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Acne- Causes, Symptom and Treatment.

Updated on April 18, 2016


What Is Acne?

Acne also known as pimples is a skin condition that often occur when the air follicles become plugged with oil and dead skin cells. Acne often affect teenagers, adult and children.

Acne mostly appear on the face, neck, shoulder, back and chest, these areas have the most oil glands. Acne can cause scar on the skin, personal suffering and it may even lower the person’s self-esteem. However, acne has an important impact on a person's outlook on life. It
causes Social withdrawal, decreased self-esteem, Poor Body Image, and embarrassment.


The signs and symptoms often changes depending on the severity of the
condition. The main symptoms of acne are:

  • Whiteheads- This are bulged spots under the skin without openings.
  • Blackheads- This are dark spots with open pores at the center.
  • Pustules- A red swellings or lumps filled with pus.
  • Cysts- This is also a symptom of acne, this is a painful inflamed fluid-filled lumps under the skin.


Several factors can be the cause of acne and it varies from one
individual to another.

  • Bacteria.
  • Hormone: activities such as menstrual cycles and puberty, through increased output of hormones from the adrenal glands.
  • Dead skin cells.
  • Excessive oil production.
  • Clogged pores.


Acne is a skin disease that develops due to blockages in the skin's hair follicles. These blockages tends to occur as a result of the local release of pro-inflammatory chemicals in the skin, the production of sebum higher than normal amount of sebum production stimulatedm production stimulatedm production stimulated by androgens, excessive deposition of the protein keratin leading to comedone formation, colonization of the follicle by Propionibacterium
acnes bacteria.


There are certain factors that may increase the probability of being affected by acne.

  • Hormonal changes: Activities such as menstrual cycles and puberty in girls and boys through the increase in hormones (Androgens) which causes the sebaceous gland to enlarge and make more sebum can be a risk factor to acne. The intake of oral contraceptive, which affect the production of sebum, can also increase the chance of being afflicted with acne.
  • Certain drugs: Medication containing halogens, lithium, barbiturates, corticosteroids, or androgens can cause severe acne.Pressure on your skin: objects like cellphones, tight collar, and backpacks can cause this.
  • Diet: Studies have indicate that certain dairy products and carbohydrates rich foods such as chocolate, oil, chips and bread may activate acne.

Myth about Acne

Popping the pimples

Popping the pimples: most teenagers just could not wait for their
pimples to disappear, so they choose to pop it out. By doing so, the
skin becomes vulnerable of infection, scarring, and even more pimples
due to the bacteria that gets into the skin while popping out the acne
or pimples.

Dirty skin: Most people believes dirty skin are the cause of their acne
thereby washing the face regularly. However, this is not true; rather
complications may result from over doing the routine since it will
irritate the skin due to the use of harsh soaps.

Greasy foods: Greasy foods has no effect on acne, instead being in a
greasy environment like kitchen where fries are being carried on can
cause acne. Because oil can block the hair follicle, thereby irritates
the skin and causes acne.


Acne medication works by reducing the oil production, speeding up the skin cell, fighting bacteria, which help, prevent scaring. Actually to cure acne, one needs to get to the main cause of the acne problem, not just cover its symptoms.

Acne can be removed by following a healthy diet regimen and drinking plenty of water. The right amount of sleep can go a long way in refreshing your body; you can also clear up acne by living straight and keeping to the appropriate treatments for acne.

There are many treatments for acne. Both through prescription, and over the counter. There are antibiotics that can be taken orally as well as topical creams that are designed to treat the condition.

Oral medications

Antibiotics: To treat acne you may need to take oral antibiotics to reduce bacteria and fight inflammation. Example of antibiotics drug is tetracycline

Anti-androgen agent: Teenage girls may consider this drug. It blocks the effect of androgen hormones on the sebaceous glands.

Isotretinoin: This is a very powerful drug, isotretinonin is recommended for people whose acne does not respond to other treatment.

Topical medication

This describes drugs or medications that are directly applied to the surface of the part of the body being treated. Topical medication work best when applied to a clean and dry skin.

This are some common topical medication for acne:

1. Dapsone: This gel is being applied to the surface of the infected part. Nevertheless, it works best when combined with another topical medication known as retinoid.
2. Antibiotic like benzoyl peroxide and benzamycin.
3. Retinoid this comes as gels, creams, and lotions. They are derived from vitamin A, the include adapalene and tretinoin. It works by preventing plugging of the hair follicle.

Alternative Therapy

  • Light therapy: Blue light therapy is an effective treatment against acne, its use in treating severe cases of acne. It targets the bacteria that causes acne inflammation; it also helps in drying up excessive oil on the skin without causing any damage.
  • Another type of light therapy is Laser light waves; it uses both light and heat to eliminate the main causes of acne. Like blue light therapy, it uses light to destroy acne-causing bacteria. While it use heat to reduce the production of oil and helps damage the sebaceous glands that produce excessive.The side effect of these treatments causes pain and sensivity to sunlight.
  • Extraction of whiteheads and blackheads: In this therapy, the dermatologist uses a tool in removing the whiteheads and blackheads that have not cleared up with other topical medication. The side effect of this therapy is that it may cause scarring.
  • Living a stress free life can help reduce acne as it result in reducing pressure thus controlling the secretion of sebum. We can achieve this through meditation, exercise and maintain a good diet.


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