If you are suffering from acne, you might find it important to know that acne comes in different forms. The most common form of acne is what is known as ‘acne vulgaris’ which breaks out when the pores of the skin become partially blocked by oil and dead skin cells. Bacteria that is generally found on the skin surface then spreads on the area, resulting in pain and inflammation. In some cases the resulting pimples are accompanied by pus and oftentime a blackhead. The blackhead is not actually dirt, but merely a change in the pigment of the blockage.
While acne is often believed to the partly hereditary, there are other factors that can precede its onset. Among these is hormonal activity such as the menstrual cycle. Stress may also cause the dreaded zits due to increased production of hormones from the stress glands. Anabolic steroids also have the same effect, as medications containing halogens, lithium, barbiturates or androgens. A more severe form of acne called Chloracne is caused by exposure to high levels of chlorine. This type of acne is very severe and long lasting.
While acne normally heals over time by itself, it can take a long time, sometimes as long as a decade. If left untreated, acne may cause bad scarring of the skin. Scars are often a result of squeezing the pimples until they bleed.
Experts strongly warn against squeezing pimples because this can force the pus deeper into the skin. This deep-rooted infection can cause scarring and even cyst formation. It would be easier in the long run to prevent these scars than to treat them.
If you should squeeze a pimple for some reason, it must be done with caution with emphasis on cleanliness of your hands and items you might be using. Hands must be washed with disinfectant. If you plan to use a sterile needle to pierce a pus-filled pimple, the needle should be sterilized by passing it through a candle flame two or three times.
Some mature women have what they think is acne, but it may be the less common acne rosacea. It is similar to look at, but the skin is usually flushed and becomes thickened. People who blush easily are the most likely to develop this condition. Acne rosacea is frequently stress-related and is a potential threat to the vision, so a correct diagnosis is imperative. It is possible for the two forms of acne to co-exist. Another condition that can be mistaken for acne is keratosis pilaris.