Acne is different from just the occasional pimple that pops out. Everyone will have had an experience looking into the mirror and seeing that little zit in the cheek or in the forehead. This is worrying especially if you have a big day ahead of you—they may even throw a tantrum and not go because of that red thing on their face. So imagine how much harder it is for the acne sufferer, having to look at clusters of red patches all over their face—that no matter what they do doesn’t seem to go away.
Acne develops when there is a blockage in hair follicles and hair follicles are present all over our bodies. It doesn’t only occur in the face, it can also affect similar areas like the back and the chest. This is caused by the overproduction of oil in the area, the irregular shedding of dead skin cells which results in the irritation of the follicles, and a buildup of bacteria on the site which causes pus and inflammation on the site affected. When the sebum (oil) and dead skin cells clump together, they form a plug which blocks the pores which can result in:
A combination of factors can make acne worse. Acne can also be hereditary, meaning that if your family has a history of suffering from acne, you may suffer from it too. Hormones also play a big role, which explains why a lot of teenagers suffer from it. Teenagers experience spurts of growth and sex hormones which can wreak havoc on the skin. Women may also experience times of the month during the different phases of their menstrual cycles when their skins will break out or clear up. They may also experience acne when they start or stop taking hormone pills, or when they become pregnant. Greasy food and chocolates do not cause acne, despite what some people may say.
Those suffering from mild to moderate acne can use specialized facial washes that contain ingredients like salicylic acid to combat oiliness and bacteria on the skin. These should be used around twice a day, in the morning and in the evening. Care should be taken not to over scrub the skin—this may just cause further damage. The face should be washed gently, just enough to remove excess oil and dirt. There are also over the counter topical medicines that can be taken by those suffering from moderate acne such as benzoyl peroxide which is available in varying concentrations. There are also some dermatological procedures such as peels that can address the acne.
For those with severe acne or those who do not respond to over the counter treatment, there are prescription medications that can be used to address a more serious acne problem. Medications such as tretinoin, tazarotene and adapalene are stronger forms of acne control. Some antibiotics may also be prescribed to serious acne sufferers.