Our personality is regarded as the most essential part of the initial impression we make on others. For that, people always work on showing up in the prettiest look that can uniquely reflect their personality. Our skin plays a crucial part in that process because it can say a lot about us.
Natural and fresh skin can make a big difference in our self-boost and physical appearance. Besides, taking care of our skin will help us avoid many skin problems that may lead to anxiety and depression. But, some diseases can make more than affect appearance, it can decrease the quality of life and lead to social and psychological problems, like acne, for instance.
What Is Acne?
Acne is a common skin condition that happens when hair follicles become clogged under the skin. Oil and dead skin cells block the pores and lead to pimples, whiteheads, or blackheads.
When we first mention acne, the first thing that comes to our mind is that acne can only affect teens and young adults, which is not scientifically correct; acne can affect many ages and races.
Acne can appear on your face, forehead, chest, upper back, and shoulders in many shapes. It can appear like mild noninflammatory acne, moderate inflammatory acne, or severe inflammatory acne.
The best way to determine what kind of acne you have is to get a consultation from a certified dermatologist that can help you treat your skin and get rid of acne scars.
What Causes Acne?
Approximately eight in ten teens have acne, so, we could say at least most people have a few spots at some period of their lives but it is most common during the teenage years because of some hormonal changes. During puberty, these hormones increase and cause the sebaceous glands to enlarge, which leads to more sebum than the skin needs.
Furthermore, even people between their ’30s and 40’s can get acne, and it appears especially in women and can be related to many causes. For example, It can be caused by changes in hormone levels during particular times of the month, such as periods, pregnancy, or polycystic ovary syndrome. Other triggers, like corticosteroids, testosterone, or lithium, as well as some cosmetics products and smoking, might have bad side effects, too.
Also, according to some research, acne can be passed down a generation if your parents have it. On the other hand, acne does not last forever. It can be treated in many ways. But first, you need to ask your dermatologist to determine the type of acne and where it appears on your skin, what kind of medicine you’ve taken, and also your age to prescribe the proper treatment.
What Is the Best Acne Treatment?
You might think that if your acne isn't severe, you don't need to consult a doctor. We disagreed with you! Because there are many benefits to seeing a doctor who specializes in skin disease. By examining your acne, dermatologists can determine the type of acne you have and begin developing an effective treatment plan for you.
Types of Acne and Their Treatment
Since there are many types of acne, there will be different ways of treating it. It can differ from one person to another and one case to another. As previously mentioned, there are many types of acne; we'll go through each one and show you how it can treat properly:
- Whiteheads Acne :Closed plugged pores are regarded as the main reason for whiteheads. Pores can get clogged for many reasons. In addition, whiteheads can be shown in any area of the body like the nose, chin, and forehead, chest, back, shoulders, and arms. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, topical retinoids are considered the best treatment for whiteheads because they can help get rid of the bacteria on your skin, unclog pores and avoid the pore-clogging process. The retinoids must be taken every day or night, and it will take three months to show results.
- Blackheads Acne: It forms when the clog or plug develops in the opening of hair follicles in your skin and the dead skin cells and oils collect in this opening. Usually, blackheads show up in the face but it can be shown in different areas too like the back, chest, neck, arms, and shoulders. Blackheads can be treated in many ways as under:
- Over-the-counter (OTC) treatments: Many acne medicines are available without a prescription from pharmacies or grocery shops. It contains salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and resorcinol, which aid in the elimination of bacteria and the drying of excess oil in order to shed dead skin cells.
- Prescription medications: If the OTC fails to clear up your acne, your doctor may prescribe stronger prescription medications, such as vitamin A-containing medications. Because of the fast turnover of skin cells, blockages in the hair follicles are eliminated.
- Manual removal: Professionally trained skincare or dermatologists can use a special tool to remove the plug that causes the blackheads.
- Microdermabrasion: it is a gentle and rejuvenating treatment that exfoliates the superficial layer of the epidermis. During microdermabrasion, the special dermatologist or skincare professional uses a special instrument that sands the top layers of your skin to remove the clogs that cause blackheads.
- Chemical peels: Can remove clogs and get rid of dead skin and it involves applying a strong chemical solution on the skin. So it can gradually remove the outermost layer. Stronger peels must be performed by dermatologists or skin care professionals. Researchers at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine have found that chemical peels are so affected in treating mild to moderately severe facial acne.
- Laser and light therapy: The heat from the laser removes the top layer of your skin, decreases oil production, and kills bacteria. It reaches below the surface of the skin without harming the top layers of the skin.
Anyway, these dermatologist-endorsed methods are the best ways to get rid of blackheads safely and cleanly.
- Small Red, Tender Bumps: It's called papules, it is a type of inflamed blemish that gets in a small red bump shape. Papules develop when the pore is clogged with skin cells and excess oil. When the bacteria build up in the pore it causes an irritation that makes the skin red, inflamed, and sore. Treatment can be recommended by your dermatologist depending on how severe your acne is. It could prescribe topical dapsone (Aczone), retinoid drugs, or topical antibiotics which can kill excess bacteria on the skin and reduce redness. Also, may your dermatologist prescribe oral medications like antibiotics, birth control pills(for women), or anti-androgen agents(for women).
- Pimples: It's known as pustules, It is a red spot with a white center that develops when hair follicles are blocked and become inflamed or infected with bacteria. Mild or moderate pimples can be treated with medication like benzoyl peroxide, a Retinoid, azelaic acid, or benzoyl peroxide + a retinoid or an antibiotic you apply to your skin.
- Nodules: This is a growth of abnormal tissue developed immediately under the skin. Enlarged lymph nodes are commonly referred to as nodules (lymphadenopathy). Moreover, lymphadenopathy may form in many areas like the armpits, groin, head and neck region, and lungs. There are many types of Nodules:
- Lymph node nodules: When the lymph node nodules are enlarged it can be seen as a nodule under the skin. If you have any persistently enlarged lymph nodes, then your doctor must evaluate them.
- Vocal cord nodules: It causes overuse or misuse of the voice and they are noncancerous.
- Lung nodules: Infection is one of the many reasons why a nodule develops in the lungs.
When the nodules are noncancerous, it doesn’t require treatment. But it becomes more likely to be cancerous if it gets bigger than 1.2 inches. The doctor will devise a plan with you to monitor these nodules and determine when you must have a biopsy.
- Cystic lesions: Cystic lesions Are big, pus-filled lesions that resemble boils in form. It can be painful and must be treated by a dermatologist because it may leave scars. To treat cystic lesions you need a medicine that is recommended by your doctor because treating mild acne doesn't usually work on cystic acne. Such as oral antibiotics, birth control pills, benzoyl peroxide, retinoid, isotretinoin, spironolactone, or steroids.
In the summary, you should know that acne is not preventable, but you can control it. It's highly recommended to eat healthy food, get adequate sleep, and do exercise. If you feel you need a stronger solution, dermatologists have many prescription treatments available. Therefore, getting help from a dermatologist and implementing the precise procedures he suggests for treating your skin can provide you with results that fulfill your expectations and restore life to your skin