Acne (commonly called pimples or spots) is one of the
most evident chronic skin disorders affecting the facial
part of the body.
How does Acne Occur ?
Acne results in inflammatory skin affecting the tiny
pores and oil glands attached to them primarily due
to hormone levels in the body. Acne progresses by
increased production of sebum attacking pores, partially
blocking them, and producing more oil. The result
is blackheads and oily complexion. At the same time,
the ever present bacteria on the skin starts breaking
down the oil to inflammatory chemicals causing inflammation,
redness, pus, pain and irritation.
The most susceptible time to acne is adolescence when
personal appearances are particularly significant
to build confidence or new relationships or careers.
The epidemiological investigations suggest a weak
correlation in parents who suffered from acne and
their siblings having it. There is also no evidence
that sweets and fried food adversely affect acne.
However a good balanced diet is essential for the
wellbeing of the body and this will improve skin condition.
Acne is not caused by dirt. An excessive obsession
with cleanliness, washing and rubbing will make acne
worse by drying the skin and making it sore.
Acne severity is correlated to changes in hormonal
level caused by menstrual cycle. Acne becomes worse
for some women in the days proceeding the period.
There is much more complex relationship with pregnancy.
Some women's acne virtually disappear during the pregnancy
period whilst in others pregnancy re-activates acne
and worsens the existing condition.
There is some link with environmental factors. Humid
and hot conditions activate sweat glands leading to
increased perspiration, which in some cases can worsen
Acne is an ailment and needs treatment and particularly
important are the precautions that must be observed
to avoid scars and pigmentation. It is also important
to choose the treatment that is effective and free
First step in treating acne is to ensure no scarring
occurs. Most acne sufferers start self-treatments
starting from over the counter products before visiting
their GP or a dermatologist or a specialist beauty
clinic. Most popular over the counter products are
based on benzoyl peroxides. They can be effective
in mild acne but the side effects such as irritation
and dryness of the skin are possible.
The medical practitioners rely upon antibiotics (oral
or topical) and hormone treatments. These products
are usually available on prescriptions only. The results
are uncertain and rate of response can last a long
time. Hormone treatments such as oestrogen pills help
acne but can lead to side effects also. Many have
also resorted to herbal remedies, including acupuncture
with mixed results -what suits one may not suit another.
Therefore it is best advisable to always consult a
qualified skin specialist in these cases.