Acne a Skin Condition – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
Acne is an inflammatory skin condition that occurs in the form of spots and pimples, on the skin. They are usually occurred on the face, but some people also have them on neck, chest, shoulders, back, and upper arms.
The condition commonly occurs in teenagers during puberty, when sebaceous glands are activated, but it can occur at any age. Although acne is not harmful to the body, it may leave scars on the skin in many cases after treatment.
Causes and Symptoms of Acne
Our skin has pores that are connected to the oil glands underneath. There are small sacs under the skin called follicles which produce and secrete a liquid. The follicles connect these glands to pores.
Glands under the skin produce sebum that is an oily fluid. Sebum carries the dead cells through follicles to the surface of skin. The acne grows when these follicles get blocked, and oils build up under your skin.
The sebum, hair and skin cells get together to build a plug. The bacteria infect the plug, which leads to swelling. A pimple begins to take form when a plug starts to break down.
Treatment for Acne
The treatment for acne depends on the age, type of acne and severity of the condition. For example, your doctor may recommend washing and applying medications to the affected area several times a day for a few weeks. Doctors usually recommend using a combination of topical and oral medications. However, pregnant women are not given oral prescription medications for treatment of acne. They can use only the topical ointments and creams.
Some common types of medications
Your doctor may recommend oral antibiotics for moderate conditions to fight bacteria and inflammation. Usually the first choice of doctors for treatment of acne is tetracycline that is an antibiotic. Some patients may experience side effects, such as upset stomach or dizziness. Antibiotics also increase the sensitivity of skin to the sun.
A drug known as spironolactone (Aldactone) is used for acne treatment in women and adolescent girls in case the oral antibiotics don’t work. The drug is an anti androgen that blocks the effect of androgens on sebaceous glands. Teenage girls and women may experience breast tenderness and painful periods as side effects during treatment.
In addition to these medications therapies also help when taken in combination with oral drugs.
Lasers and photodynamic therapy –The light-based therapies can help in acne condition with some success. However, further research is needed on the success and effectiveness of these treatments.
Chemical peel – These procedures use repeatitive applications by a chemical solution, such as salicylic acid, retinoic acid or glycolic acid. The improvement in condition do not last more than a few days, so the patient needs repeated treatments.
Extraction of white and black heads – Physicians use special tools to for removal of blackheads and whiteheads and that are not possible to clear with topical medications. However, the extraction may lead to scarring.
Steroid injections – Your doctor may treat the nodular and cystic lesions with steroid drugs. They inject the steroid directly into the acne. This therapy has lead to fast and successful results with some side effects such as thinning of skin in the area of treatment.
These were the symptoms, causes and treatment for acne. Doctors use the treatment depending on the severity of condition and the age of patient. However, the conditions reduce and disappear as people grow into adults. By the age of 30 most people get rid of acne completely.