Acne vulgaris is a term for pimples that occur when pores clog due to excessive dirt, oil or bacterial growth. It may appear in different forms such as blackheads, whiteheads, nodules and cysts.
A variety of factors may cause acne, including:
- Hormonal imbalances that occur due to puberty, pregnancy, menopause and PCOS
- A build-up of bacteria on the skin
- Excess oil produced by the skin
- Some medications could also trigger acne as a side-effect
During significant life events such as puberty and pregnancy, the hormonal changes stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce more oil, also called sebum. A build-up of excess sebum and dead cells increases bacterial activity in the skin and leads to inflammation in the form of breakouts.
Now, as we cross the teen phase in life, the hormonal fluctuations decrease, leading to the disappearance or reduction of acne. But for about 40% women, this may continue beyond puberty and way into adulthood. An unhealthy diet rich in fats, unhygienic skincare routine, too many chemical treatments can also trigger acne. We often associate pimple as pus-filled raised bumps on the skin. But it could also take the form of blackheads or whiteheads. Based on the severity of the condition, one can classify acne as inflammatory and non-inflammatory types.
- Whiteheads – These occur when pores clogged with sebum and dead cells close and have a bumpy appearance.
- Blackheads – This mild form of acne occurs when a combination of sebum and dead skin cells clog the pores, but they remain open at the top to give its characteristic black colour.
- Papules – When walls around the clogged pores break down, they cause severe inflammation.
- Pustules – These occur when the walls around pus-filled pores collapse.
- Nodules – This is a severe form of acne that occurs when clogged pores cause nodular growth that damages deeper layers of the skin.
- Cystic Acne – Cystic acne is the most chronic form of acne and are often painful.
While acne can take many forms from a simple whitehead to painful cysts, there are some simple dos and don’ts you can follow to minimise them.
- Consume a balanced diet.
- Keep yourself hydrated.
- Meditate to manage stress.
- Get at least 30-minutes of exercise every day.
- Apply ice on the breakout to subside the inflammation.
- Use a moisturiser suitable for your skin type.
- Stay sun-safe as much as possible.
- Don’t squeeze your pimples.
- Avoid eating oily and sugary foods.
- Don’t keep touching your face all the time.
- Use a gentle facewash apt for your skin type.
You may try some over-the-counter anti-acne products that contain benzoyl peroxide, sulphur and resorcinol. Benzoyl peroxide kills the bacteria, which leads to breakouts. Sulphur and resorcinol inhibit the build-up of dead skin cells that leads to acne. Salicylic acid helps exfoliate dead cells. Acetone could help to clean excess oil from the skin and unclog pores.
Natural Ways to Prevent Acne Vulgaris:
If you are looking for a more natural way of managing acne, you could also try the following home remedies:
- Black Seed Oil has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It helps to heal the acne and reduces pigmentation.
- Studies indicate that Rose Hip Oil can help reduce acne and related scars.
- Honey is a superfood and spells wonders for the skin. Honey helps to fight infections, so applying it directly on the pimple can help to clean and clear the inflammation.
- Aloe Vera is another miracle ingredient, which can reduce the size of the pimples.
- Lemon juice, because of its acidic nature, can help clear the acne bumps.
Medical Treatment Options for Acne Vulgaris:
If none of these beauty hacks works for you, fret not! Several medically and scientifically validated treatments are now available that can help manage acne vulgaris and prevent scars. Go ahead, consult a dermatologist, and give the following acne treatments a shot:
- Oral And Topical Medications: Your skin specialist may prescribe a few antibiotics and topical creams to reduce your breakouts effectively as the first line of treatment.
- Chemical Peels: Specialised acne control peels are available at leading skin clinics, which help in clearing severe acne by getting rid of the dead skin layer, thereby revealing rejuvenated skin.
- Comedone Extraction: As part of this treatment, skin doctors use a specialised instrument to extract the whiteheads and blackheads safely.
- Steroid Injections: Dermatologists administer steroid injections to reduce the severe type of inflammatory acne and alleviate the pain.
- LED Treatment – Some dermatologists or beauty therapists like those at Skin Apeel can treat your acne-affected skin with LED laser therapy.
One word of caution, though – consult an expert dermatologist and opt for these treatments only at a reputed clinic. There are some strict pre and post-care instructions related to these treatments, which only the best dermatologists can suggest.
So, why wait? Find out the best dermatologist in your city and explore the most suitable acne treatment for you today. Go ahead and get ready to flaunt a flawless skin soon!
With a degree in Life Sciences, Riya Deshmukh, from Hyderabad, Telangana, India, has a diverse experience in writing for beauty and health care domains; with topics like skincare, hair problems, tips, and advice. Silky Smooth Skin aspires to bring change in the lives of people through her earnest and research-based articles. She is looking out for opportunities to work with value-driven organizations and to associate with their content producers and generate meaningful and valuable content towards mutual benefit.