ACNE- causes, effects and treatments

Eeman Sarfraz:6/24/2022

Skin the most important part of your physical beauty. Everyone wants to have a cleaning glowing skin. The most common enemy of a healthy skin texture is acne. Acne is estimated to affect 9.4% of the global population, making it the eighth most widespread disease worldwide. Clinical studies shows that acne is most common in post-pubescent teens. Teenage boys are the most affected group, with a major level of intensity of disease. Acne is a big cause of insecurity among people, and arises mental health concerns. According to clinical studies, people with acne are three to four times more likely to suffer from depression as compared to general people with clear skin.

How does Acne effect mental health

Acne shatters a person’s confidence. It is not just a skin condition, clinical studies have proven that acne can have major negative effects on the quality of life. Some of the effects of acne on mental health are stated as follows:

  • Having acne commonly makes people change their outlook. People start covering their faces and/or grow longer hair in order to hide their disease
  • People tend to have lower quality relationships with family and friends, isolate themselves from people, shows poor performance in life activities, and their confidence to share any state of relationship with their close ones is completely destroyed
  • The severity of acne leads to severe actions as many people are reported to have suicidal thoughts due to their skin
  • Anxiety, depression, lower confidence and inferiority complex
  • Feelings of aggression and shame

What causes acne?

Acne occurs as a result of pores blocked with sebum, dead skin, or bacteria. The pores contain hair follicles and oil glands. These glands excretes sebum, which makes its way out of the pores to the skin. Sebum helps in maintaining the lubrication and softness of the skin. Introduction of any external body in the glands alters the process and contribute to acne. Acne might occur due to the following reasons: your follicles produce too much oil, dead skin cells accumulate in your pores, bacteria build up in your pores or acne can be a genetic condition. Any of these factors can lead to pimples, which develop when bacteria grow in a clogged pore and the oil can’t escape.

Risk factors for developing acne

There is still no hard and fast cause of occurrence of acne found by the medical experts. But there are certain risk factors that contribute in making the disease worse, stated as follows:

  • hormonal changes due to pregnancy or puberty
  • polycystic ovarian syndrome and other endocrine conditions
  • cigarette smoking
  • disturbed sleep cycle
  • stress and anxiety
  • beauty and skin products with high oil content or low quality ingredients used in them
  • certain category of medicines used, especially the use of steroids
  • genetic acne

The highest risk of developing acne is during puberty. At this age, your body undergoes many hormonal changes, which can trigger oil production, leading to an increased risk of acne. Hormonal acne is most likely to improve on its own when you reach adulthood, with the chances of complete stopping of breakouts.

Treatment for acne

Based on the severity of disease, acne can be; mild, moderate and severe. The treatment of acne depends upon the level of acne your skin is facing. Following are some effective treatments based on the severity of the disease.

For mild acne:

Over-the-counter (OTC) medicated creams, cleansers, and spot reducing medicines can help in treating pimples as soon as they are visible. Benzoyl peroxide helps in drying out existing pimples, prevents the sprouting of new pimples, and kills the bacteria that causes acne. Salicylic acid is a great exfoliator for your skin (prevents pores from getting clogged with bacteria, oil or sebum).

For moderate acne:

If over-the-counter medicines are not working on your condition, and you still face the formation of new acne pimples, you may want to consult a dermatologist. Your physician may recommend you the use of following ingredients; benzoyl peroxide, antibiotics or moderate levels of steroids in clinically approved amounts. The use of antibiotics has to be limited for a short time span, else your body might develop resistance to the medication and would stop working against the acne, leaving you prone to further infections.

for severe acne:

For severe acne, a dermatologist may recommend treatment with the combination of: oral antibiotics with benzoyl peroxide, topical antibiotics and retinoids (vitamin A). Hormonal control medication and intake of specific amount of vitamin A is also used in some cases, but physician’s advice is strongly recommended before taking any treatment.

Acne home remedies

There are a number of home remedies, but not all of them works. In fact many remedies make acne even worse. To list a few safe remedies for acne at home:

Tea tree is proven to be one of the best remedies foe acne, based on its anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Apply tea tree oil.
  • Apply aloe vera.
  • Use a honey mask.
  • Use a green tea mask to rejuvenate your skin.
  • You should not touch your face with dirty hands, especially on the area prone to acne.
  • Never squeeze pimples, as it results in the spread of bacteria, excess oil and chances of more scarring.

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