Acne: Symptoms | Causes | Treatment

Acne: Symptoms | Causes | Treatment

Acne is a serious skin problem that usually attacks teenagers due to some hormonal changes in them. Most people have pimples at some point during adolescence. Some have a few pimples that go away easily while others develop tenacious and visible acne.

Acne usually is a consequence of an increase in androgen level, a hormone that leads to overproduction of sebum. This can be distressing and may leave scars after regression. Acne affects 3 in every 4 people aged 12 to 24 years.

Types of acne

A common name for all types of acne is “Acne vulgaris”. It is possible to have more than one type of acne at once. Acne can be:

• Inflammatory
• Noninflammatory

Kinds of acne which comes under these two divisions are:

• Whiteheads
• Blackheads
• Papules
• Nodules
• Cysts

Noninflammatory acne

It accommodates blackheads and Whitehead.

treatment of acne

Blackheads. Blackheads are bumps that appear often on the face, neck, and back. They develop when roots of the hair become clogged with sebum, an oily substance secreted by glands under the skin.
Whiteheads. They also form when dead skin cells or excess oil blocked your pores. Unlike Blackheads the tip of the pore doesn’t remain open so it is more difficult to treat Whiteheads.

Inflammatory acne

Other than dead skin cells and sebum, bacteria have a main role in clogging up pores which result in inflammation. Swelled and enlarged blemishes come under this type.

treatment of acne
Cystic Acne

Papules. They result from intense inflammation around the pores. They do not contain pus.
Nodules. This type includes flesh-colored bumps that are deep under the skin. They can cause serious infections.
Cysts. Cysts are the most severe and largest type of acne. They are pus-filled. This type is most liable to leave scars.


Following are some indications that may lead to acne:
• Chronic red spots and swellings
• Dark spots (blackheads)
• White bumps with no opening (Whiteheads)
• Lumps filled with pus
• Pimples that are inflamed and often painful


Acne is most common among youngsters but anyone can get acne. The most common causes of acne are:

Hormonal changes. Hormonal fluctuations especially an increase in androgens level boost the secretion of sebum, which results in excess oil production and causes acne. It is more common in women. During puberty, hormonal acne appears on the forehead, nose, and chin. Hormonal acne can also be caused by influxes of hormones from menstruation, PCOS, etc.

Medications. Certain medications such as anticonvulsants, corticosteroids, birth control pills, and androgenic steroids can cause or aggravate acne. Other medications that are known to cause acne are halogens(bromides and iodides)Antidepressants, Antiepileptics, B Vitamins, and Cyclosporins.

Unbalanced diet. Food and acne are certainly linked to each other. Foods and drinks that raise your blood sugar level such as pastries, desserts, and sodas often cause acne. These foods result in the excess production of a hormone called “insulin”. Excess insulin in your blood results in the increased secretion of sebum that can cause severe acne.

Genetics. Having acne in genes makes you acne-prone. Studies showed that 50 to 90% of acne is linked with genetics.

Treatment of acne

Treatment of acne depends on how severe and persistent is your acne.

Home remedies

Many home remedies are popular for treating acne pimples and they can be helpful. If you have the following ingredients at home it could be worth a shot to try them.

Tea tree oil. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties,it can help gets rid of redness and swelling.
Aloe vera. Aloe vera is an excellent moisturizer. Due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, it can help heal wounds and fight inflammation.
Honey. Honey contains multiple antioxidants that can help to clear debris from blocked pores.
Garlic. Garlic contains organosulphur compounds that help to strengthen the immune system. It helps the body fight against infections and inflammation.

Cleansers and moisturizers

Cleansers that contain benzoyl peroxide, glycolic acid, salicylic acid, or sulfur are effective in treating acne. Moisturizers soften the skin and they are helpful for people who are using products such as isotretinoin. Moisturizers have a soothing and possibly anti-inflammatory effect.

Oral medications

They work by either killing bacteria or by adjusting your hormone level. The most common oral medicines prescribed for the treatment of acne are:

• Antibiotics such as doxycycline, erythromycin, tetracycline, etc.
• Birth control pills such as Ortho Tri-cyclin, Estrostep Fe, Beyaz, and Yaz.
• Isotretinoin can help severe acne by reducing the amount of natural oil production by your skin.

Topical medications

Topical medications include gel, lotion, and creams. Topical treatment of acne works best when paired with oral medication. The common topical medications for acne are:

Retinoids and retinoid-like drugs. They are available in the form of gels, lotions, and creams. They include tretinoin, adapalene, and tazaratorin.
Azelaic acid and salicylic acid. Both are available in form of gel and serums. Azelaic acid can help treat the discoloration that comes with acne. Salicylic acid helps to unclog pores, it doesn’t kill bacteria.
Dopson. It is useful for inflammatory acne.


Following are some conditions that can develop as complications of acne:

Acne scars. Acne can leave scars if you scratch or squeeze your pimples, so it is important not to do this. They can be traumatic but quick and proper treatment can help you get rid of them.
Acne in diabetic patients. People with diabetes are more acne-prone. Hormonal problems that diabetes causes can lead to severe acne. Maintaining your diet and giving attention to your diabetes can help limit these steps.
• Acne during pregnancy. Most women encounter acne during their pregnancy. It is due to an increase in androgen level. It usually goes away as the third trimester starts. If you want to treat your acne as fast as possible then you can rely on home remedies.

How can you prevent acne?

If your skin is acne-prone then it is impossible to prevent it. Some efforts and skincare can make it possible. You can take some simple steps at home to prevent from acne.

• Use a oil free cleanser to wash you face. Try to wash your face as much as you can in a day to stay oil free.
• Avoid oily makeup products.
• Remove make up before going to bed
• Don’t eat food with sugar and oil, eat a healthy diet
• Stay happy, calm, and stress-free


Acne is a serious psychological and financial burden for those who are affected. It often affects young adults when they are going through maximum physical, emotional, and social changes. Its treatment can take several weeks or months. Moreover, complications of acne are also very stressful so you should take preventive measures to avoid such an uneasy condition.





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