What is it?
Acne or scientifically known as acne vulgaris is an inflammation of the pilosebaceous glands, resulting in the formation of solid lesions on the skin surface, commonly known as pimples or boils. But in the most serious cases, that is when we are talking about chronic acne, purulent cysts, rich in pus, can form on the skin. Boils or cysts occur in regions of the body such as the face, shoulders, back, back and chest. From a symptomatic point of view there are symptoms such as redness, edema and skin itching, consequently associated with a strong aesthetic discomfort and psychosocial repercussions.
How is it formed?
The dermis contains a gland, called the sebaceous gland, that produces an oily secretion called sebum. The sebum mixes with fat molecules, called lipids, to form a protective coating on the skin’s surface.
When the pores get clogged with dead skin cells and oil, a whitehead, Also known as a closed comedo, appears on the skin.
However, if sebum and dead skin cells continue accumulating, this leads to outbreaks of lesions, commonly called pimples or zits.
Acne also is classified by type of lesion, which can help the specialist to understand the appropriate and most efficient therapy to apply.
Acne are divided in:
- Genetic acne: with a genetic basis or cause, characterized by family predisposition and therefore the presence in the family of people already affected.
- Hormonal acne develops when hormonal changes increase the amount of oil your skin produces.
- Bacterial acne: The bacterium Propionibacterium acnes is considered a key player in bacterial acne development. If the pores are blocked, this bacterium begins to proliferate, causing severe inflammation.
- Cystic acne: when it is associated with the formation of skin cysts.
- Comedonal acne happens when your hair follicle has an oily plug of sebum and dead skin cells.
- Pustular acne: Pustules are a type of pimple that contains yellowish pus. They are larger than whiteheads and blackheads.
- Acne conglobata: it is a form of inflammation that occurs more on the back and chest than on the face.
- Acne Fulminanse: a rarer form, where inflammation is associated with a severe fever.
- Pre-adolescent acne: which occurs mainly in adolescents in the cheeks and forehead.
- Adult acne: it occurs in adults in the chin and back.
- Environmental acne: it is caused by skin inflammation and irritation, caused by environmental pollutants or by poor cosmetics and make-up, used by women, which tend to clog the pores of the skin.
- Acne rosacea: Rosacea affects the face and eyes and is characterized by redness, pimples, and broken blood vessels.
- Menstrual acne: it is associated with the hormonal structure characteristic of the menstrual period.
The diagnosis of acne is very simple to make, it does not require a specific examination, but is carried out by the specialist simply with a visual examination of the region of the body in which it is developed.
In addition, the specialist, following an anamnesis, will give a specific classification, determine the degree of severity, the cause and choose the appropriate therapy.
In mild forms of acne: topical therapies are used, namely creams, ointments based on anti-inflammatories, antibiotics and keratolic agents, or substances that dissolve the occlusion of the cap of the hair bulb.
In the pustular form: in this more severe form with the formation of skin pustules, oral antibiotics such as macrolides or tetracyclines are used.
In the hormonal form: associated with hyperandrogenism, anti-androgenic drugs are used, such as cyproterone acetate.
In the cystic form: in the most severe form associated with cysts that can leave permanent lesions on the face or skin, pharmacological treatment with isotretinoin is used. Which is a derivative of vitamin A, whose function is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and reduces the secretion of sebum by the glands.
- A preparation of lemon and bicarbonate has an antibacterial action for the skin, with positive effects on the improvement of acne. Just prepare a mixture of water, lemon and bicarbonate, to subsequently make compresses on the region of interest.
- Polyphenols such as catechins, present in green tea, have a soothing and healing action for the skin. So drinking 2 cups of green tea a day or making compresses on the skin helps fight acne.
- The essential oil of oregano has an antibacterial action. It can be sprinkled with cotton wool on the formed boils.
- Aloe vera gel has detoxifying functions in the intestine with positive repercussions on acne prevention. You can drink a measuring cup diluted in water in the evening before going to bed.
- Burdock is a plant with an anti-inflammatory and purifying action for the skin. It is excellent as an herbal tea or cream.
- Pansy is another plant with a diuretic, purifying or anti-acne action, it is excellent as a herbal tea or cream.
- Dandelion has a detoxifying activity in the intestine and intensely stimulates diuresis. Taking a dandelion-based herbal tea allows you to remove toxins and metabolic waste.
- Lactic ferments regulate the intestinal microbiota, since dysbiosis is also a cause of the onset of acne.
- Supplements such as Epacyn by Bromatech, based on thalassacum, balsamite, artichoke, milk thistle, wild thistle, rhubarb and rosemary, with hepato-protective and hepato-biliary functions.
- The clay mask has detoxifying functions for the skin from toxins and bacteria.
There is a strong correlation between diet and acne, certainly the foods that most affect its formation are those with a high glycemic index. In fact, high-index foods such as chocolate, sugary drinks, white bread and various sweets, raise insulin which in turn increases androgens. Androgens increase sebum secretion and occlude the hair bulb, resulting in the formation of boils. Furthermore, the fats present in the sebum secreted in the skin can cause chronic inflammation in the skin site of interest.
Excessive consumption of milk and dairy products, especially cheeses, also leads to the onset of boils and skin inflammation, due to their richness in fats and the presence of lactose, considered a pro-inflammatory molecule par excellence.
Therefore, an ideal diet for acne involves the consumption of foods with a low glycemic index such as whole grains, consumption of cereals such as oats with a soothing and anti-inflammatory action for the skin. A consumption of organic products, low in simple sugars, consumption of milk and dairy products without lactose, to mitigate the inflammatory state.
On the other hand, the consumption of foods such as oily fish, almonds and walnuts is excellent for their richness in omega 3 and omega 6, or fatty acids with anti-inflammatory and soothing action.
Definitely avoid the consumption of alcohol and salt with inflammatory action.
Give preference to skin hydration, with the consumption of 2 liters of water per day and vegetables.
Prefer the consumption of fruit for its richness in vitamins and mineral salts, essential nutrients for skin health. It would be advisable, for an efficient treatment of acne, to carry out a BioMetaTest for food intolerances by Daphne Lab, since intolerance is one of the predisposing causes.