Acne is a skin condition that occurs when tiny holes in the skin known as hair follicles become blocked with oil and dead skin cells.
It can occur on the face, neck, chest and back and is usually more common among teenagers and some adults.
It is usually caused by hormonal changes that trigger oil-producing glands in the skin to produce larger amounts of oil making normal skin bacteria to become more aggressive causing inflammation and pus formation on the skin. Such hormonal changes can include those that occur during the menstrual cycle or pregnancy.
Acne may also be genetic in origin
It is a great cause for concern for many people as it can be persistent and sometimes cause scar formation on the skin.
There are 6 main types of spots caused by acne:
1. Blackheads: These are small black bumps that develop on the skin and are black-coloured due to pigmentation produced by the inner lining of the hair follicle.
2. White heads: These are similar to black heads but may be firmer and don’t empty out when squeezed.
3. Papules: Small, tender red bumps on the skin
4. Pustules: Resemble papules filled with pus.
5. Nodules: are hard, solid painful lumps under the surface of the skin
6. Cysts: are large solid lumps beneath the skin similar to boils, they are usually painful and are the most likely to cause scarring.
Here are some useful tips for clearing and preventing acne:
1. Avoid using excessive makeup and cosmetics.
2. Remove makeup complete before going to bed
3. Avoid squeezing pimples or spots, squeezing pimples can cause scars on your skin.
4. Wash affected areas of skin with mild soap and warm water, hot or cold water can worsen acne.
5. Avoid washing affected areas of skin more than twice a day to avoid skin irritation.
Acne may not be curable, but it can be controlled with various lotions, gels and creams containing antibiotics, benzoyl peroxide, retinoids or other suitable medication. Some of these lotions are available over-the-counter at your local pharmacy.