Acne is medically known as Acne Vulgaris. It is a skin disease that involves the oil glands at the base of hair follicles. It commonly occurs during puberty when the oil glands come to life.These glands are stimulated by male hormones produced by the adrenal glands of both males and females. Human skin has pores which are connected to the oil glands under the skin through follicles which are like small canals. An oily liquid known as sebum is produced by the oil glands which carry dead cells through the follicles to the upper surface of the skin. Small hair grows through the follicles. Pimples develop when these follicles get blocked and then oil accumulates under the skin.
Acne is commonly referred as pimples. It is a condition that causes red bumps formed on the surface of your skin. This type of skin problem is common in teenagers. If it persists for a long time it is chronic. If your skin is oily, has blackheads, whiteheads, pimples you are prone to get Acne. In some Acne gets worst during menstrual cycle.
Why is acne caused?
The exact explanation on how the Acne is caused goes on like this, your skin has pores which generates oil, sweat and hair. When these pores are blocked with oil, dirt or bacteria you get Acne. Not only by this condition is Acne formed, it can also be caused when you have a overactive sweat glands or high hormone level. But very common cause is the blockage of the pores which is easier to cure too. The later condition though need medication.
What are the types of acne?
Mostly Acne emerges on the face, back and chest. There are three types of Acne, they are mild, moderate and severe acne. This is explained below.
- Mild acne: Mild acne are the blackheads, whiteheads and the small pimples. It is caused due to the blockage of pores. Whiteheads is a condition where tiny white bumps occur when the pores are completely blocked. In the condition of Blackheads tiny dark bumps occur when the pores are partially blocked. Whereas, pimples are the swollen bumps with pus. They are often caused when the whiteheads and blackheads get infected.
- Moderate acne: Occurrences of 10-40 small solid pimples with pus in it is called moderate acne.
- Severe acne: This is the extreme condition, here you get more than 40 inflamed hard painful pimples, wound or cysts. Cysts means the closed pus-filled pockets of the skin. Severe acne are caused deep in the skin and needs immediate treatment to avoid infection or scarring.
How to treat the acne ?
Acne can be controlled but not cured completely. Treatments can help to prevent the Acne, delaying treatment can cause infection, swelling, bleeding or scaring. The following are the treatments.
- Topical treatment : Topical treatment are the medicines used on the skin. There are many creams, gels, liquids and cleansers available in the market. Make sure to get a good one.
- Antibiotics : These medicines are used on the infection caused bacteria. This medicine may be a pill or ointment type.
- Mild acid : Salicylic acid helps to kill bacteria.
- Hormones : Hormones treatment is given if you have a hormone imbalance. Taking hormones will reduce the amount of oil in your pores.
- Retinoids : This treatment is advisable for severe acne. It mostly comes in the form of pills or cream. Though it is not advisable no pregnant or breastfeeding ladies.
- Steroids : This type of treatment reduces inflammation. Steroids are the given in the form of injection.
- Surgery : Surgery is a very rare case, it done mainly for treating scars.
Acne is not dangerous, butit can leave skin scars. It usually appears on the face, neck, back, shoulders and chest.
Types of pimples
- Whiteheads – remain under the skin and are very small
- Blackheads– are clearly visible as they are black and appear on the surface of the skin.
- Papules–are small pink color bumps visible on the surface of the skin.
- Pustules– are red pimples with pus on the top and clearly visible on the surface of the skin.
- Nodules – are large, solid pimples clearly visible on the surface of the skin. They are painful and have their roots deep in the skin
- Cysts – are painful, and are filled with pus growth that is clearly visible on the surface of the skin. Cysts can easily cause scars.
Causes of acne
- The causes of acne are not known completely. Some experts believe that the main cause of acne is the rise of the levels of the hormone androgen which is found to rise mostly in the adolescent age. This level helps in growing the oil glands under the skin grow big and produce more oil. Excess oil breaks down the cellular walls of the pores and allows bacteria to grow.
- Genetics also plays a part in the cause of acne.
- Some medicines containing androgen and lithium can also cause acne
- Greasy cosmetics may cause acne in people with sensitive skin.
- Hormone changes during pregnancy may cause acne to develop acne for the first time, or make it reoccur
Treatment of acne
Treatment of acne depends on how severe or persistent is the condition of acne. Majority of people get mild acne which can be treated by mild ointments and lotions containing benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, sulfur, and retina A.
Most acne treatments are applied on the skin which is called topical treatment. These topical ointments help to kill the bacteria and work on reducing the oil. The topical medicine contains a retinoid, prescription-strength benzoyl peroxide, antibiotic, or even salicylic acid which is needed to treat acne.
In cases of red swollen types of acne cysts and nodules the treatment should work throughout the body. Doctor may administer some antibiotics to kill the bacteria and reduce inflammation. He may also give some hormonal treatment that can be helpful to women.
Some other procedures to treat acne
- Lasers and other light therapies– These devices reduce the acnes bacteria.
- Chemical peels— are used by dermatologists to treat blackheads and papules.
- Acne removal —is done on large acne cyst. This procedure is called drainage and extraction and is helpful when all other methods fail. It helps to ease pain immediately but is sure to leave a scar.
Home remedies to treat acne
Baking Soda or sodium bicarbonate helps to unplug the pores and remove dead skin.. It also helps regulate the pH balance of the skin and has mild anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties which are excellent remedy for acne. Apply a paste made of soda and water and apply it on the areas of acne. Rinse after a few minutes.
Oatmeal helps to reduce acne by cleaning the skin pores and absorbing the excess oil. It is also helpful in exfoliating the skin. Make a mixture of cooked oatmeal, honey and lemon juice and rub it on the skin. Leave it on for 30 minutes and then rinse with lukewarm water
Fuller’s Earth is known as Multan mite and is good for greasy and acne prone skin. It absorbs the excess oil, opens the blocked pores and improves the complexion. Make a mud pack with fuller’s earth, sandalwood powder and rose water. Apply it on the face and leave it to dry before washing.
Lemon Juice Lemons have an acidic property which helps you treat acne. Lemon helps you to clean out the dirt which is accumulated in your pores and hardens the sebum. You can surely use it every day and help yourself get relieved from the acnes quicker than ever. However, if your skin dries out a little too much, you can apply it on every alternative day.
- Cut the lemon in half
- Apply one half on the affected area directly
- Let it stay like that for a few hours
- Rinse your face with plain water
- Take lemon juice and rose water in equal amounts
- Use the mix to wash your face thoroughly
Toothpaste: The toothpaste which we use for cleaning our teeth can also be used for treating acne. This is one of the easiest and fastest home remedies as well.
- Apply a tiny amount of toothpaste on the affected zone, and then go off to bed
- The toothpaste reduces swelling and dries out the acne
- You would get an improved result within a couple of a days
Make sure that the toothpaste is not in gel form. Those kinds of toothpastes are supposed to be avoided for this purpose.
Tea Tree Oil: Tea tree oil has antiseptic properties, which helps and heals a lot of problems at home and makes the usage much more convenient and effective. It also helps us kill bacteria which cause acne.
- Apply one drop of tea tree oil in the affected area
- Repeat application for three times a day
Remember, that the application of undiluted tea tree oil can cause skin irritation, excess drying and redness. Try to use a 5% solution and avoid this remedy if you have a sensitive skin.
Orange Peel: Orange peels have acidic property and it is rich in vitamin C. Both of these make it an amazing ingredient for acnes. You could extract orange juice from its peel, but using the peel directly would be more effective.
- Dry the orange peel under the sun and let it dry out completely
- Grind the peel in powder form and add water for making a smooth paste
- Apply paste on the affected area and let it dry for 10-15 minutes.
- Cleans your face with lukewarm water.
Aloe Vera Gel: Aloe vera has the power to soothe your skin, along with its amazing anti-inflammatory properties. Using this remedy would surely reduce your problem within a few days. They also heal the scars which remains after the acnes dry out.
- Buy an aloe vera leaf from the market
- Cut in from the fuller portion to get more gel
- Squeeze it out and apply directly
- Repeat it twice a day and get clearer skin
Fenugreek: The herb of fenugreek can be used for treating acne due to the anti-inflammatory, antiseptic properties along with the antioxidants.
- Take fresh fenugreek leaves
- Add a little water
- Grind it to extract the juice from the leaves
- Apply the juice on your affected area
- Let it dry for 10-15 minutes
- Rinse face with lukewarm water
- Repeat the remedy for 4 days for visible results.
- Take 1 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds
- Convert them in powder form by grinding it
- Add a little warm water so that it becomes a paste
- Apply the paste on the zone
- Leave it from 20 minutes
- Wash off with water
- Repeat 2-3 times a week
Indian Lilac: Indian lilac is what we locally call ‘neem’. They have amazing antimicrobial and antiseptic properties which kill bacteria causing acnes. It is also known to sooth redness and inflammation.
- Add water to a handful of neem leaves and make paste
- Add some turmeric powder to the extracted juice
- Apply the combination on the zone and leave it for 20 minutes
- Wash off with water
- Repeat twice a week
These easy natural treatments are much more effective than spending tons of money on beauty treatments. Just be consistent and you are sorted!