ACNE - a generic term for a group of various skin conditions, of various etiologies, resultin from a functional disorder of the sebaceous glands.
Acne is a skin dysfunction that occurs mainly on the face, back, chest and the capillary area. Although it can affect all age groups, acne is most common in adolescents.
TYPES OF ACNE
Acne can be divided into two categories: inflammatory and non-inflammatory.
INFLAMMATION-FREE ACNE - is characterized by seborrheic skin and/or the appearance of comedones.
- Seborrhea is caused by an exaggerated, even pathological secretion of the sebaceous glands. The skin is glossy, with a yellowish-dirty appearance, has dilated pores, is rougher and lacks suppleness. Seborrhea is located mainly in the nose, forehead, cheeks and upper chest. It can also affect the scalp and earlobe.
- Comedones are formed by clogging the hair follicle, the orifice of sebum removal. Open comedones (blackheads) have the color given by oxidation and not dirt. Closed comedones are named whiteheads.
INFLAMMATORY ACNE - is the result of inflammation of the clogged pore. It occurs in most cases on oily skin
- The papules appear as red, often painful uplifts that may remit spontaneously or evolve into pustules.
- Pustules derive from papules, on the surface can be seen a purulent white-yellow content.
- Nodules and cysts are painful inflammations, with a more serious evolution that can result in scarring.
Propionibacterium Acnes (or P. acnes) is the bacterium incriminated in the development of acne. It is found naturally in the hair follicles on the skin. You can't "get rid" of it, nor should you, it's important to keep it under control. It multiplies rapidly when there is excess sebum in a pore plus a significant amount of dead cells. When the bacteria multiplies excessively, the pore becomes inflamed and papules form.
P. acnes develop resistance to local and oral antibiotics over time.
There are several causal factors that trigger acne:
- Genetics: inherited predisposition, number and activity of sebaceous glands, follicular reactivity, altered keratinization
- Endocrine: the sebaceous gland is mainly influenced by androgen hormones, but the thyroid hormones and other hormonal disorders may represent stimuli
- Medications: corticosteroids, androgens, anabolic steroids, antituberculosis, anticonvulsants, immunosuppressants, iodine and other potential stimuli: lithium, cobalt irradiation. Acne due to medication always occurs suddenly
- Mechanics: pressure or friction caused by clothes or certain behavioral habits. Frequent touching of the face with dirty hands or hair that has hairspray or other styling products
- Uncontrolled sun exposure
- Cosmetic preparations unsuitable for the skin condition, prolonged application of cosmetics containing comedogenic compounds
- Neuropsychic stress. According to some sources, it is not a cause, but it has an influence on the hormonal system, and an unbalanced organism is vulnerable
- Rebellious constipation
- Improper hygiene. Acne is not caused but is aggravated by poor hygiene
- The inadequate makeup and foundation can worsen the condition of the skin with acne tendencies or affected by acne through the content of comedogenic ingredients, which clog pores. Improper removal of makeup.
- Applying inappropriate cosmetics. Recently a new term was born, "cosmetic acne".
- Squeezing "pimples" in unhygienic conditions, by unskilled hands. Injury trauma.
- Sweating, hot and humid environments
- Premenstrual period
- Ultraviolet radiation. The sun is good due to its moderate anti-inflammatory effect, but it has a comedogenic effect by increasing the sebum in the skin and hyperkeratosis.
- Occupation by exposure to heat, hydrocarbons or mineral oils
- Diet in which dairy products, concentrated sweets and foods rich in iodine are incriminated. We have not identified conclusive studies showing the link between diet and acne, but certainly a healthy diet contributes to the good condition of the body, so the healing and self-regulation processes proceed normally.
- Anabolic steroids, vitamin B12, bromides, iodides, antiepileptics
- Pregnancy, in which the hormonal system is experiencing a real revolution
- Skin alkalinity: acne, allergies and other skin problems become more severe when the skin is alkaline
People who are prone to acne or who have already had acne episodes, taking into account the aggravating factors and the triggers, should pay attention to:
- proper hygiene. It is important to keep the skin clean, but excessive washing can lead to dry and irritated skin. Alcoholic solutions that stimulate sebum secretion should be avoided
- use of appropriate cosmetics
- sun exposure with photoprotection
- hair to be clean and free from contact with areas affected or prone to acne, especially if treated with styling products
- rethinking the diet - mostly vegetarian diets are cleansing regimens and are very useful in the treatment or prophylaxis of acne. Taking dietary supplements especially vitamin A, E, omega-3 and zinc
Forms of acne
COMMON ACNE - VULGARIS ACNE
This is how regular acne manifestations are labeled, regardless of whether we are talking about childhood, adolescence or adulthood. Common acne is characterized by a milder manifestation, often reminiscent and self-healing.
1. NEONATAL ACNE
It can occur in about 20% of healthy newborns. The lesions are located on the nose and cheeks and remit in the first 3 months of life. Maternal hormone levels are thought to be responsible. Specific treatment is only needed in severe and persistent (rare) cases, hygiene and skin care should be made thoughtfully for the condition.
2. CHILDHOOD ACNE
Represents acne on children aged 3 to 6 months, which frequently recedes in up to one year. It is slightly more pronounced than the neonatal form and in some cases can lead to scarring. Here it is not maternal hormones but intrinsic hormonal disorders that are the trigger.
3. JUVENILE ACNE
During puberty, the body secretes a large amount of hormones. Hormones affect the sebaceous secretion, so teenagers have intermittent acne breakouts. Juvenile acne creates a state of physical and emotional discomfort. Usually the treatment of juvenile acne involves only personal hygiene measures, natural and cosmetic treatments. Severe, infected, long-lasting forms require the attention of a dermatologist.
It is manifested by red lesions, vascular dilatations on the face. In the case of rosacea, comedones, nodules and cysts are missing. Excessive flushing, red papules on the nose, face or neck, dilated pores, obvious swelling, itching.
There is no known universal cure for this form of acne, but it can be controlled. It is usually cyclical, worsens for a few weeks, then remits. There are natural compounds that improve the condition of the skin and can help prevent the appearance of episodes.
Rosacea is a chronic disease. Different treatments can improve the condition and appearance of the skin or at least stabilize the situation. In any case, it takes a few weeks of treatment to get a visible result.
NODULO-CYSTIC or SEVERE ACNE
It is characterized by deep cysts and inflammation, being considered the most serious and painful form of acne. It can cause significant damage and leave permanent marks on the skin (scars).
Severe acne requires strict treatment and the attention of a dermatologist. The treatment is usually long-lasting, even several years.
Acne skin treatment
Assessment of the condition of acne skin is recommended to be done by a dermatologist or in a medical cosmetic office, especially in severe cases with severe or repetitive conditions. It is important to differentiate between diagnosing acne and folliculitis. In some cases, laboratory tests are required.
In milder cases, acne can be treated at home. It should be noted that a general solution for everyone does not exist in the treatment of acne.
SPECIFIC COSMETIC ACTION:
Rigorous skin cleansing: unclogging pores, removing infected pustules, cleaning sebaceous cysts - this is done in several sessions if the skin is superinfected and is performed at a specialized office, requiring skill and conditions of maximum hygiene. After this procedure, the skin should be given time to heal.
WHAT CAN BE DONE AT HOME:
- proper cleansing with products suitable for oily skin
- pore decongestion, skin purification
- limiting the proliferation of bacteria
- regular exfoliation to remove dead cells and clean pores
- wound healing
- application of compositions containing sebum-regulating ingredients
- application of compositions containing antibacterial ingredients
- moisturizing the skin with non-greasy, light creams
- skin protection
. FOCUS on:
- pore decongestion
- balancing sebum secretion
- skin purification
- avoiding bacterial proliferation
- moisturizing, soothing and protecting the skin
The cosmetic ingredients that have a good reputation and have proven effective in many people affected by common acne are:
- neem oil
- jojoba oil
- kukui oil
- black cumin seed oil
- rosemary water
- lavender water
- tea tree
- AHA fruit acids
- salicylic acid BHA
- Licorice extract
- zinc oxide
- C vitamin
- green tea extract
- diet with many raw foods
- adequate fluid intake
- omega 3 intake
- vitamin A, E
- masks with green clay
- exfoliation with alpha/beta hydroxy acids, enzymatic exfoliation
- soothing, anti-inflammatory compresses
Q: How can I get rid of pimples? A: It is important to act on the cause, given that it was clearly differentiated by diagnosing acne from other conditions (mycoses, folliculitis).
Q: I have acne, what cream should I use? A: The condition of the skin can be improved with a proper care and hygiene routine. Instead of a single cream, it is necessary first to identify the cause, then to apply a correct routine that includes cleansing (including exfoliation), hydration and protection, plus appropriate treatment where necessary.
Q: I have had all kinds of treatments and still have acne. What do you recommend? Give me something! A: A correct diagnosis is needed. It is possible that several specialists should be consulted but also laboratory tests should be made, before establishing the new cosmetic routine or the appropriate treatment schedule.