single papule is seen as a reddish eruption on the skin. These are usually caused due to a localized reaction on the skin and are inflammatory in nature. They are painful and extremely sensitive to touch.
  • Macule: Macules usually form as after-effects of papules. They appear as scaly spots with prominent borders and usually leave impressions after getting peeled off.
  • Pustules: They are also called “zits” or pimples and are often filled with pus. They are usually very sensitive and might transform into cysts in certain cases.
  • Nodules: They appear as irregular elevations on the skin and are painful when touched. Nodules are more critical in characteristics and are deeply rooted within the skin. They might lead to a gradual destruction of the underlying tissues and must be taken care of immediately after occurrence.
  • Cysts: Cysts are the most critical forms of acne so far and erupt as pus-filled lesions. They can intrude the deeper layers of skin, causing permanent damage to tissues.       

                                                               

Actions that worsen acne

Desperate attempts by people willing to get rid of pimples can actually exacerbate existing conditions and give rise to more skin eruptions in future. Here are few of the dos and don’ts of skin rashes in general:

  • Scrubbing of a pimple infested skin is strictly forbidden
  • Scratching or popping pimples should be avoided
  • The skin should be protected from extreme pollution or unhygienic conditions
  • The skin should not be subjected to any kind of pressure (Eg: Helmets, tight uniforms etc)
  • Oily skin products should be discarded
  • A fat-free, non-oily and healthy diet should be practiced.
  • Stress management skills should be mastered.
  • Steroid drugs to cure skin rashes should be avoided

 

Treatment & Prevention

Acne skinThe acne medications reduce oil production, reduce inflammation, fight the bacterial infection, and augment the skin cell turnover. The medications are prescribed based on the severity of the condition, age of the patient and the type of acne. Medications can be topical and/or oral. However, pregnant females are advised not to take the oral medications.

  • Topical medications such as retinoids and retinoid-like drugs (tretinoin, tazarotene, adapalene), salicylic acid and azelaic acid, antibiotics (clindamycin, erythromycin) with benzoyl peroxide, dapsone etc.
  • Oral medications such as antibiotics (doxycycline, minocycline, macrolide etc.), anti-androgen agents (spironolactone), isotretinoin, and combined oral contraceptives (combination of estrogen and progestin) can be prescribed by a dermatologist.
  • Prolonged use of oral antibiotics should be avoided in order to prevent the development of antibiotic resistance.
  • Several other therapeutic procedures can help in treating acne. These procedures are sometimes suggested along with medications. Some of the procedures are chemical peeling, lasers and photodynamic therapy, steroid injections, extraction of blackheads and whiteheads etc.
  • In case of acne in children, a pediatric dermatologist can be consulted instead of self-medicating with drugs that have been prescribed for adults.

There is no acknowledged way to prevent the occurrence or development of acne. However, maintaining sanitization is always a good option. Once it occurs, its outbreaks or complications can be prevented.

 

 

Dos and Don'ts

Dos
  • Maintain hygiene. Use a mild cleanser and warm water to clean the gentle areas twice a day. Shampoo your hair daily if acne develops near the hairline.
  • Take care of excess oil and opt for skin peeling. OTC products with active ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide, alpha hydroxy acids, salicylic acid or glycolic acid can prove beneficial in mild to moderate cases. Transient side effects such as dryness, redness and scaling might result with the use of OTC acne medications.
  • Protect your skin from the UV radiations of the sun. Avoid exposure to the sun as much as possible. Wear a nonoily (noncomedogenic) sunscreen in case you are stepping out into the sun.
  • Take a shower subsequent to a strenuous activity.
Don'ts
  • Use skin irritants- Use products that are labeled as noncomedogenic or water-based. Steer clear of greasy or oily products such as cosmetics, sunscreens, concealers etc.
  • Use astringents, masks and face scrubs as these products might make the condition worse by irritating the skin.
  • Add pressure and friction on your skin. Acne can worsen due to contact with helmets, phones, backpacks, tight collars, straps etc.
  • Pick or touch the problem areas as it might cause scarring or infection.

 

 

 

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Don’t let your sleep deficit grow into memory loss or heart attack Why is sleep important for us? How could sleep deprivation harm you? We bet you didn't know about…
blood elements analysis
Vitamin Profile Your doctor will recommend you undergo the vitamin profile test if you are showing signs of either vitamin…
glucose-tolerance
Oral Glucose Tolerance Test – GTT Glucose tolerance test (or Oral GTT) is used to detect the onset of diabetes or prediabetes conditions. It…
Love tea, hate tannins? Rooibos tea is just what you need The market is brimming with a multitude of herbal teas. But what makes rooibos tea (or red bush)…
ureteroscopy
Ureteroscopy Ureteroscopy is the diagnostic procedure which is used for the detection of the kidney stones in addition to…
shakeology woman
Meal replacement or protein drink? Learn all about Shakeology and its claims Shakeology from Beachbody claims to be the most suitable shake that can aid in weight loss, regulate blood…
Quinine: How gin and tonic came to be known as a potent health elixir The discovery of quinine-containing tree bark is sometimes considered the most serendipitous medical discovery of the 17th century.
ASTtest-liver
AST- Aspartate Aminotransferase Test AST test is a blood test that is used to measure the level of a particular liver enzyme…
lipoprotein A
Lipoprotein (A) Test Lipoprotein (A) test is used to measure and monitor the levels of LDL(Low-Density Lipoprotein) in the bloodstream in…
Pescatarian Diet 101: What are the inherent health advantages of this diet? People opt to become a pescatarian in order to enrich their bodies with the essential health benefits that…
GGt test
GGT – Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase Test GGT or gammaglutamyl transferase test is a liver function test that is used to detect the extent of…
PREGNANCY
Pregnancy During pregnancy, the body undergoes a number of biological and physical changes to accommodate and provide for the…
Vitamin b12
Vitamin B12 Test Vitamin b12 is an essential nutrient required for healthy functioning of the nervous system and also development of…
Gua sha: Scraping away layers of pain with this ancient healing tool Gua sha is an ancient oriental healing method which focuses on scraping the body with specific tools to…
Helicobacter pylori IGA
Helicobacter Pylori – IgA Test The H.pylori IgA test is a blood test used to identify the level of IgA antigen in the…
Top reasons why you need to pay attention to your vitamin B6 intake Vitamin B6- An essential water-soluble vitamin. Its deficiency leads to physical changes such as sores & glossy tongue…
Threatened abortion
A few facts about threatened abortion A threatened miscarriage indicates an early pregnancy loss. Look out for symptoms like bleeding, vaginal discharge, and pain.
blood ketone test
Blood Ketone (D3HB) Test The Blood Ketone Test measures and monitors the levels of ketone in the blood which is usually performed…
Astaxanthin: Why experts believe it could be 550x more potent than vitamin E! What is astaxanthin and why is this new supplement on the block touted as the most powerful antioxidant…
Hepatitis A virus infected liver
Hepatitis A Virus (HAV) Total Blood test to look for IgM antibodies to know if you are infected with Hepatitis A virus (HAV),…
amylase test
Amylase Test Amylase test is done by checking the level of this protein in the blood sample and also in…
tonometry
Tonometry Tonometry uses a device called tonometer to measure the pressure inside the eye. This pressure is depends upon…
Juice Plus: Can you really replace actual fruits with pills?  Juice Plus supplements intend to fill nutritional gaps present in our daily diet. But how successful have they…
6 arguments in favour of glucosamine and where can you find it Studies have shown that glucosamine works by preventing the breakdown of cartilage of the joints. This is usually…
improve digestion weight loss
Power up your gut: 8 proven steps on how to improve your digestion Did you know you have a colony of bacteria in your gut that help you in digesting food?…
piles
Best treatment for piles in Bangalore All you need to know about piles and piles treatment in Bangalore - the types of treatment available,…
Is bronchitis contagious? And how to prevent this infection? It is acute bronchitis that is contagious which means you can contract it from another person or you…
fitness routine fun
10 fantastic ways to make your fitness routine more fun! Are you too bored to exercise? Do you avoid gym cause it's too monotonous? Looking for fun and…
shiitake mushrooms healthy
What are Shiitake Mushrooms and why should you eat them? Shiitake Mushrooms are well known for their smoky and robust taste. However, did you know they are replete…
The Cabbage Soup Diet: The healthiest way to instant weight loss Cabbage soup diet rapid weight loss diet for those who want to shed those extra pounds in less…
creatinine
Creatinine Test The level of creatinine in the blood is a significant indicator of the health of your kidneys. This…
Carb Cycling: Weighing the pros vs the cons of this diet routine Completely discarding carbs from your life will do you more harm than good. Read more about carb cycling,…
General adaptation syndrome: Understanding stress, one step at a time The struggle of the body to produce hormones during a stressful situation is the main theme of general…
immunoglobulin M
Immunoglobulin M Test Immunoglobulin M is the largest and the first produced antibody which helps in the prevention or fighting of…
C-Reactive Protein Test A CRP or c-reactive protein blood test is an important diagnostic tool used to determine the risk of…
Exercises or diet? Find out the healthiest way to gain weight Tired of being called skinny all the time? Looking for healthy ways to beef up? Why not try…
labiaplasty
Labiaplasty Labiaplasty is a surgical procedure to modify the labia minora and the labia majora. Learn about who can…
kidney stones
Kidney stones Kidney stones are solid substances made up of crystals. They can be of various sizes. Treatment depend on…
castor oil hair
Castor oil : A vitamin-rich oil for shiny locks and healthy bowels Castor oil bestows unlimited benefits, whether you use it for your hair or skin. But did you know…
stress depressed anxiety
Are you depressed or just stressed? Know when to see a doctor Why are some people more anxious than others? Is being depressed the same as feeling sad? Have you…
lp-pla2
LP-PLA2 Test The LP-PLA2 test is a test which is carried out to assess the levels of Lipoprotein-Associated Phospholipase A2…
anoscopy
Anoscopy Anoscopy is an invasive diagnostic procedure where a small device known as anoscope will be inserted in the…
Appendix pain: Recent findings on this not-so vestigial organ The exact function of the appendix is still not clear. Some consider it as an organ that once…
thyroid_scan
Thyroid Scan Thyroid scan is a diagnostic procedure that aims to view the thyroid gland and detect any growths or…
lose weight fast
12 easy and instant steps to successful weight loss Do you want to lose weight without losing your mind? Does weight loss always mean saying goodbye to…
colposcopy
Colposcopy Colposcopy is a simple, quick and non- invasive diagnostic tool to look closely inside the vulva, vagina, and…
free testosterone test
Free testosterone Free Testosterone Test measures and monitors the level of the free testosterone in the blood. Less than 4%…
toxo gondii igm test
Toxo Gondii-IgM Test The toxo gondii IgM test is a blood test that tells the presence or absence of toxoplasmosis IgM…
avocado benefits
Avocado: 15 reasons why this fruit should be a staple in your diet Did you know that the word avocado literally means "testicles". Don't get grossed out as this power-packed fruit…
Crossfit with rope
CrossFit: Now get the perfectly sculpted body with this explosive gym routine CrossFit is a fitness regimen that makes use of high-intensity exercises in a shorter period to achieve muscle…
Is it possible to achieve full body detox with Master Cleanse? Master cleanse is a diet consisting of a lemonade based beverage, a salt water drink and a herbal…
Bloodtestalbumin
Albumin Test Albumin test or blood serum test is a liver function test that measures the amount of the protein…
Hymenoplasty
Hymenoplasty Read on to find out all about hymenoplasty, the procedure, post-surgery care, the risks, and the benefits.
eating disorder anorexia
Eating Disorders: Lifestyle choice or a psychological condition? Is eating disorder just a harmless bad habit? Or does it represent grim psychological disorders? Do you want…
Goji berry: A traditional Chinese berry that packs the best of antioxidants Goji berry is an ancient berry that is considered to be power-packed with nutrients and antioxidants. Which means…

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