What is acne?
Acne is an ailment of the oil glands in the skin. Depending on the severity, the common acne, also called acne vulgaris, is exhibited by an oily skin with blackheads, pimples and zits. It appears on areas of the body that contain a lot of oil glands such as the face, cleavage, neck, upper arms and back. Our hair roots are found under the skin in small bags, the hair follicles, and they are surrounded by oil glands in order for the skin and hair to remain smooth. When the hormonal balance is disturbed, the oil glands that used to be small become enlarged. The male hormones, the androgens, cause an increased sebum production in boys and girls. At the same time, the horny cells of the most upper skin layer increase and block the pores. If the sebum cannot drain away anymore, blackheads develop. If the exit is blocked, the blackhead grows under the skin which then causes zits and pustules. Inflammations occur mainly if the affected person squeezes the pimples or touches the face often.
Causes of acne
The causes are diverse:
- Hormonal ups- and- downs
- Skin contact with solutions
- Liver diseases
- Medication such as cortisone or testosterone
- Bad nutrition and life style
The different kinds of acne
- Neonatal acne: About 20% of newborns are affected by newborn acne. Small blackheads appear mainly on the cheeks. Boys are affected more often than girls. However, a treatment is not necessary since it disappears by itself after a few weeks.
- Infantile acne: Infantile acne can appear between the third and the sixth month of life. It is more frequent for boys to exhibit these small yellowish pimples on the forehead and cheeks. It is recommended to visit the pediatrician, since this form of acne can result in scars.
- Acne vulgaris: This form appears during the hormonal changes that boys undergo during puberty. This kind fades away quickly if treated correctly. After age 25 it subsides by itself. There are different types of acne vulgaris:
- Acne Comedonica: the mildest form of acne vulgaris, which is made up primarily of blackheads that can become easily infected when squeezed.
- Acne Papulopustulosa: blackheads and inflammatory pimples make up this medium form of acne. This form mainly affects the back and the face.
- Acne Conglobata: the most severe form of acne manifests itself with knots that are built out of the pimple and easily become infected. Deep down in the skin inflammations can occur. Scars are to be expected with this form of acne.
- More forms: contact acne that is caused by cosmetics or allergy- causing material, doping acne caused by testosterone therapy, chlorine acne caused by chlorine, medicine acne and Mallorca acne (allergy to the sun with an intolerance to oily sun lotions). A bad complexion can also be a sign of an overburdened liver, which detoxes through the skin.
Does nutrition influence acne?
Yes, nutrition affects acne. Fat and sugar facilitate the sprouting of pimples. Many studies confirm that a low glycemic load, little fast food, sugar and fatty food consumption, help the oil glands become smaller. A healthy diet allows us to get rid of zits and impurities, and decrease inflammation of the skin.
What does the treatment look like?
Your diet should be changed to healthy nutritious food with little chocolate, fast food, alcohol or sugary drinks.
Often the inflammation is caused by bacteria and can, therefore, be treated effectively with antibiotics. These antibiotics prevent the production of protein, ensuring the end of skin impurities and purulent pimples.
Furthermore, the skin has to be disinfected and certain wash gels, toners with alcohol and gels with fat content should be avoided so that fats cannot block the pores and dry out the inflammatory foci.
Zinc is a good tool to heal acne wounds, because zinc tends to the inflammatory processes.
A birth- control pill can be very effective for girls and women, because it regulates the hormones. As such, the over-production of the responsible male hormones are stopped, and the pimples and impurities disappear.
Medication for the treatment of acne
At Apomeds, we have the following treatments available:
- Epiduo Gel: a white, or light- yellow, light-tight gel that contains two fighting active ingredients. The active agent adapalene is a retinoid, and acts on the skin on the process of different kinds of acne. Benzoyl peroxide is an antimicrobial substance that is effective against bacteria and inflammations.
- Zineryt: the Zynerit solution, acts against inflammation of the skin caused by bacteria. The active ingredient it contains, erythromycin, is an antibiotic. The zinc acts in an antibacterial way as well, and helps with the healing of the wounds.
All of those three medications are only obtainable with a prescription. With Apomeds, you can get a prescription filled through an online diagnosis with an EU doctor. The registered mail-order pharmacy will then continue with the process, and deliver your medication within 24 to 48 hours.