pimples

How Acne and Pimples Worsen — Myths, Reality and Remedies

One of my friends was looking at the mirror and was pricking and pinching her pimples. She was trying to remove it from her face. I just happened to see it and called her and told like this. “Look, it is natural at this age and you need not worry about it. It will come and go like the bubbles during rains. Let us see some facts and remedies for it”. Here I am sharing with you the facts and remedies which I shared with my friend. It would be beneficial for all those feeling shy about it as well.

Pimples are also known as acne or acne vulgaris which is one of the most common skin conditions which are seen in both boys and girls, especially during the adult stage. The term “acne” is derived from Greek “acme” meaning the highest point or facial eruption. ‘Pimple’ is the usual term we use for acne, but pimples are one of its symptoms. Acne includes any breakout on the skin.

Acne Inflammations

Acne can be classified into inflammatory or non-inflammatory.

Inflammatory Acne

These are the clogged pores which are infected by bacteria and turn into,

  • Papules (pimples without pus)
  • Pustules (pimples with pus) 
  • Cysts (Inflammatory nodules)

Non-inflammatory Acne

These are the types of acne which are seen in most people. Here the pore is blocked with oil where the bacteria thrive. It contains,

  • Blackheads (pore is open)
  • Whiteheads (pore is closed)

Problems in Teenage

Acne in teenagers causes both physical and mental problems.

Due to hormonal changes in the puberty, teens are more prone to acne. Acne can pop up on the face, neck, back, chest and shoulders. A study conducted by Skroza N. et al. stated that girls are affected more by acne than the boys. Acne is a skin disease affecting oil glands at the base of the hair follicle.

Psychological Problems

Acne influences a person’s mental health, as they feel ugly, embarrassed, low on self-esteem, lack of confidence, anxiety and depression.

Myths about Acne

  • Falling in love causes acne, is one of the most heard myths about acne. But the fact is the change in the hormonal levels which are responsible for it.
  • There is a misconception that acne is due to poor hygiene. In reality, it is due to the bacteria causing acne to make it unhygienic.
  • Teens are the only one to experience acne is also a myth. There are people who get acne even in their thirties.
  • There is also a misbelief that chocolate consumption makes acne worse.
  • Acne is not contagious. There is a myth that acne can spread from one person to another, but the bacteria have a role in it. 
  • Acne is curable, is also a misbelief. It cannot be cured completely. But we can control it by daily cleansing, exfoliating and hydration. Changing the lifestyle, environment or habitat can also control acne.
  • Stress causing acne is also a myth. It will not cause acne, but it can make it worse.
  • Popping pimples make them go away sooner is another myth. The fact is squeezing pimples and blackheads can cause more inflammation and infection.

Bacteria Associated with Acne

Acne can be caused due to several reasons, but, the causative agent of acne is Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes), the bacteria that live on the skin.

Treatment for Acne

Treatment is based on the severity and persistence of acne. 

Ø Home remedies: Apple cider vinegar, tea tee oil, honey and turmeric, green tea, Aloe vera, Oatmeal, egg whites, etc. Smearing these regularly over the area and leaving it as long as possible and washing it off helps to reduce this disease.

Ø Other treatments: Antibiotics (erythromycin and tetracycline), creams and cleansers are helpful in relieving acne. It includes;

  • Salicylic acid
  • Glycolic acid
  • Benzoyl peroxide
  • Retinol
  • Dapsone gel
  • Isotretinoin

Before you try any of these, take expert beautician or physicians advise.

Preventive Measures for Acne

  • Skincare
  • Stay hydrated
  • Proper diet
  • Antibiotics, creams, lotions
  • Exercise and meditation
  • Moisturizing skin
  • Wash face regularly
inflammation acne

Conclusions

Acne is a skin condition that occurs when hair follicles plug with oil and dead skin cells. It is found not only in teenagers but also in adults, both men and women. There are many myths regarding acne and its causes. But the truth is far away, as it is purely a natural process which is the result of hormonal changes and bacterial infection.

Acne can be formed for various reasons. It occurs when the pores of the skin become blocked with oil, dead skin or bacteria. Acne plays a role in mental health as well, a positive attitude and stress-free mind will help to overcome the psychological issues related to acne. We can also control acne with proper treatment and preventive methods. We have to realize, acne is not a defect which pulls us apart. It is great to hear that there are some people who celebrate ‘Acne Day’. 

Peeling the pimples causes injuries as well as secondary infection due to fungi and bacteria. Instead of making the face look better, you are simply making it more ugly because the scars of inflammations which remain due to wounding will remain for long. So, consider to be more natural with natural remedies or just do not bother and leave it as such. Now, many have stopped feeling embarrassed by the pimple clusters. “Covered in acne and still looking cute”, “Acne doesn’t make you ugly”, these quotes show the myths are getting vanished and stereotypes are being broken.

Nafeesath Faheema
Microbiologist

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