Acne Vulgaris, commonly referred to as pimples, is an inflammatory disease of the skin. This condition is very common in puberty. As one reaches their early twenties, it either disappears or decreases. Acne begins because of the comedo, an enlarged hair follicle plugged with oil and bacteria. The comedo is invisible to the naked eye and is present beneath the surface of the skin. When it gets the right condition, it grows into an inflamed lesion. The oil produced from the skin helps bacteria to flourish within the swollen follicle.
Non-inflammatory acre are of two types – Closed comedo or white head, and Open comedo or black head. There are 4 types of inflammatory acne –
· Papule – It is the mildest form that appears on the skin as a small, firm pink bump.
· Pustule – They are small round lesions containing visible pus. They may appear red at the base and yellowish or whitish at the center.
· Nodule or Cyst – Large and painful, they are pus-filled lesions lodged deep within the skin. The nodules may persist for weeks or months with the contents hardening into a deep cyst. Both nodules and cysts often leave deep scars.
· Acne Conglobata – This severe bacterial infection develops mostly on the back, buttocks and chest.
The chief causes of acne are hormones like androgen, production of extra sebum, follicle fallout, bacteria and inflammation. For controlling acne, you can carry out the following steps –
· Avoid excessive washing of your skin. It can leave the healthy skin dry, thus irritating the acne prone areas. Over-washing may also stimulate extra oil production.
· Avoid alcohol products to tone your skin. Alcohol is a strong astringent that strips the top layer of the skin causing sebaceous glands to produce more oil.
· Do not squeeze or pick the acne with fingernails, pins or any other thing. It forces the bacteria deeper into the skin and often leaves a permanent acne scar.
· A wash is required after exercise. The heat and moisture trapped against the skin creates an ideal breeding ground for the spread of bacteria.
· Consume food rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin B-2, Vitamin B-3, Vitamin E and Zinc like eggs, nuts, liver, milk, fish and leafy green vegetables.
· Proper sleep and a life without stress and emotional anxiety can reduce acne.
· Wear little make-up while exercising. Avoid garments that are made exclusively with nylon.
Laser surgery is often used to reduce the scars left behind by acne. Treating acne with azelaic acid, salicylic acid, tropical retinoids and benzoyl peroxide is also common. A large number of people started trying herbal acne treatments over the traditional medications by using teas, oils and herbal creams.