Acne is a condition of the skin that results in pimples, whiteheads and blackheads. It occurs as a result of hair follicles becoming clogged with dead skin cells and oil. While most common in teenagers, it can be experienced by people of any age. The problem of acne can be compounded by the emotional stress this condition can create; in fact, stress is one of the triggers of this skin condition.
Acne can present in a number of different ways and can show up anywhere on the body, though it is most commonly found on the face and upper torso. Signs of acne include pustules, closed or open plugged pores and, in some cases, cystic lesions.
There are four main causes of acne:
There are also certain conditions that can trigger an increase in acne, including:
Acne can occur in a number of areas on the body. The most common sites where acne can occur include the face, forehead, chest, shoulders, and upper back. Acne appears in these areas more often because the skin in these regions have more sebaceous glands. Acne can, however, appear almost anywhere on the body, especially where hair grows. Hair can clog pores along with sebum, compounding the condition.
There are several different types of acne. Some of the most common are blackheads and whiteheads. Blackheads are open bumps filled with sebum and dead skin, while whiteheads are closed. Pimples that look like whiteheads with red rings are known as pustules and can cause scarring when aggravated or scratched. Additional types of acne that appear in more severe cases include nodules, which are very deep, and cysts, which are filled with pus.
What foods cause acne? They might not be the ones you think. While people often think that chocolate and greasy foods cause acne, they are not the culprits. The foods that cause acne include skim milk, sugary foods, and whey protein.
Another commonly asked question is “Does spicy food cause acne?” Spicy food does not cause acne, but it can inflame it, as spicy food tends to raise the body’s temperature.
Preventing acne involves a number of habits and best practices that you can easily incorporate into your life.
Anyone experiencing acne should consider seeing a dermatologist. Seeing a dermatologist is particularly important when acne is chronic, cystic, or inflamed and is resistant to most over-the-counter treatments. By working in partnership with your dermatologist, you can develop a system of interventions that can treat acne and return your skin to a healthier and more balanced state.
Treatments for acne can vary depending on the individual’s age and the type or severity of the acne involved. Typical treatments often involve washing the affected areas and applying topical medications, such as retinoids or salicylic acid. In some situations, a doctor may recommend taking oral medication, as well, such as antibiotics or, in severe cases, Isotretinoin. If a patient is pregnant, treatment options may be limited due to health concerns.
All cases of acne are not the same, therefore we recommend seeing a specialist to help determine which treatment option is the best for you.