Everything You Need to Know About Acne

Tudo o Que Precisa de Saber Sobre a Acne

Acne is the most common skin disease, affecting 85% to 100% of the world's population, especially those aged between 10 and 24. Although it is not a serious illness, it has a significant psychological impact, affecting the self-esteem especially of younger people.

For this reason, it is important not to underestimate the psychological consequences of this problem. Nor should the treatments available to resolve it be disregarded or devalued, in order to avoid, for example, unsightly or even disfiguring scars.

In the Portuguese case, acne is more prevalent in young people between 10 and 12 years old, mostly boys. Something truly worrying is the fact that more than half of these young people are not subject to any type of treatment.

However, do not think that this is a problem exclusive to teenagers. In Portugal, although in a significantly lower percentage, there are cases of acne in adulthood, in people over 30 years old, as well as specific situations of acne in newborns.

Everything you need to know about acne

Acne is a skin disease in which hair follicles have excess fat and dead skin cells. Typically, it mainly affects regions such as the face, neck, chest, back and shoulders.

Main signs

Acne can have four main types of manifestations:

  • Non-inflammatory acne: characterized by black or white spots;
  • Mild acne: characterized by inflamed pimples;
  • Moderate acne: characterized by inflamed pimples with pus;
  • Severe acne: characterized by nodules and cysts.

Causes

As we have already said, the origin of acne is an excess of fat production and an accumulation of dead skin cells and bacteria. Now pay attention to the factors that increase the appearance of acne:

  • Male hormones;
  • Hormonal changes during pregnancy;
  • Oral contraceptives or other medications such as corticosteroids, androgens, lithium;
  • Foods rich in carbohydrates, as they increase blood sugar levels;
  • Skin contact with oily substances or some cosmetics;
  • Family history;
  • Rub the skin.

Diagnosis and treatment

The diagnosis of acne must be made by a dermatologist who, after assessing the severity of the problem, will define the most appropriate treatment.

As we have already mentioned, treatment is of the utmost importance, as it allows not only to improve self-esteem, but also to avoid the risk of permanent injuries. In general, treatments aim to reduce fat production, accelerate skin cell renewal, control and reduce infection.

Treatments can be local or oral and usually last for a period of no less than 4/8 weeks. Therapy may include lotions, vitamin A-based medications and antibiotics that eliminate bacteria that accumulate on the skin.

In some situations, the use of oral contraceptives, laser or phototherapy, skin exfoliation or microabrasion and collagen filling of the most affected areas may also be recommended.

Prevention

There are some measures that can be taken to avoid this skin problem or, at least, to control its evolution and prevent it from getting worse:

  • Wash the skin with a mild solution;
  • Avoid substances that irritate the skin;
  • Do not squeeze the lesions;
  • Moderate sun exposure;
  • Eat a balanced diet;
  • Be careful when using makeup.

Types of acne

We have been talking about the most common acne, that is, the one that affects teenagers. However, there are other types of acne, with other characteristics and that affect other age groups. Also get to know them.

Acne vulgaris

Acne vulgaris affects around 70% to 95% of young people and is defined, as we have seen, by the excessive production of sebum, which blocks the pores.

When it appears after the age of 25, it is commonly known as late-onset acne.

Inverse acne

This acne manifests itself in phases and its symptoms are more severe than in acne vulgaris. Furthermore, it usually affects other areas of the body, such as shoulders or groin. Its main signs can be small bumps that form under the skin and can cause abscesses or pustules.

Acne mallorca

In this case, the main sign are small spots that appear on the skin after intense exposure to the sun. It is an inflammation of the hair follicles, caused by free radicals.

As is clear, consultation and monitoring by a dermatologist is crucial for treating this health problem.

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This article is part of a partnership with the company Doctorino and was written by its editors.

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