Acne is also known as acne vulgaris. Overproduction of a normal oil on the skin, called sebum, increases under the influence of hormones. This, coupled with insufficient shedding of exfoliating dead skin cells, plugs hair follicles. The plugged follicle can become inflamed and have increased growth of normal skin bacteria, Propionibacterium acnes.
As such there is no cure for acne, but certain measures can help prevent more breakouts. Acne can result in scarring, so minimizing breakouts is important !!!
Homeopathy has its own reputation in treating this disease from the roots thereby giving the patients a healthy skin, an overall feeling of well being !
Myths About the Causes of Acne
There are many myths about what causes acne. Chocolate and greasy foods are often blamed, but there is little evidence that foods have much effect on the development and course of acne in most people. Another common myth is that dirty skin causes acne; however, blackheads and other acne lesions are not caused by dirt. Stress doesn't cause acne, but research suggests that for people who have acne, stress can make it worse.
Who Gets Acne?
People of all races and ages get acne. It is most common in adolescents and young adults. An estimated 80 percent of all people between the ages of 11 and 30 have acne outbreaks at some point. For most people, acne tends to go away by the time they reach their thirties; however, some people in their forties and fifties continue to have this skin problem.
Acne is a disorder resulting from the action of hormones and other substances on the skin's oil glands (sebaceous glands) and hair follicles. These factors lead to plugged pores and outbreaks of lesions commonly called pimples or zits. Acne lesions usually occur on the face, neck, back, chest, and shoulders. Although acne is usually not a serious health threat, it can be a source of significant emotional distress. Severe acne can lead to permanent scarring.
How Does Acne Develop?
Acne is a disease of the pilosebaceous units (PSUs). PSUs consist of a sebaceous gland connected to a canal, called a follicle that contains a fine hair. These units are most numerous on the face, upper back, and chest. Keratinocytes are the cells that line the follicle. The sebaceous glands make an oily substance called sebum that normally empties onto the skin surface through follicle. This is commonly called a pore.
Normal Pilosebaceous Unit
The hair, sebum, and keratinocytes fill the follicle and produce a plug. The plug prevents sebum from reaching the surface of the skin through a pore. The mixture of oil and cells allows bacteria Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) that normally live on the skin to grow in the plugged follicles. These bacteria produce chemicals and enzymes and attract white blood cells that cause inflammation. When the wall of the plugged follicle breaks down, it spills everything into the nearby skin leading to lesions or pimples.
The basic acne lesion is called the comedo. It is simply an enlarged and plugged hair follicle. If it stays beneath the skin, it is called a closed comedo and produces a white bump called a whitehead. When a comedo reaches the skin surface & opens up it is called an open comedo or blackhead because it looks black on the skin's surface. Black color is not due to dirt but is due to changes in sebum as it is exposed to air.
Types of Lesions
Other troublesome acne lesions can develop, including the following:
Types of Acne
Acne Vulgaris -
This is the most common form of acne. Acne vulgaris involves multiple lesions such as whiteheads, blackheads, papules, pustules and nodules at various stages of development.
Acne Rosacea –
It is characterized by persistent redness of the forehead, lower part of nose, cheeks and chin. This is accompanied by red bumps, pimples and blemishes. It largely affects adults (30 to 50 years of age) and especially those with a fair skin.
Acne Conglobata -
It is a chronic and severe form of acne which is characterized by severe inflammation and severe scarring of the skin.
Acne Fulminans -
This form of acne is characterized by sudden onset which often may lead to ulcerations.
Nodulocystic Acne -
This is also one of the severe forms of acne and is characterized by cysts. The cysts are generally filled with thick, yellow pus-like fluid and can be quite painful.
Gram Negative Folliculitis
Acne results in a variety of lesions. The most common acne locations include the face, neck, chest, and back, where the most sebaceous glands are located. Along the jaw line is a common location in adults. "Blackheads" (open comedones) and "whiteheads" (closed comedones) are follicular plugs that are either sitting below the skin surface (whitehead) or oxidized from being exposed to the air (blackhead). Papules are small pink to reddish-brown bumps, pustules are pus-filled lesions, and nodules or cysts are deeper pus-filled lesions.
Mild acne consists of a few papules/pustules and/or comedones. Moderate acne has an increased number of lesions. Severe acne has numerous comedones, papules, pustules, and may have painful nodules.
Acne can result in permanent scars, which can appear to be depressions in the skin or hyper pigmentation, which are dark red or brown flat marks where the acne lesions were.
What Causes Acne?
The exact cause of acne is unknown.
One important factor is an increase in hormones called androgens (male sex hormones). These increase in both boys and girls during puberty and cause the sebaceous glands to enlarge and make more sebum. Hormonal changes related to pregnancy or starting or stopping birth control pills can also cause acne.
Another factor is heredity or genetics. The tendency to develop acne can be inherited from parents.
Medications such as lithium, cortisone, hormones, iodides, some seizure medications, or isoniazid can also cause acne lesions.
Greasy cosmetics may alter the cells of the follicles and make them stick together, producing a plug.
Factors That Can Make Acne Worse
Clean Skin Gently.
Avoid Frequent Handling of the Skin.
Avoid rubbing and touching skin lesions.
It is also important to shampoo your hair regularly.
Shave Carefully. Avoid a Sunburn or Suntan. Choose Cosmetics Carefully.
Squeezing, pinching or picking blemishes can lead to the development of scars or dark blotches.
Recommended Treatment Period:
Normally recommended treatment at Preet Homeopathy is 6 months to 12 months or more in some cases.
Usually to begin the treatment we provide medicines for 3 months and further course is decided after the completion of 1st course.
The goals of treatment are:
- heal existing lesions
- stop new lesions from forming
- prevent scarring
- minimize psychological stress and embarrassment
Drug treatment is aimed at reducing several problems that play a part in causing acne: abnormal clumping of cells in the follicles, increased oil production & bacteria inflammation.
Homeopathy medicines have no side-effects and can be safely taken even for a long period of time.
A homeopathic remedy is selected considering the emotional state of the patient, the probable causative factors (physical & mental), general state of the body and all the disease symptoms of the body.
Note: Extent and nature of benefits of treatment varies among individuals and has been gathered from patients themselves & past clinical records.
Note: Degenerative changes are irreversible, only symptomatic relief can be obtained over long continued use of Homeopathy medicines in joints & bone diseases where structural irreversible pathology have been developed.