Acne is one of the diseases that causes the most visits in any dermatology clinic. Luckily, it is a pathology with a high cure rate , especially when it is identified and treated early and always supervised by a doctor specializing in skin care.
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What is acne
Acne is a skin disorder that occurs when hair follicles become clogged by oil and dead skin cells , causing whiteheads, blackheads or pimples. Although it is mostly visible in teenagers , acne can affect people of all ages, with a similar frequency in men and women. Additionally, this disorder affects areas with a high concentration of sebaceous glands. These areas are the face, chest and back.
Acne is a persistent disease. Pimples and rashes take time to heal and when it seems that some are already disappearing, others appear in their place. The sooner your treatment starts, the fewer problems it will cause .
Why does acne appear? Causes
As we said, acne is caused by the clogging of the skin pores with dead cells and oil, giving rise to comedones . This makes it easier for bacteria to colonize the area, creating an area of inflammation and redness.
Normally, the hormonal changes suffered during puberty make the skin more oily, so it is at this stage that the appearance of acne is most likely. Other factors are:
- Some medicines such as corticosteroids, lithium, oral contraceptives and phenytoin.
- The use of some cosmetic products .
- Some diseases such as polycystic ovary syndrome .
- Stress .
Acne presents different symptoms that vary depending on the severity of the infection. These symptoms are:
- White dots. They are produced in closed pores.
- Pimples. Unlike whiteheads, blackheads are found in open pores.
- Papules. Papules are small, red, tender irregularities.
- Pustules. Called pimples, they are papules with pus at the tip.
- Nodules. They are large, solid, painful lumps under the skin.
- Cystic lesions. Like nodules, they are painful subcutaneous lumps, but filled with pus.
In which people does acne usually occur?
Acne usually occurs especially in boys and girls who are going through puberty . At this stage, hormonal changes cause the skin to be more oily.
Furthermore, there is a strong hereditary factor behind acne. If your parents had acne, you are much more likely to suffer from it too.
In adulthood , there are some people who are more prone to the appearance of acne. These are:
- People with a hormonal alteration . In men, it is caused by an excess production of androgens and, in women, by an imbalance in the usual balance during the menstruation period.
- People with a high pace of life and stress , as the production of cortisol increases.
- Adults who are taking some medications such as corticosteroids, or who use any cosmetics.
- Patients with type 2 diabetes , some endocrine diseases and, in women, polycystic ovary syndrome .
- Although it is not certain, it seems that tobacco and acne also have some relationship in adults.
False myths about acne
There are many false myths about acne, especially around its causes.
For example, it is said that tanning helps eliminate acne , when this is completely false. While it’s true that tanning can mask redness, there is no evidence to show that tanning helps get rid of acne.
Another of these myths is about facial hygiene . They say that the more you wash your face, the fewer pimple breakouts you will have , when in reality, excessive washing can cause dryness and irritation. This could even make your acne worse.
The most famous of all: popping pimples will help them go away faster . This is completely false since, although it temporarily makes it a little less visible, it will take longer to disappear completely.
How to prevent the appearance of acne
These are some tips to prevent the appearance of acne :
- Avoid cosmetics made from oils, as they increase the oil content of the skin.
- Avoid washing your face more than twice a day. Also, wash your face with warm water and neutral soap gently.
- Use moisturizing cream . Above all, those with the “non-comedogenic” label are recommended.
- Keep your hair clean and away from your face , especially if it is very oily hair.