What is acne?
Acne is a skin disorder that takes place when the pores become blocked with lifeless skin cells and sebum. It affects people of all ages, typically between the ages of 12 and 25 years old. The symptoms usually appear on the face but can appear on the back, neck, chest, shoulders, or other body parts where sebaceous (oil) glands are present. If you have such a skin condition, look for effective acne treatment.
What causes acne?
As we age, the ability of our bodies to shed dead skin cells slows down and leads to the stimulation of excess sebum production. Moreover, hormonal changes can also cause the sebaceous glands in some people to produce too much sebum. The dead skin cells and excess sebum clog the pores and form a soft plug. Bacteria that usually survive on our skin initiate to develop in these blocked pores, causing inflammation, swelling, redness, and pus-filled spots (whiteheads and blackheads).
What is acneiform eruption?
An acneiform eruption can look very similar to acne vulgaris. However, it is caused by an adverse reaction to a medication. The most commonly implicated drugs are corticosteroids, anticonvulsants, and antiretrovirals.
What does acneiform eruption look like?
Acneiform eruptions generally affect the face or upper trunk. They can come out anywhere on the body where sebaceous glands are present. The outbursts often start as red and swollen bumps, which become pustules or papules that resemble acne vulgaris. If you notice these symptoms, consult a dermatologist for well-working acne treatment.
What is the difference between acne and acneiform eruption?
Acne is a skin disorder produced by excess production of oil (sebum), clogged hair follicles, inflammation, and bacteria, which causes the pores to become clogged. On the other hand, the acneiform eruption is an adverse reaction of medication that causes similar symptoms as acne vulgaris (such as inflammation, papules, and pustules) but occurs only where sebaceous glands are present.
Why is acne so common?
About 85% of teenagers have some zits during puberty. However, only 5% of adults do after puberty. This skin disease affects individuals of all ages and occurs in people of every race. Although acne was once believed to be the result of poor hygiene, this is not so. Eating habits, cosmetics, and stress can also influence zits.
What are the types of acne?
There are many types of acne. The two main categories of this skin condition are blackhead and whitehead pimples, also referred to as comedones, and papules, pustules, or cysts (inflamed pimples). There is mild acne with only a few papules/pustules on the skin; moderate acne involves numerous papules/pustules covering a large portion of the face with occasional cysts; severe skin disease has all of the above on a greater proportion of the face, along with scarring.
- Blackheads and Whiteheads
Blackheads are slightly raised lesions on the skin that appear as small openings on the skin’s surface. However, whiteheads are pus-filled lesions that remain trapped under the skin, appearing as small bumps beneath the skin surface.
These symptoms are common. However, they may need effective acne treatment at times. If they turn serious, it is time to consult with a dermatologist.
Comedones (plural for comedo) are the tiny bumps that show up in the place of whiteheads and blackheads when skin condition strikes. A comedo is a clogged hair follicle that traps oil and dead skin cells in the pores, which turns into a soft plug. Since this pore is just below the surface, it is called a “closed” comedo (blackhead). When the pore opens to the surface, the oil and debris inside reveal themselves in a yellowish color; this is why blackheads appear black.
What does it mean to have open comedones?
When the pore becomes inflamed and stays open on the skin’s surface, you may see small red bumps or papules that look like pimples around the area. This type of zits is called inflammatory acne, which you might have noticed in adults.
Nevertheless, effective acne treatment can help get rid of the irritating symptoms of this skin disease; consult a dermatologist for a suitable one.
- Cystic acne
Cystic acne occurs when there are widespread eruptions of closed & open comedones that extend beyond the confines of the face to produce large inflamed lesions or wounds filled with pus. Cystic acne is the most severe type of acne vulgaris, which can be scarring.
- Pustule acne
Pustules are pimples that have pus. They generally occur when the bacterium “Propionibacterium acnes” infects an individual’s plugged hair follicle, resulting in a swollen bump filled with P. acnes and pus known as a pustule. When pustules appear on the skin’s surface, they are referred to as “pimples” or papules.
- Papule acne
Papules are inflamed or infected red bumps that occur on the skin’s surface. They may be closed comedones, which look like whiteheads; open comedones, which look like blackheads; or very large and inflamed acne nodules that appear as swollen lumps beneath the surface of the skin.
What are the effective treatments for zits?
There are several different treatments, which can help get over this skin disease. They may include topical retinoids, benzoyl peroxide, antibiotics, Accutane®, and chemical peels. The best acne treatment depends on-
- The severity of your skin disease
- Your skin type
- How long you’ve had the problem
- Your preferences
- If you have only a few blackheads and whiteheads, your doctor may suggest that you use benzoyl peroxide or a topical retinoid.
- If the acne is more extensive or severe, he or she may prescribe one of the oral antibiotics.
- If the zit has caused scarring, your doctor may suggest Accutane.
- If the acne on your back is extensive, combination therapy of Accutane® and another drug may be recommended to prevent further scarring.
- In cases of blackheads and whiteheads that are stubborn or that bleed easily, a chemical peel or laser treatment may initially be recommended to remove the upper layers of skin.
- If you have had acne for a long time and it has caused scarring, you may want to consult with a dermatologist who specializes in treating scars.
The treatments above are the most common types of acne remedies, but there are others. Your doctor can discuss the options with you and help look out which one is right for you. It may take some trial and error before you find an effective treatment that works well for you.
Remember, if you are embarrassed about your zit, there are ways to treat it. You do not have to suffer in silence. Talk with your dermatologist or primary care doctor about the best remedy for you. They will lend a hand in making sure that you get clearer skin and can feel more confident in your skin.
Benzoyl peroxide (Benzac®, Brevoxyl®, others) is an antibacterial ingredient that helps clear pores of acne-causing bacteria. It also has exfoliating properties that remove dead skin cells trapped in the pores, contributing to blackheads and whiteheads.
How does benzoyl peroxide work?
The treatment works against the bacteria associated with skin disease. Moreover, it also unclogs pores and allows the other topical medications you will use to penetrate more effectively. This acne treatment is available in many forms, including ointments, gels, creams, lotions, and pads.
How should you use benzoyl peroxide?
For best results when this remedy, follow these steps-
Benzoyl peroxide works best when you apply it to dry skin using a cotton ball or pad. Avoid letting water contact your face for at least one hour after applying the treatment because the product can lose some of its effectiveness. Apply it after washing, taking a shower, or after a bath. It can bleach fabrics. Therefore, be sure to use a white cotton ball or pad if you apply the product while wearing dark clothing.
- If benzoyl peroxide gets in your eyes, flush with plenty of water.
- Be sure to use an oil-free moisturizer once or twice a day to prevent dryness.
Topical retinoids are medications related to vitamin A that help clear pores and treat blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples. Moreover, they also prevent breakouts.
You need a prescription to get topical retinoids because these products are powerful and can cause serious side effects if used incorrectly.
When and how should you use topical retinoids?
Your doctor may tell you to apply a topical retinoid once a day at bedtime or more than once a day if needed. Follow instructions for using this acne treatment carefully. Using too much can irritate your skin, especially when you first start using the medication.
Antibiotics such as erythromycin, clindamycin, and tetracycline can assist treat acne. They kill the bacteria that cause some pimples. They work best on pimples with pus because antibiotics can’t penetrate the skin’s layers to reach the oil glands. These medications are available in many forms, including gels, creams, lotions, and oral pills.
How do antibiotics work?
Antibiotics help control acne by killing the bacteria associated with it. They prevent future breakouts and clear up most current pimples faster than they would heal on their own. However, antibiotics cannot reduce the number of oil glands.
How should you use antibiotics?
For the best results when using antibiotics for zits, follow these steps-
- Use an antibiotic exactly as directed on the product label or by your doctor. Using too much can increase antibiotic resistance over time, making it harder to treat acne in the future.
- Avoid contact with eyes, nose, mouth, genitals, or any areas of broken skin because the medicine can irritate those areas.
- Clean your hands before and after applying this medication. It will help prevent the spread of bacteria to other people and reduce the amount you get on your skin.
- Begin by using a small amount on one or two pimples to make sure you do not have an allergic reaction.
If you are using a topical cream, lotion, or gel for acne treatment, consider the following-
- Apply it once daily at bedtime for 2 weeks, then twice daily as directed by your doctor. Do not wash the treated area(s) for at least 1 hour after applying the medication. It will reduce skin irritation.
If you are using an oral antibiotic, follow these steps-
- Take the medication as directed on the package or bottle label. Gulp down the capsules with water. Antibiotics work finest when taken on an unfilled stomach 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals. Stopping antibiotic treatment early can increase your risk of further infection that is resistant to antibiotics.
How can you prevent acne?
- Cut out all junk food, including chips, chocolates, and other sweets, as these are acne-causing offenders.
- Do not smoke, as smoking is a skin condition causative agent.
- Minimize your sugar intake, especially fructose, which is found in processed foods and soft drinks. When you eat fructose, it travels to the liver, where it is converted into fat. This can clog your pores.
- Make sure you are drinking enough water every day (at least 8 glasses), this will help flush out toxins, and your body will naturally be able to heal itself. Drinking plenty of water is a well-working at-home acne treatment.
- Avoid dairy, as it is one of the top acne-causing agents. This includes cheese, milk, and other dairy products. You do not have to cut them off entirely. However, make sure they do not become a staple part of your diet. You could substitute cow’s milk with soy or rice milk and cheese with vegan cheese if you like.
- Stay away from meat as much as possible as it is also one of the top acne-causing agents. Instead, make sure to eat lots of fruits and veggies. They are packed full of antioxidants, which will assist your body fight against free radical damage.
- Include omega-3 fatty acids in your diet by eating sardines, salmon and other oily fish, flax seeds, and walnuts. These are all amazing for the health of your skin.
- Cut out fast food because it is just not good for you. Instead, eat many fresh foods that are natural, organic, and low fat.