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Understanding Acne

Acne is a common skin condition that occurs when hair follicles become blocked. Sebum, an oil that helps keep skin from drying out, and dead skin cells can clog pores.

This causes inflammation which is characterized by the appearance of small lumps which are sometimes filled with pus on the skin.

This skin disorder can occur in parts of the body with the most oil glands, namely the face, neck, upper chest and back. These lumps are called acne.

Causes of Acne

Several conditions that trigger the emergence of this condition include:

  • Excessive production of sebum, which is a substance produced by oil glands to prevent dry skin.
  • Blockage of hair follicles by a mixture of dead skin cells and sebum.
  • Propionibacterium acnes bacteria that grow, clog hair follicles and cause inflammation.
  • Genetic or hereditary factors. You can experience this if one of your parents has acne problems.
  • Blocked follicles can swell and form whiteheads or blackheads if exposed to outside air. This condition should not be taken lightly. Because, it can develop into pustules, papules, nodules, or even cysts, if contaminated by skin bacteria.
  • Hormones, namely when there is excessive androgen hormone activity or when hormonal changes occur during menstruation.
  • The use of cosmetics is not always suitable for everyone’s skin.
  • Stress affects a person’s lifestyle, including diet, which can trigger acne.

Acne Risk Factors

The emergence of this problem can also be influenced by the following risk factors:

  • Skin friction with objects, for example acne on the face due to wearing a head covering too often, acne on the neck due to wearing clothes that are too tight at the collar, or acne on the back due to frequently using a backpack.
  • Smoking habit.
  • Heredity, if there are family members who have problems with this skin problem.
  • Take medications containing lithium, corticosteroids, or anti-seizure medications.
  • Puberty occurs due to increased activity of the testosterone hormone which triggers the oil glands to produce sebum in greater amounts.
    Cosmetic use.
  • Hormonal changes, for example before menstruation, the first three months of pregnancy, or due to PCOS .
  • Stress, has the potential to worsen existing conditions.

Apart from the risk factors above, be careful, this can trigger the appearance of acne on the face .

Acne Symptoms

The characteristics of acne are the appearance of several general symptoms, such as:

  • The lump is reddish or yellow (because it contains pus).
  • Small bumps (papules) that appear on the skin.
  • A hot or burning sensation due to inflammation.
  • There is an itchy feeling on the lump.

This condition is also prone to inflammation if you touch it frequently or even break it by force.

Conditions that experience inflammation are prone to the following conditions:

  • Pustules, which are small lumps that have pus at the end.
  • Papules, which are small reddish lumps that feel painful.
  • Nodules , which are hard lumps that form under the surface of the skin and can be painful.
  • Cysts, which are large lumps that form under the surface of the skin, are filled with pus and are painful.

Acne Diagnosis

There is no special examination to confirm acne. To diagnose acne, a dermatologist will perform a physical examination. It involves examining the face, chest, or back for various types of acne. Examples include blackheads or painful red nodules.

The doctor will also ask about your health condition, menstrual cycle, and habits that you often do. The doctor will also ask about the type and diet you follow.

This examination aims to determine the level of severity, both in terms of amount and level of inflammation. The severity of acne can be divided into:

  • Mild, mostly whiteheads and blackheads, with a few papules and pustules.
  • Moderate, whiteheads and blackheads are more extensive, with many papules and pustules.
  • Severe, many large and painful papules, pustules, nodules or cysts; You may also have some scar tissue.

If the acne you are experiencing is mild, usually the doctor will immediately provide appropriate treatment. However, if the condition is moderate to severe, further examination can be carried out.

The doctor can take a sample to determine the cause of the acne. Apart from that, imaging tests can also be done if the doctor indicates the presence of a cyst or tumor.

Acne Treatment

There are several steps you can take to cure acne, including:

Reduce oil production.
Fights bacterial infections.
Accelerates skin cell turnover and reduces inflammation.

To get the right treatment, first discuss the skin problem with a dermatologist via the Halodoc application.✔️

These medical experts generally prescribe drugs containing sulfur, resorcinol, salicylic acid, antibiotics and isotretinoin.

The use of medication must be under the supervision of a doctor, because side effects can occur.

Pregnant women should also not use isotretinoin, because it can cause defects in the fetus.

Some other efforts you can take to treat acne include:

  • Clean cosmetic equipment using soap and warm water regularly.
  • Choose non-comedogenic cosmetics , which do not close the pores on the skin.
  • Use a non-comedogenic moisturizer , which cannot cause acne and is suitable for your skin type.
  • Avoid squeezing and holding pimples, because they can make them multiply.
  • Avoid rubbing your face using cloth or gloves with a rough surface.
  • Maintain body hygiene by showering immediately after activities,
  • because excess oil on the face can trigger acne.
  • Maintain facial cleanliness by cleansing your face twice a day, to remove dead skin cells, excess oil, and remaining cosmetics on the surface of the skin.

Acne Complications

The following are some acne complications that are at risk of occurring, namely:

1. Acne scars

The most common complication is scarring or acne scars, also known as pockmarks.

Any type of acne can cause scarring, but it occurs more often when the most severe types (nodules and cysts) burst and damage the surrounding skin.

There are three main types of acne scars that can occur as complications, namely:

  • Ice pick scars , the smallest type of pockmark, are less than 2 millimeters in diameter. However, this scar is quite deep and concave with a shape resembling the letter “V”.
  • Rolling scars occur due to scar tissue that forms under the skin, making the surface of the skin appear rolled and uneven.
  • Boxcar scars , round or oval depressions, or craters in the skin.

If you experience the complications above, here are some tips to overcome them: Here’s How to Get Rid of Blackened Acne Scars .

2. Changes in skin color

Acne can also cause discoloration of the skin. When inflamed acne has improved, this condition can cause a darker to lighter skin color.

3. Skin infections

It’s best to avoid the habit of squeezing pimples. This habit can trigger skin infections. Popping and squeezing pimples makes it easier for bacteria and germs to enter the skin. This condition can cause severe inflammation and infection.

How to Prevent Acne

There are several tips you can try to prevent this skin problem from occurring, namely:

1. Clean your face regularly

Acne can appear anywhere, but acne more often appears on the face. So, to prevent this, you can regularly clean or wash your face properly.

Make sure you use a cleanser that is sulfate-free and fragrance-free. The most important thing, don’t wash your face too often. Clean your face twice a day.

2. Hydrate your body well

When the body is dehydrated, this condition can signal the oil glands to produce excess oil. Dehydration can also cause skin to become duller.

To keep your body well hydrated, make sure you drink water at least eight times a day. It is best to consume more water after exercising, during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and in a hot environment.

3. Limit the use of facial makeup

Using makeup or facial makeup is very appropriate for making your face fresher. However, limit use and know the contents contained in it.

Excessive use of facial makeup can clog pores, causing acne to appear. If you have acne, you should limit the use of make up temporarily to prevent inflammation.

4. Avoid touching your face carelessly

Sometimes you accidentally touch your face using hands that are still dirty. It’s best to avoid this habit from now on and always keep your hands clean.

Dirty hands can be a way for germs or bacteria to reach the face. This can increase the risk of acne appearing on facial skin.

5. Avoid exposure to direct sunlight

Too frequent direct exposure to sunlight can make the skin dehydrated. This condition can cause the skin to produce excess oil and clog pores. This condition can trigger the appearance of acne.

6. Be careful in choosing the shampoo product you use

The use of shampoo products can also have an impact on the facial susceptibility to acne. Why is that? Using perfume, oil, pomade, or gel on your hair, if it gets on your face, can clog your skin pores and irritate it.

Use gentle shampoo and conditioner. Oily hair can also add oil to your face. If you have long hair, make sure it doesn’t touch your face.

7. Healthy eating patterns

What you eat will affect your skin health. Avoid oily food and junk food . Instead, add fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grains to your daily diet. Dairy products and foods high in processed sugar can trigger acne.

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