Acne is a type of skin disease, which most likely occurs in people with oily or sensitive skin. Acne breakouts occur due to clogging of dead cells and dirt in the hair follicles of the skin. This generally occurs in the adolescence period of a person, but may sometime occur in mature, aged persons also.
Deep beneath our skin, there are numerous sebaceous glands. These glands are responsible for the production of sebum (oil). Sebaceous glands are connected to the skin through a tube like thing, called follicle. If the skin is not regularly cleaned, then sebum (oil) remains trapped inside the follicle and the follicle gets clogged up. Clogged follicle then leads to the formation of pimples.
Oil on the surface of the skin is also responsible for trapping dirt and bacteria. The trapped bacteria inside a plug (clogged skin pore with bacteria, dirt and oil) cause swelling and redness of the pimples.
Acne Breakouts Can Occur Due to Many Other Reasons Like
Sometimes aged people also face acne problems. These problems are generally connected to the gene of a person. Some people have family traditions of suffering from acne breakouts. This occurs due to more and more retention of previous acne lesions.
This occurs due to the trapping of bacteria in skin pore.
Diet with high quantity of carbohydrate and oily rich food may worsen the condition of acne. Even cow milk is also proven to worsen acne even further. So if a person is trying to fight against acne, then he or she should stay away from these types of food.
It is not yet confirmed that whether stress leads to acne breakouts, but it is been scientifically proven, that increased stress during acne breakout, leads to severe acne flare-up.
Hormonal changes occur in our body, as we grow up. Girls and boys tend to have hormonal changes during menstrual cycle and puberty. These hormonal changes can lead to acne breakouts.During puberty, a hormone known as the androgen causes the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum, hence leading to acne flares. Several other hormones like dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and testosterone can also promote acne breakout.
Women may also suffer from acne at menopause, as the anti-acne hormone estradiol is not produced by the body, at this stage.
Types of Acne
A) Acne Vulgaris (moderate)
This is the most common type of acne occurring in people. This can be further classified into-
Open comedo or commonly known as blackheads, is an acne vulagaris. These are caused due to excess oil deposits and accumulation in the hair follicles. Blackheads consist of mainly sebum (oil) and keratin. Blackheads have small opening at the surface of the skin.The content of the blackhead is pushed to the surface of the skin, and as it comes in contact with air, it oxidizes and becomes black in colour. Removing these can take a very long time, and can often be very painful.
Closed comedo as commonly called white heads are formed, when the pore in our skin gets completely clogged up with sebum, dirt and bacteria. In such situations, the skin develops small, white coloured imperfections or lesions. These types of acne do not have small openings. And hence, the contents of the acne do not come out to surface of the skin, and thus do not turn black. This is the difference of whiteheads from blackheads.
These are also a variety of acne vulgaris. These are inflamed form of acne, and appear red in colour with a yellowish fluid inside them.
Photo Credit: Skin-acne-treatment.com
Pustules have pus inside them and on pricking the pustules, the pus comes out.
Papules are inflamed acne. These are red in colour and can sometimes be very painful. Unlike pustules they do not have any opening at the surface. They also have pus contained in them. You may also think of popping the pimples, but be very careful about that, otherwise it may lead to further inflammation and irritation.
B) Acne Vulgaris (severe)
A cyst is also an inflamed acne, but much more severe than papules and pustules. These appear red in colour, and are pus filled. These can range from a size of 5-6cm. Cysts do not have any opening, and hence they should not be popped. Popping may lead to more inflammation and scar formation. If you are suffering from acne cyst, then you should definitely consult a doctor, instead of trying something yourself.
These are hard red bumps of acne beneath the skin. These can be severely painful, and may take months to cure. Popping them will only result in increased pain and inflammation. Popping will also worsen the situation and the nodule will take several months to go away. Consulting with a doctor should be a better option for reducing the pain and irritation.
C) Acne Rosacea
This is similar to acne vulagaris in appearance. It can be bumpy, or like pimples. They generally occur in the face. This is more often found in women rather than in men, but when found in men; it can take a very severe form. Men and women above the age of 30 usually suffers from this type of acne. People suffering from acne rosacea may not even know about it, it may look like they are blushing. Upon acne rosacea breakout, the face looks red in colour, as the blood vessels of the face becomes diluted.
D) Acne Conglobata
These types of acne rarely occur, and are most often found in men. This is a very severe form of acne and is very dangerous. It consists of several lesions at one area. These lesions may sometimes stay interconnected with one another. These can appear on the upper hand, chest, back, thighs, and face.
E) Rosacea Fulminans
These types of acne are very severe form of acne. These appear red in colour, and are very painful. This type of acne only occurs in female of age 20 to 40. These are very dangerous and can damage the skin very heavily. So rush to a doctor if you are suffering from these.
F) Gram-Negative Folliculitis
This type of acne is characterized by various pustules and cysts. It is been proven to result from bacterial infection, and can occur due to prolonged treatment of acne vulgaris. It can equally occur in men and women.