Acne

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Overview

Acne is a common skin problem that almost every man or woman faces at some point in their life, particularly in adolescence. It comes into sight as pimples, nodules, blackheads or whiteheads when your skin pores get clogged up with sebum (oily secretions) naturally produced by skin glands. This embarrassing, unattractive, and often painful condition can be frustrating as it is difficult to resolve, especially with oily skin.

Causes

Unfortunately, eruption of acne or pimples is primarily due to reasons outside our control:

  • Hereditary Factors:

Certain individuals have a pre-disposition to developing pimples, while some don’t.

  • Hormones:

High testosterone levels can flare up sebum production and hence give rise to acne. This hormonal fluctuation is very common at the time of puberty , in both males and females.

  • Bacterial Infections:

Clogged up pores become a home for the growth of bacteria, which may break up the accumulated oil and cause localized inflammation. Tender pimples or nodules may develop and cause significant discomfort.

Symptoms

Acne most commonly appear on the face, but may also be present on the neck, shoulders, arms, back, or chest. In addition to being unsightly and uncomfortable for the individual, it can also cause:

  • Pain
  • Scarring
  • Stress
  • Psychological problems (especially in teenagers).

Diagnosis

The diagnosis of acne is clinical, based on patient history and skin examination. Currently three classes of drugs exist that can be used to treat this skin condition:

  • Retinoids
  • Antibiotics
  • Benzylperoxidase

Treatment

Severe acne must be treated under the advice of a dermatologist. Care of skin hygiene, utilization of medicated skin products and cosmetics, and management of stress can also prove helpful.

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