Acne or pimples is a common skin condition frequently seen in young individuals during teenage and youth years. This occurs mainly due to the action of hormones on the oil glands in the skin. The draining ducts of the oil glands get blocked and hence they are not able to drain the oil secretion. The oil and cells inside the blocked gland form a perfect environment for the growth of Propionibacterium acnes (the organism responsible for acne). Thus, it results in the formation of pimples or acne.
Acne usually occurs on the face, chest, back, shoulders and neck. It is one of the most common skin conditions. Although acne is not a serious threat to the health, yet it can lead to scarring and disfigurement of the face that can have a significant impact on the patient.
Various Forms of Acne
Acne may present itself in various forms and these are as follows:
- Whiteheads and blackheads (Comedones): White or black tiny bumps on the skin which are nothing but the enlarged and plugged hair follicles
- Papules: Inflamed lesions that usually appear as small, pink bumps on the skin and can be tender to the touch
- Pustules (pimples): Pus-filled lesions that may be appear red at the base
- Nodules: Large, painful, solid lesions that are lodged deep in the skin
- Lesions that can cause scarring
Types of Acne
Following are the commonly recognized types of Acne:
- Acne vulgaris
- Acne rosacea
- Acne conglobata
- Acne cosmetica
- Acne fulminans
- Acne medicamentosa
- Acne keloidalis nuchae
Causes of Acne:
One of the most important causes is the increase in the male hormones (androgens) that occurs in boys as well as girls during puberty. These hormones cause an increased production of sebum (oil) and hence result in acne.
Hormonal changes related to pregnancy or such changes caused by starting or stopping birth control pills can also cause acne. Another factor is heredity or genetics; there is evidence to support the fact that the tendency to develop acne can be inherited from parents. Apart from this certain drugs, including androgens and lithium, are also known to cause acne. Greasy cosmetics may cause further plugging of the follicles in the skin and hence can precipitate the onset of acne.
Majority of people who develop acne are between the ages of 12 and 25. For most people, acne tends to go away by the time they reach their thirties; however, some people in their forties and fifties continue to have this skin problem.
Homeopathic treatment for Acne is strongly suggested. It helps in the following ways:
- Controls the tendency to have acne (often genetic, in severe cases)
- Addresses underlying hormonal disturbance which gives one a proneness to have acne
- Reduces excessive oiliness of skin
- Reduces acne directly
- Controls infection
- Controls scar formation
- Reduces hyperpigmentation following acne
- Controls tendency to scar formation following acne