When hair follicles get plugged with dead skin cells or excess oil, the skin suffers from acne condition. Pimples, whiteheads, or blackheads occur on the face, chest, forehead, upper back, and shoulders due to acne problem. This skin problem can affect all ages but teenagers mostly suffer from it. Some factors such as stress, hormonal imbalance, and lifestyle can cause it. The skin care experts have different techniques to diagnose and treat acne breakouts. This article discusses symptoms and causes of acne.
Symptoms of Acne Breakouts
The following signs point towards acne:
- Small tender and red bumps
- Pimples filled with pus at their tips
- Painful, large, solid, lumps beneath the surface of the skin
- Pus-filled lumps beneath the surface of the skin causing pain
Consulting a Dermatologist
If you have acne problem, chances are you have tried home remedies and over-the-counter products to treat acne. Over-the-counter medicines and home remedies normally work for mild acne. In most of the cases of moderate to severe acne, seeing a dermatologist is important to avoid complications.
For some people, the problem stays off and on. For example, some women pimples appear one week before periods. This type of acne in women does not need acne treatment if they use contraceptives. In older adults, a sudden onset of severe acne may signal an underlying disease requiring medical attention.
As per the guidelines of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), some over-the-counter products for acne have severe reactions or side effects. With that said, mild irritation, redness, and itchiness, are not considered as severe side effects or reactions. A person must consult a doctor in case of the following:
- Difficulty breathing
- Tightness of the throat
- Swelling of the face, tongue eyes, or lips
Causes of Acne Condition
The main reasons for acne are:
- Excess oil production
- Excess activity of a type of hormone
- Hair follicles clogged by dead skin cells and oil
The face, chest, forehead, upper back, and shoulders normally have acne because these areas have most oil glands. The follicle wall can produce whitehead by bulging. Or blackhead can form if plug is open. A blackhead represents dirt that is stuck in the pores. Excess oil and bacteria make the pore congested.
Factors that can Trigger Acne
The following can complicate acne breakouts:
- Specific diet
- Constant stress
- Certain medications
- Hormonal imbalance
Myths About Acne
The following do not have much role in causing acne:
- Greasy foods
Factors that Put Us at Risk
The following factors put a person more at risk of getting acne problem:
- Family history
- Hormonal changes
- Greasy or oily substances
- Friction or pressure on your skin
Treatment for Acne Problem
A professional can help reduce and cure acne using different acne treatments.
Topical Medications: Some prescription medications for acne include the following:
- Salicylic acid and azelaic acid
- Retinoids and retinoid-like drugs
Oral Medications: The following oral medications can also be recommended:
- Oral antibiotics
- Anti-androgen agents
- Combined oral contraceptives
The following therapies can be used in some cases:
- Chemical peel
- Steroid injection
- Lasers and photodynamic therapy
- Extraction of blackheads/whiteheads
Treating Children: The traditional medication may not work well for children below 12.
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Lifestyle and Home Remedies
Different lifestyle changes and home remedies such as the following can help with minor to mild acne:
- Take a bath after strenuous activities
- Avoid friction or pressure on your skin
- Avoid foods and products that irritate the skin
- Avoid picking or touching at the problem areas
- Use a gentle cleanser to wash the problem areas
- Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen while leaving home
- Avoid over-the-counter products with side effects and risks
- Use over-the-counter products for skin peeling and excess oil
What About Alternative Medicine?
The people specializing in alternative medicines use brewer’s yeast, fish oil, probiotics, topical tea tree, oil oral zinc, etc. to treat acne breakouts. Such natural components can be used as per the recommendations of a qualified and experienced professional.
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Before You Appear for Appointment
Consider doing the following before you appear for the appointment:
Complete Your Homework: The acne problem seems simple but it has got different underlying complications and mysteries that a specialist has to solve. A professional needs to know about the lifestyle, diet, and medical history of the person to diagnose the right acne type followed by an effective acne treatment. The patient may have to share information about the following:
- Medical history
- Ongoing medication
What to Expect From the Doctor: First of all, the doctor will examine the affected area to have some idea about the problem. After that, the professional will ask questions about symptoms, diet, lifestyle, medications, etc. The patient should prepare a list of questions to be answered by the skin care expert.