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.
Who doesn't like a healthy and glowing skin? A radiant skin not only makes you look beautiful from outside but from within as well. A lot of care and attention goes into achieving that perfect glow. However, if you happen to have an oily skin type, then you'll have to go an extra mile for getting that glow. Oily skin is more prone to develop various skin-related issues like acne, pimples, whiteheads and blackheads. Blackheads can turn out to be quite annoying. A lot of people spend hefty amount of money in salon and beauty products just to get rid of those stubborn blackheads. However, just a few tips and tricks at home could help you get rid of them. Yes, you read that right. When the open pores in the skin get in contact with dirt, it leads to accumulation of dirt particles that eventually lead to formation of blackheads. The most common areas on face that are prone to blackhead formation are nose, cheeks and even chin. Scrubbing your face gently, using few basic kitchen ingredients, could help you move a step ahead in tackling blackhead issues.
Here is a three ingredient face scrub that you can use twice every week to get rid of blackheads:
To begin with, take a bowl and add crushed oats to the bowl.
Then, add honey along with mashed banana. Mix together all the ingredients and then apply this mix on your face.
Scrub it in a circular motion and then allow it to stay for 5-7 minutes.
Once this is done, wash it off using warm water and apply a gentle moisturiser on the skin to close the open pores.
Oats help in exfoliating the dead skin cells and also help in removing the dirt. Other than this, oats have the ability to absorb and remove extra oil from the skin. Honey acts as a moisturising agent and also has antibacterial and anti-microbial properties, whereas, banana helps in retaining the lost moisture in the skin. Banana together with oats doubles the exfoliating power, which is perfect for an oily skin type.
So, the next time you plan to have a pamper sesh, make this homemade scrub a part of your beauty regimen and say bye-bye to blackheads for once and all.
Suffering from those frequent acne breakouts? Are pimples and pimple scars driving you crazy? If yes, then fret not, we've got an easy-peasy all-natural home remedy for you. We often try to resort to various measures to get rid of acne marks; however, most of the time our efforts go in drain. People with oily skin type are more vulnerable to pimples. So, in order to keep pimple problems at bay, we give you a two-ingredient face pack, which is not only easy-to-make but may also do wonders for your skin. We are talking about lemon and honey. Both these kitchen ingredients are easily accessible and can be used in one face pack:
Lemon Juice Extract
1 tablespoon honey
To begin with, take a bowl and add lemon juice extract to it.
Next, add honey to it and mix both the ingredients well.
Apply this mixture on your face and acne prone areas and let it sit for around 15 minutes.
Once this is done, wash it off using warm water.
Note: This lemon and honey mixture will moisturise your skin to a great extent and make it look soft and supple. This face pack is perfect for those who have an oily skin type. Why, you ask? It is because lemon helps clean the skin and eliminates dead skin cells, which further helps in reducing oil secretion; whereas, the antiseptic and antibacterial properties of honey help in reducing the oil secretion.
So, what are you waiting for? Bring together these two humble kitchen ingredients and say bye-bye to pimples and acne scars.
An overproduction of oil, combined with dirt, bacteria, dead skin cells or residual make-up, usually lead up to clogged up pores, that appear black in colour, to show up on your skin. These are called blackheads. Though treating blackheads is not that difficult, it is always better to prevent them.
Here are some tips to prevent blackheads:
1. The basic thing you can do to keep blackheads away is to wash your face regularly. It is important to keep your face clean, to prevent oil and dirt build-up, which clogs pores and lead to blackheads.
-Use gentle cleansers that contain salicylic acid.
-Never wash your face with hot water; use lukewarm water instead.
-If you have oily skin, use oil-free cleansers. If you have dry skin, use cream or glycerine-based cleansers.
-Avoid bar soaps since they tend to clog pores.
2. Washing your face is important, but make sure not to over-wash. Washing your face frequently will irritate skin, strip it off its natural oils and cause more breakouts. Washing your face two-times in a day is sufficient.
3. Always remove your make-up before you go to bed. Cosmetic products or make-up, if left on skin for too long, can lead to clogged pores.
-Use gentle make-up remover or cleanser to remove make-up.
-Keep your make-up brushes or cosmetic sponges clean to prevent bacteria that can cause clogged pores.
4. If you lead a very active lifestyle, always shower after laborious activities. Sweating generally leads to an overload of bacteria, which ends up causing blackheads.
5. After washing your face, don’t forget to apply moisturiser. Sufficiently hydrated skin actually helps keep blackheads at bay. Always use a moisturiser meant for your skin types. For example, if you have oily skin, don’t go for heavy creams; choose oil-free lightweight creams instead.
6. Since excessive dead skin cells are also a cause of blackheads, it is imperative to exfoliate regularly.
-Gently exfoliate your skin to remove bacteria and dead skin cells to prevent blackheads.
-Exfoliating will prevent blackheads, so if you already have blackheads, simply exfoliating won’t do.
Choose gentle exfoliators as harsh scrubs can irritate your skin.
7. Having oily skin means your battle with blackheads is never-ending. The best way to combat blackheads, is to use products that absorb extra oil.
-Weekly clay masks, counter benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid treatments can be extremely beneficial.
8. Lastly, if you do think you see a blackhead on your nose, don’t touch it! Touching or picking it will only spread bacteria and oil, causing more blackheads.
Chances are, you’ve experienced acne. Acne is a very common skin condition that appears in many forms. Some types result in uncomfortable and irritating hard pimples. They can be on top or underneath the skin’s surface. Hard pimples are caused when dead skin cells, oil, and bacteria get under the skin’s surface. Certain types of hard pimples should be treated by a doctor to prevent them from getting worse and leaving scars.
What causes a hard pimple to form?
Acne is a very prevalent condition among preteens, teens, and adults. About 8 in 10 preteens and teens have acne. Overall, approximately 17 million Americans deal with acne.
Acne occurs when skin pores or hair follicles become clogged. Pores get clogged with:
dead skin cells
sebum, an oil produced by your body to keep the skin from drying out
bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes
Hard pimples develop when dead skin cells, sebum, and bacteria enter the skin’s surface. Once under the skin, bacteria can multiply quickly. This can cause the skin to become irritated and even infected. Hard pimples appear as raised bumps on or under the skin’s surface. Sometimes, they’re filled with pus.
It isn’t clear what causes acne, although there are several things that may influence it. These include:
friction on the skin, such as from a hat or a backpack
How are hard pimples typically treated?
There isn’t one single cure or treatment for acne. Your condition will be treated depending on the type you have and its severity.
Papules and pustules are often considered to be a mild form of acne. You may be able to treat them with over-the-counter (OTC) products containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. If you follow the instructions on the individual product, your skin may clear up within a few weeks. If you aren’t seeing any success with OTC treatments, you may want to speak with your doctor about other options.
Cysts and nodules should be treated by a doctor. These are more severe forms of acne that require intensive treatments. Your doctor may recommend topical treatments, oral treatments, or even a different treatment method, such as light therapy.
Topical treatments for acne
There are a variety of topical treatments for acne. Some are available over the counter, and others require a prescription. You may also be able to get a higher dose of some topical treatments with a prescription. Topical treatments can kill bacteria or target other symptoms, such as reducing the oil on your skin.
Types of topical treatment include:
retinoids, which prevent hair follicles and pores from becoming clogged
antibiotics, which kill bacteria and reduce irritation
benzoyl peroxide, which kills acne-causing bacteria
salicylic acid, which removes dead skin cells on the skin’s surface
Oral treatments for acne
Your doctor may recommend an oral medication for your nodules and cysts. These types of treatments include:
antibiotics, which are taken for a short period of time and stopped when symptoms clear up
birth control pills (for women) to help balance your hormone levels
isotretinoin, which is typically used in severe cases that are unresponsive to other medications
Other treatments for acne
There are several treatments beyond topical and oral medications that may help your cysts and nodules:
Laser and light therapy attack bacteria that cause acne.
Drainage and extraction is a procedure that enables your doctor to remove an acne cyst.
Steroid injection allows your doctor to inject a steroid into the affected area.
Could this bump be something else?
What appear to be hard pimples may be the result of another condition altogether. If you experience any unusual symptoms, or if your hard pimples aren’t clearing, you should consult your doctor. They can confirm whether these bumps are truly acne or if they’re the result of another underlying medical condition.
For example, basal cell carcinoma may appear to be acne, as it forms on the outer layer of the skin and in hair follicles. Another condition, chloracne, looks like acne but is caused by exposure to halogenated polycyclic hydrocarbons. It can result in cysts or nodules. Rosacea can appear as papules and pustules, but may require different treatment.
Tips for preventing future breakouts
You may be able to prevent future breakouts if you:
Wash your skin twice a day and after exercise. This can prevent the spread of bacteria from your hands to your face.
Refrain from touching your face and other acne-prone areas.
Don’t touch, pop, poke, or rub your acne. This can make it worse and may lead to scars.
Avoid scrubbing your skin and treat it gently.
Use products that work for your skin, including water-based makeup, lotion, and sunscreen.