Acne Treatment Plan

What is acne?

Acne is a common skin condition which occurs when hair follicles are plugged with dead skin cells and oil. It commonly occurs on the face, neck, chest, back, and shoulders. This condition is commonly seen in teenagers. It is a relatively benign condition that may resolve on its own. In severe cases, it can cause scarring.

What are the different types of acne?

  • Whiteheads: These form under the surface of the skin and appear as a small white bump on the skin.
  • Blackheads: These pimples form on the skin surface and are black in colour.
  • Papules: These are small pink bumps that can be painful when you touch them.
  • Pustules: These pimples appear red at their base and are filled with pus.
  • Nodules: These are large, painful, solid pimples.
  • Cysts: These are deep, painful, pus-filled pimples and can cause scars.

Are there any triggering factors?

Acne may be triggered by hormonal changes that occur during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and starting or stopping birth control pills. It can also be caused by certain medications such as lithium and oily creams.

How can acne be treated?

Acne can be treated by topical medications such as creams, gels, lotions containing vitamin A derivatives or antibiotics. Oral medications can also be given which include combined oral contraceptives, antibiotics, and medication that blocks the action of certain hormones. Other options include chemical peel, extraction of black heads and white heads, and light therapy. Acne scars can be treated with dermal fillers, dermabrasion, and laser resurfacing.

What are some ways to prevent or reduce acne formation?

Practicing some skin care tips may prevent acne from developing or becoming worse:

  • Cleanse your skin gently with a mild cleanser twice a day. Avoid using strong soaps or rough scrubs as overstimulation can make the problem worse.
  • After cleansing, astringent solution can be used to wipe off excess oil. Do not try to squeeze the lesions as this can lead to permanent scarring.
  • Use cosmetics sparingly, and make sure to use products labelled “oil–free” and “non–comedogenic” which means it won’t block your pores and aggravate the condition.
  • Protect your skin from tanning by wearing a sunscreen daily.

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