Acne Vulgaris: Acne, also known as acne vulgaris, is a skin condition that causes spots and pimples, especially on the face, shoulders, back, neck, chest, and upper arms.
Acne vulgaris is a long-term skin disease that occurs when hair follicles are clogged with dead skin cells and oil from the skin. Excess of a normal oil on the skin, called sebum, develops under the influence of hormones. This, linked with the insufficient shedding of exfoliating dead skin cells, plugs hair follicles. It is distinguished by blackheads or whiteheads, pimples, oily skin, and likely scarring. It essentially affects areas of the skin with a relatively high number of oil glands, including the face, upper part of the chest, and back. Medications such as lithium, hormones, cortisone, iodides, some seizure medications, or isoniazid can also cause acne lesions.
Sign & Symptom of Acne Vulgaris
Acne most frequently affects the face, although it may develop to affect the neck, chest, and back, and sometimes even more widely over the body.
Individual wounds are centered on the pilosebaceous unit, ie the hair follicle and its associated oil gland. Different types of acne spots occur, usually at the same time. They may be infected papules, pustules, and nodules; or non-inflamed comedones and pseudocysts.
- Open and closed comedones (whiteheads and blackheads)
- Pustules (white or yellow “squeezable” spots)
- Papules (small, tender red bumps)
- Nodules (large painful red lumps)
- Pseudocysts (cyst-like fluctuant swellings)
- Erythematous macules (red marks from recently healed spots, best seen in in fair skin)
- Excoriations (picked or scratched spots)
- Pigmented macules (dark marks from old spots, mostly affecting those with dark skin)
- Scars or various types
Individual acne lesions habitually last less than 2 weeks but the deeper papules and nodules may persevere for months. Many acne patients also have oily skin (seborrhoea).
Grading of Acne Vulgaris
Acne may be categorized as mild, moderate or severe. Comedones and inflammatory lesions are habitually considered separately.
<15 inflammatory lesions
Or, total lesion count <30
15–50 inflammatory lesions
Or, total lesion count 30–125
Total inflammatory count >50
Total comedo count >100
Or total lesion count >12
Causes of Acne Vulgaris
A variety of factors triggers acne, but the principal cause is thought to be an increase in androgen levels.
Androgen is a kind of hormone, the levels of that rise during adolescence begins. In women, it becomes converted into estrogen.
Increasing androgen levels prompt the oil glands under the skin to grow. The enlarged gland generates more sebum. Excessive sebum can crack down cellular walls in the pores, promoting bacteria to grow.
Some comparisons suggest that genetic circumstances may increase the risk. Other causes include:
- Some medications that contain androgen and lithium
- Emotional stress
- Greasy cosmetics
- Hormonal changes
Self-Care Treatment for Acne Vulgaris
Conventional treatments can help prevent acne. Wash the acne-prone areas with gentle soaps or cleansers. Avoid irritants, such as rubbing and other alcohols, and greasy products on the skin and in the scalp. Products labeled “water-based” or “noncomedogenic” will help diminish clogged pores.
There are further a variety of over-the-counter medications that may benefit. These are anticipated to be preventative therapies and should be implemented in a thin layer to the entire area on a regular basis. If used consistently, you may see tiny improvements quickly, but results are usually seen after a few months. Benzoyl peroxide is available in a variety of forms and strengths. Benzoyl peroxides manage to dry the skin, though, so if you become dry skin, use a weaker-concentration product; for oily skin, consider higher strengths. Peeling agents (exfoliants) such as salicylic acid, resorcinol, sulfur, and alpha-hydroxy acids (glycolic, lactic, pyruvic, and citric acid) can also benefit but will also cause some dryness of the skin.
Microdermabrasion conducted every 7–10 days (“lunchtime peel”) has been a successful albeit costly way to control mild acne and can be done by a healthcare expert. The same types of peeling agents are available in over-the-counter products, which can be practiced at home at much less cost.
Treatments May Prescribe by Your Physician for Acne Vulgaris
Topical treatments for acne comprise one or more creams, washes, or gels that include:
Antibacterial agents and antibiotics such as benzoyl peroxide, erythromycin, clindamycin, sulfur, sodium sulfacetamide, and azelaic acid.
Retinoids – vitamin A-derived products such as tretinoin, tazarotene, and adapalene.
Oral treatments may include:
Antibiotics such as tetracycline, minocycline, erythromycin, ampicillin, clindamycin, doxycycline, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, azithromycin, or cephalosporins.
Oral contraceptives and spironolactone have been identified to help regulate hormones.
Isotretinoin, a potent drug with many side effects, for severe acne unresponsive to the above treatments.
Special “blue light” remedies are being reviewed to treat acne but are usually not covered by insurance.
Several types of laser procedures also help acne and are often practiced with other treatment methods; treatments are costly, must be repeated for several months, and have variable effectiveness. Insurance may not cover laser therapy.
Laser resurfacing, plastic cryosurgery, and/or dermabrasion may further diminish the prominence of old acne scars.