Scientifically referred to as 'Vulgaris', acne is a disease affecting the skin. Emerging as oily follicles on scaly red patches, acne can be of various kinds. Blackheads, whiteheads, pinheads and papules are the various kinds of acne. Though chest, armpits, groins, buttocks and back are also affected by these lesions called acne- the most affected part happens to be the face.

Causes of Acne - What Causes Acne?

  • They are mostly caused owing to the changes in polysebaceous contents of the skin structure.
  • Increased level of testosterone during puberty also leads to acne.
  • Heightened activity of the sebaceous gland, on account of its enlargement, and on stimulation by androgen released in excess also contributes to the formation of acne.
  • Acne forms when the follicle of skin is blocked by excess secretion of oil or sebum.
  • A bacterium by the name of 'commensal' may also lead to the development of acne. It may also develop owing to the infection caused by an aerobic bacterium by the name of 'propeoni'.
  • Besides the genetic hormonal causes; genetic reasons are also responsible, with strains susceptible to acne being a common feature of family heredity.
  • Scientific research has also shown the relationship between emotional stress and acne.
  • Diet rich in fat or 'glycemic' content is also responsible for acne.
  • Excess of dandruff may lead to the development of acnes.
  • Excess use of oily or grease based foundation or cosmetic may also be responsible for causing acnes.
  • Acne can also develop as side effects of drugs taken in forms of steroids and hormones.
  • Malfunctioning of thyroid gland may also be another responsible factor aiding the growth of pimples.

Acne Symptoms - Various Symptoms of Acne

  • The skin affected by acne becomes scaly and red.
  • They appear as small dots of inflammations.
  • They create scary marks on the skin. The scary marks which occur as a result of inflammation may take on varying forms including deep, angular or the one appearing as wavy marks.
  • In severe cases of acne, the marks of scar remain perennially.

Different types of Acne

  • Acne may appear as blackheads, whiteheads, in shapes of pins, papules and nodules.
  • It can typically look like an enlarged cyst or inflammation. Acnes taking on a cystic form are usually painful.
  • Cystic acne may appear on chest, neck, trunk, back and shoulders.
  • Acne may further be divided into inflammatory and non inflammatory kinds.

Effects of Acne on Skin

  • The most common effect of acne is that it leaves marks of scar on the area affected.
  • Usually affecting both males and females during adolescence, children and seniors are generally not affected by acne.
  • Sometimes the embarrassingly thick scary patches may lead to psychological distress and anxiety.
  • It may add to the social insecurity of the teen agers.
  • Acne may further be divided into inflammatory and non inflammatory kinds.

Acne Diagnosis - How to Diagnose Acne

There are various techniques or yard sticks whereby acne may be diagnosed. The principal of them includes:

  • Leeds technique of acne grading by virtue of which acne may be divided into inflammatory and non inflammatory kinds.
  • Cook's scale makes use of photograph's to assess the severity or intensity of acne. Using a scale beginning from zero to that of eight, Cook's scale assesses the different levels of severity.
  • By way of Pillsbury scale; acne is differentiated on grounds of severity from zero to four; with zero being least severe and four being the maximum one.

Acne Treatment - Various Treatment for Acne

  • Acne can be treated with the help of antibiotics.
  • Both topical use and consumption of antibiotics can be prescribed.
  • Acne can be treated with 'Benozyl peroxide'
  • According to the level of intensity, certain antiseptic and antiseborreic medications in salicylic, alpha hydroxyl and azelaic acids are prescribed.
  • Topical use of 'Mandelic acid' is often prescribed and as such it has been found to be significantly beneficial.
  • Anti inflammatory gel in forms of Nicotinamide and Vitamin B are prescribed.
  • As part of treatment of acne, use of phototherapy is also in vogue. By way of phototherapy, acnes are exposed to red and blue light. The resulting exposure leads to the emission of radicals which ultimately lead to the extinction of acnes.
  • In extreme cases laser surgery leading to the burning away of follicle sac, is made use of.

Self Care to Prevent Acne and Reduce Acne Effect

  • Self care involving thorough cleansing of make-up and other dirt and debris is important as far as eradication of acnes is concerned.
  • For a person afflicted with it, he/she should be particularly careful about not itching or scratching them as that will end up enhancing the inflammation.
  • Even fingering or touching of acnes should be avoided.
  • Diet should be free from food items high in oil content, rather balanced meals enriched with sprouts and fibers should be taken.
  • Care and discretion should be exercised about the choice of cosmetics; the ones containing chemicals and grease should be avoided. Instead cosmetics based on herbal extracts and moisturizer should be opted for.