Acne — causes, symptoms, treatment tips
Causes of acne
Hormonal causes of disease
The skin is one of the most important organs because it performs a response function. It protects the body from external influences. In addition, healthy skin has an important purpose; it is an aesthetic element of appearance. When acne occurs, a violation of the protective function happens, a person receives a charge of negative energy from the awareness of external unattractiveness. Therefore, it becomes obvious how badly you need to conduct treatment.
To get rid of such an unpleasant disease, you need to eliminate the motivating causes. The main thing in the treatment of skin diseases is to eliminate the irritant, not to create favorable conditions for it. Acne has its own specifics, one of the main reasons is a dysfunction of the hormonal system.
Hormonal background affects the work of all organs. As for skin inflammation, the main causes are:
- Testosterone is a male hormone, but it is synthesized by the sex glands of both men and women. The higher the rate of production of this androgen, the more active the sebaceous glands become. Excess fat does not have time to stand out through the skin pores and accumulates, thereby creating a favorable environment for the functioning of bacteria. If testosterone is elevated in women (caused by ovarian dysfunction), the onset of acne is accompanied by roughness and thickening of the skin. If acne appeared at a normal level of androgen, perhaps it was not from the number of hormones, but from hypersensitivity to the male hormone.
- Progesterone is produced in both the female and male bodies. With an increased level of progesterone in women, edema is developed due to excessive secretion. This condition is characteristic in the second half of the menstrual cycle. At the time of puberty and/or the formation of the endocrine system, there is a conflict between the pituitary and sex hormones, which causes acne.
ANS imbalance effects skin condition
When the ANS is stable, its parts (sympathetic and parasympathetic) function harmoniously, which leads to the normal activity of all body systems. When there is an aggressive impact of external factors (stressful situations, physical labor, endocrine adjustment, lack of sleep), the balance of the autonomic nervous system is disturbed. One of the ANS parts suppresses the work of the other; as a result, the tone of the sebaceous glands increases, they begin to produce extra sebum.
Sebaceous glands in the hyperactive phase
Sebum (secrete) is a product of the sebaceous glands, which has bactericidal properties. This substance prevents drying of the skin, promotes elasticity, and delays the aging process. When excess secretions are created, the sebaceous glands become blocked. It creates microflora, ideal for the activity of bacteria that were previously inactive. The result is clear — acne. By the way, acne occurs not only on the face but also on the chin, neck, back.
The main causative agents of skin disorders are Staphylococcus epidermidis, Propionibacterium acnes, Propionibacterium granulosum. Sometimes a fungal infection or a subcutaneous mite becomes the reason for acne.
Skin oil content
The normal composition of the skin contains a sufficient amount of linoleic acid. In the case of sebaceous glands hyperactivity, a violation of the pH level occurs. The alkaline environment promotes the ingress of water into the follicles, which creates an acceptable breeding environment for microorganisms. Skin oil layer thickens, practically does not appear on the surface, as it should ideally be. Accumulations of compacted oil provoke the formation of comedones.
In healthy skin, there are immune cells, among which the main ones are Langerhans cells. They regulate the actions of epithelial cells and epidermal macrophages. There are factors that block the function of local immunity:
- The use of nutritional cosmetics without coordination with a cosmetologist.
- Ultraviolet radiation exceeding the permissible limits.
- Stressful situations.
- Smoking, alcohol, drug abuse.
- Irrational food.
The likelihood of acne is greatly increased if both or one of the parents suffered from this ailment. The next features can be transmitted at the genetic level:
- A propensity to produce excess testosterone.
- The specificity of immunity.
- Effect of sex hormones on the sensitivity of the sebaceous glands.
- Pathology of the upper layers of the epithelium (coarsening and thickening of individual areas of the skin).
- Improper development of the sebaceous glands.
- The specific properties of skin oil — too thick; contains skin irritating ingredients.
- The Y chromosome affects the genetic susceptibility to the formation of spherical or conglobate acne.
Reaction to medication
Medical acne is the result of taking such pharmacological drugs:
- Contraceptives based on hormones, such as Norinyl, Norlestrin, Lestrin. They provoke a hormonal imbalance.
- Remedies for epilepsy have side effects in a form of inflammation of the skin.
- Drugs for tuberculosis (Isoniazid, Ethambutol, Rifampicin) cause a negative reaction in the liver, destroy metabolic processes.
- Antidepressants are involved in the role of provocateurs of hormonal disruption, allergic reactions. Pentonal, Methohexital, Surital, Amineptine and other agents are among this category.
- Steroid hormones make adjustments to the production of the male hormone and insulins. A concentration of fatty acids and glycerin increases, as a result, acne can emerge.
- Antibiotic drugs can provoke dysbacteriosis, cause allergies.
- B-group vitamins can cause hypervitaminosis.
- Lack of vitamins A and E is reflected in the condition of the skin, its upper layer is thickened (hyperkeratosis), the skin flakes off, becomes flabby, loses its ability to recover.
Varieties of acne
Pathology of the hair follicles and sebaceous glands in the form of acne is divided into 2 forms:
The first is characterized by the presence of foci of inflammation, accompanied by suppuration. Pimples of this form are divided into types
- Ordinary one can pass without treatment by the time of the end of puberty (approximately, by the age of 18).
- Conglobate spherical formations provoke the appearance of cysts, purulent cavities.
- Lightning-type is characterized by the sudden formation of ulcers. A sharp increase in body temperature of the patient appears.
- Mechanical type is the result of skin rubbing with clothing on certain parts of the body.
The type of disease is classified according to various criteria, in particular, by age:
- Children’s acne is in babies, due to the transmission of sex hormones from the mother. Pimples look like closed comedones and are not dangerous. It is enough to follow the hygienic requirements for the care of a newborn, and in a few weeks, the acne goes away without a trace.
- Teenage or youthful — 90% of young people suffer from it (12-16 years). There may be papules, pustules filled with pus.
- Late-type appears after 30 years. The reason may be the presence of another severe disease, the reaction to individual drugs.
Severity of illness
To clarify exactly what degree the disease has reached, you should use the next method. Take a close-up of the face, then divide it by lines and calculate how many inflammatory foci in each area exists.
It is advisable to take a photo before and after treatment in order to compare the extent of the rash and analyze the results obtained.
There are 4 degrees, which are delimited according to the number of pimples in a particular area:
1st (light form) — up to 10.
2nd (moderate) — from 10 to 20.
3rd (heavy) — from 21 to 30.
4th (extremely heavy) — more than 30
The more accurately the stage of the disease is determined, the more effective the treatment will be.
This is how acne on the face and chin looks like:
Acne treatment: features, stages, methods
To cure acne, you need to be prepared for a complex of procedures, drug therapy. It is possible that you will have to treat other diseases, the presence of which is associated with the appearance of acne.
When prescribing treatment, the doctor takes into account the presence of symptoms, external signs, and results of laboratory tests, examines the state of the whole organism, checks the work of other organs and systems. The main stages of treatment, which are taken as a basis for the development of a treatment program:
- Eliminate the conditions for the emergence of comedones.
- Deep cleaning of the ducts of the sebaceous and sweat glands.
- Stop the activity of bacteria.
- Eliminate the hyperactivity of the sebaceous glands to reduce production of a secret.
- Stop the inflammatory process.
You can fight against acne yourself, but a primary consultation with a dermatologist is required. The specialist determines the type of disease, the extent, and specificity of what determines the correctness of the selection of pharmacological agents and procedures.
It is recommended to carry out the actions prescribed by the doctor in a strict sequence. For each patient, the doctor develops an individual treatment program.
Systematic skin care is a basic measure, it involves the use of emollient cleansers (Dove or Neutrogena).
Treatment with drugs containing benzoyl peroxide, which has a bactericidal effect is conducted twice a day. As a result, the bacteria die, and the inflammatory process stops. Its keratolytic effect contributes to the rejection of dead parts of the dermis.
Azelaic acid and an antibiotic gel are also included in the list of recommended drugs by a dermatologist.
In the photo, the use of local therapy:
When using benzoyl peroxide, the patient should follow medical recommendations in order not to get an undesirable effect in the form of redness, itching, and burning. It is important to bear in mind that such a drug significantly increases the level of sensitivity, especially to sunlight exposure. To avoid negative consequences, after peroxide treatment, a special protective cream should be applied.
The treatment of acne can include the use of salicylic acid, it is an effective remedy to dissolve the substrate that blocks the skin pores. For example, agents from the company Clearasil, produced in the form of gels, lotions, creams contain salicylic and give a good effect in the fight against acne.
In the presence of acne, agents containing sulfur are indicated. It is important to note that they are ineffective with acne.
A severe cystic form of acne will require more radical treatment, so a dermatologist may recommend cortisone injections.
During the treatment period, doctors recommend caution in the use of cosmetics, only water-based products are allowed.
In the presence of unwanted traces of acne, skin peeling with products containing acid that can dissolve the surface layer of the skin is required. Thus, it is possible to get rid of dead skin particles of the epithelium, which will help get rid of superficial scars.
More radical is the use of laser treatment (fractional and carbon dioxide), which allows you to almost completely get rid of the effects of acne.
Traditional medicine tips
There are hundreds of folk methods to treat acne. Here are the most effective of them.
It is enough to mix 1 egg white with a tablespoon of aloe juice and apply for 30 minutes on problem areas. Then rinse with warm water. Repeat 2-3 times daily.
Apple with horseradish
Horseradish rhizome is ground, combined with mashed fresh green apple. Keep this mask for no more than 60 minutes. Continue treatment for 1 week with an interval of 1 day.
Take 2 g of mumijo, add a teaspoon of a honey bee. The mask is valid for 20 minutes and gives a quick effect.
No matter how effective and safe folk recipes may seem, you can’t use them without the doctor’s advice.