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Why and How Acne Happen? How to Control and Treat Acne?

Why and How Acne Happen? How to Control and Treat Acne?

Acne or pimples is a long term skin condition mainly affecting the adolescents and may progress to their 20s and 30s also. Rarely people in their 40s also have pimples. Acnes are due to the block in the pilosebaceous glands or the oil secreting glands with oil and dead cells. These sebaceous glands are mainly distributed on the face, chest, back and the shoulders. The predisposing factors that aggrevate acne are genetics and hormonal imbalance. The hormones, especially the androgens stimulate the increased oil secretion from the pilocebaceous glands. The oil and dead cells clog the pores of the glands, resulting in the accumulation of the secretions in the glands  causing acne. As the androgen secretion is more in males, they have severe forms of acne.  Teenagers naturally undergoing hormonal changes do face problems like anxiety, reduced self esteem and in severe cases even depression. Females with PCOD have ovarian cysts that secrete androgens. Factors like stress, exposure to dust and diet with high glycemic index too may act as aggrevating factors for acne.  

    Clogging of the sebaceous glands with oil and dead cells results in accumulation of the secretions in the glands giving rise to comedones [white heads and black heads] or grade 1 acne. As the secretions accumulate in the glands, walls of the glands break and the secretions released cause inflammation in the skin giving rise to grade 2 papular acne. Infection with the p. acnes bacteria causes pustular acne or grade 3 acne. Further inflammation causes reddish, painful bumps called nodular or grade 4 acne. Nodulocystic acne happens when the walls of the gland becomes thick  resulting in accumulation of the secretions.

      Acne, when treated in the early stages heal with no scars or with minimal scars. Hence early treatment of acne is recommended. Once acnes enter the inflammatory stage, there is damage to the skin structures giving rise to scars which form craters or depressions on the skin. Some of the inflamed acnes heal leaving behind hyperpigmentation which can be minimized with proper UV pretection. Pinching or sqeezing the acne can push the germs into the deeper layers of the skin causing more of inflammation and damage to the skin structures giving rise to ugly scars that can remain permanatly.

     Acne vulgaris is a skin condition that can recur on an individuals skin for a few years, but the scars left behind due to an untreated acne can remain for ever. This can reduce the self confidence of an individual resulting in anxiety and depression. Hence early treatment of the acne and control of the acne recurrences is very much recommended. Mild forms of pimples can be treated with topical agents like benzoyl peroxide, retinoids and antibiotic creams. For papular and pustular acnes, systemic antibiotics can be added in addition to topical creams. Nodulocystic acnes can be treated with isotretinoin. Other treatments to reduce and control pimples include chemical peels like salicylic acid peel, glycolic peels, TCA peels or jessner peels. Acne lasers can also be done for resistant acnes.

   Dos and Don’ts to control acne.

  1. Wash your face with a suitable cleanser twice daily. If your skin is very oily use cleasers containing alfa-hydroxy acids or beta-hydroxy acids. If your skin is normal to dry use mild non soap cleansers.
  2. Apply toner if your skin us too oily.
  3. Moisturizing with an oil control moisturizer will keep your skin smooth and supple.
  4. Use sunscreens that are non-oily, non-comedogenic, matte-finished and gel based.
  5. DO NOT pinch your pimples as it can cause ugly scars. Avoid touching your face repeatedly.
  6. Eat healthy balanced diet. Reduce intake of high glycemic foods and dairy products.
  7. Drink sufficient water, atleast 2litres everyday.
  8. Good sleep of 6 to 8 hours can relax your body and reduce stress.
  9. Regular exercises can make you sweat, remove the toxins from your body and also reduce your stress levels.

 

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