Acne is a skin condition that is commonly referred to as ‘pimples’. Acne occurs when skin pores, the tiny holes on the surface of the skin get clogged. Each pore is connected to the hair follicle from which hair is emerged out.
Acne is commonly referred to as ‘pimples’ or ‘zits’. Most people believe that acne only affects teenagers. Although it is more common among teenagers, it can affect people of any age. According to the National Institute of Health, about 4 out of every 5 people experience acne breakouts between the age of 11 and 30 years.
Many people experience acne during puberty. It is characterized by pimples on face, pimples on back and pimples on head. It can also be seen on the neck, scalp, chest, shoulders and upper arms. Both men and women can be affected by acne, but it develops differently in both the sexes. Young men tend to get more severe acne outbreaks, whereas women tend to have an intermittent pattern, which is usually related to their menstrual cycles.
Acne or pimples can be seen as tiny, white spots on skin (whiteheads), black spots (blackheads), tiny, painful, red bumps or pus-filled, painful swelling. In a majority of the cases, the condition generally begins around the age of 10 to 13 years. Severe acne can lead to scarring of the skin (acne scars).
Types Of Acne
Acne or pimples can be seen in many forms. There are 4 major types of acne:
- Whiteheads – They are tiny, white spots on skin that appear due to closed or clogged skin pores.
- Blackheads – They are small bumps that appear on your skin due to closed or clogged skin pores. They are dark or black in colour.
- Pustules – They are tender, red bumps with white pus at the tips.
- Papules – They are small, red, raised bumps without any fluid, caused by infected or inflamed hair follicles.
- Cysts – Cystic acne often appears like boils on the skin. It is the largest in size among the acne types and is rooted deeply within the skin.
- Nodules – They appear as small bumps under your skin and can turn red as the surrounding area gets more inflamed. It is caused due to bacterial infection in the skin pores.
What all these types have in common is that they can be treated. They can be almost completely or partially removed from the skin, if treated on time.
Impact Of Acne
Though it is a skin condition, pimples are known to cause more damage to the patient’s psyche than to the skin. Clear, healthy skin goes a long way in boosting a person’s self-image. Given the fact that pimples can considerably affect the physical appearance of a person, it has a significant impact on self-confidence and self-image. According to a study conducted by the Brazilian Society of Dermatology with adolescents in Greece, acne affects the quality of life. The study found that the impact is proportional to the severity of acne. More severe acne is associated with greater effect on quality of life, with implications on self esteem, body image and relationships with others.