What is acne?

Acne is a disease that affects sebaceous glands, which are connected to the pores of the skin through a channel called the follicle. These glands produce a fatty substance called sebum, which when clog a follicle, a pimple appears. Most pimples are found on the face, neck, back, chest and shoulders.

Acne is not a serious threat to health, but it can leave scars, as well as problems of self-esteem.

Why does acne occur?

Acne occurs because the sebum and the skin cells come together and create a plug in the pore. The bacteria that is present in the plug causes swelling.

There are many types of pimples. The most common are:

  • White points. These are pimples that stay under the surface of the skin.
  • Black spots. These are pimples that rise to the surface of the skin and look black; the black color is not due to the pore being dirty.
  • Papules. These small lumps are pink and may hurt when touched.
  • Pustules. These pimples are red below and have pus on top.
  • Nodules. These are large, painful and solid grains that are inside the skin.
  • Cysts. These are deep, painful and pus-filled pimples that can leave scars.

Who has acne?

Acne is the most common skin disease.

Acne is suffered by people of all races and all ages.

However, acne is more common in teenagers and young people. It is juvenile acne. It is estimated that 80 percent of all people between the ages of 11 and 30 have outbreaks at some point. Even so, some people have acne until after 40 and 50 years. It is adult acne.

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Frequently asked questions about acne

The exact cause of acne is not known. Doctors believe that certain factors can cause it, including:

  • Increase hormonal levels during adolescence (this causes the glands to become clogged more often): juvenile acne.
  • Hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy: hormonal acne.
  • Start or stop taking birth control pills.
  • Hereditary factors (if your parents had acne, you may also have it).
  • Certain medications.

Acne is treated by dermatologists, doctors specialized in dealing with skin problems. The aim in treating acne is:

  • Heal pimples.
  • Avoid the formation of new pimples.
  • Prevent scars.
  • Help reduce the embarrassment or lack of self-esteem that causes acne.

The best way to prevent scars is to start a treatment early in the active acne phase.

Acne treatments will vary on each case and depend on acne type.

Makeup with a very light texture, without oils, with regulating ingredients, moisturizing and better if you have sunscreen, since excessive sun exposure worsens acne. There are some matifying and regulating creams of sebum production that have color, so we treat acne and make makeup.

It is important to properly cleanse the skin with appropriate micellar solutions and always apply sun protection to protect the skin from sun damage.
There is sebum regulating sunscreen creams.

It is recommended not to expose yourself to the sun if you are under oral treatment with antibiotics or isotretinoin.

What is the treatment for mild acne?

Acne is treated by dermatologists, doctors specialized in dealing with skin problems. The goal in the treatment for acne is:

  • Correct cleaning of the skin with suitable products. Facial hygiene is the basic treatment for this type of skin, in which you always have to use specific products for oily-mixed skin or for skin with acne.The day and night cleaning is the best way to remove excess fat that forms a film too thick on the surface layer of the skin, mixed with makeup and environmental dirt, end up irritating and intoxicate the skin.It is important to remove make-up with the use of specific micellar waters for the care of acne prone skin.
  • After cleaning creams. After cleaning the skin of face, neck and neckline, it is advisable to apply a cream with active anti acne ingredients or a mattifying cream that diminishes the shine of the skin generated by the excess of fat.
  • To prevent and treat acne there are various active ingredients aimed at treating different aspects of acne. Gluconolactone, to treat the inflammatory component of acne as well as providing a gentle peel, and Zinc-PCA, as an active regulator of the sebum production of the sebaceous gland.
  • Domestic or medical peels. The goal is to get a controlled peel to reduce and regulate sebum production and avoid acne marks.
  • LEDS: light therapy.
  • Topical treatments. Benzoyl peroxide, topical retinoids and topical antibiotics such as erythromycin and clindamycin.

What is the treatment for severe acne?

In cases of very active acne, with pimples, marks, etc., the best recommendation is to go to the dermatologist, so that he/she establishes the protocol of the best treatment for the specific problem of each skin, since not all the acnes are absolutely the same.

It will be the dermatologist who prescribes the most appropriate treatments, whether laser or pharmacological treatments. For severe active acne is recommended as medical treatment:

  • Oral medication:
    • antibiotics: In these patients the response to these treatments is very slow, so long treatments of 1-3 months are recommended.
    • isotretinoin according to its severity.
    • hormonal treatment: cyproterone acetate, drospirenone, spironolactone and flutamide. It is effective whether there is hyperandrogenism or not.
  • Use of medical peels with salicylic to control the secretion of fat (about 4 peelings: 1 every 1/2 week).
  • Sessions of LEDs (low power laser) with blue light to combat the Propionebacterium acnes (about 5-10 sessions: 1 / week the first month and then 1 every 2 weeks). We can also use red LEDs to decrease the inflammatory component of the lesions.
  • In cases of red post acne marks and post acne scars, the use of non-ablative or ablative fractional laser is recommended according to the severity of marks and scars.

What is adult acne?

15 percent of people over 25, especially women, suffer from acne. We must distinguish acne started in adolescence and persists in the adult age of acne that appears for the first time in patients over 25 years. Acne is characterized by the existence of a sebaceous gland with an excessive secretion of fat. This fat, when oxidized and in contact with the air, makes acne even more aggravated, appearing an important inflammatory component.

It is this excess of fat and inflamed pores that make the skin look shiny, black spots and the typical pimples that characterizes acne.

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Frequently asked questions on adult acne

Acne is not “heritage” of adolescence or youth. In adults with acne, a genetic predisposition is observed. Thus, these patients have a history of first-degree relatives with post adolescent acne. The hormonal factors also influence, being able to observe a worsening in the premenstrual phase and be accompanied by signs of hyperandrogenism such as hirsutism. It also has an important influence on smoking and various factors such as stress and some medications.

There are significant differences in adult acne between men and women, since adult acne appears more frequently in women than in men. The main triggers range from hormonal disorders, reactions to medications (such as contraceptives), use of makeup, tobacco… There are studies that show that 42% of women smokers suffer from adult acne.

There are more and more problems due to extreme sensitivity, since the skin is subject to more environmental contamination, greater use of contraceptives and a more stressful life.

At the same moment they appear. The sooner the better, because that way the effectiveness of any treatment will be higher and faster. But, above all, the best way is to prevent its consequences.