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Acne or pimples is a common condition in teenagers and can extend to persist in 40 years in cases of hormonal imbalance. Acne develops due to blockage of sebaceous gland.
Sebaceous gland- These are sebum (oil) secreting glands present in the deep layer of skin. Sebum forms a thin film on the surface of the skin preventing water loss. It is required for healthy skin. Sebum is delivered on the surface of the skin with the help of sebaceous duct. Accordingly, when this duct is blocked because of dead cell clumping or cosmetic products it gets collected within the duct gets secondarily infected with bacteria and forms acne. Hormonal imbalance leads to alteration in the consistency (thickening) of sebum and blockage of duct.
Acne is classified into grades (1 to 4) depending on how many of the above lesions are present.
Grade I- Requires change in face wash, topical creams
Grade II, III & IV- Need oral antibiotics and might need hormonal supplements after thorough blood investigation and clinical assessment.
- Comedones– They appear as skin-coloured painless bumps and may persist for many months These are called white heads and black heads.
- Papules– These are red coloured raised painful bumps.
- Pustules– These are red bumps with yellowish white pus within.
- Cysts– Are located deep in the skin, reddish, painful and persist for few days to a month.
Procedures in Acne
- Comedone expression– Removes blackheads & white heads. It removes blockage of the duct.
- Chemical peels– Salicylic peels help in calming down redness and peeling of papules and comedones.
- Phototherapy– Blue light therapy kills the bacteria causing acne and reduce redness