Acne is a skin condition which is also referred to as Acne-Vulgaris. This is a condition which is mostly prevalent in puberty because of the presence of sebaceous glands (oil glands). The oil glands are triggered by the hormones coming from the adrenal glands in both females and males. The term acne is derived from the Greek word ‘acme’ which means spot or point.
Acne is not a life threatening condition but the only problem is that it can leave one with skin scars. The skin of human beings has tiny pores that join with the oil glands which are found beneath the skin. Theses glands are joined to the pores through follicles. The glands produce a liquid that is oily which is known as sebum. These liquid carries skin cells that are dead to the skin surface via these follicles. Tiny hairs then develop on the skin through the follicles. Pimples then develop because of the build up of oil beneath the skin. This is because the follicles are blocked.
In a simpler explanation, sebum, hair and skin cells can cluster together which results in a swelling due to bacterial infections. Pimples then begin to develop when the swellings start breaking down.
The frequency of acne developing and the severity is greatly determined by either the bad or good bacteria strains. There is actually a single strain that that actually helps to keep the skin free from pimples. This is according to Scientists from The School of Medicine from Washington University.
Acne basically affects people between the ages of 12 to 25 but in some cases, it could affect younger or older people. It is more common in boys than in girls. The severity of acne ranges from severe to mild. It commonly affects the face though in some instances it affects the neck, chest or back. Acne that is left untreated takes about 5 years for it to settle.
Contrary to some beliefs, acne is not as a result of poor hygiene practices, unmanageable sex drive or poor diets. Acne is as a result of hormones or hereditary factors. The good news is that acne is a treatable condition, though the treatment may take some months for the acne to totally clear. When the acne spots clear, maintenance treatment may be needed for some years to ensure that the sports do not come back.
Dermatologists have stated that acne affects people of all ages and races. It is approximated that at least 17 million Americans suffer from acne at any given time. Testosterone is higher in adolescent boys and younger men as compared to women, which is why the boys may get acne for longer periods.
There are different types of pimples which are worth mentioning:
- White-heads; very small and basically stay beneath the skin
- Black-heads; these are black, visible and come on the skin surface
- Pustules; these have pus at the tip and appear in red color at their base
- Papules; these are visible, tiny bumps and pink in appearance
- Nobules; these are large and solid, painful and deeply embedded in the skin but visible
- Cysts; these appear on the skin surface, very painful and have a lot of pus. Cysts can easily result in scars.
It is important to seek medical attention for the more severe cases of acne to prevent scarring. Always bear in mind that acne is treatable and can be easily managed with proper treatment. Get the necessary advice from a qualified skin specialist.