Acne

Description of Acne

Definition of Acne
 
Acne is a condition that causes pimples on skin. It commonly occurs in teenagers and young adults and affects both males and females. However, it can also affect other age groups.
 
Causes and Risk Factors of Acne
 
Acne occurs when skin pores get clogged. These are blocked by the dead skin cells and the oil secreted by the sebaceous glands. This promotes the growth of bacteria Propionibacterium acnes leading to acne.
Acne may be mild, moderate, or severe depending on the number of pimples present.
Factors that can cause or worsen acne include:
1. Hormone changes such as puberty, pregnancy, and menstrual cycle
2. Medicines such as corticosteroids and lithium
3. Friction on the skin caused by excessive washing or use of helmets, tight collars, and backpacks
4. Hot, humid, and tropical climate
5. Cosmetics such as oil-based makeup
6. Excessive sweating
7. Stress
8. Family history of acne
 
Signs and Symptoms of Acne
 
Acne occurs most often on the face, neck, chest, back, shoulders, and upper arms. These occur in the form of:
1. Blackheads
2. Whiteheads
3. Papules (red painful bumps)
4. Pustules (pimples containing pus)
5. Cysts (painful bumps filled with pus)
 
Investigations
 
Investigations include physical examination for blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, excessive hair on the body, or hair fall. A complete history will be taken that will include information about:
1. Use of drugs, cosmetics, and oral contraceptives
2. Menses -- regular or irregular
3. Previous treatment for acne
4. Family history
In some patients, certain blood tests and skin examination may be performed. If hormonal imbalance is suspected, the following tests may be performed in women:
1. Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS)
2. Testosterone (total and free)
3. Androstenedione
 
Treatment of Acne
 
Treatment of acne depends on how severe the condition is. Mild acne can be treated by applying over-the-counter medicines such as benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid.
In case of moderate and severe acne, the doctor will prescribe topical (applied to the skin) and oral medicines (taken by mouth).
Some of the topical medicines are:
1. Antibiotics such as clindamycin, erythromycin, or dapsone
2. Retinoic acid cream or gel
3. Prescription formulas of benzoyl peroxide, sulfur, resorcinol, or salicylic acid
4. Azelaic acid
Some of the oral medicines are:
1. Antibiotics such as tetracycline, doxycycline, erythromycin, minocycline, and trimethoprim
2. Contraceptives or birth control pills in some females
3. Spironolactone in adolescent and young adult females if antibiotics are not helping
4. Isotretinoin
Liver enzymes, cholesterol, and triglycerides will be checked before prescribing isotretinoin, as it causes an increase in the levels of lipids and liver enzymes.
If medicines do not work, any of the following procedure may be done to treat acne:
1. Laser treatment
2. Chemical peeling
3. Removal of acne by drainage
4. Cortisone injections
 
Complications and When Should You See a Doctor
 
If not treated on time, acne can cause infection in the affected area of skin, permanent marks/scars on the skin and psychologically may lead to lack of confidence.
Consult your doctor if:
1. There is no relief after self-care and over-the-counter medicines
2. Acne is getting worse even after treatment
3. The acne is leaving scars on the skin
 
Prognosis and Prevention
 
In most cases, acne resolves with age. Acne usually goes away with at least 4 to 6 weeks of treatment. However, it may recur from time to time. In addition to medicines, lifestyle changes help a lot in coping with acne.
Here are some tips that help to keep acne in check:
1. Do not scrub your skin.
2. Do not squeeze or rub the pimples.
3. Cleanse the skin with gentle soap and lukewarm water twice a day, especially after sweating.
4. Use water-based or non-comedogenic cosmetics and skin creams. Avoid using alcohol-based skin products.
5. Avoid touching the face with dirty hands.
6. Have a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
 
References
 
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. National Institute of health. NIH Publication No. 15-4998. https://www.niams.nih.gov/health_info/acne/
Galbraith SS. Acne. In: Kliegman RM, Stanton BF, St Geme JW, Schor NF, Behrman RE, eds. Nelson textbook of pediatrics. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 669.
Tsatsou F, Zouboulis CC. Acne vulgaris. In: Lebwohl MG, Heymann WR, Berth-Jones, Coulson I, eds. Treatment of Skin Disease: Comprehensive Therapeutic Strategies. 4th ed. Philadephia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 3.
 
Content Details
Last updated on:
29 Jan 2018 | 12:18 PM (IST)
editorial-image
Want to know more?
Read Our Editorial Policy

Frequently Asked Questions about Acne

Acne is a skin condition that occurs due to clogged skin pores. It is also known as zits.
Some home remedies that you can try to get rid of pimples on oily skin are: 1. Methi powder Methi seeds can cure pimples. Mix Methi seed powder with water to make a thick paste and apply the paste onto the pimples. This is an effective way to get rid of pimples and pimple marks. 2. Honey Honey’s antibiotic properties can help improve acne. Apply a teaspoon to affected areas, or make a mask by mixing 1/2 cup of honey with 1 cup of plain oatmeal and leave it on for 30 minutes. You could also make a paste of cinnamon, turmeric and honey, apply it for 10 minutes and then rinse off. 3. Aloe Vera Aloe Vera gel is a skin soothing and purifying agent that can treat pimples quickly. Prepare some fresh Aloe Vera pulp from an Aloe Vera leaf and apply it directly onto the pimples and leave it on. Wash it after it dries up completely. 4. Raw papaya Papaya is rich in anti-oxidants and enzymes, which are believed to work on the bacteria causing the pimple. Use a freshly prepared paste of raw papaya on the affected area. Leave it for 10-15 minutes and rinse off. 5. Baking Soda Baking soda is packed with anti-fungal and anti-septic properties. Mix 1 tsp of baking soda with few drops of water to make a thick paste. Apply this paste directly onto the pimples. Wash off with normal water after 5 minutes. 6. Toothpaste Toothpaste can be used as an effective home remedy to get rid of pimples. Apply a small drop of toothpaste onto the pimple before going to the bed and wash it off with cold water in the morning. This is the best method to get rid of pimples instantly. Do not use gel based tooth paste. 7. Steam You could steam your face. Warm steam has the ability to soften the skin, along with dead skin cells, left-behind cosmetics, oil and bacteria that plug pores. This bacteria, dirt and oils trapped in the skin pores can be removed by lightly scrubbing the face after steaming.
No matter what the cause, pimples are always a reason for worry for almost everyone. While it is a good idea to consult a dermatologist if you are prone to acne, you may try these home remedies to help you get rid of them: 1. Methi powder Methi seeds can cure pimples. Mix Methi seed powder with water to make a thick paste and apply the paste onto the pimples. This is an effective way to get rid of pimples and pimple marks. 2. Honey Honey’s antibiotic properties can help improve acne. Apply a teaspoon to affected areas, or make a mask by mixing 1/2 cup of honey with 1 cup of plain oatmeal and leave it on for 30 minutes. You could also make a paste of cinnamon, turmeric and honey, apply it for 10 minutes and then rinse off. 3. Aloe Vera Aloe Vera gel is a skin soothing and purifying agent that can treat pimples quickly. Prepare some fresh Aloe Vera pulp from an Aloe Vera leaf and apply it directly onto the pimples and leave it on. Wash it after it dries up completely. 4. Raw papaya Papaya is rich in anti-oxidants and enzymes, which are believed to work on the bacteria causing the pimple. Use a freshly prepared paste of raw papaya on the affected area. Leave it for 10-15 minutes and rinse off. In addition to these, here are some ways to care for skin if you have acne: a)Be gentle with your skin.Use a mild cleanser in the morning and evening. Avoid scrubbing your skin as it can make your acne worse. b)Refrain from touching your skin too often.People who squeeze, pinch, or pick their pimples can get scars or dark spots on their skin. c)Shave carefully. Make it a point to soften your beard with some soap and water before applying your shaving cream. Shave lightly and only when you have to. d)Avoid over exposure to sun. Many acne medications can make your skin prone to sunburn. e)Choose your makeup carefully. Use oil free makeup. Look for the word “non-comedogenic” on the label. This means that the makeup will not clog up your pores.
If not taken care of, the pimples eventually leave scars which become very diffifcult to remove. However, there are a few dermatological procedures that can help diminish the appearance of scars. These include: -Soft tissue fillers:This procedure involves injecting soft tissue fillers like collagen or fat, under the skin and into indented scars to fill them up, thereby making them less noticeable. -Chemical peels: These are highly potent acidic chemicals applied by skin experts to remove the top damaged layer of skin and deeper scars. Dermabrasion: This procedure is usually reserved for more severe scarring. It involves sanding the surface layer of skin with a rotating brush. Laser resurfacing: This procedure uses a laser to resurface the skin and therefore improve the overall skin appearance
Acne can be cured by applying over the counter medicines such as benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid or prescription medicines. The doctor may give medicines to be taken by mouth. If the medicines do not work, then the doctor may do surgery to cure acne.
Treatment of acne is aimed at controlling the acne, preventing skin from further damage and making scars less noticeable. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, your doctor can suggest topic, oral or other forms of treatment. 1. Topical Medications In addition to over the counter medicines that are used to treat acne, doctor can prescribe the following medicines: -Retinoids: Retinoids are derived from Vitamin A are applied at bedtime. They prevent plugging of hair follicles. -Antibiotics: These work by killing excess skin bacteria and reducing redness. -Dapsone: This gel is most effective when combined with a topical retinoid. 2. Oral Medications These are added in people who do not respond to topical medicines or who have recurrent episodes of acne.These include: -Antibiotics: These are added to the treatment in people with moderate to severe acne. They include include tetracyclines, such as minocycline and doxycycline. -Combined Oral Contraceptives: Combined oral contraceptives are useful in treating acne in women and adolescent girls.). -Isotretinoin: This medicine is given to people with most severe form of acne. This needs close monitoring by the doctor due to its potential side effects. 3. Therapies There are various therapies that are prescribed by doctors either alone or along with medicines. These include Light therapy, Chemical peels, extraction of whiteheads and blackheads and steroid injections. Here are some ways to care for skin if you have acne: a)Be gentle with your skin.Use a mild cleanser in the morning and evening. Avoid scrubbing your skin as it can make your acne worse. b)Avoid certain products, such as facial scrubs, astringents and masks, because they tend to irritate skin, which can worsen acne. Excessive washing and scrubbing also can irritate skin. c)Refrain from touching your skin too often.People who squeeze, pinch, or pick their pimples can get scars or dark spots on their skin. d)Shave carefully: Make it a point to soften your beard with some soap and water before applying your shaving cream. Shave lightly and only when you have to. e)Avoid over exposure to sun:Many acne medications can make your skin prone to sunburn. f)Choose your makeup carefully:Use oil free makeup.Look for the word “non-comedogenic” on the label. This means that the makeup will not clog up your pores.
Acne can be treated at home by applying over the counter medicines such as benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. Some studies propose that the Vitamin A and zinc supplements, or tea tree oil may help treat acne, though it is still not proven.
Some acne marks fade with time. You may also use skin lightening creams such as 2% hydroquinone, azelaic acid or retinoid to remove acne marks.
There are many dermatological procedures that can help diminish the appearance of scars. These include -Soft tissue fillers:This procedure involves Injecting soft tissue fillers like collagen or fat, under the skin and into indented scars to fill them up, thereby making them less noticeable. -Chemical peels: These are highly potent acidic chemicals applied by skin experts to remove the top damaged layer of skin and deeper scars. Dermabrasion: This procedure is usually reserved for more severe scarring. It involves sanding the surface layer of skin with a rotating brush. Laser resurfacing: This procedure uses a laser to resurface the skin and therefore improve the overall skin appearance
A boil is an inflamed, red, swollen and painful bump under the skin. It is caused as a result of infection to the hair follicle. Bacterial growth at the hair follicle results in abscess formation, leading to accumulation of pus. Pimple forms when the follicle of a skin gland clogs up. There are no bacterial growth and it is not an infection.
The oil glands in your skin produce an oily substance known as sebum. The skin pores are connected to the oil glands by small tunnels called follicles. It is through these follicles that the sebum carries dead skin cells to the surface through skin pores. When the follicle of a skin gland clogs up, a pimple grows. Cysts are deep, painful, pus-filled pimples that can cause scars. The treatment varies for cyst and pimple, since cyst is infected with pus and will require antibiotics whereas pimples can clear with over the counter anti-acne creams and ointments.
Although there is no clear cut evidence, but experts do suggest that if you are prone to acne you should stay away from high sugar foods. These include Processed foods like chips, crackers, and cookies Starches like white bread, pasta, and potatoes Sugary drinks like soda Some research also suggests a possible link between milk and milk products and acne break outs. This may be due to the fact that growth factors and hormones naturally found in milk somehow act as acne triggers. But this needs more research. In addition, there are many foods that help in clearing your acne. These include 1. Cucumber Cucumbers are a rich source of vitamins A, C, E and amino acids. All these nutrients help in fighting the process of acne formation. The best thing about cucumbers is that you can have them without watching the portion size. So add them to your lunch or have them as a pre-dinner snack to help your skin clear out naturally. 2. Avocado Avocado is relatively new to this part of the world. But this is one fruit with countless health benefits. It is a green fruit, rich in vitamin E and vitamin C. Vitamin E helps to increase the vitality of skin whereas vitamin C helps to reduce skin inflammation and in naturally moisturizing the skin. Have a serving of this exotic fruit 1-2 times a week when it is in season. 3. Red Grapes The red grapes as well as seeds contain powerful natural chemicals and antioxidants that have been shown to treat inflammatory skin conditions. You can add them to your fruit salads or have a serving once a day to help clear out acne. 4. Tomatoes Tomatoes are not only packed with vitamin C,they are also rich in bio-flavonoids that help to repair damaged or scarred skin. Experts suggest that if you have tomatoes regularly, it will help in reducing your acne. So have tomatoes as salads, as soup or add them to your smoothies. 5. Fennel Fennel or saunf has been used in our country for ages to improve digestive health. But that is not the only health benefit that it has to offer. Fennel is an excellent skin cleanser and helps in reducing swelling. It also helps to flush out excess fluids and toxins from your skin. Add fennel seeds to your salads and to your cooking. You can also have a spoonful after lunch or dinner. 6. Garlic Garlic is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It contains a chemical called allicin. Allicin acts as a natural anti-microbial and kills bacteria and viruses that can worsen acne. Add garlic to your daily cooking or have 1-2 cloves of crushed garlic daily to help your skin heal naturally. 7. Lemon Lemons are a powerhouse of vitamin C. Vitamin c helps infighting skin inflammation and adds glow to the skin. Have 1 freshly lemon in warm water first thing in the morning daily and see a visible change in your skin over a couple weeks. 8. Colorful Fruits Colorful fruits like papayas, mangoes, and passion fruit contain high content of vitamin A, which is extremely good at fighting acne. Have a serving of these fruits 4-5 days a week. You can replace your cup of coffee with one of these fruits and see your pimples vanish away gradually over 3-4 weeks. 9. Fish This might sound strange but fatty fish help in clearing acne and pimples. Fish is an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids and omega 6 fatty acids. These fatty acids help in reducing inflammation which in turn prevents clogging of pores which leads to acne. Fish like salmon, mackerel are great to reduce acne as well as skin blemishes. Have fish 1-2 times a week. It is best to opt for grilled or boiled to get the maximum benefits. 10. Nuts Studies show that deficiency of minerals like zinc and selenium may lead to acne. Nuts like almonds and walnuts are loaded with selenium, copper, zinc, vitamin E, manganese, magnesium, potassium, calcium and iron, which are all essential for healthy skin. So, have a handful of unsalted unprocessed nuts as your mid-day snack and give your skin a punch of skin healthy minerals
Most of the acne medication creams may cause burning or stinging sensation over the face especially at the start of your acne treatment. This may be due to irritation caused by medicines to your acne lesions. If you feel such sensations getting worse, consult your dermatologist at earliest.
No, acne or pimples do not spread from person to person, i.e., it is not a contagious disease. It usually occurs due to excessive production of sebum or oil leading to growth of bacteria over skin surface and acne.
Yes, acne are very common problem during pregnancy especially in the third trimester. In pregnancy there is increased sebaceous gland activity leading to excessive secretion of oil. Also, there is increased level of progesterone as well as androgens which may be responsible for growth of oil producing glands over the skin. This excessive oil provides good environment for growth of bacteria leading to acne breakouts.
Yes, stress may be one of the triggering factor for development of acne. Exact reason of this association is still not known, but many researchers believe that during stress some chemicals are secreted along with increased production of male hormones that stimulates sebum or oil secreting glands. This increased sebum may lead to acne formation.
Acne is not a definitive sign or symptom of diabetes mellitus or cancer. Many diabetic people may get acne due to abnormal functioning of hormone insulin and it may rise leading to stimulation of oil producing glands that secrete more oil and development of acne. Acne may be present in cancer patients also due to immune system abnormality and inflammation in the cancer leading to acne. Don’t worry if you are suffering from acne and go ahead with correct treatment by your skin specialist.
During menopause there is decline in the level of estrogen hormone, but androgen or male hormone levels does not change. So, there is relative excess of androgen levels that appears to be causative for acne formation in women at the start of menopause. Androgens stimulate glands producing sebum or oil leading to acne.
Yes, aloe vera may be a very effective herbal remedy for acne. It acts as an antibacterial and kills bacteria causing acne. It also helps to remove dirt and excess oil from the skin thereby preventing acne development. Aloe vera also helps to diminish the itching due to pimples. Antioxidant action of aloe vera may prevent skin cell damage, help in regeneration of damaged cells and also clear acne spots and scarring.
Getting pimples does not always mean you have a miscarriage. Miscarriage have number of causes of which excess androgen or male sex hormone is one of the common cause. Due to excess androgen, women with miscarriage may get acne.
Turmeric commonly known as haldi is commonly added to various food items to get spicy and smoky flavor. There are various medicinal properties in turmeric and many people apply it to the skin to treat various diseases including acne. Turmeric has antiinflammatory, antibacterial (kills bacteria), and antioxidant property. Some researchers got good results of using turmeric to treat acne, but more scientific evidence is needed to know exact role of turmeric to treat acne.
Vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin and it helps in formation of blood clot and assist in wound healing process. When used in the form of creams over acne scars, it may assist healing of acne scars and make it less visible.
Laser or light based treatments are commonly used and popular modalities for treatment of acne these days. Laser or light sources specifically designed to kill the acne causing bacteria and glands that produce sebum or oil, both of which are responsible for acne development. Laser treatments are safe, effective, and have negligible chances of complications. So, along with medical treatment, laser therapy may appear good way of managing acne.
Acne is getting pimples on your skin at sites where there is excessive oil production like face, back, and chest. Excessive oil production is followed by growth of bacteria causing pimples on your skin. Psoriasis on the other hand is a chronic disease of skin where there are red, itchy, thick, and silvery scales over the skin especially in the areas of elbows, knees, head, lower back, face, and palms. Some abnormality in immune system of the body is thought to be responsible for development of psoriasis.
Best treatment for acne is usually a combination of medicines to be applied on the skin and taken orally. Most commonly used topical (applied on skin) medications include Pernex Ac cream (Benzoyl Peroxide), Alene (Adapalene), Azac (Azelaic Acid), and Erytop cream (Clindamycin). Orally used medicines include Codox (Doxycycline) and Althrocin (Erythromycin). These medicines act by various mechanisms to kill bacteria causing acne and control excessive production of oil from the glands. Do not use these medications by yourself. Consult your dermatologist before using these medicines.
Although acne is a common problem in teenagers, adult people at the age of 30 to 50 years may also get acne. Acne at this age may be due to various causes including stress, hormonal changes like during menopause, and taking certain medications like corticosteroids, lithium, etc. So, consult your physician to know the root cause of your acne and get treatment accordingly.
It is not uncommon to get acne only on one side of your face that may be due to sleeping to that side, holding a cell phone to that side, etc. Polycystic ovaries (PCO) is a common hormonal problem in which women can get acne on most sensitive parts of your face like lower part of face, around mouth, and jawline. So, consult your dermatologist for proper treatment.
Usually deep and inflammatory acne containing pus cause swelling, redness, and itch. Exact cause of itch in acne is not known, but it may be because of your immune system, and release of few chemicals like histamine that cause itching. Do not try to scratch or rub your acne, it may further flare-up by doing so.
There are various useful home remedies you can try to control your acne problem, but scientific evidence for their use is lacking. Few useful practices include: 1) Wash your face and use a mild cleanser suitable for your skin 2) Use moisturizer suitable for your skin when needed 3) Lemon juice, aloe vera, honey, turmeric when applied to skin may show beneficial effect in acne 4) Drink plenty of water 5) Eat healthy diet containing proteins and vitamins and avoid high fat and high carbohydrate diet 6) Do regular exercise and try not to take extra stress
Sometimes it may be difficult to get rid of your acne scar. You can try various natural ways to prevent and treat pimple scars, but proper scientific evidence of their usefulness is lacking. These include, using baking soda paste combined with water (may be used to remove dead skin cells), applying coconut oil (natural moisturizer), cucumber (may help in healing process), lemon (known for its bleaching properties), ice cube face massage (minimizes pores), raw potatoes (contain potassium and sulfur that are good for scar healing), and olive oil (may act as an antioxidant).
Lemon juice is one the commonly used home remedy to treat acne. Lemon juice when applied to your skin may show some beneficial effects. It has antibacterial action (kills acne causing bacteria) and reduces excessive oil from the skin, but sometimes it may produce burning sensation when your skin is sensitive to it. Hence, consult your dermatologist to have proper treatment of your acne.
Exercise may be a good way to control acne formation on your skin. Exercise reduces stress which is associated with acne. Also, exercise improves blood circulation to your skin thereby helps to remove waste products from the skin. Do not miss taking shower after exercising as sweat due to exercise may also trigger acne.
There is no specific age by which one stops developing acne. During puberty there is rise in testosterone hormone that may be responsible for your acne. After the age of about 25 years hormonal levels balance and acne usually subside. There are other causes of acne also that may lead to adult acne even after puberty age. So, consult your dermatologist when you get acne.
There is no clear-cut evidence that male masturbation causes acne, but it is observed that during masturbation level of testosterone or male sex hormone rises immensely. Testosterone is responsible for excessive sebum or oil production that may give rise to acne. However, there is a rare chance that you may get acne only because of masturbation. Consult your physician to know the root cause of acne and get it treated.
Yes, it is a bad habit to pop your pimples. By doing this you are puncturing your pimple which contains bacteria, debris, oil, etc. which may spread to other areas and may enter other pores of skin giving rise to more acne. You may introduce new bacteria through your fingers making situation worse. Hence, stay away from popping out your pimples by your fingers.
Cucumbers are a rich source of Vitamins A, C, E, and amino acids. All these nutrients help in fighting the process of acne formation. The best thing about cucumbers is that you can have them without watching the portion size. So, add them to your lunch or have them as a pre-dinner snack to help your skin clear out naturally.
The red grapes and their seeds contain powerful natural chemicals and antioxidants that have been shown to treat inflammatory skin conditions. You can add them to your fruit salads or have a serving once a day to help clear out acne.
Methi is known for its antiseptic and antiinflammatory properties. Also, it has a soothing effect on the skin and has been found to be beneficial in removing acne scars. To two cups of water, add one spoon of fenugreek seeds and boil for 15 min. Strain and cool this mixture. Apply the strained mixture on your scars and leave it on for 10 to 15 min. Wash with water. You will see a difference in 7 to 10 days.
With several health and skincare benefits to its name, oats serve as a natural bleaching agent. They help to fight inflammation, brighten, and lighten the skin. Mix three spoons of oatmeal with a spoon of honey to make a face pack. Apply this and leave on for 20 to 25 min. Wash with warm water and use two to three times a week for 3 weeks to see results.
Sun exposure for even a couple of minutes may result in your skin becoming red, hot and slightly painful. People with very sensitive skins may experience blistering or even peeling. Sun exposure for prolonged time without the use of a sunscreen may also cause skin cancer. Using the right sunscreen product is your first step in lowering the chances for sunburn and prevention of skin cancer or malignant melanoma.
Sunscreens contain moisturizers and people with dry skin can readily benefit from them. People with oily skin should opt for gel based sunscreens as they are less sticky and less greasy. People with skin allergies should avoid sunscreens or use them as suggested by their doctor. People with very fair skin should always choose SPF of 30+. Darker skinned people may not feel the need to use sunscreens. However, they should still use it since it prevents sun damage, wrinkling, and risk of skin cancer.
Acne also called pimples is a common skin disease that involves the oil glands of the skin.The oil glands in your skin produce an oily substance known as sebum. The skin pores are connected to the oil glands by small tunnels called follicles. It is through these follicles that the sebum carries dead skin cells to the surface through skin pores. When the follicle of a skin gland clogs up, a pimple grows.
Acne can affect people of all age groups, but is most common in teenagers and young adults. Over 80% of people with acne are in the age group of 11 to 30 years. Some people in their 40s and 50s can still get acne.Teenage acne can last for upto 10 years, generally resolving in early 20s. Teenage acne occurs in both sexes, but is generally more severe in teenage boys. Women are more likely than men to have mild to moderate forms of acne in their 30s and beyond.
There are many dermatological procedures that can help diminish the appearance of scars. These include, 1) Soft tissue fillers: This procedure involves Injecting soft tissue fillers like collagen or fat, under the skin and into indented scars to fill them up, thereby making them less noticeable. 2) Chemical peels: These are highly potent acidic chemicals applied by skin experts to remove the top damaged layer of skin and deeper scars. 3) Dermabrasion: This procedure is usually reserved for more severe scarring. It involves sanding the surface layer of skin with a rotating brush. 4) Laser resurfacing: This procedure uses a laser to resurface the skin and therefore improve the overall skin appearance.
Fennel or saunf has been used in our country for ages to improve digestive health, but that is not the only health benefit that it has to offer. Fennel is an excellent skin cleanser and helps in reducing swelling. It also helps to flush out excess fluids and toxins from your skin. Add fennel seeds to your salads and to your cooking. You can also have a spoonful after lunch or dinner.
Colorful fruits like papayas, mangoes, and passion fruit contain high content of vitamin A, which is extremely good at fighting acne. Have a serving of these fruits 4 to 5 days a week. You can replace your cup of coffee with one of these fruits and see your pimples vanish away gradually over 3 to 4 weeks.
Deficiency of minerals like zinc and selenium may lead to acne. Nuts like almonds and walnuts are loaded with selenium, copper, zinc, Vitamin E, manganese, magnesium, potassium, calcium and iron, which are all essential for healthy skin. So, have a handful of unsalted unprocessed nuts as your mid-day snack and give your skin a punch of skin healthy minerals.
Jamun possesses certain astringent properties that prevent blackheads, pimples and acne appearing on the face. The blood purifying properties of the fruit has a brightening effect as well.
Apple cider vinegar makes a great natural toner that can act as a natural remedy for treating acne. Its antibacterial properties help keep acne under control, and the malic and lactic acids found in apple cider vinegar soften and exfoliate skin, reduce red spots, and balance the pH of your skin.
The ginger extract helps in purification of blood. Extract ginger juice and store it in a refrigerator. Mix two tablespoon of ginger juice along with two tablespoon of honey and consume every morning on an empty stomach. This helps you get rid of pimple, acne, and other skin disorders.
Acne is a skin condition that occurs due to clogged skin pores. There are different types of acne. Pustules are the type of acne that contain pus. These pustules are also known as pimples.
Acne can be removed by applying over the counter medicines such as benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid or prescription medicines. The doctor may give medicines to be taken by mouth. If the medicines do not work, then the doctor may do surgery to remove acne.
Acne usually goes away with at least 4 to 6 weeks of treatment. However, it may recur from time to time. It is important to continue treating the skin to prevent breakouts.
Acne can be cured by applying over the counter medicines such as benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid or prescription medicines. The doctor may give medicines to be taken by mouth. If the medicines do not work, then the doctor may do surgery to cure acne.
Acne can be treated at home by applying over the counter medicines such as benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. Some studies propose that the Vitamin A and zinc supplements, or tea tree oil may help treat acne, though it is still not proven.
Some studies propose that the Vitamin A and zinc supplements, or tea tree oil may help treat acne, though it is still not proven
Yes, pimples or acne are very common in young children or teenagers. This may be because of hormonal changes especially androgen or male hormone that raises during puberty. Androgen excess leads to stimulation of oil producing glands on skin followed by growth of bacteria leading to pimples.
Antibiotics are either used over the skin in the form of creams, lotions, etc. or taken orally as tablets or capsules. They are useful in clearing bacteria causing acne and also reduce inflammation. They are usually combined with some other medications in the treatment of acne to achieve better effects.
It is observed from scientific literature that people eating more fatty diet like chicken, red meat, etc. and glucose or carb are more prone to develop acne. Excessive fat lead to more sebum or oil production on the skin which accumulate in the pores of the skin and block these pore. This creates a suitable environment to grow bacteria leading to acne formation. Also, high carbohydrate diet affects hormonal levels in the body and may lead to acne.
Acne scars and spots are very common problems in people with acne and it is very challenging to treat it. You may try to prevent development of acne scars by avoiding direct sun exposure, using sunscreen lotions, not picking and squeezing your acne. There are various treatment modalities your physician may try for treating acne scars. These include cortisone creams, skin lightening creams, laser treatment, and skin fillers that fill your scar tissue.
Drinking water is a healthy habit that may be useful to prevent acne development. Increased water intake lead to flushing out of harmful toxins from your body and prevent development of acne. Also, drinking water increases your blood flow to your skin that is good for your healthy skin. So, drink plenty of water and stay healthy!!!
Yes, acne may occur few days before the beginning of menstrual bleeding. This may be because of two reasons. First, the levels of progesterone start rising during second half of the cycle. Progesterone has been found to increase sebum or oil production on your skin. This makes a good environment for bacterial growth leading to acne. Secondly, before and during menstrual bleeding, there is a relative higher levels of androgen (male sex hormone) compared to female hormones that leads to more oil production and acne.
There is no scientific evidence that chocolates are bad for your skin. It is observed that diet rich in carbohydrates or glucose and fat may lead to excessive sebum production giving rise to pimples. In fact a type of chocolates konwn as dark chocolates may not be bad at all for your skin. Dark chocolates show antioxidant property and contain less carbohydrates, so may be useful for your skin health.
Several well proved homeopathic medicines are available for the treatment of acne like Hepar sulph, Calcarea sulph, Kali bromatum, etc. Your homeopathic physician after going through detailed history, symptoms, and individual characteristics, prescribe you the most suitable homeopathic medicine. Following the proper instructions of your doctor and maintaining proper hygiene and skin care may be very helpful to get rid of acne.
Vitamin B complex is a combination of various vitamins like B1, B2, B3, B12, etc. Of various components, Vitamin B3 or niacin gel or oral tablets may be useful in acne due to its antiinflammatory property. On the other Vitamin B12 may lead to flaring up of your acne due to irritation of skin and subsequent inflammation. Vitamin D may also appear useful in treatment of acne by decreasing excessive oil from the skin. Consult your physician before starting any of the vitamin supplements.
Previously doctors used to treat acne by using radiation or X-rays to kill the pimples. Though it was an effective measure to control acne, there were major side effects due exposure to radiations especially occurrence of cancers like thyroid and breast cancer. Hence, doctors do not use radiation therapy for treatment of acne these days.
There are several natural ways to prevent and treat acne. Few important things include: 1) Avoid intake of foods with high fat or sugar content and processed foods 2) Keep your skin clean and use mild cleanser (take help of your physician in selecting cleanser suitable for your skin 3) Avoid rubbing, picking, and squeezing your acne 4) Avoid direct sunlight exposure (you can use sunscreen lotions suitable for your skin) 5) Shave carefully and try not injure your acne 6) Have a regular and good sleep (good for regeneration of your damaged skin) 7) Exercise daily to maintain good overall health as well health of your skin
Foods which contain high fat and sugar like fried foods, junk foods, pizzas, processed foods, white bread, pasta, sugary drinks like soda, sweets, etc. may be linked with development of acne. High fat content leads to excessive oil production over skin leading to acne flare-ups. High sugar diet raises your insulin level in the body that may trigger glands producing oil leading to acne.
Many medications can cause acne. Commonly used medicines leading to acne include: 1) Corticosteroids (used in many conditions) 2) Lithium (for some psychiatric illnesses) 3) Bromide and iodide (found in cough syrup) 4) Phenytoin (used to treat convulsions and fits) 5) Tetracycline, streptomycin (antibiotics) 6) Isoniazid (used in tuberculosis) 7) Thyroid hormone (used in thyroid diseases)
New research study discovered that in people with acne, skin appears to age more slowly as compared to people without acne. This may be because of a part of chromosomes that play a role in cellular aging, called telomere, appears to be longer in people with acne making the cell better protected against aging. However, more research should be carried out to confirm this association.
Steroids, which are used in many diseases and inflammations, have been implicated in causation of acne called as 'steroid acne.' Steroids act on receptors in the skin and stimulate inflammatory chemicals. They also promote growth of bacteria on the skin. These factors may induce or exacerbate existing acne.
Radiation therapy is a common treatment modality to treat various cancers. Some patients after this radiotherapy may get various skin problems including acne. The exact reason of acne after radiotherapy is not clear but it is postulated that radiations may affect quantity and composition of oil produced in the skin and may trigger inflammation leading to acne.
Many people try applying toothpaste on their face to control acne. There was a thought that chemicals in the toothpaste may help to kill bacteria in the acne, but toothpaste is not meant to be used on your skin especially your delicate skin of the face. There is no evidence that toothpaste in any way useful to treat acne or remove acne spots. In fact, it may irritate your skin and may cause redness and inflammation on your face. Hence, avoid using toothpaste on your acne.
Food containing high sugar may be bad for your skin health and may be a cause for your acne. High blood sugar level raises the level of insulin hormone. Insulin may stimulate glands that secrete sebum or oil and it also leads to growth of pore clogging cells giving rise to acne. Hence, limiting the foods containing high sugar may appear useful to prevent acne development.
There is no scientific evidence about sex clearing your acne. In some way sex improves your blood circulation to the skin and you may feel your skin is glowing. But sometimes due to increased level of male sex hormones during sexual activity it may lead to excess oil production leading to acne. Hence, best way is to consult your physician whenever you get acne to know the exact cause and get it treated accordingly.
Severe and deep acne sometimes may cause formation of holes in your skin. Nowadays it is possible to treat such holes by advanced medical treatment. Before treating holes, it is very important to treat and control your acne. Various medical modalities to treat acne include, laser treatment, acne surgery to remove holes, using synthetic fillers to fill your holes, and using some chemical peels. Your dermatologist will decide most appropriate treatment options depending on the problem.
Acne is usually a hormonal problem and many factors may be responsible in causation of acne. Exact scientific association of eggs causing acne in not well established but in few people acne get worse by eating eggs. Proteins present in egg yolk may stimulate sebum production that may lead to acne. Some people are allergic to eggs and eating eggs may make their acne worse. Egg is however a highly nutritious diet which is a part of various special diet plans. So, do not stop eating eggs without the advice of your dietitian or physician.
Pimples may develop on butts also in a similar way as pimples on your face. Blocking of skin pores due to excessive sweating or oil production may be involved in its causation. First of all you should know that these are acne only as some skin conditions like folliculitis or infection over your butt may present with acne like lesion. Treatment of butt acne is similar to that of acne over any other areas like maintaining hygiene, applying acne creams, using antibiotics, etc. Consult your physician who will diagnose your problem and treat it accordingly.
Pus in a pimple usually consists of bacteria, dead cells of skin, and oil. When you see pus in your pimple, do not try pop it as it can spread and may form new acne.
Avocado is relatively new to this part of the world, but this is one fruit with countless health benefits. It is a green fruit, rich in Vitamin E and Vitamin C. Vitamin E helps to increase the vitality of skin whereas Vitamin C helps to reduce skin inflammation and in naturally moisturizing the skin. Have a serving of this exotic fruit one to two times a week when it is in the season.
Tomatoes are not only packed with Vitamin C, they are also rich in bioflavonoids that help to repair damaged or scarred skin. Experts suggest that if you have tomatoes regularly, it will help in reducing your acne. So, have tomatoes as salads, as soup, or add them to your smoothies.
Sandalwood has cooling and soothing properties and therefore has been found to reduce inflammation and acne scars. You can prepare a paste of sandalwood powder and rose water. Apply this paste on the scars and leave overnight. Use this pack three times week for best effects.
Raw potatoes has been found to remove treat any kind of discoloration of the skin. It helps to remove acne scars, though it is a remedy that takes patience. Cut a potato into slices and rub it on the scar until the liquid from the slice is gone. Leave the potato juice on for 20 to 25 min and wash with water. Repeat three to four times a week for a couple of months to see results.
For short time sun exposure, say if you are outside only for few minutes, choose a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15. This will filters out about 93% of UV radiation. If your sunscreen is SPF 20 that means your skin, which would burn in the sun after 10 minutes, is protected for 200 minutes. SPF 30 filters out up to 97% of the sun’s UV radiation; SPF 50 filters out up to 98%. Dermatologists usually recommend using a SPF 15 or SPF 30 sunscreen. Higher SPFs do not always ensure more protection.
Kids require sun protection as much as the adults do or even more, since they play outdoors for longer hours. It is usually advised not to use sunscreens for babies less than 6 months of age. For older children, you should always use a sunscreen. Use the milder sunscreens from a reputed brand and go for those not containing zinc-oxide. Always look for a sunscreen with SPF 30 which will block both UVA and UVB rays.
Acne can present in many forms. The most common ones include: 1) Whiteheads: These are pimples that are formed under the surface of the skin. 2) Blackheads: These are pimples that erupt on to the surface of skin and are black in color. 3) Papules: These are small painful bump like eruptions on the skin. 4) Pustules: These pimples have pus collected in them and are red in color. 5) Nodules: These are large, painful, solid pimples that are deep in the skin. 6) Cysts: These deep, painful, pus-filled pimples can cause scars.
The exact cause of acne is not known. Experts suggest that there may be multiple factors that contribute to acne. These include, 1) Hormonal changes: During puberty, both boys and girls produce high levels of androgens, the male sex hormones that include testosterone. Testosterone signals the body to make more sebum. 2) Bacterial growth: Excess sebum clogs the openings to hair. Bacteria grow in these clogged follicles. This makes blackheads or whiteheads and even pustules and papules. 3) Birth control pills: Starting or stopping birth control pills can trigger acne. 4) Heredity
Some ways to care for skin if you have acne, 1) Be gentle with your skin. Use a mild cleanser in the morning and evening. Avoid scrubbing your skin as it can make your acne worse. 2) Avoid certain products, such as facial scrubs, astringents and masks, because they tend to irritate skin, which can worsen acne. Excessive washing and scrubbing also can irritate skin. 3) Refrain from touching your skin too often.People who squeeze, pinch, or pick their pimples can get scars or dark spots on their skin. 4) Shave carefully: Make it a point to soften your beard with some soap and water before applying your shaving cream. Shave lightly and only when you have to. 5) Avoid over exposure to sun:Many acne medications can make your skin prone to sunburn. 6) Choose your makeup carefully:Use oil free makeup. Look for the word 'non-comedogenic' on the label. This means that the makeup will not clog up your pores.
Garlic is known for its antiinflammatory properties. It contains a chemical called allicin. Allicin acts as a natural antimicrobial and kills bacteria and viruses that can worsen acne. Add garlic to your daily cooking or have one to two cloves of crushed garlic daily to help your skin heal naturally.
This might sound strange but fish help in clearing acne and pimples. Fish is an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids and omega 6 fatty acids. These fatty acids help in reducing inflammation which in turn prevents clogging of pores which leads to acne. Fish like salmon, mackerel are great to reduce acne as well as skin blemishes. Have fish one to two times in a week. It is best to opt for grilled or boiled to get the maximum benefits.
Some effective homeopathic medicines that you can use, 1) Sulphur 30C: Sulfur covers nearly all types of acne small, big, pustular or cystic. So in many cases it can be the first choice. Dosage would be 2 times a day till symptoms disappear. 2) Pulsatilla 30C: It is indicated for young girls suffering from acne with menstrual difficulties. The dosage would be twice a day for a week. 3) Hepar sulpur 30C: It is very effective in people with acne along with pus or in cystic form. The dosage is three times a day till symptoms disappear. 4) Kali Bromatum 200C: Effective in itchy pimples on the face, chest and shoulder, blackheads, pustules with a depressed center with burning pain. It also helps in removal of scars left after cure of acne. Dosage would be once in 15 days for about 2 months.
Being a natural detoxifier, it acts as a purifying agent for our blood and enables it to carry more oxygen thereby imparting a healthy glow to our skin. Alongside, it also acts as a powerful antioxidant and prevents the onset of zits, acne and pimples.
Mint is known for its anti-bacterial and antiinflammatory properties. The antioxidants present in mint leaves improve skin texture and moisturize dull and dry skin. Mint has a high content of salicylic acid which helps prevent pimples, blemishes and even helps get rid of blackheads.

Articles