The Ultimate Guide to Clearing Acne: Expert Tips and Effective Remedies
Posted on 12/21/2023 by Dr. Asma Akhlaq
If you often experience inflammation, redness, itching, and burning sensation, it is an indication of acne. Acne is a skin condition that involves symptoms like blackheads or whiteheads, pimples on the face, chest, neck, etc. It is one of the common skin conditions that require the immediate attention of a dermatologist, a healthcare professional who specializes in treating skin conditions. If you suspect that you might have inflammatory lesions, you must book your appointment with CK Birla Hospitals in Jaipur, one of the best multispeciality hospitals integrated with expert doctors and a healthcare team. You will find the best dermatologists here having years of experience and skills in their respective fields.
In this blog, we will discuss everything that’s related to acne for your comprehension. However, please note that the write-up is for information only and we do not construe the doctor’s consultation in any way.
What is Acne?
A common skin condition affecting the skin's oil glands and hair follicles is referred to as acne. Nodules, cysts, blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples, mainly on the face, neck, chest, and shoulders, are some common symptoms. Acne often affects every age group, however, teenagers are more vulnerable to experiencing this condition.
Millions of people across the globe are affected by this disorder, which is determined by the emergence of several skin imperfections. These skin anomalies, which commonly affect the shoulders, back, chest, neck, and face are cysts, nodules, blackheads, and whiteheads. Acne is most usually associated with puberty and adolescence.
What are the different types of Acne?
Several types of acne are there and each has unique traits:
- Whiteheads and blackheads: Known as non-inflammatory acne lesions, blackheads are open comedones with a dark surface from oxidized melanin, whereas whiteheads are closed comedones that look like tiny, flesh-colored bumps.
- Papules and pustules: These are lesions of inflammatory acne. Pustules are white or yellow centers of pus while papules are little, red lumps without a visible pus center.
- Cysts and nodules: These are more serious acne lesions. Cysts are tender, fluid-filled sacs leading to scarring, whereas nodules are big, painful bumps below the skin's surface.
What are Acne symptoms?
Acne symptoms range from mild to severe and usually contribute to the overall diagnosis and grouping of acne. Here are the common symptoms of acne one needs to be mindful of:
- Comedones: It involves whiteheads and blackheads. Whiteheads are fresh-colored closed, small bumps on the skin's surface or a bit raised. Blackheads are open pores comprising dark plugs of oxidized melanin and debris.
- Inflammatory Lesions: It entails papules, pustules, nodules, and cysts.
- Tenderness and Pain: Inflamed acne lesions, like papules, pustules, nodules, and cysts, are hard or painful to touch.
- Redness and Inflammation: Inflammatory acne lesions usually cause redness and inflammation, leaving the skin inflammated and irritated.
- Itching or Burning Sensation: Some people with acne experience itching or a burning sensation, mainly when the skin is inflamed.
- Scarring: Serious types of acne, such as nodules and cysts cause the formation of scars as the skin heals. These scars are often depressed or raised.
- Distribution in Specific Areas: Acne often occurs on the face, particularly the forehead, nose, and chin also referred to as T-zone. It also affects the neck, chest, back, and shoulders.
- Worsening with Hormonal Changes: For some people, acne symptoms worsen during hormonal changes, such as puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, or the use of hormonal medications.
What are Acne causes?
Acne is a complex skin condition determined by several factors and its causes are usually interlinked. However, the exact cause of acne differs from person to person, but various factors contribute to the development of this condition. It is essential to understand the acne causes for efficient aversion and treatment on time. Here are some of the acne causes or key factors:
- Sebum overproduction: The excessive amount of sebum is usually caused by hormonal fluctuations and leads to hair follicle clogging including the growth of acne lesions.
- Hormonal changes: These involve changes during puberty, periods, and different conditions like polycystic ovarian syndrome. Due to increased androgen levels, it involves the sebaceous gland stimulation for producing sebum leading to pore blockage.
- Genetics: A genetic susceptibility to acne leads to a hugely increasing probability of growing this condition. There is a probability of experiencing this condition by generations if it runs in the family.
- Bacterial infection: Propionibacterium acnes is among the most common reasons for the development of acne. It causes inflammation and leads to inflammatory acne lesions.
- Dietary factors: People who are into habits of refined carbohydrates, oily food, and dairy products often experience acne problems.
- Stress: It triggers certain hormones released like cortisol that lead to sebum formation and cause inflammation. Severe stress contributes to the development of acne.
- Environmental factors: It involves pollutants and irritants including humidity, which lead to acne.
- Medications: The use of certain drugs like corticosteroids, anticonvulsants, and lithium also causes the development of acne.
How is Acne diagnosed?
Acne diagnosis is often performed by a healthcare professional who has expertise in dermatology. These professionals are known as dermatologists. To diagnose acne, they usually begin with a visual skin assessment. The entire process often involves a discussion with the patient’s clinical history, lifestyle components, and a close evaluation of the skin to determine the acne symptoms. Here is the process followed to diagnose acne:
- Medical history: In this step, the doctor usually asks questions about the medical history of the patient which involves understanding the family history, lifestyle elements, etc. contributing to the development of acne. It also involves understanding the skincare habits and stress levels.
- Skin assessment: The dermatologist initiates conducting the skin assessment to determine the attributes of acne lesions. It comprises evaluating the existence of papules, pustules, cysts, nodules, and comedones.
- Grading: Acne is often determined by its severity. Common grading system involves mild, moderate, and severe acne. This grading assists in guiding the right treatment options selection.
- Identify contributing factors: The doctor also ensures exploring the probable contributing factors like hormonal fluctuations, use of medications, and exposure to some environmental factors to comprehend the underlying acne causes.
- Additional testing: Acne diagnosis is done depending on a medical assessment. However, in some cases, additional tests are recommended if needed. For instance, if hormonal fluctuations, blood tests are performed.
What are the options for acne treatment?
Acne treatment often comprises a varied approach aiming to reduce the risk of inflammation pores unclogging, and averting the production of new lesions. The selection of treatment relies on the acne severity, lesion type, and individual factors like skin type and other underlying health conditions. Here is an overview of how acne is treated:
- Topical treatment: In this treatment option, doctors often recommend over-the-counter medications like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and topical retinoids.
- Oral medications: This treatment option entails antibiotics, oral contraceptives, isotretinoin, etc. to reduce the probability of bacteria, inflammation, hormonal fluctuations, etc.
- Combined oral contraceptives: Estrogen and progestin prove to be useful in hormone regulation contributing to acne development, mainly in females.
- Procedures: It involves light & laser therapy and chemical peels. Light and laser therapy help in targeting bacteria and reducing inflammation. Chemical peels benefit in exfoliating the skin and pores unclogging.
- Lifestyle changes: In this treatment option, doctors usually recommend making certain lifestyle changes in their routine such as including skincare daily and dietary changes like skipping oily foods, or dairy products.
Tips & Effective remedies for acne
Let’s have a look at some of the tips & effective remedies for acne:
- Make sure to use a gentle cleanser
- Involve using non-comedogenic products
- Don’t pick or pop
- Involve topical treatments
- Spot treatments
- Regular moisturising
- Sun protection
- Healthy diet
- Stress management
- Regular exercise
- Tea tree oil
- Green tea extract
Acne is one of the prevalent skin condition affecting individuals of all age groups with symptoms that ranges from mild to severe inflammatory lesions. It is essential to understand the factors and causes contributing to the development of acne to manage the condition efficiently. While there is no standard approach, it is better to involve a comprehensive method for skincare, and lifestyle changes, and when required targeted treatment can help in improving the conditions.
With a regular and gentle skincare routine, it is easy to reduce the risk of acne. You must ensure include all the tips and effective remedies that are given in this post for your understanding. If you suspect that the condition is severe, make sure to get in touch with your dermatologist to reduce the risk of inflammatory lesions.
How to get rid of acne marks?
You can involve using gentle cleansers, topical treatments, green tea extracts, lifestyle changes, regular exercise, stress management, etc.
How long does it take for acne scars to fade?
Usually, acne takes around 6-12 months to completely fade away, however, it also depends on the type of acne an individual is experiencing.
Does milk cause acne?
Yes, as per studies, it is found that cow’s milk makes an individual prone to acne breakouts.