Acne is a common skin condition that erupts in the oil glands at the base of hair follicles. It is common in teenagers who are undergoing hormonal changes in their bodies, but it can appear at any age. It is not dangerous to the health, but it can leave scars, especially if it is not properly treated.
There are several stages of acne, including blackheads and whiteheads, small red bumps, nodules and cysts. A mild case consists of a few occasional pimples. A moderate case may have inflammatory papules and a severe case will have nodules and cysts. At Skin Spa Medical, our specialist can diagnose the type of acne you have and recommend the best treatment.
The most common cause of acne is hormonal changes. When a person is sensitive to hormonal changes and has bacteria on the skin, the fatty acids inside the oil glands can develop into this condition. The most common places on the body where acne develops are the sites of oil glands on the face, shoulders, chest and back.
Acne is considered normal, but there are some things that can aggravate the condition. For women, when hormones fluctuate around the time of menses, the condition may increase. Picking, scratching and squeezing the lesions can make them worse and cause scars. Some clothing, such as hats and helmets, may contain bacteria on the places that touch the skin and aggravate the forehead and scalp, causing the condition.
Whether or not a person develops acne may depend on genetics. There are also medications that increase the chances of developing the condition. Cosmetics that clog pores and hormone changes during pregnancy may also contribute to its development.
Research at the Washington University School of Medicine has identified two strains of acne-causing bacteria. People who have the bad strain may develop more frequent and severe acne. Another study shows that the condition may be caused by dairy products and high glycemic foods, such as white rice, pretzels, potatoes, corn syrup and white bread.
The different ways in which this condition appears on the skin are:
• Whiteheads that are under the skin and hard to see.
• Blackheads that are visible on the surface of the skin. They are not caused by dirt and should not be vigorously scrubbed.
• Papules that are visible on the surface of the skin as small, red or pink bumps.
• Pustules that can be seen on the skin with a red base that surrounds pus.
• Nodules, or large pimples, that are painful and deeply embedded in the skin.
• Cysts that are visible and painful. Cysts are filled with pus and may cause scars.
There are some simple treatments for acne that can be done at home, but the best treatment will come from the professionals at Skin Spa Medical. During a consultation with our specialist, you can learn about the seriousness of your condition and your treatment options. When it is properly treated, you may be able to reduce the number of eruptions and their severity. We have offices in Wellesley Hills, MA and Andover, MA, and happily serve the greater Wellesley, MA area. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.