Acne is a term generally applied to eruptions on the skin like pimples, pustules, papules, nodules and small cysts etc. of varying characteristics. It is an inflammatory, papulopustular skin eruption occurring usually in or near the sebaceous glands on the face, neck, shoulders, upper back and other parts of the body. It involves bacterial breakdown of sebum into fatty acids irritating to surrounding subcutaneous tissues. Acne mostly affects the teenagers but is not restricted to this age group. It can occur in adults and middle-aged persons too. Acne is not a life threatening eruption but is quite troublesome and has great cosmetic value particularly if it occurs on uncovered parts of the body like face and neck. At times, particularly in severely aggravated cases, it may leave permanent scars on the skin.
Common Acne Types
Acne is of various types. At times acne is named by the location where it occurs like face acne, neck acne, chest acne and so on and similarly according to the age as for adult acne. Acne rosacea and acne vulgaris are the types that occur more commonly. Each type has its own characteristics. Some types are painful to touch but some are not. The eruptions may or may not have puss formation. Blackheads and whiteheads are also broadly categorized as acne.
- Acne Rosacea:
A chronic form of acne seen in adults of all ages and associated with telangiectasia, especially of the nose, forehead and cheeks. It is characterized by small pimple on cheeks usually below the cheekbones accompanied by redness. This type occurs mostly in the adults and is at times called adult acne.
- Acne Vulgaris (Acne Simplex):
A common form of acne seen predominantly in adolescents and young adults. Acne vulgaris is probably an effect of androgenic hormones (which stimulate the production of sebum) and Propionibacterium acnes in their follicle. It is said that it also results from the bacterial infection.
Some other types of acne are:
- Acne Artificialis: An eruption in the skin caused by an external irritant such as tar or ingestion of halogen compounds.
- Acne Cachectocorum: An eruption or irritation of the skin that may occur in patients who are very weak and debilitated. It is characterized by soft, mildly infiltrated pustular lesions.
- Acne Conglobata: A sever form of acne with abscess, cyst, scar and keloid formation. Acne conglobata may affect the lower back, buttock and thighs, as well as the face and chest.
- Acne Indurata: A pathological skin condition characterized by extensive papular lesions that often produce sever scars.
- Acne Keratosa: A skin condition characterized by hard conic plugs that usually appear at the corners of the mouth and inflame surrounding tissue
- Acne Necrotica Miliaris: A rare chronic type of folliculitis of the scalp occurring mostly in adults and characterized by tiny pustules.
- Acne Papulosa: A common pathologic skin condition that develops small papular lesions that usually do not become inflamed. It is considered a papular form of acne vulgaris.
Acne is not a life threatening eruption but is quite troublesome and has great cosmetic value particularly if it occurs on uncovered parts of the body like face and neck. At times, particularly in severely aggravated cases, it may leave permanent scars on the skin.
Causes of Acne
- Acne is a common skin disease but modern medical science has not yet been able to find its exact cause. Mostly it is believed that incomplete metabolization of oil makes the dead skin cells sticky blocking the pores of the skin from where bacteria enters into the pores and causes infection and inflammation. If this is true then cause of acne is not bacteria but faulty metabolization of oil that provides a favorable ground to bacteria to harbor it and cause the trouble. It is believed that dirt does not cause acne. Whatever be the cause, acne is mostly caused by internal disorder.
- Dietary Habits
If we dig it out further, it leads back to inappropriate dietary habits but the modern science does not agree. Diet is not considered as a factor causing acne whereas actually it is. The fact is that whatever we eat or drink does affect our bodies. This can be observed and experienced by anyone, like you drink water and feel that your thirst is gone, take food and your hunger is satisfied. If your body is deficient of proteins, you take protein-rich diet and if your body needs carbohydrates, you make up the deficiency by taking appropriate diet. Following the same argument, if you stick to a particular type of diet for too long, it is bound to tell its effects and create various symptoms according to what you have been taking. Acne is no exception. It will occur when suitable situation is provided by particular dietary habits. It is a matter of finding out the items that cause and promote acne, which might slightly differ for different persons.
- Defective Menstrual Cycle
If your menstrual cycle is not regular, you are a prospective candidate for acne. If the periods are delayed and bleeding is less than normal with dark and clotted blood, the ground is ready for acne to appear.
- Poor Hygiene
Though it is not a major cause of acne yet it is one of the contributory factors.
- Use of External Applications
Use of various concoctions to improve the complexion.
Homeopathic Treatment for Acne
Homeopathy has large number of medicines that are used for different conditions of acne and can cure acne permanently. For homeopathic treatment detailed case taking is required covering the symptoms of disease and the personal symptoms which may have (apparently) no direct relationship with the disease but play an important role in the selection of proper homeopathic remedy. You need not worry about the harmful side effects because homeopathic remedies are known for their safety. Remember that timely treatment of acne can save you the discomfort and possible scarring of the skin.
– Do not scratch, pick or squeeze the pimples. This is to prevent the scars.
– Follow the advice of your doctor and use only advised medicines.
– Do not use external applications unless you are sure of their safety.