Acne is a chronic skin disease that can be caused by various factors such as genetics, sebaceous hypersecretion, Propionibacterium bacteria, and androgen intervention. Because it affects a person’s appearance, the individual may suffer from depression, anxiety and anguish due to fear of social rejection. For this reason, acne may carry social, psychological and emotional repercussions. The good news is that new medications and treatments are bringing an end to this health issue.
What are its symptoms?
Acne affects the pilosebaceous unit; the structure consisting of hair, hair follicle, arrector pili muscle and sebaceous gland. Acne causes the seborrhoea (excessively oily skin) that may develop into clogged pores called comedones and other inflammations in the form of papules, pustules, nodules or cysts.
Although acne disappears by itself in most instances, it can sometimes cause scars.
Below is a classification of acne types by intensity:
- Mild. Comedones or non-inflammatory lesions.
- Moderate. A moderate number of papules, pustules and comedones can be observed. May extend slightly into the torso.
- Moderate to severe. Numerous papules and pustules in addition to many comedones. Sometimes large, deep nodules also appear, affecting the face, back and chest.
- Severe. Acne, nodule-cystic and conglobate. Painful and large nodular and pustular lesions associated with papules, pustules and comedones.
When should one see a doctor?
When the patient suffers from acne that persists for more than two or three months, the recommendation is to go to a dermatologist who will evaluate the need to administer a topical or oral treatment.
Who is most at risk?
Acne is more common in:
- Patients undergoing hormonal changes.
- Patients with a family history of acne.
- Patients who use greasy or oily lotions on their body.
- Skin that suffers friction with objects such as phones, helmets, tight collars, etc.
Medications that end acne
Isotretinoin has been used for 30 years. It is a pharmaceutical product that revolutionised acne treatment by achieving positive results over 95%. It is very safe as long as it is administered by a dermatologist and the necessary instructions and precautions are followed. Pregnant women should not take isotretinoin under any circumstances, and hepatic enzymes as well as cholesterol should be monitored regularly, as the treatment could slightly raise these levels.
What are the side effects of these medications?
The main complaints reported by patients are dryness in various parts of the body, particular in lips and eyes. However, topical treatments can balance out this dryness effectively.
What to do if you have acne.
Nowadays people often don’t see a doctor about acne, and they treat themselves instead. This is because people want a fast solution to their appearance and see plenty of remedies available in pharmacies and supermarkets. Nevertheless, doctors are best equipped to identify the particular type of acne in its early stages and prescribe the most effective remedy for that particular patient.