What Is Acne Vulgaris?
Acne Vulgaris, or "acne" as it is most commonly called, is a skin disorder that affects primarily teenagers; however, some adults can get it as well. Mild cases occur in the form of a scattering of a few pimples on the face, the back, the neck, or the chest.
In the case of severe acne, hundreds of pimples can occur on the face and body. Teenagers suffer from the disorder primarily because hormonal changes increase the amount of oil produced on the face and body. Adults who suffer from it often have hormonal changes to blame as well, including women who have outbreaks just before their menstrual cycle.
Acne Vulgaris is caused by
oil, dirt, dead skin cells and bacteria clogging pores. If the clog occurs deep within a pore, then a whitehead will result. If part of the clog reaches beyond the surface, oxygen causes the whitehead to oxidize, making it appear black; this is called a blackhead.
If the immune system attacks the clog due to the bacteria within it, then pus will form within the clog, and a pimple forms. Squeezing or popping the pimple can cause mild scarring, and in severe outbreaks, mild scarring can occur even if the pimples arenít popped. The pimple is often accompanied by inflammation and skin irritation. In some cases, large, deep pimples, referred to as cystic lesions, can form and these also can scar the skin.
To prevent outbreaks, skin must be kept oil free, and excess dead cells should be sloughed off regularly. Washing your face at least twice a day with a product like
Acnetene AcneWash will help remove excess oil and get rid of the dead cells that combine with the oil to form pimples. You should also bathe at least once a day and more than once if you engage in a lot of physical activity. Specially formulated soaps and facial washes used for preventing acne are available in stores. These cut down the oil, gently exfoliate the skin, and kill the bacteria that contribute to forming pimples.
There are both prescription and non-prescription treatments for acne. If you have a mild case or only get pimples on occasion over the counter treatments will likely help. Products containing benzoyl peroxide, Zinc PCA or Sebustop are often helpful. These medications help to kill the bacteria that are in clogged pores by oxygenating the pores; the bacteria canít survive in an oxygen rich environment. The medication also helps to rid the pores of excess skin cells.
Salicylic acid is another ingredient found in acne medication that is beneficial because it helps to exfoliate the skin, removing the dead skin cells that clog pores and can be found in acne brands such as Acnetene.
For more severe outbreaks, or for cystic lesions, prescription medications may be necessary. Treatment includes antibiotics taken orally to fight infection, and medications with higher concentrations of the benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid than can be found in over the counter medications. Oral retinoids that reduced the production of oil or azelaic acid to kill bacteria may also be prescribed for treatment. A combination of treatment methods may be necessary to clear the outbreak and prevent them in the future.