By Sanchika Gupta, Dermatology
What is Acne (Pimples)?
Acne is a very common skin disease that is characterised by the clogging of hair follicles of the skin with dead cells or oil produced from oil glands called ‘sebum’. It is a long-term skin disease and is seen to affect people who fall within the age group of 13-25.
They mostly occur on the face but it can also occur on the back, arms, neck, chest and shoulders. This can result in an uneven, bumpy appearance on the skin that may swell up and appear red. In severe cases, when the swelling subsides, it may leave a mark on the affected area.
What Causes Pimples?
The reasons behind pimples are not very clear although it is seen to be more prominent with teenagers and is more severe in boys as compared to girls.
- Hormones: The levels of hormones called ‘androgens’ increase when someone hits teenage. Androgens cause the pores on the skin to enlarge and secrete more sebum. This causes the pores to get clogged, thus causing acne.
- Genetics: It is more likely for you to get pimples if your parents have had them in their childhood.
- Medications: Certain medications used to treat diseases such as epilepsy can result in acne.
How To Treat Acne?
It is usually recommended to consult a dermatologist who may give you several options for acne treatment.
Some of the treatments are:
- Topical Therapy: Ointments are topical agents that are used on the surface of the skin or mucous membrane. Agents with Salicylic acid, clindamycin, retinoids, benzoyl peroxide acts as an active ingredient can help in treating acne.
- Oral Therapy: Oral antibiotics, oral retinoids can be prescribed to you for treating your acne.
- Skin Peeling Treatment: It is a very effective way of removing current pimples and scars that are left behind by the older ones. It basically removes the old, dead skin cells and encourages the growth of new ones. This must be done upon consulting your dermatologist.
Although it is generally a temporary condition, severe acne can leave a scar problem that can last a lifetime. A cosmetic dermatologist can provide a variety of procedures for acne scar removal or reduction. Microdermabrasion, deep chemical peels, and laser skin resurfacing have all been shown to effectively reduce or eliminate acne scars. The right acne scar removal treatment for each patient depends on the degree of acne scarring, skin type, and other factors. A cosmetic dermatologist can recommend the procedure that is best for you.
Other measures that can be taken to control outbreaks of acne include maintaining a healthy, junk-free diet.