Acne a common problem for teenagers? but this skin disorder can also affect people into adulthood. Unfortunately, finding the root cause of an acne treatment outbreak isn’t always a straightforward process. Furthermore, the spots can leave behind unwanted scars. Whether you deal with occasional pimples or have lingering scars, keep reading to learn how you can improve your skin.
Pimples and Cysts: The Telltale Signs of Acne
Most people experience acne at some point in their lives. The disorder can range from mild to severe, depending on the individual. The majority of patients see improvement over time, but others will deal with breakouts for years. Even after the pimples go away, scars may linger. If you are interested in acne treatment to diminish the look of scars, be sure to speak with a dermatologist.
Not all breakouts are the same, however. There are different types of acne. Whiteheads, for example, often develop due to clogged pores. Sebum and dirt fill pores, leading to small, pin-sized pimples. On the other hand, cystic acne often forms red, inflamed bumps. This type of acne may be due to bacteria or hormonal changes. Cystic acne is often painful, and it’s the most difficult type to treat.
While most people develop acne during their teen years, breakouts can occur at any time. There are numerous factors to consider. Hormonal changes may trigger excessive oil production. These are most common during puberty and pregnancy. Genetics may also make a person more prone to acne. Children have a greater chance of developing acne if both of their parents had it. Stress, environmental sources, or diet may also play a role.
How Does Acne Affect the Body?
Acne is perhaps the most common skin condition in the world. It can appear anywhere on the body, including the face, chest, and back. This inflammatory condition produces a variety of lesions that may leave behind pitting or scars. Some lesions may even feel warm or painful to the touch.
There are four main types of acne lesions: papules, pustules, nodules, and cysts. Papules are small, red bumps. They are often raised and are usually not tender. Pustules are small pimples that contain white or yellow pus. Nodules are solid, painful bumps that form below the skin’s surface. Cysts also develop beneath the surface, but they are large and contain pus.
Acne itself isn’t dangerous, but it can negatively affect a person’s self-esteem. Depression and anxiety are common with acne sufferers. In some instances, recurring outbreaks may be indicative of other health problems. Women with polycystic ovary syndrome often have acne as a symptom. People with diabetes often report acne flares more often than those without the condition.
How to Stop an Acne Breakout
There are several acne treatment on the market. Which one is the best? The answer will depend on the severity of the condition. Some people only experience mild, infrequent outbreaks. Others, however, may struggle with painful, inflamed bumps. In these cases, a diagnosis is needed to determine the best course of action. Treatment options range from topical to internal.
Topical treatments come in both over-the-counter and prescription varieties. Drugstore options include products that contain low amounts of benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. These products may also help prevent flareups. However, if the patient needs something stronger, a dermatologist may prescribe stronger creams. In addition to benzoyl peroxide, prescription-strength medications may also contain retinoids or azelaic acid.
Oral medications are another option for moderate to severe acne outbreaks. These medications are available by prescription only. If a doctor feels hormonal changes are to blame, they may recommend androgen blockers. Some antibiotics may also prove effective. The most popular ones are tetracycline, doxycycline, and minocycline. Patients often take low doses for an extended period.
One of the most effective acne medications is isotretinoin. It was made popular under the brand name Accutane. It works by reducing oil production in the skin. Patients often experience dryness as a side effect. They may notice dehydrated skin, cracked lips, itching, or nosebleeds. Even though it’s a highly effective medication, it’s also one of the more controversial. Those taking isotretinoin may experience severe side effects, including neurological disorders, blood sugar issues, or joint problems. Pregnant women should also avoid taking it. Most doctors limit isotretinoin to severe cases only.
Curing acne isn’t always easy. Most acne patients will try several acne treatment before finding one that works for them. It’s still best to seek medical advice. A dermatologist specializes in conditions of the skin and will help you find the right treatment for your case.
Misinformation About Acne
- Acne affects people from all walks of life. However, many people still don’t fully understand the condition. What really causes acne? There is a misconception that acne means a person is unclean. This type of misinformation only makes people more self-conscious about the disorder and less likely to seek treatment. Here are some of the most commonly reported falsehoods.
- Pizza, French fries, and other greasy foods cause acne. This rumor couldn’t be further from the truth. While excessive oil production does cause acne, eating greasy foods won’t trigger a breakout. However, it’s still wise to wash your hands after indulging in a fried meal to prevent getting dirt and grime on your skin.
- Acne is contagious. Some people incorrectly believe that people can “catch” pimples by touching another person’s skin. This assumption is not true. You can shake hands, hug, or even kiss someone with an acne outbreak without fear.
- Only teenagers get pimples. No, anyone can get acne. Nearly 8 out of 10 kids have acne, but it also affects plenty of adults. However, most people do notice a reduction in symptoms as time passes.
Learn How to Manage Acne
No one wants to wake up to find new pimples, but there is good news about acne. It’s treatable in most cases. Even those with severe cases can experience long-lasting results from the right treatment. Furthermore, laser and resurfacing treatments can reduce the appearance of lingering scars. Managing acne begins with a visit to your doctor.