Adolescents between the ages of 16 to 25 are most prone to get Acne.
Acne arises from sebaceous gland
A special kind of sweat gland called the “Sebaceous gland” is the seat of acne. These glands are present only on the face, chest and back. They secrete a oily and sticky kind of sweat. The amount of sweat they secrete is controlled by the male hormone “Testosterone”.
It’s a complex interaction of several events. The hormones induce hyper secretion of sebaceous sweat. The excess sweat enhances the growth of certain bacteria. These bacteria secrete an enzyme (lipase) to split the lipids of the sweat and release “Free Fatty Acids” (FFA). The FFA then irritate the openings of the glands and induce them to be blocked. Their secretions accumulate within the skin and evoke an inflammatory response. Depending on the violence of the inflammation, a variety of acne lesions can appear on the skin, because the hormonal stimulus of the sebaceous gland varies and is genetically determined.
Types of acne lesions
- Open comedones = Black heads.
- Closed comedones = White heads.
- Inflammatory lesions = Pustules, papules, nodules, cysts.
Antibiotics are used to kill the “P.acnes”. Peeling agents are used to clear the blocked ducts. Retinoids are used to suppress sebaceous secretions.
Common skin ailments
Acne vulgaris (pimples) factors that can flare up acne
- Hormonal drugs like oral contraceptives.
- Stress & Strain.
- Other drugs like INH & glucoconticoids.
Cheese, chocolates and chinese food can provoke acne.
Precautions to follow
- Frequent washing of face.
- Avoid oily spicy food.
- Loose weight if obese.
- Avoid picking at the pimples.
Important complications are
- Pigmentary marks.
- Psychological trauma.
Recent advances in management of acne
Retenoids are a group of drugs which are very expensive and reserved only for people with severe nodules–cystic acne. Acne’s scars and spots can be treated with “Chemical Peals” or with lasers, but both these treatments have their own side effects and should be done with caution.