Acne vulgaris / pimple/ zits is a disease involving the sebaceous glands or oil glands that is present on the skin. The common areas affected are face, chest, and back. Acne vulgaris can be a debilitating disease and can cause severe psychological stress and isolation from the peer group.
Acne is known to be a disease of teenagers. It may also be seen in new born kids as well as in the late 30’s age group. Acne begins during puberty and worsens in adolescence. Upto 85% people develop acne sometime between the ages of 12 and 25 years. Acne that appears for the first time after the age of 25 is late onset acne and should be investigated for any underlying cause.
The sudden spurt of androgen hormone during adolescence causes the oil glands to grow and secrete more oil/ sebum causing pimples. This oil secretion causes breakage in the skin that gets secondarily infected by bacterium, P. Acnes, and is seen as pus filled lesions of pimples or inflammation of the skin. Other factors that cause the flare up of pimples are pollution, stress, oil from skin products like moisturisers and from scrubbing of the skin.
Treatment for acne/pimples
There has been huge advancement in the treatment of acne. However, early diagnosis followed by treatment is the cornerstone in preventing debilitating acne scars.
The treatment of acne depends on the type of acne lesions: mild (blackheads, whiteheads and pimples), moderate or severe (pus filled / pustules, nodules, cyst). The treatment prescribed by a dermatologist may include topical creams and ointments as well as oral medication. In some cases, the treatment may be combined for best results and to avoid drug resistance.
Treatment for mild acne:
- Gentle cleansing of the face with a mild soap and warm water
- Application of benzoyl peroxide or clindamycin gel over the lesions
- Application of salicylic acid or metronidazole.
Salicylic Acid and Benzoyl Peroxide are both known as super ingredients in one’s fight with acne.
Treatment for moderate to severe acne maybe stronger and prolonged and includes:
- Oral antibiotics
- Oral retinoids
- Application of antibiotic gels, creams or lotions
- Application of retinoid gel
- In severe cases, drainage of large pimples and cyst
If you have acne scars, do not worry. Know about acne scars treatment.