What is acne?
Acne is a very common skin disorder that usually appears at the onset of puberty. It is caused by the inflammation of small sebaceous glands that surround the hair on the face and chest. It appears mainly in puberty and adolescence. In most people acne tends to disappear around the age of 25, but there are very sensitive people who can continue to a later age.
Hormonal changes related to menstrual period and pregnancy can contribute to the development of acne. Similarly, environmental irritants such as pollution, intense heat, humidity or cold are also conditioning factors.
What Causes Acne?
During puberty increases the production of male sex hormones (androgens) in both boys and girls. These hormones stimulate the sebaceous glands, producing greater amounts of fat. In some people, the sebaceous glands are extremely sensitive to androgens. These people can develop a very serious acne that requires medical treatment.
Due to androgens, the sebaceous glands produce more sebum. Simultaneously a narrowing of the channel through which this one must leave, preventing its expulsion to the outside.
When these sebaceous glands are infected by the usual bacteria of the skin (Propionebacterium acnes) that feed on the sebum itself or fat, is when the appearance of small pimples or pimples, which are the characteristic of this process. These bacteria eliminate a series of waste products that are irritating to the sebaceous glands, which causes their inflammation.
Can it be cured?
Acne does not heal completely, but it can be controlled. It is advisable to avoid:
Very humid environments with chemicals
Some fatty cosmetics
What are the symptoms?
The first symptoms are unimportant: sensitive red spots that turn into small pimples or pimples that contain decomposing fatty acids. The inflammation disappears in a few days or a few weeks, depending on the severity of the cases.
More severe acne can leave scars that will never go away. Acne can also cause psychological stress and problems of social integration. In such cases, it is important to establish an effective treatment.
What can make acne worse?
Working in a humid environment with oils, greases and other chemicals
Stress or emotional stress
The menstrual period
Certain medicines and chemicals
What can we do in our house?
Wash your face twice a day with a mild soap. Be sure to wash your face if it is sweaty. Do not rub your face, as it will only get worse acne. However, avoid washing too often, as it also makes it worse.
Avoid hairstyles where the hair is constantly rubbing against the face. It is advisable to keep hair as clean as possible, especially if it is oily.
Do not squeeze or bust the pimples. This worsens acne and can cause scars.
Avoid exposure of the skin to very hot, very cold or a lot of sunlight. Sunlight can improve acne temporarily, but never cure it. Avoid too much sun exposure, as it can lead to burns and skin cancer.
Use non-greasy moisturizers. Oily creams cause blockage of pores and the appearance of pimples.
There is no scientific evidence to show that certain foods can cause acne. However, if we realize that certain foods increase pimples, we must avoid them or reduce their intake.
Have a varied diet, drink plenty and exercise regularly. If the person is well, the skin will also look good.
Consult with a good specialist what is the best way to take care of the skin.
Mild type acne can be treated with this home treatment. The duration should be between six and eight weeks, to see if it has good results. Sometimes it takes time to control acne.
When should we see a doctor?
When home treatment has not resulted after six or eight weeks of treatment.
When acne causes psychological stress.
When pimples are large (pimples) and painful.
When acne causes scarring.
When brown or dark spots appear on the sites of the shins.
What treatment do you have?
Acne does not heal completely, but it can be controlled. On the other hand, the improvement is never instantaneous or permanent: the skin must continue taking care to avoid relapses.
The dermatologist is the one who should indicate the most appropriate treatment for each person and each type of acne. Do not take treatments on your own initiative or because “a friend have done well.” A product suitable for one person may not be suitable for others.
The treatment depends on the severity of the acne. Medications may be applied directly to the skin (local treatment) or ingested (systemic treatment). The treatment is directed towards the factors that cause acne:
The home treatment described above may be continued while being treated by the physician. Treatment is usually continued until the patient is 20 years old.
A treatment with azelaic or benzoyl acid is usually sufficient. These medications help prevent narrowing of the pores of the sebaceous glands and decrease the growth of acne bacteria.
In severe cases, clindamycin is added to the previous medication. This medicine is an antibiotic and should be used for a short period of time to prevent the bacteria from becoming resistant to it.
Adapalene is prescribed for people who have blackheads in the skin and a moderate inflammation of acne. Women should only take adapalene if they are using an appropriate type of contraceptive. Pregnant women should not take adapalene.
Developing women with severe acne can benefit from anti-androgen-containing contraceptive treatment. This type of pills should not be taken by people with liver disease.
People with severe inflammatory acne can be treated for long periods of time, with tetracycline or erythromycin, in combination with one of the above medications. Tetracycline is not given to pregnant women, to breastfeeding mothers, or to children under 12 years of age.
For patients with severe cystic acne who do not improve with previous treatments, isotretinoin may be given. It is essential that women taking this treatment are not pregnant. Women should use an adequate method of contraception during this treatment and for a full month after finishing the treatment. Isotretinoin is not suitable for people with liver or kidney problems. This medicine has several side effects, so it must be administered by your doctor.
Can scars be removed?
The scars caused by acne can be removed by both dermatological abrasion and by a laser treatment.