Acne & Pimples
Acne is a treatable condition. In fact, dermatologists assess the root cause of acne and treat it accordingly. A variety of medical treatments are available to treat all types of acne.
Acne is a chronic condition. It causes pimples , cysts or nodules on the face, neck, back, and shoulders. It can occur in males and females of all ages. When pores clog with excess sebum, dirt & dead skin cells, it leads to acne. Acne can be of several types and are broadly classified into Inflammatory Acne & Non-Inflammatory Acne.
Types of Acne
- Papules: Papules are solid bumps that are raised. They are tender. The skin around a papule is usually slightly swollen and red. Papules form when whiteheads or blackheads irritate and damage the skin around them.
- Pustules: Pustules are large, tender bumps. They have a pus-filled center with a pink or red base. The pus may be whitish or yellowish and forms due to a build-up of bacterial cells. Pustules are similar to whiteheads in appearance, but they are larger and more inflamed.
- Nodules: Nodules are a severe form of acne and can be painful. They have no visible centre or head and occur when clogged pores damage tissues and cells deep beneath the skin's surface. Nodules may cause dark spots or scarring.
- Cysts: Cysts form deeper within the skin than nodules and are the most severe type of acne blemish. They are very large, painful, red or white pus-filled lumps. Cysts can also cause scarring.
- Blackheads: Blackheads are a mild form of acne and are caused due to clogged hair follicles. When the skin over the bump opens and gets exposed to air, it causes it to look black and a blackhead forms.
- Whiteheads: Whiteheads are also a form of mild acne. Whiteheads are small, round, white bumps on the skin's surface that occur when a pore becomes clogged with sebum, dead skin cells, and debris.
Do & Don't for Getting Acne
DO: Cleanse your face.
DO: Moisturise your skin.
DO: Stay hydrated.
DO: Use sunscreen daily.
DO: Follow a healthy diet.
DON’T: Pop and poke your pimples.
DON’T: Use excessive make-up products.
DON’T: Eat oily foods.
DON’T: Scrub your skin too roughly.
Causes of Acne
- Hormonal fluctuations: These may occur during puberty, menstrual cycle, pregnancy or menopause.
- Genetic tendency: There may be a genetic predisposition to acne-prone skin and acne breakouts. If an individual's family members suffer from acne, it increases the chances of them having acne as well.
- Use of excess makeup:Certain makeup products tend to clog pores and make the skin oily, which may cause acne.
- Side effects of certain medications: Oral contraceptives or certain antibiotics might cause a reaction and result in the formation of pimples.
- Dietary Triggers: Certain foods may trigger acne. These foods include junk food, dairy products and unhealthy foods that are high in sugar or are oily.
Dermatologists treat all types of acne. They personalize the treatment based on the patient’s skin type & grade of acne.
There are three broad approaches of Acne Treatment:
- Oral antibiotics
- Topical treatments in the form of creams, lotions or face washes
- Medical procedures like chemical peels, lasers and light therapies.
Acne treatments work best when patients support them with lifestyle changes & dietary changes.
Treatment for Acne
Acne is treated depending on how persistent and chronic it is. Moreover, the treatment depends on the patient’s grade of acne and skin type. Acne treatments can be classified into the following categories:
Topical Antibiotics & Antibacterials
- Oral antibiotics
- Medical procedures
1. Topical Antibiotics & Antibacterials
These include erythromycin, clindamycin, sulfacetamide, azelaic acid, and dapsone.
Retin-A (tretinoin) is one of the oldest forms of Retinoids. Nowadays, dermatologists recommend newer forms of retinoids such as adapalene and tazarotene. These medications help to unclog pores. However, they may cause side effects like irritation and increased sensitivity to the sun. Retinoids are a strong medication. Therefore, one must use them under the strict guidance of a dermatologist.
3. Oral Medications
- Oral antibiotic: Doctors may prescribe oral antibiotics such as tetracycline, doxycycline, minocycline, cefadroxil, amoxicillin. Some of these medicines may cause some allergic reactions in some people. For instance, stomach upsets & an increase in sun sensitivity.
- Oral contraceptives: Oral contraceptives or birth control pills, which are low in estrogen. In fact, they can help treat acne to a good extent.
- Spironolactone: This drug blocks androgen (hormone) receptors. However, it can cause breast tenderness, menstrual irregularities, and an increase in blood potassium levels. It does help women with chronic acne. In fact, women are able to tolerate it.
- Cortisone injections: Dermatologists treat big cysts and pimples with these injections. These injections flatten the pimples.
- Isotretinoin: This is one of the most strong medications for acne. However, one must take it only under a dermatologist’s prescription. Dermatologists prescribe only in cases of severe acne, particularly cystic acne. Usually, cystic does not respond to other forms of treatment. While it is an effective medicine, it does have many potential serious side effects. Moreover, Isotretinoin is not good for people who do not suffer from severe acne. Dermatologists prescribe this medicine for about five to six months at once. It is safe to take two or three courses of the medicine is the acne recurs. However, one must wait several months, try other treatments as well before starting to use Isotretinoin again. Isotretinoin can cause birth defects in a newborn if taken by pregnant women.
4. Medical procedures
- Chemical peels: Dermatologists use mild to strong peels for moderate to severe forms of acne. These peels are made of glycolic acid, trichloroacetic acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid peels.
- Laser & light procedures: These treat moderate to severe forms of acne. In fact, these are very effective. In fact, they ensure little to no side-effects. One must do these procedures from a well-trained dermatologist.
Some of the laser & light therapies include:
- Erbium Glass Laser
- Long Pulse NdYAG Laser
- Intense Pulsed Light Therapy (IPL)
- CO2 Laser
Treatments for Acne are oral medications, oral antibiotics, topical medications, topical medications & Medical procedures. READ MORE
Low level laser light therapy
After 1 Months
After 2 Months
After 4 Months
After 6 Months
Acne treatments require time, consistent efforts. Moreover, patients need to support acne treatments with overall lifestyle modification.
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