Acne is a chronic, inflammatory skin condition that causes spots and pimples, especially on the face, shoulders, back, neck, chest, and upper arms. Whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, cysts, and nodules are all types of acne. It is the most common skin condition in India, affecting up to 20 crore Indians yearly. It commonly occurs during puberty, when the sebaceous glands activate, but it can occur at any age. It is not dangerous, but it can leave skin scars.
The glands produce oil and are stimulated by male hormones produced by the adrenal glands in both males and females. At least 85 percent of people in India experience acne between the ages of 12 and 24 years.
Fast facts on acne
Here are some facts about acne.
Acne is a skin disease involving the oil glands at the base of hair follicles.
It affects 3 in every 4 people aged 11 to 30 years.
It is not dangerous, but it can leave skin scars.
Treatment depends on how severe and persistent it is.
Who are at risk to get affected by this disease?
Risk factors include genetics, the menstrual cycle, anxiety and stress, hot and humid climates, using oil-based makeup, and squeezing pimples. There are many suggested home remedies for acne, but not all of them are supported by research.
Diet: It is unclear what role diet plays in worsening acne. Scientists have found that people who consume a diet that offers a good supply of vitamins A and E and of zinc may have a lower risk of severe acne. One review describes the link between acne and diet as "controversial," but suggests that a diet with a low glycemic load may help.
Tea-tree oil: Results of a study of 60 patients published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology, and Leprology suggested that 5-percent tea-tree oil may help treat mild to moderate acne.
Tea: There is some evidence that polyphenols from tea, including green tea, applied in a topical preparation, may be beneficial in reducing sebum production and treating acne. However, the compounds in this case were extracted from tea, rather than using tea directly.
Moisturizers: These can soothe the skin, especially in people who are using acne treatment such as isotretinoin, say researchers. Moisturizers containing aloe vera at a concentration of at least 10 percent or witch hazel can have a soothing and possibly anti-inflammatory effect.
What Causes Acne?
Human skin has pores that connect to oil glands under the skin. Follicles connect the glands to the pores. Follicles are small sacs that produce and secrete liquid. The glands produce an oily liquid called sebum. Sebum carries dead skin cells through the follicles to the surface of the skin. A small hair grows through the follicle out of the skin. Pimples grow when these follicles get blocked, and oil builds up under the skin. Skin cells, sebum, and hair can clump together into a plug. This plug gets infected with bacteria, and swelling results. A pimple starts to develop when the plug begins to break down.
Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) is the name of the bacteria that live on the skin and contributes to the infection of pimples.
Research suggests that the severity and frequency of acne depend on the strain of bacteria. Not all acne bacteria trigger pimples. One strain helps to keep the skin pimple-free.
Hormonal factors: A range of factors triggers acne, but the main cause is thought to be a rise in androgen levels. Androgen is a type of hormone, the levels of which rise when adolescence begins. In women, it gets converted into estrogen. Rising androgen levels cause the oil glands under the skin to grow. The enlarged gland produces more sebum. Excessive sebum can break down cellular walls in the pores, causing bacteria to grow.
Other possible triggers: Some studies suggest that genetic factors may increase the risk. Other causes include some medications that contain androgen and lithium, Greasy cosmetics, Hormonal changes, Emotional stress, Menstruation.
What are blackheads?
Blackheads are basically a form of acne that contains oxidised melanin; melanin is the pigment that is secreted by the skin cells, known as melanocytes. They get lodged within the pores of the skin and can give a nasty appearance. It looks like little black dots on the skin and gives an uneven appearance.
Why are they caused?
Clogged pores have an all around depicted pathogenesis:
The sebaceous organs overproduce sebum (and skin cell abundance may likewise be an element)
The abundant sebum bunches together with dead skin cells and hinder the hair follicle (the base and trench in the skin from which a hair strand develops)
The open comedones uncover this plug of sebum to the air, bringing about oxidation of the sleek, waxy substance, turning it into a dark colour.
As laid out above, clogged pores are a consequence of strange sebum production, frequently combined with abundance of skin cells, bringing about blocked pores. While we comprehend this procedure, the explanations behind the extra creation of sebum are less clear.
Hormonal changes amid adolescence are the most widely recognized trigger for excess sebum generation. Less basic are changes because of menstrual periods, pregnancy and conception prevention pills. The male sex hormone, ‘androgen’ triggers more noteworthy over-production of sebum and higher turnover of skin cells and its creation surges in both young men and young ladies amid adolescence.
An over-secretion of androgen hormones in grown-up ladies may expand the dangers of clogged pores and different types of skin inflammation, and also hirsutism (extreme hair development). Different variables for skin break outs and the occurrence of clogged pores include:
1. Beauty care products, chemicals and garments that cover pores
2. Substantial sweating or high dampness
3. Dietary variables, ailment or pharmaceuticals that support fast skin cell turnover
4. Certain steroid drugs aggravate skin inflammation or cause comparative skin eruptions.
How is it treated?
Having a small number of blackheads is categorised as mild acne. It is treated as per its severity; so spotting a few sporadic blackheads on your face might not warrant immediate medical attention. However, severe cases should be medically attended to, in order to prevent scarring and further aggravations.
Acne scars are not just embarrassing, but in some cases are painful as well. However, with these below mentioned derma treatments you can easily get rid of these scars.
Derma rollers: Derma rollers are small rollers that contain dozens of needles 0.25 mm in diameter and up to 2 mm in length. They reach the papillary dermis of the skin (deeper than the lasers and peels). Derma roller rips the fibrous connections intergrown by scars and strongly stimulates the healing processes, that is, the collection of macrophage and growth factors. The results are visible six weeks after the treatment. They are especially suitable to people with darker complexion.
Laser Treatment: A dermatologist is the best option if the acne scars don’t reduce or fade away with time. Collagen is one of the building blocks of your skin and is an essential protein. Fractionated laser is a new technology that can smooth the surface of your skin and promote new collagen formation. Laser treatment can obliterate the scar and help smooth skin to form in its place instead. Filler injections help fill any indentation resulting from deeper acne scars. The only drawback to this is that fillers need to be re done after every 6 months or so as it gets reabsorbed over time into the skin.
Time heals all wounds: Patience is very important when you want to see scars fade away. Newly formed blood vessels, few weeks after the scar is formed, nourish the skin. Most scars in their early stages look pink for this reason. Collagen starts forming months later and fills in the injuries on the skin. Fat cells and skin are destroyed in cystic acne; so for the scars to vanish completely, it might take a year or more.
Prevention Tips: The best preventive method for scar formation is not to squeeze pimple. Popping a pimple leads to deeper infiltration of bacteria and pus. This damages the collagen further. A common skin care myth is that Vitamin E helps scars in healing faster. Contrary to prior belief, direct application of Vitamin E on a scar might hinder the healing process instead of facilitating it.
Use a sunscreen: Use a sunscreen with a high SPF over 30. The middle of the day is the worst time to step out in the sun. Reapply the sunscreen every two hours, if you sweat profusely.
Acne is a skin condition that happens when pores get clogged with dead skin cells and oil, giving rise to pimples. It can be caused by numerous reasons like hormonal changes, improper diet, stress, consumption of specific drugs, excessive use of cosmetic products etc. In addition to these factors, acne can be caused by dandruff too, which may not be known to most of you. It has been observed that people who suffer from dandruff problems are more prone to getting pimples.
How does dandruff cause acne?
Dandruff has been associated with presence of yeast or fungi, it is also associated with abnormal skin ultrastructure. Dandruff makes the skin on your scalp flaky. These dry flakes of skin are often responsible for clogging the pores on your face, mostly affecting your forehead. In this way, dandruff triggers appearance of acne and can worsen the condition of your skin if you already have pimples. Though acne is more common among teenagers, acne due to dandruff is mostly experienced by people above the age of 20.
How can you prevent acne due to dandruff?
Eradicating dandruff from your scalp is the best way to prevent acne breakouts on your skin due to dandruff. Here are some simple ways to keep acne due to dandruff away from your skin.
1. Ensure that your hair stays off your face
Keeping hair off your face will ensure that dandruff doesn't come in contact with your skin and clog pores, preventing pimples. For this, you can use hair bands or tie your hair in a ponytail or braid.
2. Brush your hair at least twice a day
Brushing your hair at least two times a day will ensure that the dead cells on your scalp are removed and don't get a chance to clog pores. This option is highly beneficial in getting rid of acne caused by dandruff.
3. Use medicated anti-dandruff shampoo
Topical medicated solutions like a medicated shampoo should be used as a treatment. Short contact period of shampoo with scalp is important for more benefit. Good conditioner should also be used after head wash with shampoo.
Acne and pimples mostly occur due to hormonal changes occurring in the body. They are most prominent among teenagers undergoing hormonal transition. The growth hormones become ultra active and the oil glands present in the skin produce more. The glands present under hair follicles are infected and get inflamed, resulting in pimples. Pimples are a nightmare for teenagers, who are conscious about their look and appearance. Eruptions of pimples of different sizes, blisters and rashes of black or red colours are bound to worry appearance conscious individuals. Acne and pimples do not usually have easy solutions or quick remedies.
When it comes to treatment of acnes and pimples, Homeopathic medicines are considered the most effective and paramount. Homeopathic cure does not intend to quick-fix acne and pimples. The objective being the correction of inner causes, it allows the pimples to heal slowly on their own instead of taking any medicine of high dose. The process might take some time, but it surely is the most effective. The problem gets solved from its roots. Scars from previous eruptions are also permanently healed using homeopathic medicines. Homeopathy is, therefore, the best way to cure acnes and pimples.
Popular Homeopathic Remedies for Acne and Pimples
Here is a list of the most common solutions for acne and pimples and what they indicate:
It is a very common cure, especially for chronic cases of acne.
The eruptions cause great pain.
They are present in the form of abscesses.
Patient is vulnerable to cold and pain. Increased rate of perspiration.
Patient tends to get agitated and irritated very easily.
In cases where there is pus formation.
The best homeopathic medicine for acne.
Increased rate of perspiration. The patient cannot bear cold at all.
Skin turns pale and tender.
For cases where the intake of rich junk food and indigestion are the causes of acne.
Also in cases of girls suffering from menstrual problems.
Symptoms include decreased thirst.
Patient is usually very sensitive to heat.
4. Nux Vomica
For cases where acne formation is because of gastric disruptions.
Skin seems to appear red and blotchy
Caused because of having too much spicy food
Signs of constipation and over sensitiveness to cold
5. Antimonium Crudum
Formation of tiny red pimples all over the face
Very irritable in nature
Arthritic pain in fingers and loss of appetite
White, thick coating on tongue
Formed due to cosmetic use, especially during summer
Skin tends to itch
Cheeks swell up and become pale
Makes patient restless.
Homeopathy is certainly the best way to deal with and to get rid of unwanted, ugly acne, which ruin your face. There are more homeopathic cures for other types of acne and pimples for which you can consult any homeopathy physician.