Acne is a serious inflammatory skin disease that occurs when excess sebum accumulates in the orifices of the hair canals. This leads to the formation of a so-called “plug”, which creates an ideal environment for bacteria to multiply, inflammation of the skin, rashes and other imperfections.
What does acne look like?
Acne on the face can manifest itself in different ways, depending on the severity and degree of neglect of the inflammatory processes. It can be blackheads, red acne, purulent painful rashes, whiteheads. In most cases, rashes affect the T-zone – the zone with the highest activity of strong glands and maximally enlarged pores. These are the forehead, nose and under-beard. Acne occurs less frequently in the U-zone (cheeks and cheekbones).
Types and stages of acne
Dermatologists distinguish several distinct types of acne, which differ in symptoms and appearance:
- Closed comedones – a rash, consisting of hardened and inflamed skin discharge (mostly they are black or gray). They are located under the skin and are formed as a result of the oxidative reaction of the contents with oxygen;
- Open comedones (better known as blackheads) – have the same nature as closed comedones but appear exclusively on the surface of the skin;
- Nodules – subcutaneous nodular formations that are accompanied by inflammation and painful sensations. They are hard to the touch and on palpation felt like hard bumps. In some cases, they may be surrounded by purulent discharge;
- Pustules are clearly visible (“classic”) acne. They are accompanied by purulent discharge and a pronounced inflamed red skin area.
The stages of acne development can be divided into:
- Light form – oily sheen, black and white non-inflammatory acne;
- Moderate form – oily sheen becomes more intense, there are a lot of black and white acne, red inflammatory rashes (from 10 to 20 elements);
- Severe form (more than 40 elements), large and painful nodules, pustules and cysts, persistent inflammation.
Causes of facial acne
To one degree or another, about 80% of people have experienced acne at least once in their life. Let us examine the possible factors of the appearance of acne, which provoke hyperactivity of sebum synthesis and inflammatory foci.
TOP-13 causes of acne on the face:
- changes in the work of the hormonal system or fluctuations in the hormonal background (puberty, certain phases of the cycle, pregnancy);
- diseases of the digestive tract, thyroid gland;
- unbalanced diet, frequent lack of sleep, harmful habits;
- improper care;
- demodicosis (acne mite);
- use of anabolic steroids;
- use of preparations containing halogens and barbiturates;
- skin lesions accompanied by inflammation;
- intensive multiplication of acne bacteria on the skin surface (Propionibacterium acnes or Malassezia), which provoke inflammatory foci;
- the accumulation in the pores of keratinized particles of the epidermis, mixed with sebum;
- violation of hygiene rules;
- stress: the stress hormone cortisol, produced by the adrenal glands during emotional turmoil, activates the sebaceous glands.
Acne is a serious condition and must be treated under the supervision of a dermatologist. If the problem is limited to a couple of pimples (comedones, pustules) and clogged pores, you can solve it at home with the help of derma cosmetics.
The first question that almost all patients ask is “How soon can I get rid of acne?” We addressed it to My Canadian Pharmacy online, a drugstore that sells skin care medications.
How to treat acne correctly?
If the situation is serious, the patient has cystic inflammations, deep subcutaneous acne (nodules) or nodular acne, in this case, it is better to consult a specialist who will help prescribe medication, including antibiotics, hormonal drugs, and drugs with isotretinoin. Under these circumstances, self-medication can only make the problem worse.
It is important to understand that if acne is not treated, the disease can last for years.
Young people very often suffer from acne – about 80% of adolescents face acne It is not just a teenage problem. This disease occurs in 40% of adults, especially in women. About a third of adult women suffer from acne, relapses frequently occur during certain periods of the menstrual cycle. And sometimes rashes happen even in children.
The best methods to get rid of acne:
- Exfoliation. Intensive cleansing of the skin at a deeper level using special skin exfoliation products. The frequency of the procedure depends on the type and condition of the skin;
- Bactericidal agents. Pharmacy cosmetics have a bacterial effect on the epidermis, slowing down the rate of development of propionic bacteria, which cause new imperfections, dry out existing lesions and reduce sebum production. The composition of such products includes active ingredients in high concentrations, which make it possible to comprehensively deal with the problem of rashes;
- Antibiotics. For the treatment of 3 and 4 stages of acne (moderate and severe), a dermatologist prescribes systemic antibiotics: minocycline, doxycycline, tetracycline and erythromycin;
- Hormone therapy. To treat acne in adulthood caused by hormonal imbalances in the body, a dermatologist prescribes appropriate tests and hormonal therapy;
- Retinoids. With regular use, derivatives of vitamin A, aimed at normalizing cellular renewal of the skin, effectively fight acne and post-acne (scars and hyperpigmentation), even out skin tone and relief, and accelerate the exfoliation of dead skin cells;
- Phototherapy. Acne treatment with phototherapy (radiation) is based on the effect on problem areas of the skin with an intense stream of light while reducing the production of sebum. The procedure also improves blood circulation in the sebaceous glands, which promotes reparative processes.
How long does acne take to go away?
The speed of getting rid of acne directly depends on how quickly you begin to take a comprehensive approach to treatment. Discipline in diet and daily hygiene is very important, as well as strict adherence to the recommendations of a dermatologist on the use of medicines and cosmetics for skincare.
It is impossible to unequivocally answer the question of how long acne is treated. Even if acne appears quickly and suddenly, it takes time for the skin to start responding to treatment. If everything is done correctly, positive dynamics can be noticeable within a month. A mild form of acne (I and II degrees), as a rule, does not require medical treatment and in most cases, it is possible to get rid of the disease in 6 to 12 weeks.
What happens if you do not treat acne of 2-3 degrees?
If you relax and simply squeeze out pimples or mask them with cosmetics instead of being treated according to the recommendation of a dermatologist, the problem can last for many months. With moderate and severe acne (III and IV degrees), complex therapy and drug treatment are required, which at this stage of the disease can last up to a year.
Possible complications and consequences
The advanced stages of acne rarely disappear without a trace. According to recent studies, 95% of people, after improper treatment of acne, develop post-acne – congested multi-colored spots on the skin, scars and bumps, irregularities in the areas with the most severe inflammation.
This means that after acne, the skin can lose its beautiful healthy appearance due to imperfections that have appeared:
- Enlarged pores;
- Red, blue and even purple traces;
- Scars and irregularities;
- Cysts of the sebaceous glands;
- Brown spots;
- Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation;
- Overdried sensitive skin;
- Peeling skin.
The severity of the complications that appear depends on how badly the skin was affected. For example, the appearance of hyperpigmentation indicates a skin injury at the level of the epidermis. Scars and skin irregularities are the results of damage to the dermal tissue layers.
How to care for acne skin?
Skin with acne needs gentle, delicate cleansing, regular effective moisturizing and timely suppression of the emerging foci of new inflammation. Proper care can significantly speed up acne treatment and reduce the likelihood of scarring and blemishes.
Complex skincare for acne can be divided into 3 main stages:
- Cleansing – removal of dead dermis, skin impurities, excess oil;
- Restoration and soothing care for inflamed skin.
Tags: Acne, pimples, skin, skin disease, Skincare