Acne is a skin disease that occurs when hair follicles become blocked by oil (sebaceous glands). It can be a painful condition.
It usually affects teenagers or people who are undergoing hormonal changes, but it can also appear in adulthood and cause scarring. Many treatments are available. A doctor can advise about which treatment is best for you.
Acne happens when hair follicles (the holes in the skin from which tiny hairs grow) and oil glands get clogged with dead skin cells and excess oils. These clogged pores cause bacteria to grow and irritate the skin.
This is most often the case on the face, chest and shoulders, where the hair follicles connect to the oil glands (sebaceous glands). These glands produce sebum, an oily 압구정피부과 substance that helps keep the skin moist and protects it from sun damage. Sebum can also trap dirt and dead skin cells and clog pores. When the pore lining ruptures and bacteria attack the skin, it becomes red and inflamed. These inflamed spots are called pimples. Sometimes the bacteria produce a white substance that looks like pus and gives a pimple its characteristic white tip.
The bacteria that cause acne are usually called P. acnes or comedogenous acne because they’re more likely to appear on the skin where sebum is produced. However, other bacteria can also cause acne. These include Cutibacterium, which is usually found in the sweat of people who tend to have a lot of it and may contribute to the development of inflammation.
Other factors that can cause or make acne worse include stress, some medicines and diet. Eating foods that are high in glycemic load (foods that raise blood sugar quickly) has been linked to acne in some studies, but more research is needed to confirm this link. In addition, using certain skin products, such as greasy cosmetics or hair gels, can cause acne. And squeezing or picking at pimples can lead to permanent scarring.
Acne is a skin condition that happens when hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin. This can lead to the growth of bacteria, which causes spots (or pimples) to form. These usually appear on the face, but can also affect other parts of the body. It most often begins in puberty, but can last into adulthood for both boys and girls.
There are several types of acne. Papules are small red or pink bumps that can feel tender to the touch. They may have white, fluid-filled tips. These are called comedones. Blackheads look like plugs in the skin that don’t open or empty when squeezed. They are usually a little darker than the surrounding skin, but they’re not filled with dirt.
Pustules are red, pus-filled bumps that can be painful to touch. They can have a white or yellow tip. Cysts are closed capsule or sac-like structures that contain liquid, semisolid or gaseous material. They are sometimes referred to as cystic acne. Severe or nodulocystic acne can cause scarring.
Most people with acne have a combination of different types of spots. They may have many papules and comedones, as well as some pustules and nodules. This is considered moderate acne. People with severe or nodulocystic acne have a lot of sore papules and pustules, as well as large lumps under the skin that are filled with pus.
Acne can range from a few spots that don’t hurt to large, red, pus-filled bumps. It usually starts during teen years, when hormone changes cause oil-producing glands to clog hair follicles. The clogged follicles lead to pimples, also called blackheads, whiteheads, or zits. In severe acne, these may be joined by larger solid, red, and painful lumps (cysts). Acne can leave permanent scarring. But if you find the right treatments, it can go away within a few months.
The best way to diagnose acne is by doing a physical exam. The doctor will look at the affected areas, and ask you about your family history of acne and when it started. He or she will also ask about what soaps, skin creams, or other treatments you have used. Some people may have to do blood tests to check their hormone levels, especially if they have other symptoms like stomach problems or extreme fatigue.
Some people may be able to help their doctors determine what type of acne they have, and its severity. They can do this by listing the types of blemishes they have and how painful or inflamed they are. This can help your doctor decide what type of medication to prescribe, or whether you might need other treatments, such as laser therapy. If you have mild acne, you can often get better results from over-the-counter medications or products like cleansers, gels, and face masks containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid.
The goal of treatment is to heal existing lesions, prevent new ones from forming, and minimize scarring. Treatment options include over-the-counter or prescription medicines that reduce inflammation, kill bacteria, unclog pores, and shed dead skin cells.
Over-the-counter acne treatments include cleansers that remove oil, dirt, and dead skin cells (exfoliants) and products that reduce clogged pores (skin-peeling agents). These may contain benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or glycolic acid.
Your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic, such as tetracyclines or erythromycin, to kill bacteria and reduce inflammation. A retinoid, a form of vitamin A, may help unclog pores and improve the appearance of your skin. This is usually prescribed for severe acne, and can be taken in pill or cream form or applied directly to the skin. These medications can make your skin sensitive to sunlight and ultraviolet (UV) rays, and can also interfere with oral contraceptive pills.
Your doctor may drain or extract blackheads and whiteheads, which are plugged follicles that reach the surface of your skin but don’t open up (comedones). This can improve the look of your skin but might cause some scarring. Other surgical procedures, such as laser therapy and steroid injections, can shrink cysts and nodules. This treatment might be painful, and it requires multiple treatments. It is not recommended for pregnant women, who should check with their gynecologist first.