We all are familiar with the term acne. Acne is a medical term for blackheads, whiteheads, pustules and pimples. There are more severe forms of acne in the form of pustules, nodules, abscesses and cysts.
Types of Acne:
Mild to moderate acne is seen as blackheads and whiteheads, which are comedones. There are pustules and in severe cases, you see nodules, cysts and abscesses which may lead to scarring if not treated on time. There can be truncal acne, which presents as acne on the chest, back, shoulders and sometimes even on the butt. Wherever you have oil glands you can have acne.
What age does one cause acne?
It is a misconception that acne only occurs during the teenage years. Acne can occur even in your 30s and 40s it is a condition known as adult acne and it usually occurs due to hormonal imbalance in the body. Acne is usually more common in males when they are teenagers why because men have more oil glands however in females, it’s more common in adults due to a condition called polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
What are the causes of acne?
It could be genetic, a hormonal imbalance in the body such as PCOS, insulin resistance, raised DHT hormones, due to oil-based cosmetics, drugs such as oral contraceptives, anabolic, steroids, growth hormones, isoniazid which is given for tuberculosis, lithium, phenytoin, unhealthy diet, a lot of sugar, dairy, white flour, late nights, alcohol and smoking as well as stress, gases from vehicles you know such as industrial gases carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxide, volatile organic chemicals and fine particulate matter in the air.
The major do’s and don’ts when it comes to acne.
– First, wash your face with a salicylic acid-based face wash twice a day.
– Use a water-based moisturizer.
– Use an oil-free gel-based or water-based sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.
– Increase the intake of citrus fruits such as oranges, grapes, lime, lemon, berries and all the foodstuff which is rich in vitamin C and zinc.
– Drink at least 3.2 liters of water per day.
– Do not pick or squeeze the pimples this will cause infection, hyperpigmentation as well as scarring.
– Avoid the use of oily cosmetics cleansing milk and lotions.
– Do not apply excessive hair oil or other hair products.
– If you have acne over the forehead or hairline avoid sugar, dairy and food with high glycemic
– Do not try stuff like toothpaste, lime, lemon etc. You may apply neem and turmeric paste for a day or two if it doesn’t help do not try anything else just go and consult a dermatologist.
– Avoid stress.
When should you opt for medical help?
When acne persists inspite of using all the over-the-counter, acne creams, or if you develop cystic acne, nodular acne you know acne which leaves scars behind you must seek medical help.
-If you have a very important event the next day we do (dermatologist) give you an intra-regional Triamcinolone acetonide injection and within 24 hours the cyst disappears.
What about treatments?
-Comedone extractions or cleanups are done at a hygienic skin clinic. If not done properly may cause more acne scarring and pigmentation. Do not try it on your own
– Cryotherapy, salicylic acid peels, mandelic acid peels, lactic acid peels will help to reduce acne.
-It’s important to treat acne to reduce the extent of the disease so that there is no scarring and the psychological distress is gone.