Sunday, September 16, 2012

Breakout: Acne Vulgaris Strikes Again

While the common term for acne is acne vulgaris, there are various types of acne vulgaris one can suffer from and some of these are worse than others. While most often people will get acne in their teenage years it is not uncommon for some people to have their first outbreak in their adulthood too. Acne vulgaris occurs mainly on the neck, back, face and shoulders. Though some people often claim to have it on their upper arms, these are more likely than not to be keratosis pilaris. The lesions you get with more acute acne vulgaris include pustules, comedones, papules and nodules which can become cysts.

The Different Types of Acne Vulgaris

There are three main types of acute acne vulgaris. These include Acne Conglobata, Acne Fulminans, and Nodulocystic Acne.

Acne Conglobata - The Conglobata type is chronic and acute and affects more men than women. It is identified by large eruptions and blackheads on the face, arms, neck and buttocks with inflammation and deeply concealed ulcers. This can cause extensive scarring and is treated with a form of the Vitamin A derived isotretinoin (Roaccutane, Accutane and topical Isotrex). This form of acne vulgaris will often recur even after treatment.

Acne Fulminans - The Fulminans form of acne is usually caused by a recurring of the Conglobata acne. It affects skin that is already inflamed and will often be accompanied by aching joints, fever and violent, ulcerating acne eruptions. The treatment for this form of acne will be a course of anti inflammatory non steroidal medication and perhaps long term treatment with isotretinoin.

Nodulocystic Acne -The Nodulocystic acne type is identified with large cysts on the face, scalp, neck, back, chest and shoulder. These cysts can be quite painful and are caused from nodular or popular lesions that have become infected. These should only be touched and handled by a dermatologist, because if two are close together, they could merge and turn into acne conglobata. Some extreme cases require surgery, but usually isotretinoin is quite effective at bringing nodulocystic acne under control.

Treatment for Acne Vulgaris

The treatment for any type of acne vulgaris ranges from ointments and antibiotics for the milder outbreaks to LASER therapy and surgery for the more severe outbreaks.

Consulting a dermatologist is the first step to find out what type of acne you have and what the best treatment is for that particular type. Benzoyl peroxide is commonly used as an over the counter medication for acne vulgaris, but it can often cause excessive drying of the skin accompanied by redness of the skin.

Some antibiotics are successful when used but in due course the bacteria tend to become resistant to it and for subsequent outbreaks you could find that the once effective treatment is now ineffectual. Lately women have also begun using hormone therapy to reduce the amount of androgen and for more severe cases oral isotretinoin can be taken (Accutane). Products like TriClear and Proactive are great for mild to moderate acne vulgaris.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Acne Vulgaris - Causes and Treatments

Acne vulgaris is usually just known as acne and can affect anyone from their teenage years until they are well into adulthood. There are varying degrees of acne and the treatment methods can also vary from person to person. The main characteristics of acne vulgaris are blackheads, whiteheads of differing severity and blemishes.

Acne vulgaris can occur all over the body in men and women and is found mostly to affect the face, neck, back, shoulders and sometimes the chest. This conditions starts with the blocking of the pores with dead skin cells and the production of excess sebum which will lead to an infection. This causes inflammation, pus and tenderness of the area.

There are a number of factors that contribute to the start of acne vulgaris. The first is the over-productive sebaceous glands which are common in teenagers and adults. You will also get hormonal conditions that affect the acne especially during the teenage years and in adulthood during menstruation or menopause for women. Stress can also cause acne breakouts in many people, as can genetics. Sometimes a certain medication can also irritate the already existing acne vulgaris or it can create the conditions that are ideal for acne to occur.

Bacteria plays a large part in any type of acne and while your general diet and certain food will not cause acne, you should maintain a healthy, strong immune system to thwart the growth of this type of bacterium that can lead to more severe forms of acne.

Acne Vulgaris Treatment Methods

The presence of acne can cause severe physical as well as psychological problems and everyone who suffers from acne is sure to be looking for ways to prevent it and control it. The first and most basic thing you can do to prevent acne from appearing or at least control it, is to wash your face or other affected area at least twice a day with a gentle cleanser that is made for acne vulgaris. You should also take care when exfoliating the area to only do this once a week with a very mild exfoliating gel; never use strong lotions on your skin.

If your acne vulgaris is quite bad you can purchase a topical ointment over the counter which contains salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide to dry up the acne. When you get cosmetics and moisturizers, make sure they are not oil based and “noncomedogenic” so that don’t block your pores. Most importantly, but perhaps hardest to do, is to not pick or squeeze the pimples. This will make your acne vulgaris worse and can lead to worse conditions like cystic acne.

If you don’t see an improvement after sticking to this regime for about 4 to 6 weeks, you should see a dermatologist, who will be able to prescribe stronger medication and anti acne topical creams or gels to treat the acne vulgaris more aggressively. You should also use the methods and medications consistently to see any true results.