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What is Acne?

Acne, commonly known as pimples or zits, is a disorder of the sebaceous glands (oil glands)

What causes acne?

Whenever there is excessive sebum production (sebum is the oil produced by the sebaceous glands), there is clogging of the glands, which stops the normal exfoliation of dead cells. These dead cells along with excessive sebum forms a plug called a "comed" or "blackhead/whitehead".The stagnant fluid inside a plug is a fertile media for bacteria called Corynebacterium to grow which them progresses to form Pimples / Acne.

Is there a difference in acne in men and women ?

The cause is same for both sexes. However the severity of acne & scarring is more in men.

Is Acne hereditary?

No the cause of acne is not hereditary,its hormonal. But the severity of acne is. For example, if the father has had deep acne scars in his youth, there is a good chance that if the son does not take prompt treatment, he can progress to deep scars as well.

Is stress a cause of acne?

Stress is among the most common causes for exacerbating of acne. Stress causes specific hormone secretion, which stimulates sebaceous glands and eventually leads to acne.

Is it true that oily skin is more prone to acne?

No. That is a myth. Oily skin and dry skin are equally predisposed to acne. In fact, most women with adult acne have dry sensitive skin.

Does Diet have a role in Acne?

As far as scientific research is concerned, carbohydrates with a high glycemic index, which cause glucose and insulin levels to spike, may influence the development and severity of acne. Conversely, a diet high in protein and carbohydrates with a low glycemic index seemed to improve acne breakouts.

Is Acne related to body heat?

There is no relation between body heat and acne. Acne is severe in summers because, the humidity causes swelling of the lining of sebaceous glands that hampers normal exfoliation and hence clogs the sebaceous glands.

How are hormones related to acne?

In adolescence, the hormonal changes in the body are a normal variation and hence acne is self-limiting. But if one has severe acne and associated irregular menses, excessive facial hair or hairloss form scalp, it generally suggests a hormonal imbalance. Adult acne almost always has a underlying hormonal defect. Your dermatologist can help you identify the defect precisely.

Which Cosmetics are suitable for acne prone skin?

Cosmetics have to be chosen with great care. I generally tell my patients that cosmetics for acne should be avoided as much as possible. Emulsion based, non oily, non comedogenic ones are preferable, if you must go for one.

Does fullers earth / multani mitti pack help?

A product who's purity can not be ascertained should not be used for treatment, for it can cause more harm than good. Fuller's Earth / Multani Mitti reduces the sebum secretion and has certain anti-inflammatory properties, but the OTC products purity needs to be established.

Does squeezing pimples aggravate acne?

This condition is called acne excoriee. It is the worst thing to be done to pimples. The marks thus formed can sometimes be permanent. Therefore, it is never advisable to squeeze your acne or blemishes. Even Clean-ups done by beauticians, if the entire comedo is not evacuated, it can cause larger acne and risk of scarring.

What Causes Adult Acne?

Adult acne is different from adolescent acne in that it is almost always associated with hormonal problems. The use of Cosmetics and Stress are major contributors to Adult Acne. Adult acne also requires different line of treatment and the response is also slower than adolescent acne.