Pimples are the worst or embarrassing thing we all get especially during puberty age. Acne (Acne vulgaris) is a chronic condition which is most commonly occurs on the face, neck, shoulders, chest, and back. Acne is the most common among adolescents but it can persist into adulthood and during pregnancy.
What is acne?
Acne (Acne vulgaris) is non-contagious, chronic, inflammatory condition of the skin caused due to blocked hair follicles with oil (sebum) and dead skin cells. It is usually associated with hormonal fluctuation during the teenage years. There are various types of acne from simple to severe form. Usually, oily skin is more prone to acne than dry skin. Acne doesn’t just affect people’s skin but impacts their quality of life too.
Types of acne
There are mainly two types of acne –
- Inflammatory acne – Comedo or blackheads and whitehead
- Non-inflammatory acne – Inflammatory papules, pustules, cysts, and nodules
What are the causes of acne?
Acne occurs due to multiple factors. Acne forms when the tiny skin pores clogged with oil and dirt. Here are some causative factors of acne –
- Hormonal factor
- Lack of exercise
- Certain medication
- Unhygienic skincare
What are the sign and symptoms of acne?
- Small, red eruptions
- Crusting of skin bumps
- Boils over the skin
How to treat acne?
When there is mild acne, you should try self-care remedies first and other options. The best treatment is to prevent the production of sebum, keep your skin clean, bacteria-free, and encourage shedding of the skin to unclog pores. Besides that acne treatment is purely based on the causative factor.
Self-care treatment for acne –
- Regularly clean your skin with water and nondrying soap.
- Avoid aggressive scrubbing as it may cause inflammation.
- Moisturize your skin daily to keep it hydrated. Use only fragrance-free, non-comedogenic moisturizer.
- Drink plenty of water as water flush all toxins from your body and keep you healthy.
- Don’t touch your face again and again.
- Never pick your acne because it may cause inflammation, bleeding, and possibly scarring.
Acne can be mild, moderate, and severe. The treatment depends on its severity and intensity –
Mild acne –
Mild acne can be treated with some remedies and over-the-counter (OTC) drug medications like gels, ointments. Here are some OTC medications for acne –
- Topical antibiotic ointments or gel – sometimes topical application in mild acne is sufficient to clear it. It includes Benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, erythromycin gel, dapsone, etc.
- Retinoid –
Retin-A, Adapalene, Tazarotene are some retinoids use to unblock the pores through cell turnover.
These preparations may cause some side effects such as skin irritation and burning. Hence always use it in low strength.
Moderate to severe acne –
It is always better to consult a dermatologist if you don’t have control or prevent acne. There are various options to treat moderate to severe acne.
- Oral antibiotics – Dermatologist may start antibiotics when you have flared, bloody acne. Erythromycin and tetracycline are commonly used drugs by doctors to treat acne. This drug by prolonged use may cause side-effects. Doxycycline, in particular, is generally a safe drug with low side-effects.
- Corticosteroid injections – This is the fastest way to reduce large and severely inflamed pimples and cysts. A specialist may treat this with diluted cortisone.
- Oral contraceptive – Some oral contraceptive pills have been shown to effective in treating acne. It can help to control acne in women by suppressing the overactive gland.
- Isotretinoin – It is an excellent drug for severe, inflamed, scarring, and, persistent acne. Though Isotretinoin is effective it has a lot of serious side-effects. Hence, it is required several unique controls before it is prescribed. This drug is prescribed for five to six months at the required dosage that has a high likelihood of preventing the return of acne. Patients who are taking this drug must avoid vitamin A as it may lead to vitamin A toxicity. Adverse effects include dry lips, dry skin, nosebleed, and mood swings.
- Phototherapy – Doctors can use ultraviolet (UV) light to treat acne. Blue and red light therapy can kill bacteria without damaging the skin.
- Chemical peels – This procedure uses repeated applications of chemicals such as salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or retinoic acid. This treatment is for mild acne. Chemical peels are of modest, simple, and OPD based therapy.
Homemade masks for acne-prone skin
For mild acne, you can try homemade masks to prevent acne and scar.
1: Turmeric facial mask
Turmeric is always on the top when it comes to beautiful skin. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antioxidant properties. For a facial mask, mix ½ cup of chickpea flour and 2 tsp of turmeric powder and ghee or almond oil and combine them with water to make a paste. Apply it on the skin for 5 minutes and rinse with the cold water. Turmeric can treat and prevent acne and scarring.
2: Cucumber face mask
Cucumber has a soothing effect on the skin, reducing inflammation, irritation, and pain. For better results, make a paste by blending one small cucumber and 1 cup of oatmeal. Apply this paste on the affected area for 30 minutes and rinse.
3: Honey mask
Honey has anti-bacterial properties which are used for inflamed acne, wounds, and burns. To get rid of acne, apply honey over the face for 30 minutes, and then wash it with lukewarm water.
4: Yogurt mask for oily skin
Yogurt is a probiotic that inhibits the growth of bacteria. To make a mask, combine 1 tsp of yeast with little plain yogurt and mix it. Apply it on the skin for 15 to 20 minutes and wash it with cold water.