You wake up one morning to an angry red bump on your face. Just when you thought the pressures of your teenage years are over, the huge acne on your forehead reminds you that bad skin can happen no matter what your age. 😕
While some people course through adulthood without so much of a trace of blemish on their skin, some people have to deal with skin imperfections on a daily basis. Sadly, acne is not reserved for teenagers only. Even if you are well over your twenties and beyond, you can still have the occasional (if not regular) breakouts.
Understanding Acne: The Causes
If you hate waking up to a large zit on your cheek, don’t worry—you’re not alone. Believe it or not, acne is a common skin condition.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, acne affects up to 50 million Americans annually. That’s a surprisingly huge number considering that it’s in the United States alone.
Acne is a disease that affects the oil glands of the skin. They show up as different types of bumps, which may be inflamed or painful.
Other factors that may cause acne include:
What type of acne do I have?
Unlike other types of acne, nodules do not appear on the skin surface. Nodules are lodged deep under the skin and are usually hard to the touch. Larger than papules and pustules, nodules normally persist for several weeks to months. When left untreated, nodules can eventually turn into cysts.
Rare Types of Acne
Acne Conglobata is a severe form of acne that starts as inflamed comedones. It affects mostly men, between the ages of 18 and 30, who have high levels of testosterone. This type of acne begins as a cluster of blackheads surrounded by pimples. The pus-filled pimples eventually rupture and become larger, forming into nodules and cysts.
Although Acne Conglobata eventually heals in a matter of weeks, the “spillage” of comedones may lead to the formation of scabs. The best treatment for this type of acne is with the use of isotretinoin and oral steroids like prednisone.
The symptoms for this type of acne include sudden pain and inflammation of joints, swelling of lymph nodes in the neck, loss of appetite and muscle atrophy. Effective treatment of Acne Fulminans include the use of steroids (prednisone), but this may further aggravate common acne.
Acne Mechanica is caused by excessive heat and friction on the skin. When you wear tight-fitting clothes and headgear, your skin cannot breathe properly and that leads to breakouts. Athletes, soldiers, and anyone who spends a lot of time in the heat are most likely to develop Acne Mechanica.
How to Manage Acne
Having acne may seem like an aesthetic issue, but its emotional effects are lasting. Just think of the time when you were back in middle school and your acne made you want to hide your face from everyone.
The good news is acne can be managed with the proper treatment. Over-the-counter (OTC) treatments that contain active ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and resorcinol can help reduce flare-ups. However, these medications should be used sparingly. Start with the lowest strength as some topical treatments may have high doses of ingredients that can further irritate your skin.
For moderate and severe acne, it’s best to consult a dermatologist for the proper treatment. You may be given a prescription for oral antibiotics or corticosteroid injection, depending on what your current condition requires.
It’s also a good idea to watch your diet if you are suffering from different types of acne. Although foods do not directly cause breakouts, the nutrients we get from them may influence the body’s ability to protect itself from bacterial infections and other inflammatory conditions.
So yes, even though acne may have caused some unsightly scars and affected your self-esteem, there are ways on how to prevent them from popping up and taking over your life.
What methods do you follow in managing your acne? Leave your comment below.
Have a Good Day! 😇
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