Frequently asked questions about acne

Acne is the bane of adolescence; if it’s severe enough, it can damage physical appearance and cause emotional problems at an age when people are usually at their most susceptible and self-conscious. But acne amounts to more than what is show in teenage TV dramas, as we’ll learn in these frequently asked questions about acne.

Frequently asked questions about acne

1.What is acne?

This is a long-term condition in which bumps or spots appear on the skin. These bumps are alternately known as pimples, zits, blackheads, and whiteheads, and usually develop on the face, neck, chest, back, and shoulders.

2.What causes acne?

Acne appears when oil glands produce too much of an oily substance called sebum, which lubricates the hair and skin but can also accumulate in the hair follicles and clog the pores – especially when combine with excess dead skin cells.

3.What does not cause acne?

·         Greasy food.

·         Dirty skin.

·         Cosmetic products.

4.What are the symptoms of acne?

·         Whiteheads (closed plugged pore).

·         Blackheads (open plugged pore).

·         Papules (small, red, and tender bumps).

·         Pimples or pustules (papules with pus at the tip).

·         Nodules (big, solid, painful bumps under the skin’s surface).

·         Cystic lesions (lumps under the skin’s surface filled with pus).

5.What are the risk factors for acne?

·         Hormonal changes.

·         Genetic factors.

·         Greasy/oily substances.

·         Friction/pressure on the skin.

·         Stress.

·         Corticosteroids, androgens, lithium, and other drugs.

·         Bread, bagels, chips, chocolate, and other foods.

·         Sweat.

6.How is acne treated?

·         Topical treatments

·         Retinoids.

·         Antibiotics.

·         Dapsone.

·         Oral treatments

·         Antibiotics.

·         Combined oral contraceptives.

·         Anti-androgen agents.

·         Isotretinoin.

·         Therapies

·         Light therapy.

·         Chemical peel.

·         Whitehead and blackhead extraction.

·         Steroid injections.

·         Treatment for acne scars

·         Soft tissue fillers.

·         Chemical peels.

·         Dermabrasion.

·         Laser resurfacing.

·         Skin surgery.

·         Spot & Wrinkle Erasing Cream

7.Are there home remedies for acne?

·         Washing the area with a gentle cleanser.

·         Over the counter products (note that the FDA warns that some popular OTC acne lotions, cleansers and other skin products can cause a rare but severe reaction).

·         Avoiding irritants.

·         Using oil-free moisturizer with sunscreen.

·         And as your granny used to say, it’ll never heal if you keep picking at it.

8.Are there alternative medicine approaches to acne?

A few studies suggest the following could work, but further research is need to determine whether they are safe and effective:

·         Aloe vera gel.

·         Tea tree oil.

·         Green tea extract.

·         Bovine cartilage.

·         Zinc.

9.How can acne be prevented?

·         Washing areas prone to acne two times per day.

·         Using OTC acne creams and gels to dry excessive oil.

·         Using non-oily makeup.

·         Removing makeup before going to bed.

·         Wearing loose fitting clothes. 

·         Showering after sweat-causing activities.


Related: Acne: A true enemy to self-esteem & comfort