Due to hormonal changes; there is increased production of oil [sebum] inside the sebaceous glands in the hair follicles. This leads to formation of plugged follicles [microcomedones]. This plug stops the normal outward movement of skin cells and oil (or sebum). When sebum gets trapped in the hair follicles, the follicles become a breeding ground for a type of bacteria that normally lives in the follicles called Propionibacterium acnes. These bacteria produce material which causes inflammation (redness and irritation) and attracts your immune cells. Eventually this build-up can lead to a ruptured hair follicle and even more inflammation and pain. Large, painful swellings called nodules and cyst may develop and result in scaring after the condition has healed.
What causes acne?
There are several causes of acne. Hormonal increase at puberty is the most important cause. When the male hormone levels increase, the skin oil glands of the acne prone person produce excess sebum.
What should I do when I have acne?
Consult your dermatologist early. Sometimes the pimples may cause significant scarring and psychological impact on the patient. Timely medical treatment can improve your appearance, stop the process and prevent development of severe scars.
How is acne treated?
Patients with mild acne usually respond well to topical treatments. This includes benzoyl peroxide containing preparations, antibiotics and vitamin A derived creams or gels. Some lotions or creams may make the skin red or flaky but these side effects are usually temporary.
If your acne worsens and you have a lot of inflamed spots, topical treatment alone may not be adequate. Your dermatologist will prescribe some oral medication.
Addition of some aesthetic procedures like chemical peeling, micro derma abrasion, derma roller and laser treatments can vastly improve the outcome and shorten the duration of treatment.
What precautions should I take during treatment?
Remove surface oil from the face by washing with mild soap and water or with a mild, medicated cleanser. Do not use harsh cleansers.
It is usually advisable not to squeeze the pimples, especially if they are deep. Superficial whitish or yellowish pimples may be gentle squeezed.
It is possible that very greasy make-up worsens acne. Use water-soluble oil-free cosmetics that do not promote the formation of pimples.
It is advisable to avoid oily and greasy foods, sweets, chocolates, beverages like tea, coffee and aerated drinks.