Teenage years are beautiful to remember. Except for the part where acne ravages your skin. Having acne is such a painful experience. It not only takes away your confidence but secludes you from the society in a way. Let’s all face it, it is embarrassing to have a face full of scars and pimple marks. Days when your face looks like a battlefield of red humps and pus cells, there is nothing that will give you the inspiration to walk out of your house. You may hide it with your hair for a few days, then try hiding it with make up. But with all of this, you’ll end up aspiring to hide yourself as well. It is very common to face skin trouble at early 20s and late teens. What’s to be remembered is that this is not a critical condition even though it will make you feel miserable about your existence.
What is acne?
Pimples are basically inflammation of the skin in which sebaceous glands are situated. These glands secrete oils which are essential for your superficial epidermal layer. A change in the development of these cells inside the hair follicles leads to the formation of a plug. This plug often results in the formation of a blackhead. This hair follicle pore can be disrupted due to numerous reasons like excessive oil secretion or bacterial infection. This plug will stop the movement of air and sebum giving rise to swelling, redness and eventually rupture of the hair follicle. With the rupture, the contents of the follicle will also come to lie in the superficial epidermal layer and bring more inflammation. Certain bacterias clog skin pores and lead to the development of pimples.
The bacteria Propionibacterium acnes produce such substances which will result in inflammation. They form enzymes, which irritate the skin and make your face look worse. Many times it’s the hormones which cause pimples. During puberty, hormonal changes are very common. Androgens and estrogen are such steroid hormones which lead to enhanced sexual development and the development of secondary sexual characteristics.
These steroid hormones work by enlarging skin pores and also enhance sebum production by the glands. This leads to excessive proliferation of the bacterias, as well. Hence, aggravating inflammation. Hormonal surge with estrogens in females, which leads to the continuity of the ovarian cycle also affects the formation of skin pimples. Unlike males, females are more prone to acne due to monthly changes in their menstrual cycles as the menstrual cycle entirely occurs at the base of changing steroid hormone levels. Due to this reason, many times birth control pills are prescribed to these females which keep in check the fluctuating hormone levels and also reduce acne.
Acne is primarily of two types depending on the lesion. Non inflammatory and inflammatory is another way to classify them. Non inflammatory acne has open comedones and closed comedones. Open comedones are blackheads while closed comedones are whiteheads. Sometimes, both of these forms combined can result in nodular acne. Nodular acne is the most severe form of acne which occurs because of the presence of papule and pustules. This is the major form of inflammatory acne. .
Non inflammatory acne or open type acne occurs due to enlargement of pores. The oil in these pores becomes clogged and is exposed on the surface in the form of blackheads. Whiteheads happen when the oil is not exposed to air.
Inflammatory acne gives rise to red scars, blemishes, pus heads, swelling and are highly inflamed. Their rupture can lead to the spread of infection in nearby areas as well.
Pimples are not just limited to face. They can be formed at the neck, shoulder region and even unexposed regions like the armpit. Unlike the most accepted notion about acne, it is not caused due to less washing of the face. It doesn’t happen due to too much dirt either. Acne is not related to hygiene or sexual activity as well. Demeaning these myths, masturbation doesn’t lead to acne. Acne is not caused due to excessive consumption of high fat diet or eating fast food is another one of them in the list.
Acne home remedies
There are a few extremely simple and easily attainable home remedies to get relief of acne but how do you get rid of pimples fast? Ice can be used to quickly reduce swelling, redness and inflammation of the pimples. Ice basically affects the blood circulation in the area of acne and also tightens your skin pores. Wrap ice in a cloth and hold it over the region of acne. Repeat the process as many times as you can. You will visibly notice the swelling decreasing. But this treatment works temporarily.
Use of lemon has been running for a long while in the treatment of acne. Traditional ways to reduce acne use lemon as the major ingredient as it is rich in vitamin C which is known for its antioxidant and healing capacities. Lemon will dry up the pimple very fast. Use of fresh lemon juice, without preservatives on a clean cotton swab before going to bed will give you results in a very short time. Also, you can mix lemon and cinnamon powder to apply over your pimple overnight. But be careful if you have extremely sensitive skin.
Tea tree oil is great for treating pimples due to its antibacterial and bacteriostatic qualities.
Toothpaste is another household item which is readily available. Use of glue toothpaste can be made to slow down the swelling and get rid of pimples fast. Use it only once and great results will be achieved. Even cinnamon and honey mixture will work wonders if you’re really eager to get those stubborn pimples off your skin. Fresh garlic extracts will battle these pimples astonishingly but again this will exaggerate the response in sensitive skin type.
The best way to clear pores is by the use of steam. It will freshen you up and aerate your skin.
Egg whites can be applied before going to bed and you will notice a vast difference in the morning once you wash your face with lukewarm water. In the long list of anti fungal, antiseptic and antioxidants, helping you revise your beautiful skin, we should not forget cider vinegar. Its effectiveness if splendid. Results have been observed with the use of calamine lotion as well.
Cucumber has been a magnificent organic compound used for centuries to decrease the visibility of pimples and acne scars.
Liquid extracted from basil leaves is also an effective alternative.
Orange peel and extract can also be used successfully to get rid of these marks. Papaya peel, banana peel, aloe Vera gel and baking soda are other compounds which can be mixed with honey or individually applied over night to attain surprisingly amazing results. Eating one raw garlic clove daily will prevent the appearance of more pimples and give you disease free skin from the start.
If any of these remedies do not help you improve then you should get evaluated by a doctor. Acne can take the severe form of cystic acne giving you the skin of your nightmares and it is urgent to seek medical advice when facing such stubborn side of this problem. If you have acne, which came with a fever or severe swelling suddenly, you should consult a dermatologist immediately. Your doctor might take hormone samples to test their levels and then reach a diagnosis. But mostly, over the counter drugs are effective in preventing new lesions and should be applied to the entire area of skin which has a minute chance of being affected. Many cover up products are also available to heal these blemishes and scars, which arise due to acne. Manipulation should be avoided and you should not touch your acne under any circumstances. This magnifies the response and leads to spread of infection to many adjacent areas heightening the reaction.
Allopathy in treatment
Many over the counter drugs contain benzoyl peroxide which will kill acne causing bacteria and also dry the area, thus causing flaking of the skin and preventing the pores from getting plugged.
Salicylic acid preparations are also helpful to decrease follicular openings and promoting evacuation of the bacteria causing the problem.
Azialic acid products are useful in reducing inflammation and should be applied twice a day.
Also, antibiotics are straight forward to directly target the bacteria and get a smoother version of your skin.
Retinoids are vitamin A agonists which prevent acne lesions and are taken as preventive medicine. Isotretinoin is one such retinoid which can be prescribed to prevent nodular type of acne. This medicine will permanently take care of skin acne and you will never have to come across it again.isotretinoin causes drying of the skin and severe peeling. This drug is not advised during pregnancy. Lipid profile and hormones should be checked before giving this drug. The drug can also affect the liver adversely resulting in inflammatory bowel syndrome. So Isotretinoin is not ideally given without extremely serious need for the drug. Topical retinoids which are directly applied to the skin are prescribed more often and should be preferred more over any other oral medications. Again, drying and redness can limit its usefulness.
Antibiotics are sometimes paired with benzoyl peroxide in the form of anti bacterial creams and lotions which are also available over the counter.
Usually antibiotics taken orally for a long period can be very effective in preventing further proliferation of acne.
This should be noted carefully that any over the counter medication will not work more if you scrub it. It will only worsen your acne and give you more trouble adding upto the redness.
A doctor may recommend other types of medications as well. Like birth control pills or ‘water pills’. Some of the pills might include zinc. Your doctor can make sure which of these are suitable for you after having done certain blood tests.
After you’re out of this problem with the help of appropriate home remedy or allopathic assistance, you should know that it is highly unlikely you will suffer from it again. Most of the patients belonging to this category are teens. Their reasons for being affected are associated with their age group and varying hormone levels. Once the cause is fixed and it is made sure that no scarring is left behind, you’re good to go! It should be noted that if acne is left untreated, it will give an extremely bumpy appearance to your skin. Pits and big scars may also appear after the tenure of the disease has passed. You might have to avail ‘dermabrasion’ or ‘chemical peels’ which will fill up the damaged tissue. Lasers are also accepted as a liable prognostic treatment.