What is acne?
There is a time during our life span when we slowly enter into adolescence from childhood. This phase sees lot of internal and external changes in our body. Acne is caused due to inflammation of hair follicle on face, chest or back, due to congestion of pores. It is either in form of whiteheads or blackheads, tender red bumps or pimples, pustules and deep pimples known as cysts or boils.
What causes acne?
There are many factors that are responsible for the growth of humans and hormones play vital role in development of our body. In adolescents, there are rapid hormonal changes. Each individual has oil glands known as sebaceous glands, at the base of hair follicles. These glands secrete oil called sebum, which prevent the hair and skin from turning dry and flaky. However, in adolescents, due to active hormonal growth, this oil tends to be secreted in an excess, and along with dead skin cells causes the blockage in hair follicle. The pores may bulge outwards resulting in whiteheads or get deeper due to exposure to air resulting in blackheads.
Unfortunately, as the dead skin and excess sebum deposits increase on the skin surface, more hair follicles get affected and inflamed. Thus they get enlarged and rupture the wall, causing bumps. The inflammation near the surface of skin causes pustules. However, as it deepens it causes pimples and cysts.
Apart from this, there are external factors too responsible for acne. They are constant use of collars, helmets, suspenders, etc which causes acne due to pressure, working in industries related to oil and lubricants, side effects of medication and lastly, excessive use of cosmetics that are oil based and pore clogging. The better option is using water-based cosmetics.
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How to treat acne
Acne can be treated in many ways. The most effective treatment is Benzoyl Peroxide that prevents excess sebum secretion by penetrating deep in the skin and providing oxygen for skin breathing. Acne bacteria cannot survive in the presence of oxygen and hence most of them are killed. This medication is available in form of cream or gel and should be used in 2.5% strength. However, it should not be used in excess, as it causes dryness and irritation.
Other methods are use of topical retinoid, topical antibiotics or Azelaic acid. Hormonal therapies also work in controlling sebum secretion.
Acne is curable and can be kept in check if we follow proper health regime.
- Acne is caused by excess production of sebum from sebaceous glands, located at the base of hair follicle.
- The eruptions occur due to clogging of hair follicles by sebum and sweat along with dead skin cells.
- Medication like Benzoyl Peroxide, topical retinoids and antibiotics, Azelaic acid, etc are useful in treating acne.