Acne is one of the most common skin conditions and yet is not completely understood by most. The most important goals of acne treatment are: stopping new breakouts, and healing past ones. The way to treat any condition is to understand it better - in part I of this three-part series on How To Understand Acne Better, we help you understand acne as a medical condition.
What is acne?
Officially known as Acne vulgaris, pimples are considered to be an inflammatory disorder of the pilosebaceous gland. The pilosebaceous gland are tiny glands in your skin that secrete sebum. Sebum helps in lubricating your skin, protecting it from losing moisture.
Who is most vulnerable to acne?
It is most common during adolescence or around puberty. The reason for this is because at these periods of your life, your oil glands get activated by the hormones your body is producing. What most people seem to forget is that it is also completely possible to experience acne as an adult.
Gender and Genetics
Acne is considered to be much more common and severe in males rather than females. Hormones have a huge part to play in this - male hormones, also known as androgens, increases the chances of acne.
Genetics can be the root cause as it is said that a family history of acne can explain the occurrence of acne in the generations next.
What causes acne?
Your oil glands working overtime and teaming up with your hormones make a perfect recipe for inflammation. During puberty, you go through hormonal spurts which is one of the reasons behind the overnight pimple breakouts seen in. There are many other factors that can aggravate acne as well, here are a few:
(A) Climate: Humidity and heat
(B) Products : Oils and thick heavy creams
(C) Health: Stress
(D) Diet: Carbs, sweets and fried goodies
(E) Hormonal conditions: Polycystic ovarian syndrome PCOD
What are the common sites for acne?
It most commonly occur in areas that have increased oil gland activity such as your face, chest, back, shoulder and upper arms.
What are the grades of acne?
There are four grades of acne:
(A) Grade 1: blackheads and whiteheads with occasional raised red eruptions.
(B) Grade 2: (similar to Grade 1); more inflamed red eruptions, some may be pus-filled.
(C) Grade 3: (similar to Grade 2); many pus-filled eruptions, with nodules that can be felt deep in the skin.
(D) Grade 4: nodules and abscesses along with scars.
Grade 3 and 4 are considered severe forms of acne.
Does acne need to be treated & why?
Acne can cause self-esteem issues and it is mostly recognized to be a cosmetic condition. The truth is that it is an actual *medical condition; an inflammatory disorder with hormonal and metabolic implications. If not treated, over time it can leave behind significant pigmentation (discolouration) and scarring that may be irreversible.
Even though acne is usually self-limiting and stops by a person’s early 20's, finding the cause and treating it is important to prevent and mitigate the pigmentation, scarring and potential relapses as adult acne.
How can acne be treated?
In the second part of our blog series on How to Understand Acne Better, find out how your lifestyle affects your acne and few acne treatment options. Remember, however, that any treatment for acne should only be undertaken based on the advice of a dermatologist.
With Remedico, you can consult a dermatologist for your acne problems without having to visit a clinic. Our service is the fastest, easiest way to get healthy skin and hair. Treat acne ahead of time, consult with us today!