28 May 2019


Acne is a skin disease in which the oil glands at the base of hair follicles produces extra oil (sebum) which in turn results in the formation of inflamed lumps and scars on the skin. It is not dangerous and different in size, colour, and pain levels.


  • Excess oil production
  • Hair follicles clogged by oil and dead skin cells
  • Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) Bacteria
  • Hormones: During puberty, Androgen & Estrogen hormones leads to more sebum production due to enlarged glands in boys and girls.
  • Certain medications which contains corticosteroids, testosterone or lithium.
  • Carbohydrate-rich foods like bread, chips, even chocolate may worsen acne.
  • Stress can make acne worse.
  • Menstruation
  • Cosmetics and chemicals


Acne signs and symptoms may vary depending on the severity of condition:

  • Whiteheads/ Blackheads
  • Small red, tender bumps
  • Painful pimples with pus at their tips beneath the skin
  • Large, solid, painful lumps beneath the surface of the skin


  • Face, forehead, chest, upper back and shoulders have most of the oil glands thus makes acne to appear on these body parts mostly.
  • The follicle wall swell and leads to a whitehead. A blackhead occurs when pore is congested with bacteria and oil. It turns brown/black when it is exposed in the air.
  • Pimples are caused when blocked hair follicles gets infected with the bacteria.
  • Inflammation that develops deep inside hair follicles produces lumps beneath the skin surface. But other pores which are the openings of the sweat glands, aren’t usually involved in acne.


  • Papules: Small pink bumps on the skin surface
  • Pustules: Red colored base with pus at the top with clear visibility
  • Nobules: Large in size, solid and painful pimples deep in the skin.
  • Cysts: Highly painful, pus-filled pimples which can leave scars.


  • Self-Check – It’s mild acnes which can be self-diagnosed as it is clearly visible.
  • Labs and Tests – These are done for microbial examination so as to prevent acne from other sources of infection. There are grades specified for acne and their tests are done accordingly.
  • Imaging – Imaging is usually done in severe cases for diagnosing tumors if any.


  • Washing face daily to remove excess oil, dirt, and sweat properly.
  • There are more chances of developing acne in oily skin besides the fact that anybody can get pimples. Knowing the skin type is very important to choose proper skin care products.
  • Use moisturizers to keep the skin hydrated, acne less and to avoid dryness.
  • Skin hydration is a necessity as dehydration might make oil glands to produce more oil as it promotes inflammation and redness.
  • Less usage of makeup might help skin from clog skin pores and outbreak triggers.
  • Don’t touch face frequently as by touching, some of the pore-clogging impurities from hands may get transferred to the skin.
  • Limit on sun exposure dehydrates the skin and leads to more oil formation.
  • Popping pimples may cause bleeding, scarring, infection or inflammation.
  • Don’t take stress as it can make the body to release more oil-secreting hormones thus makes the acne worse.
  • Avoid junk food and food with high glycemic index.
    • Whiteheads/ Blackheads
    • Small red, tender bumps
    • Painful pimples with pus at their tips beneath the skin
    • Large, solid, painful lumps beneath the surface of the skin


  • Good supply of vitamins A and E and zinc in diet may reduce risk of acne.
  • Tea-tree oil may help to treat mild to moderate acne.
  • Polyphenols from tea, including green tea, applied in a topical preparation, may be beneficial in reducing sebum production and treating acne. However, the compounds in this case are extracted from tea, rather than using tea directly.
  • Moisturizers containing at least 10% aloe vera concentration of at least 10 percent can have a soothing and possibly anti-inflammatory effect.
  • OTC Medications and Remedies.
  • Corticosteroid injection and oral antibiotics for severe acne.


According to the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study, it has been estimated that acne affects 85% of young adults aged mostly between 12–25 years.

  • Acne consistently represents the top three most prevalent skin conditions in the general population, as found in large studies within the UK, France, and the USA.
  • 90 or more than 90% of world population gets affected from acne at some point or time in their life.
  • It is expected to marginally decline over the forecast period 2017-2026, due to potential increase in elderly population and newer treatment approaches.

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