What is acne?
Acne is a common skin disorder that offers tremendous psychological distress. Acne sufferers and those who suffer from a condition that dermatologists call RETENTION KERATOSIS, have over active sebaceous glands which cause the skin to clog with dead cells on the surface and this in turn results in bacteria breeding.
Dead skin cells are constantly being shed from the epidermis. Sometimes, and especially in an oily skin, these cells are not sloughed away and so can build up, eventually falling back into the openings of the pores, and as a result the pore is blocked.
Fresh air can not get down into the follicle to deliver detoxifying oxygen. The consequence is a plugged pore with a moist warm environment. This is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. As the bacteria gathers and multiplies, it swells in the follicle, and inflammation occurs. Both whiteheads and blackheads start out as a “microcomedone”. These become either a whitehead or a blackhead or eventually a pustule spot.
It relates to the pathogenic factors that should be addressed to formulate a treatment plan for the disorder. You will be treating inflammation, hyperactive proliferation, excess sebum, and P acnes. It depends on how serious the condition as to the type of treatment you will need. In some cases, a topical or systemic antibiotic needs to be used and if it is necessary benzoyl peroxide to reduces the emergence of resistance.
As hard as it is to deal with, it is important to know that you are not alone. Acne treatments may seem miles away, but every journey has its beginning. It is understandable that patience is incredibly difficult when your troubles are written across your face. However, tedious and time-consuming as it may be, your skin will see its best days if you persevere on your path to a clear complexion.
Who gets acne?
People of all races and ages get this annoying skin condition. It is most common in adolescents and young adults. An estimated 80 percent of all people between the ages of 11 and 30 have acne outbreaks at some point.
For most people, it tends to go away by the time they reach their thirties; however, some people in their forties and fifties continue to have this skin problem.
Forms of acne
This skin condition comes in different forms and is normally identified by its size and severity, and afflicts people of all ages. Usually, severe forms develop from milder forms; while others may develop independently.
Forms when the hair follicle (pore) on the skin gets clogged by an overproduction of sebum (a natural oil produced by the skin), dead cells and become infected by bacteria. This leads to inflammation (swelling, redness and pain) at the point of infection.
The beginning of it is the smallest type of lesion, called a microcomedo. Depending on the growth of this microcomedo, it may develop in to an open comedo or closed comedo.
Before you can attempt to get rid of your pimples with the various acne treatments available, you should know what type of acne you are up against. Here is an overview of the various types:
- Acne Vulgaris – this is the most common form, which comprises of both blackheads (open comedo) and whiteheads (closed comedo). This form of acne is the easiest form of acne to treat
- Blackheads – Blackheads develop when pores become partially blocked with dead skin cells, bacteria and sebum. The black color of this pimple is not caused by dirt, but form when the exposed skin pigments reacts with oxygen in the air. Blackheads can be difficult to treat.
- Whiteheads – Whiteheads are the products of completely blocked pores. The pore fills with bacteria, oils and dead skin cells, and this mixture appears white just under the skin. Whiteheads tend to easier to treat than blackheads.
- Papules – Papules are blocked pores that are infected and inflamed. They appear as red bumps on the surface of the skin. These pimples should never be squeezed, as this will spread the infection to surrounding areas, hinder healing and lead to scarring.
- Pustules – Pustules look like whiteheads, except these pimples are inflamed, red in appearance and with a white or yellow center because of pus. Most what is commonly called pimples or zits, tend to be pustules.
- Nodules – Nodules, or cysts, are severe forms of acne that are pus-filled, sac-like formations under the skin’s surface. This type of acne takes a long time to get rid of. Nodules should never be squeezed. Squeezing will spread the infection to other tissues around the primary infection site and make healing more difficult. Nodules are very painful and the scarring is more common and much worst than those caused by other forms.
- Cystic Acne – Cystic acne is one of the most sever forms. The cystic form often comes about because of squeezing of small pus-filled acne. This causes the pus to travel deep into the skin tissue. These inflamed soft pus filled skin bumps are large, painful and difficult to treat. Cystic acne can affect both the face and other area of the body.
- Acne Rosacea – Acne Rosacea, or more accurately called rosacea, is a chronic skin condition that looks like a red rash. It affects mostly middle-aged adults with fair skin. Pimples often accompany the rash, which is typically limited to the forehead, cheeks, nose, and chin. The cause of rosacea is unknown, but genetics may be a contributing factor. Severe, untreated rosacea can result in disfiguring scars.
- Acne Conglobata – Acne Conglobata is an extremely severe form of cystic acne, generally affecting males between the ages of 18 and 30. This form is distinguished by deep, inflammatory nodules that connect under the skin to other nodules, combined with many large blackheads. These pimples can last for years and cause great scarring, and is difficult to treat.
Mild acne is often responsive to home treatment, but if you have severe forms you should consult a dermatologist or health professional to help you make a decision on the best treatments for your type.
Types of acne
This skin condition can destroy beautiful and otherwise healthy looking skin to a very great extent, especially when allowed to progress.
Several pimples and spots can occur at the same time or just a few, and depending on these, this skin condition can be graded as
– Grade 1 – which usually involves blackheads
– Grade 2 – involving mostly whiteheads, but blackheads may also accompany them
– Grade 3 – pus filled pimple-like skin elevations
– Grade 4 – this is considered to be severe most form of acne involving small knobby but closed pus-filled skin sacs that are usually inflamed and painful.
This is more commonly noticed during adolescence, appearing mostly around the forehead, and sometimes on the nose as well. Small whiteheads may also be noted around the chin area at times. However, adults too have noticed sudden development of a mild form later in life.
The first sign of skin disturbances leading to acne development will become visible, like greasy oily-looking skin, open blackheads, often several of them occurring at the same time. There is no skin inflammation usually seen at this stage, though.
Mild or grade 1 acne is at a stage that is fairly easy to treat. Over-the-counter topical agents and good hygiene is sufficient to bring the condition under good control. It will probably take about a month’s time to notice any improvement in the condition, but whenacne treatment is started, it will prevent the progression of pimples.
As it suggests, this will be slightly of a higher rank than the mild form of acne. The blackheads and whiteheads will usually be more widespread rather than confined to one small area. The spots will be of a slightly larger size because of pus formation, and mild inflammation may also be noted at this stage. In women, the breakouts usually coincide with their menstrual cycles, either pre-menstrual or during menstruation.
Moderate or grade 2 acne will usually require a combination of salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide creams to kill the bacteria and to cast off the top surface of skin, layer by layer, so as to get rid of the pimples. Again good hygiene, like washing the area regularly to remove excess sebum, and avoidance of frequent picking or squeezing the comedones out will have to be followed.
The intensity of skin inflammation and the number of spots will be extensively large compared to grade 1 and 2, at this stage, which is considered to be rather severe. The pimple-like skin elevations, usually pus filled and angry looking will be more in number, and seen in other places as well, like the chest and upper back regions.
At this stage, your skin should be treated to prevent its progression to a more severe or grade 4 form, which is usually slow in responding to any kind of treatment. Along with topical creams, oral medicines will also be prescribed to control growths. Skin exfoliating agents will also be put to use to prevent scarring that could possibly be left behind by the acne formation.
Grade 4 Acne
At this stage, breakouts will be severe. It will present itself as large cysts, nodular looking, with a greater degree of skin inflammation seen.
Along with topical and oral agents, light therapy will also have to be followed to control further acne breakouts. This is however, considered to be the rarest form of acne, for usually by the third stage of development, individuals would have approached medical professionals for help.
Why you should contact a dermatologist
A qualified skin doctor – a dermatologist – is the first port of call when you want to buy acne pills. It is essential to visit your dermatologist in diagnosing the cause of the problem so that proper acne medication will be prescribed. However, you should still have some idea of what sort of acne medication is on offer and what sort of effect certain treatments will have.
This skin condition can be categorized in mild, moderate and severe form. In serious type like cystic acne it requires a careful method of treatment by skin experts. Dermatologist knows different types of treatment and you can choose any treatment that you like. In some cases dermatologist also fail to prescribe the right medication in getting rid of this horrible skin condition. Commonly if you are new client to your dermatologist and new to the treatments being applied, skin irritation is a possibility.
Acne medication has its own unique formulation. Some are created with a combination of natural and certain medications which are gentle and soothing on skin, others also created with more chemicals. There is acne medication which is expensive and effective to others however will not work on you, vice versa. Main thought is the price does not matter in choosing the right medication.
Why you should start with acne medication
People who are suffering from this skin problem understand the importance of using effective medicines. The embarrassment of suffering from it should be stopped immediately. No one should be rejected because of having that ugly pimples. Start looking treatment that is effective enough in clearing your face and body and prevents future breakouts. Stop it now before it worsens your present skin condition.
Over the counter medications are usually milder and do not contain acne antibiotics and other chemicals to get rid of bacteria; whereas prescription acne medication will give you that little extra to remove more severe forms of this skin condition.
Some common over the counter topical acne medications are:
- Salicylic Acid
A natural source of salicylic acid can be found in the plant White Willow and has been known for centuries to ease aches and pains and even reduce fever. Its chemical make-up resembles closely the aspirin.
As a cure, it causes the surface cells of the skin to shed more easily, destroy bacteria in the clogged pore and minimize the pore size so that further infections cannot occur. It also helps to generate new cells.
The FDA recommends protecting the skin from the sun whilst using products with salicylic acid.
- Benzoyl Peroxide
Discovered in the 1920s that it can treat pimples, benzoyl peroxide is used as a topical cream or gel. It is recommended to use a concentration of 2.5% to begin with, and slowly build the concentration up to 5% and 10% after the skin has had time to develop a tolerance.
Benzoyl Peroxide works by drying and clearing the pores of bacteria and accelerating cell renewal.
Resorcinol is a chemical compound that has antiseptic and disinfectant properties. Used usually for more severe skin ailments such as eczema and psoriasis, at a small dose of 2% or less of concentration, resorcinol is also an effective acne medication.
Below is a list of common prescription acne medications:
A class of antibiotic oral acne medication, Clindamycin is most effective against aerobic (requiring oxygen) and anaerobic (not requiring oxygen) bacteria infections.
When applied topically, it can help fight pimples and is most effective when used together with Benzoyl Peroxide or Adapalene (a retinoid).
An antibiotic that is similar to penicillin, it is best used as an ointment, cream or gel to treat pimples.
Tetracycline is also a form of antibiotic to fight against bacterial infections. It is used to treat acne and also rosacea. Its side effects include teeth discoloration, and should not be taken by pregnant women.
Tretinoin (brand name: Accutane) is the acid form of vitamin A and is known more commonly by the acne medication Retin A. Tretinoin also treats keratosis pilaris (rough bumps on the skin that looks like chicken skin) and has been shown to slow down the skin’s aging process.
Side effects include itching, redness and a burning sensation. It is essential whilst using Retin A to follow your dermatologist’s recommendations carefully and avoid the sun. As Tretinoin thins the skin, waxing should also be avoided.
Accutane’s Benefits And Adverse Effects
It is generally known that the drug Accutane just provides extremely good results in people who are suffering from pimples. On the other hand, it would just provide a whole lot of adverse effects if the individual who is using it is pregnant. Accutane is considered to be the last line drug and is given mostly when nothing seems to work for pimples. Therefore in this scenario we have learnt that there are certain conditions in which one should not be taking the drugs for acne as they might cause adverse reactions and are not beneficial, but one must know this fact and should not blame the medicine entirely and must get their pills approved by their health care provider before they start using it.
Important note: Do NOT use or take any of the medication for severe forms above without first consulting a qualified doctor. This post is for informational purposes only and is not to be viewed as medical advice.
People who have acne also suffer from depression. When you have pimples during your adolescent development, it hinders your social life. This may make you feel anger, even to the point of hostility. You are known to have mood changes and depression. The treatment with medication can help you to overcome some of those problems. Your physician will look at your situation and can give you help to overcome many of your problems. When you are taking the drug Isotretinoin and feel suicidal thoughts, you should immediately let your doctor know. This drug heightens the feelings of depression and suicidal tendency in some people. There is a mandated registry now in place to keep track of those who are using Isotretinion to help gets rid of this skin condition.
Also, laser therapy may be followed, which will successfully destroy the sebaceous glands which are usually what causes the problem in the first place.
Acne is not considered to be a harmful skin problem and can actually be left alone if the individual does not seem to be affected by them. The best acne treatments become necessary only for severe cases. Click here to buy Roaccutane online.
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