Acne is a skin condition that occurs when hair follicles become plugged, inflamed, or infected causing pain or leaving marks on the skin.
Acne occurs when hair follicles on the skin become blocked or clogged with skin cells or oil, causing plugs and comedones to develop. This condition can be caused by bacteria and inflammation in the oil glands. Acne is common in people with oily skin. Other causes include increased male hormone levels (androgen), increased oil production, topical medications, oral medications, and skin care or cosmetic products.
Acne may appear as small whiteheads or blackheads. If inflamed, a red papule may develop with pus at the tip, sometimes causing pain or leaving a scar on the skin.
Acne treatment typically takes several weeks. Treatment options include:
- Topical medications such as benzoyl peroxide, vitamin A and antibiotics
- Oral medications such as antibiotics and vitamin A, which should be administered under the supervision of a dermatologist
- Injections such as intralesional corticosteroids
- Extraction of whiteheads or blackheads to gently remove comedones and pus
- Vbeam Laser for inflamed lesion or residual red area
After the acne has been treated, additional steps may be taken to reduce or diminish any scars left by the acne. Techniques include chemical peels, dermabrasion, skin surgery and laser resurfacing. These procedures should only be administered under the supervision of a professional dermatologist.
It is not always possible to prevent acne completely, but you can prevent breakouts and scarring:
- Gently wash your face without scrubbing. Too much washing can irritate the skin or cause the acne to become inflamed.
- Avoid touching or picking at the problem areas.
- Use medications strictly as directed or according to your doctor’s advice.
- Avoid too much stress and a high-carbohydrate diet.
- Use oil-free and non-comedogenic cosmetic products.
- Avoid direct sunlight because some medications can increase sensitivity to the sun and you may have to use sunscreen every day.