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Understanding different stages of acne

An easy grading / categorization of acne

While acne is one of the most common skin problems, many people are still unaware of even the basic facts related with this notorious skin disorder. For example, a recent internet survey done online showed that as much as half of the people did not know the difference between “types” and “stages” of acne and believed that both the terms were synonymous with each other. In reality, however, there exist some marked differences between the two terminologies. The following article is intended to describe the major “stages” of acne in general population so that you can better identify the stage or grade of acne you are suffering from:

Classification of stages of acne

Based on the degree or the severity of the signs and symptoms produced in acne, the disorder can be categorized into three prominent or main stages or grades as follows:

1- Mild acne (“whiteheads” and “blackheads”)
Mils acne, also known as non-inflammatory acne, is caused by a plug of dead skin cells and oil in the canal that contains the hair, under the surface of the skin. Because the plugs are underneath the skin surface, scrubbing will not get rid of them. In fact, rubbing the skin or using harsh or abrasive soaps can irritate the skin and make the acne worse. Mild acne does not usually leave permanent marks on the skin.

2- Moderate to moderately severe acne
This type of acne, also known as inflammatory acne, consists of sev¬eral white heads, blackheads, papules and pustules that cover from ¼ to ¾ of the face and/or other parts of the body. It can be treated with antibiotic lotions or gels, as well as retinoic acid. Retinoic acid is an altered form of vitamin A. It helps prevent whiteheads and black¬heads. Your doctor may also prescribe an antibiotic pill, such as erythromycin. If you take birth control pills to prevent pregnancy, antibiotics can affect how well they work. Be sure to use a second method of birth control with the pill, such as a condom. Retinoic acid and antibiotic pills can make the skin sensi-tive to the sun. So, wear sunscreen and stay in the shade while using them.

3- Severe acne
Severe acne is rare and consists of a mixture of both inflammatory and non-inflammatory acne has all types of lesions including severe inflammatory lesions (markedly reddened pustules) and possibly cystic lesions (lesions over 0.5 cm in diameter with a soft top that are losing their inflammation). It is most common to have a mixture of lesions at any one time. You should see a dermatologist to care for this type of acne. Scarring can be pre¬vented with appropriate treatments. Topical treatment alone will not be effective at treating severe inflammatory acne because it cannot penetrate deep enough through the skin’s surface to treat the severely inflamed nodules and cysts.
Severe acne requires systemic treatment (medicine taken orally). Systemic therapies cause distribution of the drug throughout the entire organism. Your dermatologist can prescribe oral antibiotics and oral contraceptives. Large inflamed cysts can be treated with an injection of a drug that lessens the redness, swelling, and irritation, and promotes healing.

While oral allopathic medicines, indeed, become necessary in case of severe acne, this is a very rare condition. Most of the time acne can be treated by using a natural or herbal therapy or supplements. Fortunately, there are certain natural and herbal anti-acne and anti-aging skin care systems available with no reported side effects. These anti-acne systems can be effectively used in both mild and moderate forms of acne. With their natural ingredients and multiple products to address each issue of acne (such as dryness, oily skin, presence of bacteria and germs and prevention of scarring) separately, these supplement or branded products do offer a complete solution to all common problems related to acne. Finally, most of these supplements are suitable and effective in all kinds and stages of acne. Even if you are currently undergoing an acne-treatment prescribed by your doctor, you could ask your physician to use any of these recommended products as a supplementary anti-acne treatment for faster and long lasting results.



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