‘Acne’ usually begins in adolescence, when the hormonal changes start to take place. These hormones lead to an increase in oily sebum secretion, which leads to the tiny ducts or pores of the skin to get clogged. When the oil can’t escape the plugged pore, i.e. when it is enclosed with skin, a small white cyst called as a ‘whitehead’ may form. This can turn black, when exposed to air, due to the process of oxidization and is then called as a ‘blackhead’. When either the whitehead or the blackhead gets infected, it then leads to the formation of red and inflamed pustule called as a ‘pimple’.
The other factors that may lead to it are – heredity, stress, sun exposure, seasonal changes, faulty food habits, certain drugs and cosmetics, especially the oil – based makeup. The sites of the lesions are especially the skin of the face, neck, upper chest, back and shoulders. The person suffering from acne usually also complains of a greasy skin (seborrhea). Once the acne breaks open with the discharge of pus and blood, a scar may follows it’s healing.
In cases of acne rosacea there is a persistent facial eruption of unknown cause characterized by erythema and pustules. There is an intense red color of the eruptions that can be painful to touch. Here the sebum secretion is normal, but there is a sebaceous gland hyperplasia associated with some inflammation. It is seen in the middle age group and the chin, the cheeks and the forehead are especially affected.
Regular washing with soap and water is essential with gentle cleansing. Applying hot fomentation over the pimple helps to open up the pores and bring out the waste matter. Also applying cold compresses (or ice) reduce the inflammation to some extent. Thus one should first apply a hot fomentation followed by a cold compress.