Acne – Definition, Causes, Complications and Treatment

Introduction

Acne is a chronic skin disease of hair follicles of the face, chest, neck, shoulders, and back occurs commonly in all teenagers and in some adults during their puberty period. It causes pimples, blackheads, and scars, but not serious. Our skin has tiny pores, which can be occluded by dirt, oil, dead skin cells and bacteria. When this happens pimples or zit may develop on the skin. Repetitions of pore obstruction on the skin may lead to acne.  It begins when the oily substance from the sebaceous glands (oil gland) under the skin blocks the tiny openings of the hair follicles.

Acne can appear in several types.

  • Blackheads: If the pore size is larger then the clog appears as blackheads, a small flat spot with its centers as dark in color. In this type, pimples rise on the surface and are non-inflammatory.
  • Whiteheads: If the pore size too small then the clog appears in the form of whiteheads. This type of a pimple stay under the skin surface and this type is also non-inflammatory acne.
  • Cysts: It is a deep, white pus-filled centers and painful pimple which results in scar and red lesions.
  • Nodules: It is an inflammatory, large, and firm pimple deep within the skin having a half centimeters in its diameter. This type of a pimple makes painful lesions and scar.
  • Papules: Small and tender bumps, which is pink in color and elevated on the skin.
  • Pustules: Small inflammatory blister which is pus-filled and is elevated on the skin.

History

In the mid-5th to mid-6th century, ancient Greece, the earliest description of pimples seemed inside the writings of the Byzantine physician Aetius Amidenus.

The word pimples seem to have developed from the Greek phrase acme, this means that “point or spot.” from the historical facts, each Hippocrates (460–370 B.C) and Aristotle (384–322 B.C) were aware of this illness.

Until the 1800s, humans did not find out any extra useful remedies against zits and have constantly used sulfur due to the fact they noticed it can dry and exfoliate the skin.

1920’s – Benzoyl Peroxide is used

1930’s – Laxatives were used to cure for ‘chastity pimples’

1950’s – When antibiotics were discovered, they had found beneficial effects on acne. Initially, it was administered orally.

1960’s – Tretinoin (Retin A) was found to be effective for acne. This paved the way to develop oral isotretinoin (Accutane and Roaccutane) since the early 1980s.

1980’s – Accutane is established in America

1990’s – Laser treatment was discovered

2000’s – Blue/red light therapy was used

Occurrence

About 85% of human beings between the ages of 12 and 24 experience at least minor pimples. Globally, acne influences approximately 650 million human beings, or about nine.4% of the populace, as of 2010. It impacts almost 90% of human beings in western societies at some stage in their teenage years, however, can occur earlier than youth and might persist into adulthood. Whilst acne that first develops between them a long time of 21 and 25 is unusual, it impacts 54% of women and 40% of guys older than 25 years of age

Causes

  • Acne is caused by few problems that arise during the lubrication process in the skin. These artifacts can occur when:
  1. The largest amount of oil is secreted by hair follicles
  2. Accumulation of dead cells in the pores
  3. Bacteria occupy the pores in the skin
  • When the dirt and bacteria are occluded in the pores, secreted oil is unable to come out thus a pimple or zit is formed over the pores.
  • Acne also occurs when the sebaceous (oil) gland under hair follicles are stimulated during the puberty period and also because of other hormonal changes.
  • When an inflammatory pus-filled cyst or blister ruptures, the fluid comes out and it spreads into the adjacent surfaces of skin. The bacteria and dirt in the pus cause the growth of another pimple adjacent to the existing pimples.
  • The weakened immune system also plays a major role in invading of bacteria into the pores of the skin.
  • Androgen is a male hormone, which regulates the secretion of oil in the sebaceous glands. Androgen levels are raised when the adolescence begins.
  • Rising in levels of androgen causes the oil glands under the skin to grow larger. Thus the enlarged oil glands start to secrete more amount of sebum (oil). Excessive oil causes rupture of the cell walls in the pore and thereby bacteria invade easily into the pores.
  • The family history of acne. When the parents are more prone to acne in their adolescence, then there are chances of getting acne to their offspring.

Risk factors

There are various risk factors leads to cause of acne:

  • A medication that contains high androgen, barbiturates, corticosteroids, and lithium
  • Birth control pills
  • Cosmetics that are too much greasy
  • Hormonal changes during mensuration in women
  • Mental stress cannot cause acne but if you have acne earlier stress may make it worse
  • A diet rich in refined sugars or carbs and oil
  • Exposure to highly polluted environment
  • Too much dandruff on the scalp
  • Excessive washing of the face can dry and irritate the skin
  • Occupation in industrial locations wherein exposure to halogenated aromatic hydrocarbons
  • Use of dirty or rusted razors also at risk of developing acne
  • Touching or pricking the pimples of other persons
  • Friction, stress or pressure on the skin
  • Age between 12 and 24
  • Picking or squeezing the existing pimples or zits

Symptoms

Symptoms vary depending on the severity of the acne condition:

  • Blackheads (open pores that contain oil, when its exposed to air it turns into brown)
  • Whiteheads (closed plugged pores)
  • Cystic lesions (present under the surface of the skin, which is filled with pus and it is painful)
  • Nodules ( Large, solid, painful lumps beneath the surface of the skin)
  • Pimples (pustules) which are papules with pus in tips
  • Small red, tender bumps (papules)

Whiteheads acne

Blackheads acne

Complications of acne

Acne will get rid of as you get older. Scarring may happen if acne goes severe. It can be permanent, but over a long time, it can improve.

Scarring: One in five people with acne will get scarring. Scarring may increase due to picking squeezing or spots. Scars can be ice pick or broader pockmarks. First, it will be purple in color before it fades to a whitish color; sometimes ‘keloid’ (firmer lumpy) scars may develop on your skin.

Hyperpigmentation: It usually occurs in dark skin tone. Skin becomes darker in the affected area.

Physiological problems: Acne may create physiological problems such as anxiety or making you feel depressed. For example, if people commenting on your acne can affect your self-confidence. Talk to your general practitioner if you feel depressed or low.

Difference between whiteheads and blackheads

Diagnosis and test

Mostly dermatologist can diagnose acne by examining the affected skin. Your doctor may ask several questions that are aimed at diagnosis of acne and to find out other skin disorders. Some of the questions include.

  • Drug allergies, which faced before
  • Use of steroids (e.g. body-building)
  • Depression or mood swing
  • Medications were taken for other diseases that may affect your skin that cause acne
  • Eczema or area of sensitive skin
  • Irregular menstrual periods in women, use of contraceptives, breastfeeding, and past or present pregnancy

In some other cases, acne can develop some other related skin disorders, such as rosacea. This information will be helpful for the doctor as an informed diagnosis.

Treatment and medications

The main goal of the treatment is to reduce or to eliminate the outbreaks and to prevent scarring. Your doctor may give treatment based on your severity of your condition. Initially, for some people, treatment may worsen your condition. Based on the condition, treatment should be given minimal for two to three months before deciding the treatment is effective.

There are varieties if excellent medications are available such as follows:

Benzoyl peroxide: It kills bacteria on the skin surface. It can be applied once or twice a day to work against pustules. It should not be used near eyes and mouth thought it will be irritating to those two areas. If it is used excessively, it causes dryness and redness of the skin.

Accutane (Isotretinoin): It is the most aggressive therapy for acne.  It has severe side effects so it is reversed for severe cases that are resistant to other treatments. It mainly reduces oil production and it keeps gland clear by cell shedding.

Oral and topical antibiotics:

Doxycycline, Erythromycin, and Minocycline are commonly used antibiotics. It kills bacteria that cause inflammation and are useful when acne is inflamed and increased.

Retina A: It helps to clear glands and limits whiteheads and blackheads from evolving.

Prevention

  • Daily wash your face twice a day with an oil-free and water-based cleanser. Avoid vigorous washing that worsens acne and it damages skin surface
  • Don’t squeeze or pick pimples because that may cause skin scar, swelling or it may worsen the acne
  • The common side effects of acne are skin peeling and dryness. This can be prevented by using moisturizer
  • Keep your hair clean and prevent it from touching the face and hands
  • Wash your sheets once a week because sweat and dirt are on sheets may cause acne development
  • Wear loose clothes to prevent sweating that may cause skin breakouts
  • Use products that labeled as water-based or non-noncomedogenic
  • Many acne treatments increase sensitivity towards sunlight, so wear fully closed cloths or sunscreen lotions

 

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88 comments

  1. I have seen some people who had suffered from acne with severe scars on their faces, what can be used to remove the scars if any at all

    • Refer medications that are mentioned in treatment section in post. Consult dermatologist so that based on the severity of acne doctor will prescribe medications.

  2. Last year i intake protein supplement and after that several pimples as same as like picture whiteheads,cysts,pustules occurerd on my face now it become more worse.whenever i ate eggs next day again 2-3 pimple occured on face so now what type of diet i take

    • If you believe that eggs are making your acne worse, try cutting them out of your diet for four to six months to see if it makes a difference. Because meat products such as non-organic eggs come from poultry that are fed hormones, which disrupts hormonal activity in your body. This poultry also receives antibiotics, which interferes with the balance of bacteria in your intestines. Intestinal bacteria may play a role in acne, according to a study published in the journal “Gut Pathogens” in January 2011.

  3. what is the way out

    • Please follow the treatment under proper physician guidance and try to prevent the condition earlier by the preventive steps that are given in the post.

  4. so how can I get rid of that pimple

    • The emergency zit treatment in drugstores such as extra-strong solution of salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or benzoyl peroxide. they help to reduce inflammation and dry up the pimple, keep in mind they are not meant to be used on your whole face, just the zit itself.

  5. I have the combination of the black head, white head and cyst, what should I use

    • Do some home remedies and see whether it is getting normal within 6 months. If not go to dermatologist for the treatment.
      1. Aloe vera – Scrape the gel from an aloe plant out with a spoon, and apply to acne. You can also buy aloe gel from health-food stores—just make sure it’s pure aloe, with no added ingredients.
      2. Lemon – On a clean face, dab acne with a cotton ball or cotton swab dipped in lemon juice, then rinse with cool water.
      3. Omega-3 fatty acids – Maintain your diet with rich omega-3 fatty acid foods.

  6. I’m dark in complexion please I wish to know the product I can apply in my face for pimple a product that won’t change the complexion of my face.

    • Apply aloe vera thrice a week to maintain your complexion. You can use natural aloe vera or aloe vera gel that is available in pharmacy. make sure your aloe vera gel from pharmacy is pure without any additional ingredients.

  7. can acne or pimple be cured after the age of 25years?

  8. can someone contact acne or pimples through sex.

    • Yes, when a person is in contact with their partner’s facial hair and sweat during the period of sex causes transmission of acne.

  9. i want Best medicine’s of acne

  10. I have used Adelen nano gel, glocin and also benzoyl peroxide but while using these cream my skin is become black i lost my fair colour because using these cream. I have many scars on my face and also acne can you suggest me which antibiotic are good for me except those creams

    • To overcome the acne please follow natural remedies like aloe vera face mask. Use the natural aloe vera leaf, remove the gel from the leaf apply it on your face for half hour. follow this remedy for 2 months then definitely you will find a changes on your face. even then if your acne is not healing get a help from dermatologist.

  11. I have used clindamycin1%, benzoyl peroxide, glocin, Adelen, epidue, these all creams are effected me badly and because these cream i have lost my fair colour they gave me blackish skin colour.. Now i have wheat type skin colour and also i have many scars on my skin. Can you suggest me something to prevent these whitehead, blackhead Acne and scars.. these all cream i have used by consultion of doctor but it effect me badly

    • Do some home remedies and see whether it is getting normal within 6 months. If not go to dermatologist for the treatment.
      1. Aloe vera – Scrap the gel from an aloe plant out with a spoon, and apply to acne. You can also buy aloe gel from health-food stores—just make sure it’s pure aloe, with no added ingredients.
      2. Lemon – On a clean face, dab acne with a cotton ball or cotton swab dipped in lemon juice, then rinse with cool water.
      3. Omega-3 fatty acids – Maintain your diet with rich omega-3 fatty acid foods.

  12. Thank very much for provide this kind of education,In real i get more things which i was don’t know many year ago,
    When i was at school i was tried to found this Subtopic but i doesn’t get it!
    I learning more and more and i educated but the challenge comes to the issue of to get that medicine coz it’s my First time to see this kind of medicine,so how can i get this medicine and also among of factor that you have mention i saw the environment factor so on how environment factor cauase acne???

    • Environmental factors like diet, stress, makeup, and even humidity can lead to more breakouts. Exposure to air pollution, industrial chemicals and waste also provokes acne. the drugs which are mentioned in the blog are generally available in pharmacy.

  13. I have tried all medicines mentioned but its seem my acnes are due to imbalance of hormone because I have facial hair,and also hairs in the chest but before that I had none.I was recommended to use spironolactine it helped me for the months that I was told to use when I repeated the same medication it didn’t work.what medication can I use against acnes because they embarrass me and I loose confidence when a person tries to face me

  14. can one use sperms to cure pimples.

    • Taking sperm face treatment can decrease acne problems. Minerals, nutrients, vitamins, proteins, anti-oxidants present in sperm can make more goodness for skin. Sperm kills acne causing bacteria and guards skin beautifully. Doing sperm facial good for acne and it is the best natural remedy to stop pimples.

  15. In my own case I do experience migraine. I’ve tried other medications like lemon, aloe vera, sulfur. what medication will eliminate it permanently. I’m tired of the embarrassment it has caused me. I’m fair in complexion, so the dark spot appeared visibly. I’m ashamed to come out most often.

  16. Useful information! thanks for your help!

  17. Abdurrahman Hafiz Garba

    What is the medicine of acne to prevent your face

  18. I have it on my face and still same…im pissed

  19. name of bacteria which cause acen

    • Propionibacterium acnes is a tiny microbe that lives in the oily region of the skin’s pores. The bacteria can aggravate an immune response which causes red, swollen bumps to develop on the skin (acne).

  20. l have sun burn in my face.what should l do to make them disappear from my face.your help plz

    • To get rid of sunburn fast, immediately take a cool shower, treat the burn with aloe or a deep moisturizer, and keep your skin hydrated by drinking more water in the days that follow; use other home treatments, like cold compresses, moistened/cooled tea bags, and pain relievers, as needed to ease discomfort and promote healing.

  21. I’m suffering from keloids at the pubic level. after infiltration it still come back. any natural remedy for this? or how can I combat this

  22. I am facing nodular pimples and scares please suggest the treatment

  23. I have sunburn on my face what can i use to disappear

  24. please help me..how can i do to eliminate blackspots all over my body?

  25. i tried aloe and lemon,all sot of cream but in vain..please give me a remedy which will remove this mess..i am 19years old ans i am dark un complexion.

  26. thanks this information was very educative and helpful

  27. how can we apply the sperms on the face to kill the acne

  28. mine is like a hair type that is always white and it developed on my face. ls that also a pimples

  29. shriya singh thakuri

    what it out from the whitehead ache and blackheadache can you give me a suggestion for the out of pimple. …which medicine can be used. ..

  30. Princess Karina

    I have Ance what do I do

    • please follow the instruction which is given in the post and also consult a doctor to get rid of this problem.

  31. I have pimples what should I use so that the pimples will go

  32. I am using several products to remove the pimples and acne but it doesn’t work what should I use

  33. My pimples itchy too much and it’s been 5-6years just suffering and they look like “whiteheads”what should I use to make them disappear completely?

  34. over six years have been having Whitehead acne and blackhead acne and I have try many medicine even go to hospitals, and am up to 26yeas old now pls help me out

  35. charles khondowe

    mmmmh this is interesting i will try to consult the doctir because i have suffered from this problem for some time

  36. l will like to know the dosage of Retina A as a one of remedies of Acne please

    • Retin-A Gel or Cream should be applied once a day, before retiring, to the skin where acne lesions appear, using enough to cover the entire affected area lightly. Gel: Excessive application results in “pilling” of the gel, which minimizes the likelihood of overapplication by the patient.

  37. I face many problems on my face due to acne , pimples, then the area automatically changed into a large black spot.what can I do?

  38. i have both whiteheads and black heads, i have used alot of medicines, but it seems that the skin is getting more worse, if i use aloe vera how long will it take for the acne to disappear and will it remove the scars or?????

  39. how do I remove dark spots with out blushing

  40. I am dark in complexion and have dark spots all over my face and I want to cure it without lightening my face.

  41. I’ve been suffering with pimples right from my head, face and chest .And certain part of my body too , please coach me on how to deal with that, thank you.

  42. Omar Abdullahi Omar

    I have acne problem in 3 days my skin is oily skin what can i do?

  43. Omar Abdullahi Omar

    please help me iam student iam shying my face

  44. I my face the acna gone
    but some signs are

  45. My skin was burned when cooker blast I was making pulse… This incident was happened before many years … I had shown with some doctors but no profit…
    In summer time my skin get red and irrigates and get jealous… and It get red normally… so…there is any remedy…for that…??

  46. how to remove the blackheads at the age of 19 for men

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