Details Descriptions About :: acne

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Description of Acne

Definition of  AcneAccording to dictionary definition  Acne is a condition that causes pimples on skin. It commonly occurs in teenagers and young adults and affects both males and females. However, it can also affect other age groups.  Causes and Risk Factors  of  AcneAccording to dictionary definition  Acne occurs when skin pores get clogged. These are blocked by the dead skin cells and the oil secreted by the sebaceous glands. This promotes the growth of bacteria Propionibacterium acnes leading to acne.Acne may be mild, moderate, or severe depending on the number of pimples present.Factors that can cause or worsen acne include:1. Hormone changes such as puberty, pregnancy, and menstrual cycle2. Medicines such as corticosteroids and lithium3. Friction on the skin caused by excessive washing or use of helmets, tight collars, and backpacks4. Hot, humid, and tropical climate5. Cosmetics such as oil-based makeup6. Excessive sweating7. Stress8. Family history of acne  Signs and Symptoms  of  AcneAccording to dictionary definition  Acne occurs most often on the face, neck, chest, back, shoulders, and upper arms. These occur in the form of:1. Blackheads2. Whiteheads3. Papules (red painful bumps)4. Pustules (pimples containing pus)5. Cysts (painful bumps filled with pus)  InvestigationsAccording to dictionary definition  Investigations include physical examination for blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, excessive hair on the body, or hair fall. A complete history will be taken that will include information about:1. Use of drugs, cosmetics, and oral contraceptives2. Menses — regular or irregular3. Previous treatment for acne4. Family historyIn some patients, certain blood tests and skin examination may be performed. If hormonal imbalance is suspected, the following tests may be performed in women:1. Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS)2. Testosterone (total and free)3. Androstenedione  Treatment  of  AcneAccording to dictionary definition  Treatment of acne depends on how severe the condition is. Mild acne can be treated by applying over-the-counter medicines such as benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid.In case of moderate and severe acne, the doctor will prescribe topical (applied to the skin) and oral medicines (taken by mouth).Some of the topical medicines are:1. Antibiotics such as clindamycin, erythromycin, or dapsone2. Retinoic acid cream or gel3. Prescription formulas of benzoyl peroxide, sulfur, resorcinol, or salicylic acid4. Azelaic acidSome of the oral medicines are:1. Antibiotics such as tetracycline, doxycycline, erythromycin, minocycline, and trimethoprim2. Contraceptives or birth control pills in some females3. Spironolactone in adolescent and young adult females if antibiotics are not helping4. IsotretinoinLiver enzymes, cholesterol, and triglycerides will be checked before prescribing isotretinoin, as it causes an increase in the levels of lipids and liver enzymes.If medicines do not work, any of the following procedure may be done to treat acne:1. Laser treatment2. Chemical peeling3. Removal of acne by drainage4. Cortisone injections  Complications and When Should You See a DoctorAccording to dictionary definition  If not treated on time, acne can cause infection in the affected area of skin, permanent marks/scars on the skin and psychologically may lead to lack of confidence.Consult your doctor if:1. There is no relief after self-care and over-the-counter medicines2. Acne is getting worse even after treatment3. The acne is leaving scars on the skin  Prognosis and PreventionAccording to dictionary definition  In most cases, acne resolves with age. Acne usually goes away with at least 4 to 6 weeks of treatment. However, it may recur from time to time. In addition to medicines, lifestyle changes help a lot in coping with acne.Here are some tips that help to keep acne in check:1. Do not scrub your skin.2. Do not squeeze or rub the pimples.3. Cleanse the skin with gentle soap and lukewarm water twice a day, especially after sweating.4. Use water-based or non-comedogenic cosmetics and skin creams. Avoid using alcohol-based skin products.5. Avoid touching the face with dirty hands.6. Have a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables.  ReferencesAccording to dictionary definition  National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. National Institute of health. NIH Publication No. 15-4998. https://www.niams.nih.gov/health_info/acne/Galbraith SS. Acne. In: Kliegman RM, Stanton BF, St Geme JW, Schor NF, Behrman RE, eds. Nelson textbook of pediatrics. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 669.Tsatsou F, Zouboulis CC. Acne vulgaris. In: Lebwohl MG, Heymann WR, Berth-Jones, Coulson I, eds. Treatment of Skin Disease: Comprehensive Therapeutic Strategies. 4th ed. Philadephia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 3.  

 

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