Acne is a skin disease typical of adolescence, which leads to oily skin and pimples sitting mostly on the face, upper back and chest. In addition to the scars and marks on the skin more colorful, complications of acne are primarily psychological. Psychological suffering is a sufficient reason to implement medication against acne, even if objectively acne is minor.
To a degree more or less intense, acne affects more than 70% of adolescents, especially boys. Adult women can also be affected by acne, including a few days before menstruation, when starting hormonal contraception (pill) during pregnancy or during menopause. Finally, some drugs can induce acne (including sex hormones, derivatives of cortisone drugs to decrease the action of the immune system, etc.).
What are the causes of acne?
Acne is not an infectious disease, although it can cause infected pimples (pustules). Acne results from the combination of three factors.
Hyper secretion of sebum
Sebum is an oily substance produced by the sebaceous glands, which are located in the hair follicles, small bags buried in the skin that produce hair and hair. The sebum protects the skin from drying out. In acne, under the action of sex hormones, the amount of sebum produced is abnormally high.
In acne, the wall of the channel which connects each hair follicle at the surface of the skin tends to thicken, partially blocking diffusion of sebum from the follicle. Seborrheic retention is responsible for the formation of comedones (“blackheads” or white buttons).
Inflammation of follicles
Acne can lead to inflammation of a follicle, linked both to damage to the follicle excess sebum and the proliferation of microorganism Propionibacterium acnes called, naturally occurring bacteria in the follicles and that feeds on sebum.
How does one diagnostic acne?
The diagnosis is made on the basis of lesions and patient characteristics (age, sex, taking contraceptives or other drugs, etc.)… According to the observed lesions and their extent, the physician defines the severity of acne: mild, moderate or severe. Severe acne is characterized by nodules and cysts in the deeper layers of the skin, which increases the risk of scar development.
Hygiene measures in cases of acne
Under no circumstances should scratch or squeeze pimples, which increase the risk of irreversible scarring.
To wash, choose a gel or bread called “soap-free”, which dries the skin less. Then thoroughly moisturize your skin, even if it tends to be oily.
Makeup you as possible: Avoid greasy cosmetics and makeup. Prefer products labeled “non-comedogenic.”
Men should limit shaving to occasions when it is necessary. For those who prefer the mechanical shaving, it is best to use disposable razors changed each shave.
Beware of the sun! If the lesions appear to be improving in the first place, the sun can trigger acne breakouts in the weeks after exposure. In addition, UV radiation causes dark pigmentation scars, which does not disappear once the tan disappeared. It must be even more vigilant than the sun increases the skin irritation caused by many products used to treat acne. If you need to expose yourself to the sun, protect yourself with a complete protection cream (SPF 30 +) moisturizer.
How does one cure acne?
Even mild acne can have substantial psychological impact. Do not hesitate to consult a doctor who can prescribe appropriate treatment. Some medications must be applied on the skin (topical treatments), others must be taken by mouth (orally). The goal of treatment is first a decrease or disappearance of lesions (“aggressive treatment”). It then aims to prevent the appearance of new lesions (“maintenance therapy”). Treatment should be continued for several months or even a year.
Young girls who suffer from acne, the choice of a pill must be adapted. Indeed, many pills can aggravate acne (because of their composition sex hormones)