Acne (Pimples): Causes, Treatments

Today, in a world where most people are very conscious about how they look, Acne, also known as pimples are a very serious cause of concern among our youths. It is mostly seen among teenagers and adolescents.

Table of Content

What is Acne?

Acne, commonly called pimples, is a skin condition characterized by a wide variety of rashes. These rashes are caused by excessive sebum accumulation which leads to bacterial overgrowth in the skin.
Sebum: is an oily substance produce by the skin, which helps to keep the skin moist & protects it from dusts.

This condition is seen more commonly in the face, chest, upper back and shoulders but can happen anywhere on the skin.

Acne
Pimples on the Face

What causes Acne (pimples)?

Four main things can cause acne (pimples)

  1. Excess oil production in the skin
  2. Plugging of hair follicles by oil and dead skin cells
  3. Bacterial overgrowth
  4. Hormones

What can worsen Acne?

There are some things which can make pimples worse than before. They are;

  1. Increased Hormones: usually noticed during the adolescent/puberty stages (especially during teenage years, menses and pregnancy)
  2. Foods mostly dairy products, chocolates or high carbon foods.
  3. Stress
  4. Friction and pressure (tight clothing, using tough sponges)
  5. Oily substances (using very oily lotions and creams, coming in contact with grease or oil)

Simple home remedies for Acne (pimples)

  1. Wash the area regularly with a gentle cleanser (or soap) and clean water. See how to wash your face here.
  2. You can apply a little toothpaste overnight over the pimple.
  3. Egg white masks
  4. Honey masks
  5. Baking soda masks

How to prevent Acne (pimples)

  1. Wash you face (and upper body) at least twice a day with a gentle cleanser/soap and clean water
  2. Scrub vulnerable areas with gentle scrubs and avoid friction
  3. Take low-calorie diet
  4. Take food rich in vitamin A and vitamin E e.g palm oil, carrots, garlic
  5. Minimize intake of dairy products and chocolate
  6. Reduce stress
  7. Exercise regularly

Treatment For Acne (pimples)

If your condition does not improve, you should see a doctor (dermatologist) who is a specialist in conditions affecting the skin.

What your doctor can do for you
Your doctor may prescribe;
Topical medication; Retinoids, Antibiotics (Erythromycin, Clindamycin, with benzoyl peroxide), Salicylic acid and azelaic acid, Dapsone cream.

Oral medication: Antibiotics (tetracycline, doxycycline, erythromycin, clarithromycin etc), Combined oral contraceptives (COCP/ the pill), Anti-androgen agents, (spironolactone), Isotretinoin.

How to feel about Acne (pimples)

  • They are normal, so don’t feel like you’re abnormal.
  • Avoid touching them, you’ll only make them worse.
  • They are curable so don’t lose hope
  • Sometimes, they resolve on their own, so give it time.
  • When it doesn’t resolve or gets worse, please see a doctor.
  • Some are really ‘stubborn’ but nothing your dermatologists can’t handle. Give them time.
  • Be careful what you use on your skin, it is the window to your body.
  • Take care of your skin, it reflects what you are within.

Feel free to ask any questions you have in comments, and I’d do my best to get back to you.

Authors

  • Obi Tochukwu Valentine attended the College of Medicine, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, UNTH in Enugu State, Nigeria.

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