Sadly, Acne remains a relatively common skin condition that affects the majority of the global population at some point during their lives. Acne causes breakouts on the surface of the skin which often form painful spots, these areas of skin are very oily and also have the habit of becoming increasingly hot and painful when touched. The infuriating skin condition predominantly tends to afflict a patient’s face, however it’s not uncommon to see Acne on the back or even on the chest.
Although the causes of Acne are multiple and wide-ranging, Acne is highly correlated to changes in hormones within the body and is particularly wide-spread among adolescents and young adults – 80% of people diagnosed with the skin condition are between the ages of 11 and 30 years old. With males and females tending to begin puberty at different periods of their lives, there is often a discrepancy in the age which acne affects the gender. For girls, Acne tends to affect them between the ages of 14 and 17; whereas for boys the condition presents itself more often than not between the ages of 16 and 19.
After Acne has initially presented itself, the condition tends to affect individuals for roughly several years before symptoms begin to improve by themselves. This improvement in symptoms usually coincides with the ending or at least dampening down of pubescent changes – by their mid-20s, most people afflicted with the condition have grown out of it.
Nevertheless, there are sadly plenty of cases of individuals whose Acne has persisted into their adult lives. According to the data, around 5% of women and 1% of men who have Acne see the condition persist passed 25 years of age.
How Do I Know If I Have Acne?
One of the most frequently asked questions regarding Acne is how do I know I have it? As briefly explained above, Acne tends to present itself on the surface of the skin as painful spots, oily skin and areas of afflicted skin that become hot and painful when touched. With that being said there are also 6 specific types of spots that can be caused by Acne, these include:
Blackheads – Blackheads are small black or yellowish lumps that can present themselves on the surface of the skin. Although the lumps do contain some grime, this isn’t what gives them their black color – they’re actually colored black because of the pigmentation produced in the lining of the hair follicle. Black heads usually disappear once squeeze/ejected from the skin.
Whiteheads – Although Whiteheads have a similar appearance to Blackheads, apart from color, they’re usually much firmer and do not drain/empty when squeezed.
Papules – Papules are small red bumps that are tender and sore when touched, they’re usually hard or firm and don’t eject anything.
Pustules – Pustules have a similar look and feel to Papules, but have a white head, or tip, in their centres. This white head/tip is usually caused by a build up of pus underneath the surface of the pustule.
Nodules – Nodules are relatively large lumps that are hard to the touch. They build up slowly beneath the surface and can become painful and bothersome.
Cysts – Cysts are generally agreed to be the most severe type of spot produced by Acne. Cysts are large lumps filled with pus that look similar to boils. Because of their size, and the pus contained within, Cysts often present Acne sufferers with a risk of permanent scarring.
Location is also important when identifying the symptoms of Acne. Acne tends to primarily affect the face, with almost all cases of those suffering from Acne having the condition initially present itself on the face. With that being said, Acne can, and often does, present itself on other parts of the body. Over half of people diagnosed with Acne will get the condition on their backs, with a smaller 15% of people having the condition affect their chests.
Although there is no real cure for Acne other than surviving puberty – sorry guys – there are luckily plenty of effective treatments for acne available for you to try at home. Some of these tips might be helpful for you if you’re suffering from the symptoms of Acne:
- Keep Yourself Clean – Although this one sounds obvious, it’s important to keep the skin that’s affected by Acne as clean as possible. Make sure to use a mild soap, or a specifically designed cleanser, when washing you face – otherwise you may further aggravate the skin. Furthermore, ensure that you are using lukewarm water, very hot or very cold water also has a tendency to aggravate affected skin.
- Don’t Over Wash – Keeping clean is important, but make sure you’re not washing affected areas of skin more than twice a day. Over washing skin affected by Acne can cause aggravation that makes the symptoms of the condition worse.
- Try to Avoid Make-Up – Make-Up tends to block pours on the skin, making the symptoms of Acne far worse. If you do use Make-Up, keep it light and use water-based products that are labelled as non-comedogenic – they’re far less likely to clog your pours and aggravate your condition.
- Don’t Pop Your Spots – This is probably the most important advice that can be given regarding Acne. Of course, spots naturally tend to burst by themselves and there’s not much you can do about that. However, bursting them yourself when they’re not ready increases your risk of scarring, as well as providing plentiful opportunities for you to spread the bacteria that causes the Acne around the skin. If your spots do pop, try using an Acne Cream to reduce the chances of spreading the bacteria as well as scarring.