Who Gets Acne?
Acne is one of the most common skin conditions affecting people of all ages. Most commonly it affects people in their teens, 20s, 30s, 40s and beyond. Untreated acne can cause permanent scarring which is an unwanted permanent reminder of the condition.
How does Acne Develop?
According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), acne is caused by the overproduction of androgens, hormones that stimulate the sebaceous glands causing them to enlarge and increase the production of sebum. This increase in oil production, coupled with dead skin cells, results in blockages in the hair follicle and sebaceous glands.
What causes acne?
Each hair follicle is connected to sebaceous glands. They secrete an oily substance known as sebum to lubricate the hair and skin. Sebum normally travels up along the hair shafts and then out through the opening of the hair follicle onto the surface of your skin.
When your body produces an excess amount of sebum and dead skin cells, the two can accumulate in the hair follicle and solidify as a soft plug. As the plug grows, the follicle wall can rupture, allowing more oil and skin cells to accumulate. This is the underlying cause of acne. Bacteria can trigger additional inflammation and infection resulting in complications of acne.
How do acne treatments work?
Acne treatments usually work by reducing oil production, speeding up the growth of new skin cells and the removal of dead skin cells, or fighting bacterial infection. Some treatments, especially combination therapies, work by doing two or three of these.
What are the different types of ACNE?
Closed Comedones (”Whiteheads”): Whiteheads can occur on the surface of the skin and can be caused when the pore is completely blocked, trapping sebum (oil), bacteria, and dead skin cells. The blockage can cause a white appearance on the surface of the skin, hence the name “whitehead.”
Open Comedones (also known as “Blackheads”): Blackheads result from the pore being partially blocked by sebaceous debris composed of dead skin cells, sebum and bacteria. The black color results from oxidization of melanin in the skin. A blackhead tends to be stable structure and can often take a long time to clear.
Papules: Papules are the mildest form of inflammatory acne. The occur on the skin as solid, small, but inflamed red bumps that feel tender
Pustules: Pustules are small round dome shaped lesions with visible white or yellow “centers” of pus.
Nodules: Nodules are solid, dome-shaped or irregularly shaped lesion that feel like hard bumps right under the skin’s surface and extend into deeper layers of the skin, often causing tissue destruction that results in scarring.
Cysts: Acne cysts are larger than pustules and appear similar to a nodule except that they are pus filled. Cysts can be painful lesions.
Can ACNE cause permanent scarring on my skin?
Yes. That's why it's important to get treated as soon as possible.