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While most people with blemishes or acne become very conscious and lonely, the truth is almost everyone deals with it at some point in their life. As the eighth-most common skin condition worldwide, the estimated global prevalence of acne is 9.4%.
Acne manifests as pimples on the skin, especially on the face (the common face acne). It affects a person’s physical appearance as well as restricts one’s social interaction. Unfortunately but true, acne, although extremely common, leaves an indelible psychological and social impact. Adolescents may feel significantly left out if they are super conscious of their newly developed acne or acne scars.
Acne coupled with hair loss, excessive hair growth, or irregular periods can also be red flags for underlying issues like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or other endocrine disorders. Thus, an in-depth understanding of acne conditions and appropriate treatment is crucial for good mental and physical health.
Read on to know the science behind acne and expert advice on how to treat them?
What is Acne?
Acne is a common skin inflammatory condition in which hair, dead skin, or sebum (an oily skin secretion) block the pores. This blockage causes the skin to break out with lesions or pimples. Usually, acne occurs on the face, chest, back, neck, and shoulders.
People of all ages can get acne – however, it is more common in teenagers and young adults. Acne is more prevalent in men during their teens, whereas women witness acne development during adulthood. It may also significantly affect the quality of life of people.
The main contributory causes of acne are:
Some indirect factors include stress, hormonal imbalances, makeup, hair and skin care products, menstrual cycle, diet, family history, and certain medications (e.g.: corticosteroids, anabolic steroids, lithium).
Acne, or acne vulgaris, varies in size, color, and level of pain. There are several types of acne, which are:
These are small bumps that remain under the skin and are closed by oil and dead skin.
These are clear, open bumps on the skin’s surface. These dark-colored spots are filled with excessive oil and dead skin.
These are small, pink bumps on the skin’s surface that become inflamed.
These pimples are red at the base, white or yellow at the top, and are filled with pus. Scratching these pimples can cause scarring.
Cystic acne can occur anywhere on the face or body. Cysts are the most severe form of acne vulgaris. These large, red, and painful pus-filled blemishes are quite visible on the skin. Cystic acne results from a severe bacterial infection and can leave behind scars.
This is another severe form of acne vulgaris. Nodules are large, painful, and irritating pimples deeply embedded in the skin.
Pityrosporum folliculitis or fungal acne is caused by yeast development in the hair follicles. As a result, itchy and painful papules and pustules develop on the face, chest, and back.
The main objectives of acne treatment are to:
The treatment approach includes oral and topical medications, among other regimens. It also depends upon the person’s age and gender, and the severity and scarring caused by acne.
These are mild forms of acne. Therefore, the standard treatment recommended is topical therapy. This includes topical anti-acne preparations containing benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, retinol, and azelaic acid.
Benzoyl peroxide acts on acne-causing bacteria. Meanwhile, salicylic acid penetrates deep into the pores. It encourages the shedding of dead skin cells, unclogging the pores. It helps reduce the redness and inflammation associated with acne.
Salicylic acid is also used in psoriasis treatment. Topical salicylic acid preparations help reduce the red and scaly patches associated with scalp psoriasis.
With acne, topical antibiotics are also prescribed to unclog follicles. Antibiotics like clindamycin and erythromycin are effective against several kinds of bacteria.
Topical preparations can treat these types of acne. These are formulations containing benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and retinol; and topical antibiotics.
Deep acne, like nodules and cysts, often leaves scars. Proper treatment may help achieve clearer skin.
The treatment regimen includes topical preparations, antibiotics, and isotretinoin – an approved medication that treats severe acne. In certain appropriate cases, women can also use hormonal therapy (oral contraceptives) and spironolactone to control acne.
Dermatologists may also prescribe oral anti-inflammatory antibiotics – think doxycycline, tetracycline, and minocycline – which inhibit the production of bacteria-induced inflammatory cytokines.
Moreover, they may suggest some other treatment plans along with medications. For extremely painful, deep, and extensive breakouts, they may inject corticosteroid injections into the nodules to reduce the inflammation.
Recovery from acne can sometimes result in acne scars and dark spots. These may last permanently if they are not taken care of. Just like acne, there are different types of acne scars too. The three main types are:
Scar treatment depends on the type, severity, and depth. Some scars from acne may require in-office treatment, while others can be treated at home. In-office treatment includes:
Over-the-counter skin products or medications can be therapeutic. These should be applied regularly in a thin layer to the entire affected area.
Some tips to prevent future outbreaks include:
Practicing a dedicated self-care routine for face acne is essential. Hypoallergenic products like the Conscious ChemistTM’s Flashfix™️ serum can reduce breakouts and bust blemishes. This quick-absorbing serum combats acne without irritating or drying out the skin.
Free from harmful chemicals and toxins, FlashfixTM serum is specially formulated with the following safe, science-based ingredients:
FlashfixTM serum is fragrance-free, non-comedogenic, and suitable for daily use by all skin types and genders. Apply 2–3 drops on cleansed and toned skin at night.
Needless to say, the serum is dermatologically tested and is easy to use. So, get rejuvenated, stress-free, and acne-free skin by shopping now for FlashfixTM serum.