Introduction to Acne
Acne is a disease of the skin which is not fatal. Acne is seen more on the face and face is the first appearance of the person, so it gives an embarrassing feeling to the sufferer. Thus people try to get rid of this condition. Acne is seen in both the genders male as well as female. Teenagers and adults both suffers from acne but teenagers are affected more commonly from this condition. The period of acne’s extreme possibility is during puberty or say about sixteen to seventeen years in female and seventeen to nineteen years in male. Generally, when a person reaches to the age of twenty-five to twenty-nine, acne get disappear or heal itself but in some, even after that age, it remains and needs medical treatment to get relieve from acne.
Definition of Acne
Acne Vulgaris is a medical term given to acne. Acne is an inflammatory disease involving the sebaceous glands (which are responsible to secrete sebum) of the skin; characterized by papules (small, solid elevated lesion of the skin) or pustules (which contains puss) or comedones (a plug of sebum, when closed it is known as white head and when it is opened it is known as black head).
Normally this sebum comes out with perspiration and moistens the skin and thus, protects the skin.
Types of Acne
Acne is classified in two major types; those are
1. Inflammatory- An inflammation or swelling is seen and so known as inflammatory type of Acne. It is again classified into two sub-types.
* Pustules- pustules contains puss and is commonly known as pimples or zit. The process of its formation takes couple of days as WBC or white blood corpuscles goes into broken wall of follicles. Pustules are the result of unhealed Papules.
* Papules- Papule is a small, solid elevated lesion of the skin or an inflamed lesion of the skin, it occurs when WBC or white blood corpuscles goes into broken follicular wall. It is tender to touch; it may be large or small. It may further cause pustule if not healed.
2. Non-inflammatory- No inflammation or swelling seen and hence called as non-inflammatory type of Acne. It is also classified into again two sub-types.
* White heads- It is a small plug of sebum. Its orifice is closed and only white spot is seen. This is known as white heads. White heads gives rise to black heads if not paid attention on time.
* Black heads- It is a small plug of sebum whose orifice is open. Due to skin pigment or due to accumulation of dirt along with sebum, it gives black color and hence known as black heads. Papules are the result of black heads and further pustules.
Symptoms and signs of Acne
* Acne is commonly seen on face. But it can also be seen on back, chest, neck, arms, buttocks and legs, except palms and soles.
* Another important change you’ll find is formation of comedones, which can be open (black heads) or closed (white heads).
* Most important sign is formation of papules or cyst or pustules from comedones and commonly known as pimples or zit.
* There is increase in sebum (The oily secretion of the sebaceous glands, with perspiration it moistens and protects the skin) excretion.
* Skin becomes more oily and greasy from normal one.
Causes of Acne
* Acne worsens in stress and premenstrual period due to hormonal changes and imbalance. According to Ayurveda, acne during menstruation is due to heat in the body.
* Acne is aggravated due to food that you eat, like milk products, nuts, fats, fried and oily foods, chocolate, hydrogenated oils and sugar, liver, cheese, iodized salt, crabs, etc.
* Some foods like eggs; papaya, etc are allergic to some people which in turn results in acne.
* Constipation also causes acne. If your bowels are not regular, poor digestion of oil and it leads to acne.
* Dirty hair and scalp with dandruff are also responsible for the formation of acne, so it is must to keep hair and scalp clean.
* Emotional disorder can disturb digestive and endocrine functions, leading to inefficient digestion of oils and potential increase in skin oil, which in turn, cause acne.
* Heredity plays an important role in case of acne. The causative factor from the genes of father and blood of mother comes to their children and causes acne.
* Insufficient sleep is also responsible for development of acne so it is must to have complete sleep.
* Over usage of cosmetics, which are made up of harmful chemicals, creates skin complaints like acne and others.
* Pinching pimples increases inflammation and worsen the condition as pimples are mixture of oil (sebum) and dead skin cells.
* Several drugs including contraceptive pills and corticosteroids are also responsible to produce acne as it makes hormonal imbalance.
* Usage oil based cosmetics. Excessive oil gets mixed with dead skin cells and forms acne. So try to avoid more usage of oily cosmetics.
* Hormones are an important aspect to be seen in case of acne. Acne is seen more during adolescence or puberty. Here hormone Testosterone is responsible for the condition of acne, this hormone is produced by both the genders male and female.
* Improper removal of the dirt from the face. Proper washing of the face is very important, as dirt when accumulates along with sebum under the skin, it causes pimples.
How to get rid of Acne
There are many way to avoid the acne condition and to get rid of acne. One of this is to avoid certain foods that cause the pimples. These foods include fried foods, fatty foods, junk foods, spicy foods and nuts. Milk products may also cause the acne condition. Another imp thing is hygiene condition. It is most important factor to get rid of acne and for this, one has to wash the face properly. The dandruff on the head may also give rise to acne. They block the normal openings of the skin on the face and hence, produce acne.
Don’t ever try to squeeze or pinch the pimple as doing this will be like bowing seeds for other pimples. Another thing is to be kept in mind is doing the make-up. Try to avoid oil based cosmetics and other muddy cosmetics. Try to replace them with herbal cosmetics, which are considered to be safer for the skin. Some of the medicines like oral contraceptive pills may produce pimples. If they are so, one should give up taking that and should find any other alternatives.
Researches reveal that certain mental condition may also contribute producing the acne in a significant manner. Stress, tension and anxiety are well known factors producing acne. Taking sufficient sleep and being in happy mood may help reducing the acne. Acne are not to be covered tightly, they are to be given a fresh air and are to be covered gently when you need to go outside. Try to keep pimples away from pollution, dirt and dusty atmosphere.
We usually think of acne as a teenage problem-as though pimples and blackheads appear just in time for the school ball or festival, and then disappear for the rest of your life. But acne can strike at any age. Doctors estimate that 5 percent of adults will have acne outbreaks at some time during their lives.
Your skin is packed with tiny oil producing glands called sebaceous glands. Periodically these glands produce large amounts of oil, which can block the opening, or ducts, of the glands. When the oil can’t get out, pressure builds. The walls of the ducts begin to swell, forming pimples.
The sebaceous glands are influenced by a hormone that is the reason why acne often appears during the teenage years (from 13 to 19 years). But it can also be caused by hormonal fluctuations later in life-due to the menstrual cycle, for example, or to birth-control pills. People who are taking steroids for medical problems will also sometimes develop acne. Even the regular use of makeup or suntan oil, which can block pores, may cause an eruption.
You can’t always prevent acne, but there are ways to keep those unsightly blemishes at bay.
Here are the few tips:
Keep your skin clean. Since acne is often caused by blocked pores, keeping your skin clean is one of the best ways to help prevent it. Wash your face once or twice a day with soap and warm water. Gentle washing is all that’s required-pores easily unclog with a soft touch. Avoid using too much pressure or washing with harsh, abrasive cleansers, which will make the problem worse by irritating the skin.
Take direct action . For mild acne, over the counter products containing benzoyl peroxide can be very helpful. These topical products cause the skin to peel slightly, releasing trapped oils and bacteria and helping the inflammation heal.
Go easy on the make up . Covering your skin with large amounts of makeup will clog pores, trap oils and make it easier for pimples to form. To keep pores open, it’s best to use makeup sparingly. It’s also a good idea to use water-based make up that are easily remove with gentle washing.
Let nature take its course . Even though pimples will go away on their own, it’s easy to get impatient and give them a squeeze to hurry things along. But squeezing pimples can force the material in them deeper under your skin, which leads to infection, inflammation, and possibly scarring. This is why doctors recommend you leave your skin alone.
Stay on top of stress . There’s little scientific evidence that stress causes acne, yet most people notice that pimples do tend to flare up during stressful periods before a wedding, for example, or when preparing for a job interview. You can’t completely eliminate stress, but there are ways to keep it from leaving its mark on your skin. Greeting regular exercise, meditating, or simple getting out to a movie now and then will help keep your whole body, including your skin, much healthier.
Eat well . Despite what you always hear, chocolate, French fries, and other high fat foods don’t cause acne. But research suggests that foods high in iodine such as fish, may contribute to acne outbreaks. The same is true of salty foods such as potato chips. It isn’t necessary; to revamp your entire diet when you’re tying to control acne. But eating less “junk” may make a difference. It’s also important to eat simple, healthy foods, like whole grain breads, fruits, vegetables, and legumes. Foods that are high in fiber can help regulate hormone levels, which will help keep your complexion clear.