We all have tiny little hair all over our body; acne occurs when the hair follicles (under the skin), particularly in the face, chest, and upper back, become blocked with oil/sebum and dead skin cells. This blockage results in blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples.
Research has shown that acne affects 88% of youths (aged 13-19 years old) in Singapore1. Due to its commonality, we are often tempted to treat acne with home remedies recommended by a well-meaning relative or friend, however, home remedies should not be attempted on acne as it might aggravate it and hinder recovery.
Acne should be treated by a professional as soon as possible because early treatment can help in the proper management of this condition, ultimately leading to reduced acne scarring. Not only can early treatment help to reduce or even prevent acne scarring, but it can also help improve the self-esteem and confidence of youths who are afflicted with this condition.
There are several causes of acne, but the five main ones are:
It is also important to note that while acne can be caused by a number of things, it can also be aggravated or triggered by these:
The symptoms of acne depend on its severity. These symptoms are:
Mild acne is rarely painful, and its presence is more of an irritation than a discomfort. However, if you are suffering from cystic acne which consists of painful, pus-filled lumps under the skin, it can be painful, and the affected areas might be tender to the touch.
As studies have shown, a majority (88%) of adolescents in Singapore aged 13-19 suffer from acne. An additional study also showed that 41%3 of adults who were treated for acne at the National Skin Centre in Singapore have experienced it since adolescence while the majority of those studied suffered from adult-onset acne.
While acne seems to affect almost everyone, there are certain factors that might make you more susceptible to it:
|1||Mild||Blackheads and whiteheads with few inflammatory pimples|
|2||Moderate||Some pimples mainly on face|
|3||Moderately severe||Numerous pimples and occasional inflamed nodules on face, chest, and back|
|4||Severe||Several large and painful pimples and nodules
After a face examination, your dermatologist will suggest a treatment plan best suited for you and your symptoms. This all depends largely on the severity of your acne, your general health, and your age. The available treatments are:
Acne can be well-controlled if treated early. Do not hesitate to contact your dermatologist for some professional help.
During the appointment, your dermatologist will examine your face and determine the severity of acne you have. Acne severity is ranked by grades 4,5.