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Acne - eruption of the skin: All you need to know

The sebaceous glands that secrete fatty material (sebum) to the skin, are located in the dermis, the skin layer located immediately below the superficial layer (epidermis). 

 

Disorders of the sebaceous glands include acne, rosacea, perioral dermatitis and sebaceous cysts. The most affected areas are the face, neck, chest, back and shoulders, since it is in these regions that there is a greater concentration of sebaceous follicles. 

 

The word acne comes from the Greek AKNÁS, an error in the copy of AKMÁS, "skin rash".  



 

What is acne?

Acne is a common skin disease, caused by the obstruction of the skin pores, with the consequent formation of inflamed and infected pimples and abscesses (accumulation of pus).

 

Acne affects teenagers due to an interplay between hormones, sebum and bacteria that live on or within the skin and also on the hair.



 

Types of acne

There are several types of acne, the most frequent being inflammatory acne and comedogenic acne.

In inflammatory acne, papules and pustules ("pimples" with pus) are observed. Comedogenic acne is characterized by the appearance of closed comedones (white dots) and open comedones (black dots). It is called mixed acne when comedogenic acne coexists with inflammatory acne.

During puberty, the activity of the sebaceous glands of the skin increases, with excessive production of sebum. Often dry fat, peeling skin and bacteria accumulate in the pores of the skin, forming a hinge (small cylinder of sebaceous matter that forms at the opening of some sebaceous glands. = BLACK POINT), which prevents sebum from flowing of the hair follicles, through the pores.

 

 

If the block is incomplete, black spots are formed (open); if it is complete, white dots appear (closed). 


 

 

The bacteria grow in the clogged pores and break down part of the fat in the sebum, further irritating the skin. The irritated black and white spots cause skin rashes, which are more commonly known as acne pimples.

 

 

If the infection and irritation of rash is accentuated, an abscess can form.

 

When the person has rashes, pimples and pustules (pus-filled blisters) without abscesses, the disease is called superficial acne if inflamed pimples protrude into the underlying layer of skin and pus-filled cysts appear that can burst and turn into large abscesses, the disease is called deep acne .



 

Symptoms

 

  • Acne worsens during winter and improves in summer, due to the beneficial effect of the sun.
  • Food has little or no influence on acne. However, some people are sensitive to certain foods. Eliminating these foods for several weeks, and then including them again, can help determine their true influence on acne. 
  • Acne can also appear in each menstrual cycle, in young women, and can disappear or worsen considerably during pregnancy. 
  • In adolescents, the use of anabolic drugs can worsen acne. 
  • Certain cosmetics can aggravate it, by clogging the pores.
  • In deep acne, the infection can spread and make large areas of the skin red and inflamed, causing cysts filled with pus, as well as abscesses (which can burst and leave scars). 
  • Superficial acne does not usually leave scars.
  • Squeezing pimples or trying to pop them in another way can worsen superficial acne by increasing infection, inflammation and scarring.

 

 

Treatment

 

The use of suitable cleaning products , as well as moisturizing creams, sunscreens and exfoliants , can help to mitigate skin manifestations, in cases of mild acne.

 

  • Washing the affected areas several times a day is not very effective, although it improves the appearance of patients with fatty faces.
  • If possible, use a good gel soap. Antibacterial soaps are not particularly beneficial, and although abrasive soaps can dry out lesions better, they can also irritate the skin. 
  • Hot water compresses help to soften the joints, making it easier to extract. You can dispose of commendations lightly once or twice a week, preferably with a sterilized needle, a Schamberg wing-shaped extractor, or a pore cleaner
  • The pimples should only be opened with a sterile needle after the pustule is formed.  
  • Other treatments depend on the severity of the acne.

 

In the simplest tables, in which there are only open comedones / blackheads, it can be resolved with dermocosmetic products indicated by the health professional. If the comedones are closed, medication is required. In general, you start with a topical medication and assess the situation.

 

Depending on the severity, oral or local antibiotics (ointments) are also used. When this is not enough to stop the inflammation, the doctor may suggest isotretinoin, known by the trade name Roacutan. 

 

The treatment options for acne are vast and are always determined individually as they depend on multiple factors such as:

  • Type and severity of acne;
  • Age;
  • Existence of other diseases;
  • Chronic medication;
  • Pregnancy planning;
  • Skin care routine.
  • Overall, treatment can be based on one or more of the following possibilities:
  • Specific products for hygiene and hydration of skin with acne;
  • Medicines for cutaneous application;
  • Oral medication (tablets).


 

Scar treatment

The marks of certain skin lesions caused by acne can be mitigated with treatments such as laser, as well as skin microabrasion, surgery, peels or filler.

 

Truth or lie?

 

Is acne a contagious disease?

Lie. Acne does not spread from person to person, it is an inflammatory and non-contagious disease.

 

Is it true that chocolate causes acne?

Lie. There are no studies that prove that eating chocolate promotes the appearance of acne. Despite the controversial role of diet in acne, several studies have documented the effect of foods with a high glycemic load, whose insulin-releasing effect increases the production of sebum precursors and androgenic hormones. 

 

Can it be said that acne worsens during the premenstrual period?

Truth. There is a greater production of hormones during the menstrual cycle, leaving the skin more prone to the appearance of acne.

 

Does squeezing the bubbles aggravate the acne situation?

Truth. For there is an increase in bacterial proliferation and inflammation.

 

And creams? Can they aggravate acne? 

Truth. Products with a lot of fat aggravate skin oils and acne. The most recommended products are the products oil free or non - comedogenic


 

Homemade masks for acne:

1 - Baking soda mask: eliminates facial blemishes, acne and rejuvenates and repairs the skin

Ingredients:

  • Half a glass of water
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon of honey

Preparation:

  • Add the apple cider vinegar to the water. Mix.
  • Add the baking soda, little by little.
  • Squeeze the lemon and grow the honey. First the lemon, then the honey.
  • Shake the mixture for a few minutes to obtain a good consistency.
  • Wash your face thoroughly to open your pores and remove dirt.
  • Dry with a clean, soft cloth.
  • Then apply the mask and leave on for five to ten minutes.
  • Remove with warm water.
  • If you wish, pass a little cold water to finish, closing the pores.

Important

Before applying, do an allergy test: put a small amount on the skin.

Wait a few minutes. If the skin shows no signs of irritation, use the mask. 

In addition, the treatment should be done at night, as it contains lemon, it should not expose the skin to the sun.


 

2 - Mask of apple cider vinegar and bicarbonate: to eliminate acne and blemishes

 

Ingredients

  • Half a glass of water
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
  • The juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon of honey

 

Preparation:

  • Add the apple cider vinegar to the glass of water and mix.
  • Gradually add baking soda.
  • Squeeze the lemon and add the honey. In that order.
  • Shake the mixture for a few minutes to obtain a better consistency.
  • Wash your face thoroughly to open your pores and remove dirt.
  • Dry with a clean, soft cloth.
  • Apply the mask and let it act for five to ten minutes.
  • Remove with warm water.
  • If you wish, pass a little cold water to finish, closing the pores.

 

Catarina Vilela - Nurse