Acne is a skin condition that can occur when hair follicles unfortunately become plugged up with dead skin cells and oil. It causes pimples, blackheads, or whiteheads. Acne is typically most common among the population of teenagers, although it can affect people of all age groups. Effective acne treatments are available from places such as Skin Matters, but it helps to understand what the symptoms, causes and risk factors are for this skin condition first. This is especially true when you consider that bumps and pimples heal slowly, and when one starts to fade, another can quickly crop up.
Symptoms of acne
Signs and symptoms of acne tend to vary depending on how severe the acne is:
- Whiteheads (pores plugged closed)
- Blackheads (pores plugged open)
- Pimples, which are papules with pus at the tips
- Solid, painful, large lumps underneath the skin
- Pus-filled, painful lumps underneath the skin
Causes of acne
There are at least four main factors that can cause acne, from excess oil production to hair follicles getting clogged up by dead skin cells and oil, bacteria, or inflammation of the skin. Acne usually appears on your forehead, face, upper back, chest, and shoulders because these are the areas of the skin that have the most sebaceous glands.
The follicle wall might bulge and ultimately produce a nasty looking whitehead. Or the plug might be open to the surface and then darken, leading to a blackhead forming. A blackhead here might look like dirt getting stuck in the pores. But in reality the pore is congested with oil and bacteria, which will then turn brown when it is exposed to the open air.
Pimples are typically red, raised spots with a white centre that will develop when hair follicles that are blocked become infected with different forms of bacteria or inflamed. Inflammation and blockages deep within the hair follicles produce lumps beneath the skin’s surface.
Risk factors for acne
Age – People of all sorts of ages can get acne, but it is most common in teenagers.
Hormonal changes – Such changes are common during pregnancy or puberty.
Familial history – Genetics plays a key role in acne. If both of your parents got acne, you are more likely to develop it too.
Oily or greasy substances – You might develop acne where the skin comes into contact with creams and oily lotions.
Pressure or friction on the skin – This could be caused by items including mobile phones, telephones, tight collars, helmets, and backpacks.
UVB light therapy
In the past few years, light treatment devices that administer blue light therapy have become increasingly popular for treating skin conditions such as acne. Research has suggested that these treatments are effective; one study found using self-applied blue light therapy for twenty-eight days substantially reduced the number of acne lesions on the face of participants.
Light therapy devices for home use might seem expensive at first, but in comparison to the price of acne treatment from dermatologist clinics, it is a massive saving. All our UVB light therapy units are manufactured in England and fitted with genuine, Philips brand narrowband lamps. Only Philips UVB lamps are used in hospitals worldwide, but always check that the unit contains Philips Lamps.
Here at Skin Matters Bristol, we offer highly effective, UVB light therapy for a number of skin conditions, including Psoriasis, Vitiligo, Pityriasis Rosea and Atopic Eczema. We offer a wide range of UVB narrowband phototherapy units, all of which we can deliver across the whole of the UK. Find out more at our website here, where you can find all the relevant information you need on a variety of conditions.