Acne Acting Up?

Most of us are aware of Acne. But what exactly causes this skin problem and what are the possible cures for it is something that Dr. Sneh Thadani Discusses in this column.

Acne is a skin condition that causes spots and pimples, especially on the face, shoulders, back, neck, chest, and upper arms. Acne, also known as acne vulgaris, is a long-term skin disease that occurs when hair follicles are clogged with dead skin cells and oil from the skin It is characterized by blackheads or white-heads, pimples, oily skin, and possible scarring. It primarily affects areas of the skin with a relatively high number of oil glands, including the face, upper part of the chest, and back. It is not dangerous, but it can leave skin scars.

Human skin has pores that connect to oil glands under the skin. Follicles connect the glands to the pores. Follicles are small sacs that produce and secrete liquid. The glands produce an oily liquid called sebum. Sebum carries dead skin cells through the follicles to the surface of the skin. A small hair grows through the follicle out of the skin. Pimples grow when these follicles get blocked, and oil builds up under the skin.

Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) is the name of the bacteria that live on the skin and contributes to the infection of pimples. Research suggests that the severity and frequency of acne depend on the strain of bacteria. Not all acne bacteria trigger pimples. One strain helps to keep the skin pimple-free.

Causes
Genetics is thought to be the primary cause of acne in 80% of cases. The role of diet and cigarette smoking is unclear. So also, cleanliness or exposure to sunlight is also unclear. During puberty, in both sexes, acne is often brought on by an increase in hormones such as testosterone. A frequent factor is excessive growth of the bacterium Propionibacterium acnes, which is normally present on the skin.

Severity of Acne
The severity of acne vulgaris can be classified as mild, moderate, or severe as this helps to determine an appropriate treatment regimen. Mild acne is classically defined by the presence of clogged skin follicles (known as comedones) limited to the face with occasional inflammatory lesions.

Moderate severity acne is said to occur when a higher number of inflammatory papules and pustules occur on the face compared to mild cases of acne and are found on the trunk of the body.
Severe acne is said to occur when nodules (the painful ‘bumps’ lying under the skin) are the characteristic facial lesions and involvement of the trunk is extensive.

Large nodules were previously referred to as cysts, and the term nodulocystic has been used in the medical literature to describe severe cases of inflammatory acne. True cysts are in fact rare in those with acne and the term severe nodular acne is now the preferred terminology.

Treatment
If one is suffering from acne one should always seek medical help in the form of dermatology consultation by a dermatologist because to get rid of acne one needs proper guidance in terms of history taking, treatment procedures and maintenance plan At SSD Hospital, Dr Sneh Thadani takes keen interest in finding out the cause of acne and helps you understand what can be done to get clear pimple free skin by making a custom treatment plan for each and every individual case So if any one of you are suffering from any of the above mentioned symptoms, please feel free to contact us or drop in for a detailed skin analysis.

Read More Article From Dr Sneh Thadani: Skin Care for Monsoons!
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Dr. Sneh Thadani

MBBS DNB DERMATOLOGY

Head of Dermatology Department, SSD Hospital

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