Acne Vulgaris: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments
Acne vulgaris is a chronic skin condition due to the over activity of oil. This common skin disease is characterized by papules, comedones, seborrhea, nodules, pimples, and the possibility of scarring. Acne vulgaris is formed when oil and dead skin cells clog the pores of the skin. It can occur on any place of the body, and effects both men and women. It is estimated that 80-90% of teenagers are effected by acne vulgaris.
What causes acne vulgaris?
There are many causes of acne vulgaris. Those can include using cosmetics that have an oil base, high levels of humidity, which could lead to sweating (which can clog the pores), hormonal changes due to puberty, the menstrual cycle, stress, birth control pills, or pregnancy, certain medications (steroids, estrogen, testosterone, phenytoin), and heredity. An individual’s diet can also effect acne vulgaris. Diets high in refined sugars have been linked to this common skin condition.
What symptoms will an individual see with acne vulgaris?
There are many symptoms an individual may experience with acne vulgaris. Those include:
- Blackheads -Dark spots on the skin that are caused by a small plug in the opening of the pore. These are also referred to as open comedones.
- Whiteheads- White raised bumps on the skin, also known as closed comedones or pimples. Whiteheads are caused by oil and dead skin cells in the pores.
- Nodules- Large, painful bumps beneath the surface of the skin
- Papules- Small red bumps on the skin
- Pustules- Small pus filled blisters on the skin that are inflamed and are tender
- Cysts- A pouch of skin that can be filled with fluid, air, pus, or other materials
- Crusting of the skin
- Redness around the skin eruptions
- Possible scarring of the skin
What steps can one take if acne vulgaris is present?
Should an individual have acne vulgaris, he or she should visit with their skin specialist to find a treatment plan designed to fit the individual’s needs. Other things that may be helpful to keep acne vulgaris under control is to wash the face daily with a gentle cleanser that will not dry out the skin. Be gentle with the skin, never scrubbing too hard. An individual will also want to keep their hair clean, shampooing daily if the hair is oily.
An individual should remember that there are things that are best avoided when dealing with acne vulgaris. This includes picking at the acne, washing the face too often, touching the face with the hands or fingertips, wearing tight headbands or ball caps or other items that cause friction or pressure on the skin, and using heavy oil based cosmetics or face creams.
How can a skin specialist help acne vulgaris?
Should an individual have acne vulgaris, and home treatment is not bringing relief, an individual can visit with his or her dermatologist. A skin specialist will determine what type of acne grade the individual has (grade 1 is mild while grade 4 is severe acne). The skin specialist may recommend a topical treatment be used to treat the acne, or could prescribe antibiotics to kill bacteria and reduce inflammation of the skin. The topical treatment could be one that is recommended that is an over the counter one, or one that is prescribed by the skin specialist. The skin speacialist may prescribe birth control pills to females to help clear up the acne. Acne vulgaris can also be treated with many treatments in the skin specialists office, including dermabrasion, microdermabrasion, dermal fillers ( for acne scars), chemical peels, laser and light therapy, comedo extraction, and acne removal (drainage and extraction methods).
If you suffer from acne vulgaris, contact one of our friendly skin specialist today and see how we can help you. At Advanced Dermatology we offer a range of skin treatments and acne skincare that will help with the acne vulgaris.