Health and Wellness

Acne-The Chronic and Inflammatory Skin Problem

Acne is a Chronic and Inflammatory Problem of Skin
Written by Banani Chakraborty

Acne is a Chronic and Inflammatory skin problem

Actually, signs of acne are pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, lumps and cysts.

Acne- The Chronic and Inflammatory Skin Problem

What is Acne?

It comes out when our hair follicles become capped with oil and dead skin cells

Although it may occur at any age, it mainly occurs due to the overactivity of sebaceous glands. Moreover, it is not dangerous for health, but it may leave spots on the skin.

 What Causes Acne?

what is acne ?

source google image

Sebum (oil) is a natural lubricant that protects our skin.  When this oil production increases, skin cells make some necessary changes to close the follicular pore.

First, this plug appears as a whitehead and remains cover by a thin layer of skin. Then it turns to “blackhead” as it is exposed to the air and becomes darker.

Thereafter, it gradually enlarges and produces a bump. When the wall breaks, irritating bodies and skin bacteria enter deep into it and start inflammation.

Finally, it may be a pustule or pimple or cyst which is one type of it.

Four Key Factors of Acne:

  • Bacteria.
  • Surplus oil production.
  • Excess activity of androgens hormone.
  • Blockage of hair follicles with dead cells of skin and oil.

Acne Affected Areas:

It affected areas are the face, forehead, neck, chest, upper arms, shoulders, and upper back. Indeed, these parts of our skin possess the most sebaceous glands. As a matter of fact, these oil glands are connected with these hair follicles.

Some Facts on it:

Below are some facts regarding acne.

  1. To tell the truth, it occurs in those parts of the body where sebaceous glands are concentrated.
  2. Most importantly, 25% of acne starts at the time of adulthood or teenage.
  3. It is generally a skin problem which involves our oil glands beneath our hair follicles.
  4. It normally affects 6-7 people out of 10 in between 12-30 years of age.
  5. Although, it is not risky, it can leave permanent skin scars.
  6. Besides, stress, our diet, pregnancy and even friction from clothes are also responsible.
  7. Chocolate intake can aggravate acne
  8. Doctor consult or treatment requires only on the severity and persistence of it.
  9. Risk factors are stress, anxiety, genetically-background, irregular menstrual cycle, hot and humid climates, using too much oil-based makeup, and habit of squeezing pimples.

Symptoms of Acne:

Symptoms and signs of acne differ on the severity of it:

  • Whiteheads – plugged pores remain closed.
  • Blackheads – plugged pores remain open.
  • Papules-small red, tender bumps.
  • Pimples- pus at its tips.
  • Nodules- painful, solid and large lumps below the facade of the skin Cystic lesions-painful, pus-filled lumps underneath the surface of the skin

Factors that Trigger/ Aggravate it:

The following factors may worsen our acne:

  • Hormones -As androgens hormones increase in male and female during teenage, so our sebaceous glands enlarge and secrete more sebum.

Moreover, hormonal changes also can affect sebum production due to pregnancy. Added to this, is the uncontrolled usage of the oral contraceptives.

Furthermore, lower circulation of androgens in women blood can deteriorate it.

Hormonal Factors for it:

Although a range of factors can worsen acne, the main reason is the rise in the androgen hormone levels.

Actually, the androgen hormone level increases when puberty begins. In women, this hormone changes into the female hormone estrogen.

As the oil glands below the skin start to grow with the increase of androgen level in our body, the inflamed glands start to secrete more sebum.

As a result, too much sebum is able to break down our cellular walls in the pores of the skin and help bacteria to grow and finally may turn into acne.

  • Certain medicines- Drugs which contain lithium, testosterone or corticosteroids.
  • Diet: However, foods rich in carbohydrate may deteriorate acne. These foods include chip, bagel, bread and skim milk. In all honesty, they may aggravate acne. Besides, people suspect that chocolate harms acne.
  • Stress: As a matter of fact, stress can also affect adversely on acne.

 How Acne Develops:

People generally believe that the below-stated factors have hardly any influence acne.

Oily foods:  At the first place, fatty food has hardly any effect on it.

As we work in a kitchen with oil and fry vats, the oil may stick to our skin. Consequently, it can block the hair pores or follicles. Therefore, it may later irritate the skin or causes acne.

  • Hygiene: Secondly, dirty skin is not a cause of acne.

In fact, we cleanse dirty skin with harsh chemical soaps or rub it too hard. As a result, it may irritate the skin. Moreover, it can degrade acne.

  • Cosmetics: Cosmetics normally do not worsen acne. At first, we will use makeups which are oil-free. Moreover, we will remove them regularly. Only then it will not aggravate the acne.

Risk Factors:

  • Age: Although, teenagers are mainly prone to acne, people of any age can have it.
  • Hormonal changes: Most importantly, hormonal changes are a common phenomenon in adolescence. Moreover, women at the time of pregnancy, menstruation and menopause. Further, hormonal changes may occur to the people who are using certain medications. They include those which contain androgens, lithium or corticosteroids.
  • Family history: Besides, genetics also play a vital role in it. If acne is our hereditary, then there is every possibility of it in us.
  • Oily or greasy particles: If our skin comes in touch with creams and lotions or with the greasy workplace, like a kitchen with fry vats.
  • Pressure or friction on skin: It may happen from helmets or telephones and cell phones, backpacks and tight collars.
  • Stress: Stress normally is not the source of acne. If we are already facing it, then stress may aggravate it.

Home Remedies of Acne:

home remedies of acne

Source google image

Though there are many home remedies that give good result against it, they are not clinically supported.

Diet: Although it is not clear the role of diet to worsen acne, scientists say people who are consuming low glycemic food containing good amount of vitamins A and E and zinc have minimum risk of severe acne.

Tea-tree oil: Tea-tree oil is helpful to treat mild to moderate acne.

Tea: Polyphenols in tea, may be helpful to lower sebum secretion and therefore, minimizing acne.

Moisturizers: Moisturizers with aloe Vera can calm the skin and thereby helping to reduce it.

Causes of Acne:

To tell the truth, the pores of our skin are well connected to the oil glands under our skin. Moreover, follicles are connecting the glands with the pores. Actually, these follicles are small bags which produce and secrete liquid.

Indeed, these glands secrets sebum. In the first place, this liquid is oily. As a matter of fact, it carries out defunct skin cells to the surface of the skin. It takes the help of the follicles. As a result, a small hair grows there out of the skin.

If these follicles anyhow get blocked, pimples start to grow and oil gradually builds up beneath the skin. Right order of using skincare products may lessen acne development process.

Thereafter, skin cells, hair and sebum all bunch together and form a plug. Bacteria may infect these plug. As a result, there may be swelling.

However, a pimple begins to build up when this plug starts to collapse.

Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) bacteria exist on the skin. Moreover, it adds to the infection of pimples.

The frequency and severity of acne depend on the strain of this bacteria.

But, remember there is one strain of bacteria that also helps to keep the skin pimple-free.

Other Potential Aggravators or Triggers or Boosters:

Some studies suggest that hereditary issues may boost risk.

Other Causes are:

    •  lithium and androgen based medicines.
    •  oily cosmetics.
    •   hormonal changes
    •  emotional stress
    •  menstruation

Treatment of Acne:

Most importantly, treatment of it depends on the severity and persistence of acne.

There are a variety of creams and gels available in the market to treat acne, and some of them are very effective and you can get flawless skin.

In fact, we can treat mild acne with the help of gels, soaps, pads, creams and lotions available in the market.

Actually, lotions and creams are good for sensitive skin and alcohol-free gels help to dry the skin and soothe the oily skin. You can also use rosewater as a natural toner.

Types of Acne:

Acne and pimples differ in size and colour and level of pain. They may be the following types:

    •   Blackheads: Black and easily visible and come out on the surface of the skin
    •  Whiteheads: small and stay below the skin
    •  Cysts: painful and clearly visible and filled with pus and cause scars
    •   Papules: small and pink bumps, on the skin
    •  Nodules: large, solid, clearly visible and painful pimples, rooted deep in the skin
    •  Pustules: Clearly visible and red at their base and have pus at the top

Acne Management and Prevention tips:

  • Do not massage the skin or break the pimples.
  • Do not crack pimples, as this makes blemish.
  • Avoid touching the face.
  •  Wash face maximum twice daily with warm water and mild soap suitable for acne.
  •   Use the telephone away from the face.
  •  Wash hands before using lotions, creams and makeup.
  • Use clean spectacles day.
  • Use suitable makeup for sensitive skin and stay away from oil-based products. Must remove makeup before sleeping
  •   If acne is on the back, shoulders, or chest, always wear loose clothing.
  •  Use sharp safety razors for shaving. Before using shaving cream soften the beard and face with warm soapy water.
  • Keep hair clean and do not use greasy hair products.
  • Minimize too much sun exposure.
  •  Live anxiety and stress-free life.
  • Less sweating.

Most importantly, acne and pimples are very annoying and irritating. Nobody likes scars and spots on the face. So, we must try to restrain the problem as and when we will first see the signs, and deal with the situation with as little pain and discomfort as possible.

Hope it will help you a great deal and lead a happy life.


About the author

Banani Chakraborty

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