What is Acne? – Treatment Tips

For many people that have noticed that there skin has recently changed or have been suffering from recent breakouts, acne usually is seen as a possible culprit. In order to make a correct diagnosis, you first need to have some good information. If you think Acne is causing your skin changes and breakouts, here is some great information on learning what acne is?

Acne is one of the most common skin disorders; it affects millions of Americans each year. Acne is caused by hormones in the body incorrectly instructing the oil glands (sebaceous glands) to overproduce oil called sebum. Normally, oil will rise through the hair follicles or pores to the surface of the skin. However, many times too much sebum has the affect of clogging the hair follicles and can produce what we commonly refer to as pimples. The most common places for pimples to appear are on the face, upper back and chest where the most oil (sebum) is produced.

When a hair follicle is clogged with oil (sebum), bacteria in your skin may use this sebum as nutrients. Acne is caused by bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes. These acnes feed off the sebum imbedded in the skin, causing infection. Propionibacterium acnes secretions attract your body’s defenses. White blood cells attack the bacteria causing inflammation in the skin. This inflammation is categorized as redness, swelling and in certain situations pain. Once the infection and the swelling inside the skin is ruptured, the trapped, sebum and excess bacteria disperses out to the skin. Excess bacteria and sebum spread onto the skin which can cause even more pimples and lesions.

There are several different types of Acne. Most Acne is mild to moderate. There are severe types of Acne. However, severe types of Acne are usually not that common. The most common form of Acne is called Acne Vulgaris.

Acne Vulgaris includes several different types of pimples. Acne Vulgaris is a mild to moderate form of acne. The types of pimples that Acne Vulgaris produces are: whiteheads, blackheads and pustules.

Whiteheads are created when a pore or follicle is completely blocked. The white liquid inside is sebum. If you experience a whitehead you may find it easy to pop. Make sure you are cautious not to damage your skin when you pop a whitehead.

A blackhead is a pore that is only partially blocked. It may take longer for a blackhead to disappear. Many people think that the black part of the pimple is caused by dirt, but it is actually caused by melanin.

A pustule is commonly referred to as a zit. A zit is a pimple that is irritated. Around its borders it is red, while the inside of the zit is filled with sebum and resembles a white head. Use caution when popping a zit, you want to make sure not to damage the skin or cause scarring.

There are also severe forms of Acne Vulgaris. They include cysts and nodules.

A nodule feels like hard tissue under the skin. If you have a nodule, do not attempt to squeeze it. By squeezing a nodule, not only can you cause damage to the skin such as scarring, but it may take longer for the nodule to heal. It is not uncommon for a nodule to take a couple of months to fully heal.

Finally a cyst is a large pimple. They are usually painful and are filled with fluid. Do not attempt to squeeze a cyst. You can cause a severe infection under the skin. There are products and ways to lessen the swelling of a cyst such as soaking.

If you are experiencing any of the above ailments, it is advisable that you seek advice for a proper diagnosis and treatment from a dermatologist.