What is acne?
Acne is a skin disease that causes hair follicle sebaceous glands generate more secretion that initially the skin is able to eliminate. It is characterized by the appearance of skin lesions as a result of folliculitis, an inflammation and subsequent infection of follicular pore (hair outlet). These fatty deposits act as plugs in pores, which when blackheads become obscure. In turn, breaking the cap area can come into contact with bacteria and become infected forming nodules called pustules. If these infected areas extend along the interior of the deepest widening skin to become painful to the touch are called cysts. The note inflamed cyst under the skin, which is why acne usually leaves unsightly scars.
How can affect us?
This issue can have mental and social ramifications, particularly among young people. Acne appears in most cases during adolescence, affecting approximately 80 percent of this population group. It arises due to the interaction between hormones, sebum and bacteria living on the skin or inside it and also in the hair. During puberty, increases the activity of the sebaceous glands and often dry sebum, scaly debris and bacteria accumulate in the pores forming comedones, which prevents the sebum flow from hair follicles through the pores.
Skin breakout can also affect persons working with public. Sometimes they have problems in their working environment because they do not reach the required degree of physical presence. But young people are not the only ones. In fact, acne is one of the most common diseases. However, not all acne lesions are equal. There are many types of acne according to the variety of pimple. It is important to know the characteristics of each given type since requires a different treatment.
Types of Acne
If the blockage is incomplete black spots are formed; if it is complete, white spots appear. The white dots are the typical grains that has plagued us throughout our lives. It is whitish lumps that do not reach out to the surface of the skin. When you get acne white point, it is because your pores are clogged by sebum, but this has not come to be exposed to air, so it is left with the clear color. That is, they contain pus. When this reaches the top of the skin, blackheads appear. It is not true, as many people think, that are dark by dirt but by contact with air. However, it is necessary to take a regular cleaning to reduce their appearance.
Papules may also occur. This type of skin breakout describes pink bumps and conical shape that does not contain pus, but are usually firmer. The same applies to the pustules that, being smaller and rounded, do not cause any pain.
In addition, there are some special forms of acne that can affect newborns or adults exposed to certain industrial products (occupational acne) or people taking certain medications such as oral corticosteroids (acne drug-induced), making them less frequent clinical forms that classic juvenile acne.
What causes acne?
The main cause of acne is the clogging of skin pores and can be triggered by several factors:
- The glands secrete excess sebum.
- Hormonal changes that are associated with puberty, pregnancy, menstruation, stress or use of oral contraceptives such as the pill.
- The use of some cosmetics and products for oily hair.
- Some drugs containing steroids, estrogen, testosterone or phenytoin.
- Excessive sweating.
- Acne occurs when tiny holes are plugged on the surface of the skin. These holes are called pores.
- Each pore is an opening to a follicle, which contains a hair and a sebaceous gland. The oil secreted by the gland helps remove old skin cells and keeps the skin soft.
- When the glands create an excess of oil, the pores can get to be blocked. There is an accumulation of dirt, bacteria and inflammatory cells. The blockage is called a plug or comedone.
- When the top of the cap is white, is called milia.
- If the top of the cap is dark, is called a blackhead.
- If the plug is broken can have swelling and red bumps.
- Acne that is deeper in the skin can cause firm, painful cysts, which is called nodular acne.
Skin breakout is most common in teenagers, but anyone can have it, even babies. Acne tends to run in families.
Some factors that can trigger skin breakout include:
- Hormonal changes that cause the skin to be oilier. They may be related to puberty, menstrual periods, pregnancy, birth control pills or stress.
- Cosmetics, greasy or oily hair.
- Certain drugs (such as steroids, testosterone, estrogen, and phenytoin).
- High humidity and heavy sweating.
Research does not show that chocolate, nuts and fatty foods cause acne. However, diets rich in refined sugars or dairy products may be linked to acne in some people.
It manifests clinically with various types of injuries. In fact, in some patients they may appear several. Skin breakout locates mainly on the face (forehead, cheeks and chin), back, shoulder and sternum region, which are the seborrheic areas of the body.
During winter acne usually worsens and improves in summer, probably due to the beneficial effect of the sun. The diet has little or no influence; however, some people are sensitive to certain foods. Remove them from the diet for several weeks and include them again months later can help determine its true influence. It may also appear with each menstrual cycle in young women and may disappear or significantly worsen during pregnancy.
The main symptoms that appear on the skin are:
- Crusts with skin rashes.
- Scarring of the skin.
- Redness around the skin eruptions.
- Small, red bumps.
Steps you can take to relieve acne
- Clean the skin gently with a mild soap that will not cause dryness (such as Dove, Neutrogena, Cetaphil, CeraVe or Basics).
- Look for non comedogenic formulas or water based cosmetics and skin creams. (Noncomedogenic products have undergone tests found that will not clog pores or cause acne).
- Remove dirt or makeup. Wash once or twice a day, even after exercise.
- Avoid rubbing and wash skin repeatedly.
- Wash hair with shampoo daily, especially if it’s oily.
- Comb or pull your hair back to keep it out of the face.
What NOT to do
- Try not to squeeze, scratch, pick or rub the grains. This can lead to scarring and skin infections.
- Avoid wearing headbands, baseball caps and other tight hats.
- Skip touching your face with your hands or fingers.
- Keep away of greasy cosmetics or creams.
- Do NOT makeup at night.
If these measures do not go away stains, try medicines for acne counter applied to the skin.
- These products may contain benzoyl peroxide, sulfur, resorcinol or salicylic acid.
- They work by killing bacteria, drying up the oil and causing the top layer of skin.
- Can cause redness, dryness or peeling of the skin.
A small amount of sun exposure may improve acne a little, but mostly just hides it. too much exposure to sunlight or ultraviolet rays is not recommended because it increases the risk of skin cancer.