Acne is a skin condition that occurs when your hair follicles become plugged with oil and dead skin cells. It often causes whiteheads, blackheads or pimples, and usually appears on the face, forehead, chest, upper back and shoulders. Acne is most common among teenagers, though it affects people of all ages.
Effective treatments are available, but acne can be persistent. Depending on its severity, acne can cause emotional distress and scar the skin.
- Whiteheads (closed plugged pores)
- Blackheads (open plugged pores)
- Small red, tender bumps (papules)
- Pimples (pustules), which are papules with pus at their tips
- Large, solid, painful lumps beneath the surface of the skin (nodules)
- Painful, pus-filled lumps beneath the surface of the skin (cystic lesions)
When to see a doctor
If self-care remedies don’t clear your acne, see your primary care doctor. He or she can prescribe stronger medications. If acne persists or is severe, you may want to seek medical treatment from a doctor who specializes in the skin (dermatologist).
What can I do?
The good news is that there are many simple things you can do to live well with arthritis:
• Reduce stress in your life. The amount of oil (or sebum, as doctors call it) in your skin is “directly influenced by stress,” Lee says. The more stress (physical and emotional) that you feel, the higher the cortisol levels in the body and the more active the sebaceous glands in the skin.
• Cleansing – using cleansers specifically developed for acne-prone skin can help. Try washing the affected areas twice per day. Don’t overdo it. Too much cleansing can cause other skin problems, such as dryness or skin irritations.
• Use a salicylic acid containing facial product. Salicylic acid helps dissolve, remove and prevent the formation of the keratin plug, which can help speed up the clearing of pimples and improve long-term control.
• Make up – choose water-based, oil-free products where possible to avoid worsening acne by clogging the pores with oils or powder.
• Don’t squeeze
• Diet – there is some weak evidence that a low-GI diet may help some people with acne. Many people notice that eating certain foods causes pimples for them, try avoiding these foods.
All About Acne. (2020). Skin Care for Acne. https://acne.org.au/treatments/skin-care/