Acne and Pimples

Acne and Pimples

There are multiple factors that cause acne. Overproduction of sebum which is a normal oil present in the skin that will increase under the influence of hormones when coupled with the insufficient shedding of dead skin cells plugs the hair follicles. The plugged follicle can become inflamed and have increased growth of Propionibacterium acnes (normal skin bacteria).

Acne becomes chronic and results in scarring which can appear to be depressions in the skin or hyperpigmentation, so minimizing the breakouts is important. Most people with spots are facing a medical condition called acne vulgaris. The name is given to distinguish it from other present types and less common variants of acne.

Who gets acne vulgaris?

Every person has acne once in a lifetime. It mainly affects adolescents but may persist, can begin or become chronic in adulthood. Mild acne consists of a few pustules, papules or comedones (whiteheads and blackheads). Severe acne has numerous pustules, papules and causes pain.

What are the clinical features of acne vulgaris?

The most common parts of the body where acne is visible include the face, neck, chest, and back. The jawline is also the most common location in adults. Acne takes place where most of the sebaceous glands are located and sometimes can be even more extensive affecting the patient all over the body. There are several types of acne spots that occur, some of them may be inflamed papules, painful nodules, and pustules or non-inflamed pseudocysts and comedones.

Superficial lesions

1. Blackheads (open comedones) and Whiteheads (closed comedones)

2. Papules are small pink to reddish-brown bumps

3. Pustules are pus-filled lesions and white or yellow ‘squeezable’ spots.

Deeper lesions

1. Nodules (large and painful red lumps)

2. Cyst-like Fluctuant swellings known as Pseudocysts

Secondary lesions

1. Excoriations which are scratched or picked spots)

2. Erythematous macules which are best visible in fair skin and red marks from recently healed spots.

3. Pigmented macules (dark marks from old spots, mostly affecting those with dark skin)

Scars and its types.

In general, individual acne lesions last less than 2 weeks but if we talk about the deeper papules and nodules, they may persist for months, will be painful and leave scars. Many patients who have oily skin (seborrhoea) face the problem of acne.

What is the Treatment for Acne Vulgaris?

There are various factors which shall be considered for the treatments of acne such as the patient's age, gender, the severity of the condition, medical history (if any) and for how long the patient has been dealing with the acne.

  • Treatment for mild acne includes topical anti-acne preparations, lasers, and lights