Pimples? Oily skin? Blackhead? Dark spot? Who does want these on their face? I know, I don’t! It’s hard to maintain a fair, glowing face with acne around. Sometimes we opt to pop those zits away, cover those hideous spots with make-up, and sometimes whatever skin regimen we can use, acne is always there. It is truly an all-out war against acne.
Under our skin lies small sebaceous glands which make oil sebum that keeps the skin smooth and supple. Pores are the tiny holes on the skin, allow the sebum to come on to the skin surface and where hair grows. Acne or Acne vulgaris occurs when pores are blocked or clogged which can cause inflammation due to dead skin cells and oil glands from the skin. The more oil sebum comes out, the greasier the skin feels and the more acne may appear. Acne are most common on the face, but also occur on the upper parts of the body.
Types of acne
Mild to moderate acne (Comedones or blocked pores). Usually blackheads, whiteheads and small pimples. They appear on top of the skin layer as pigments that blocks the pores.
Moderate to severe acne (Inflammation acne or inflamed pores). Blocked sebum is an ideal habitat of the bacteria Propionibacterium acnes, which may infect the blocked sebum and cause inflammation. The inflamed sebum can cause pimples around the skin. Pimples can be either papules (hard, pinhead sized) or pustules (papules with pus or yellowish fluid blisters).
Severe to rare acne (Cystic acne). When blocked pores get more inflamed and irritated, they get bigger and go deeper in the skin. Nodules and cyst are larger pimples that are painful when touched. These may leave red or dark spots on the skin and may take a long period of time for them to fade. Some may also cause permanent scars on the skin.
Cause of acne
Aside from the oil production, blocked/clogged pores, dead skin cells and bacteria, there are also some factors that can aggravate acne:
Hormones. The sebaceous glands are enlarge and produces more sebum due to increase amount of androgen hormone in boys and girls at puberty.
Stress. Stress can trigger acne breakout because of hormone fluctuation. This increases the amount of oil that our skin secretes and may aggravates the current acne.
Lifestyle. Picking and squeezing the pimple may further cause inflammation and scarring. Putting make-up to cover the spot may not affect acne, but may cause inflammation if stayed for longer period of time (sleep without removing the make-up). Some clothing and headgears may also trigger acne, so always wipe your sweat after removing to prevent blocking pores which can cause acne.
Food. Certain foods like dairy products, carbohydrate-rich foods like bread, and chocolate may trigger acne.
Treatment may depend on the severity of acne. Your doctor may give you combined treatments to get rid your acne and give you the best results. Treatments may include antibacterial topical solutions to prevent the development of bacteria in acne. Lotions and creams for your dark spots and blemishes to fade and help lessen inflamed lesions. Frequent check-up for the progression of skin treatment and may perform certain skin treatment like cleaning and laser treatment. Oral medication for anti-acne and skin can also be taken. It is important to know what triggers your acne, and what treatment works for you. Acne can be treated, provided that you have to take good care of your skin and stay healthy.