Acne treatment information

Acne is a condition characterized by a chronic inflammation of the pilosebaceous unit. Occurring primarily on the face, neck, chest, and back; acne is the most common skin disorder suffered by 70% of the population during their teenage years. For some, acne can persist well into adulthood and women may experience a redevelopment of acne during menopause.

This disorder features both inflammatory lesions, such as papules, pustules, and nodules; and noninflammatory lesions, such as open and closed comedones. In order to establish the most appropriate treatment, acne should be graded for its severity. Consequently, mild acne is purely comedonal or with a few mild papulopustules. Then, moderate acne is characterized by a greater amount of comedones, with presence of some pustules and some small nodules. Moderate acne does not leave residual scarring. In severe acne, there are a good number of papulopustules and nodules may be found with deep inflammation as well as scarring. In very severe acne, comedones are grouped together with numerous profound nodules, serious inflammation and scarring.

Although overall health is not at risk, acne is a common skin disorder that can influence the psychological stability and self-steem of any individual. It has been frequently associated with depressive and anxious states. In this sense, effective treatment of acne may lead to the improvement of an individual’s quality of life and self-esteem. Often acne is dismissed - usually by those who have not experienced acne - as not meriting concern. Consequently, people may not seek effective acne treatment, but rather suffer in silence. This need not be the case. Acne cannot be cured, but it can be brought under control and effectively treated.

There are many factors that may lead to acne. Since acne is a common skin disorder, it initially involves the pilosebaceous units, which is composed of the hair follicle and the surrounding sebaceous glands. When sebum production is triggered by hormonal alterations, the hair follicle is obstructed by means of excessive proliferation of folliclular keratinocytes, and abnormal cell differenciation. This leads to the development of visible comedones that characterize this common skin disorder. In such an environment, propionibacterium acnes, the resident baterium of the hair follicle, produces inflammatory agents that elicit an inflammatory response which generates the papules, pustules, and lesions that typify more severe types of acne.

Although acne is thought to be only the result of overproduction of androgens in puberty, this is not the only cause. There may be a genetic underlying cause leading to a disorder in hormones, and therefore, leading to the development of acne. This is the reason why consultation with a physician is crucial.

Patients should also be aware of a series of acne myths and misconceptions that instead of helping, may seriously worsen acne. Acne is not the result of dirt, as it is usually thought. Nor is it true that it is exclusive to teenagers. In addition, acne is a common skin disorder, but it is not just a superficial condition. Further misconceptions include claims that acne is caused by certain foods, cosmetics, or stress.

Treatment of acne depends on how severe it is. Mild treatment approaches involve the use of topical formulations contianing benzoyl peroxide, sulfur compounds, or azelaic acid as active ingredients. Antibiotic agents and topical retinoid drugs may be used when the acne is more significant. For severe acne, oral retinoid drugs may be use to good effect. However, individuals should not administer topical or systemic retinoids on their own, but follow the recommendation of an experienced dermatologist.

A final point that should be taken into account is that although acne is not curable, there are innumerable products and procedures to treat it and improve both the appearance of the skin and the social and emotional state of those who suffer it. There is no need for individuals to suffer from significant acne - it is possible to control it with an effective treatment regime.

Acne advances dot com is here to provide infomration about acne, how and why it occurs, and how it can be effectively treated. See the menu on the left for detailed pages on acne biology and acne treatment options.