What Is Acne, Acne Symptoms And What Causes Acne To Form On Your Skin

What Is Acne

What is acne all about? Out of the many skin problems like eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, hives, ringworm, fungal infections, etc. – the most common is definitely acne and Acne Vulgaris is the medical term for common acne. what is acne acne vulgaris

Nearly 85% of people get acne at some point in their lives usually between 12-25 years old and nearly 20% of women develop this skin disease. Acne usually starts during puberty and gets worse during adolescence. Acne is a skin problem that has no real cure but it is a condition that can be controlled.

So what is acne – clinically described, it is a skin condition that happens when your hair follicles are clogged, plugged, blocked or simply said ‘stuffed or jammed’ with too much of skin’s natural oil (sebum), dead skin cells and bacteria.

Our sebaceous glands which are just beneath our skin’s surface make this oil (sebum) which is good as our skin’s natural moisturizer. But at puberty, too much androgens (male hormones) make our glands produce too much oil. This excess oil when mixed with our dead skin cells becomes a ‘hard plug or comedo’ that blocks our skin pores. Non-inflammatory or mild acne (comedones) are actually whiteheads and blackheads. what is acne acne vulgaris

More serious acne forms when Propionibacterium acnes (P.acne or acne bacteria) that normally live on our skin get into our plugged follicles. Then serious acne breaks out usually on the face, back, chest or neck and shoulders.

Very serious acne (the worst) would be cystic acne with a yellow discharge known as pus. This is painful, takes the longest time to heal and in most cases, cause scarring to the skin or face.

How Acne Sufferers ‘Define What Is Acne’

During my ‘heart to heart’ chats with acne sufferers, I asked how they defined acne or ‘what is acne’ is to them and here are a couple of the ‘definitions’ I got…

“Acne is this ugly thing that burns my face…sometimes I feel like my face is going to explode”

“Acne feels like forever pain and shame!…I have to ‘keep hiding and avoiding’ all the time but how do I hide my face?!”

“To me acne is a sickening and frustrating skin disease. Even when it looks like it’s going away, it comes back and I don’t really know what I did wrong?! Everything in my life, every day evolve around this skin disease”

For those with mild acne (like having a couple of small pimples, white heads and black heads), this skin condition is something annoying and irritating.

For serious acne sufferers, acne is not just annoying but can very depressing and distressing – and these acne sufferers go around in what seem like ‘endless circles of dermatologists and treatments’ to be rid of this every day agony and spending all that time and money.

After talking to acne sufferers and doing my ongoing research, I feel acne other than just being a physical pain, in reality, is very much an emotionally distressing condition – not just a skin condition or problem. There are cases of serious depression especially when carrying a face ‘covered with acne’, have seriously disrupted the lives of acne sufferers, even their careers, their relationships and most of all, their self-esteem and self-worth.

There are treatments out there, where by effectiveness does depend to a certain extent, from skin to skin and many other ‘contributing’ factors. Still, like most health problems, usually the earlier the acne sufferer starts treatment, the better it is, the faster it heals and the less chance of skin getting scarred (and getting emotionally scarred).

What Is Acne Symptoms

How do you know you are getting acne on your skin? What is acne symptoms or ‘signs of acne’?

As I mentioned up there, acne usually comes out on your face, back, neck and chest.

what is acne acne stages

What Is Acne ‘Stages’

Whiteheads and blackheads

You will see white and black heads appear on your skin (like on your nose) when your hair follicle openings are clogged, plugged, blocked or ‘jammed’ with too much sebum and dead skin cells as well as bacteria.

So you will see blackheads (black ‘dots’ or dark ‘shade’ on the nose for example, which feels ‘coarse’ to your fingertips) or whiteheads which look like skin-colored bumps. what is acne comedones

Clinical term, all that whiteheads and blackheads are called comedones.




Then you have other ‘serious’ acne types

Papules – These are small reddish and tender bumps on your skin which are inflamed and infected.acne treatment acne papules

Pustules – This are what we call pimples which are very common red, tender bumps with white or cream colored pus at the tips.




Nodules – These are the painful big, feels solid or hard lumps below the surface of the skin because they are formed by the stuff that has build up and stuck deep within the hair follicles.what is acne acne cysts

Cysts – These are what acne sufferers call the worst, the ugliest, the most dreaded and agonizing of the lot (“the zits that make me cry”). These are very painful, pus-filled lumps below the skin’s surface that look like infected boils and yes, cysts can cause permanent scars. And cysts seem to take ‘forever’ to heal and be completely cleared.


Get Acne Treatment

From having comedones to papules to cysts, so long as you feel this condition to be an emotional burden, upsetting or just annoying – you should seek treatment (products – medicated or natural ways), from a doctor, dermatologist or skin specialist. And for those who have been scarred, there is help to diminish the scars.

It is important to remember that earlier treatment is more effective, helps your skin heal faster and keep it under control better and lessens the chances of scarring – better to get it treated earlier and keep it under control than to leave it till it gets worse which becomes harder and longer to heal.

Or in the case of after months trying many or various over-the-counter, natural or ‘home remedies’ acne treatment products or solutions, yet you see no improvement in your acne problem or you feel your acne condition has worsen – it is time to fix an appointment to see your doctor. Depending on your condition, your doctor may then refer you to a skin specialist or dermatologist for specialist diagnosis and treatment.

Always bear in mind – ‘early intervention’ can help prevent your acne problem from getting worse and lessen the chances of your skin getting scarred and damaged – and you getting emotionally scarred.


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