Acne is a skin disease that occurs when hair follicles are clogged with sebum or dead skin cells. It affects mainly face, upper part of chest and back. During puberty acne is often brought on by excess production of oil or sebum due to hormonal fluctuations. It can be in the form of blackheads, whiteheads or comedones.
Types of acne
non inflammatory acne : this includes blackheads and whiteheads. these normally respond to over the counter topical applications which naturally exfoliates the skins dead layer. Preparations including mainly salicylic acid helps to exfoliate the dead layer.
inflammatory acne : this include pimples which are red and little swollen. This may be due to the excessive growth of bacteria (p.acnes) which is normally present on skin. Many treatment options are available ,including lifestyle changes, medications and laser procedures.Eating simple carbohydrates such as sugar may help. Preparations including benzoyl peroxide and other retinoids are commonly used. Several types of birth control pills help against acne in women.
Acne scars are caused when inflammation persists for long time and is not treated timely. This inflammation affects the dermal layer of skin by abnormal healing of fibrous tissue leaving the skins surface rough and uneven and sometimes dark spots. Scarring is most likely take place with severe acne following dermal inflammation which leads to excess collagen deposition or loss at the site of lesion.
acne scars can be classified as :
Atrophic scars have lost collagen from the healing response and is the most common type of acne scars.
icepick scars : these may be narrow or deep that extends into the dermis.
boxcar scars : these are round or indented with sharp borders.
rolling scars : these have wide and wave like pattern on the surface.
Hypertrophic scars : these are characterized by increased collagen production after the abnormal healing response. these are raised from the skin and are also known as keloid scars.
Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation are the result of nodular or cystic acne. Inflammation deep under the skin stimulates the pigment-producing cells to produce more melanin giving spot the darker appearance. Even minimal sun exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays can sustain hyperpigmentation. Daily use of SPF 30 or higher can minimize such a risk.