Different Stages of Acne
We can categorize acne into 3 broad categories based on the severity of the symptoms and signs produced. Knowing which stage your acne is at will help you find the right treatment effectively.
The first stage is
Mild acne the “whiteheads” and “blackheads” stage:
This is usually caused by the plugging of dead skin cells and oil in the hair canal, beneath the skin surface. It is non- inflammatory. Since, the problem lies beneath the skin, scrubbing will not help get rid of them. In fact it can exaggerate the problem. Rubbing the skin or using harsh soaps will only irritate the skin and worsen the symptoms. Mild acne usually leaves not permanent scar on your skin.
The second stage is
Moderate to moderately severe acne
This type of acne is also know as inflammatory acne. It consists of several whiteheads, blackheads, papules and pustules, and depending on the severity can cover one fourth to three fourths of you face or other body parts. This type of acne is treatable with antibiotic lotions or gels. You can also use retinoic acid, this is an altered form of vitamin A. It helps prevent blackhead and whitehead formation. You might also be prescribe antibiotic pills, like erythromycin. For those on birth control pills, remember that antibiotics can effect how the work. In such cases, do remember to use alternative methods of birth control. Your skin could get sensitive to the sun when using retinoic acid and antibiotics, so take care to use sunscreens and also try stay in the shade while under going these treatments.
The last stage
This stage of acne is pretty rare. It consists of a mixture of both inflammatory and non-inflammatory acne, and 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.
If you suffer from this type of acne it is important you consult a dermatologist to take care of your acne. Normal topical treatments will not work or be effective in treating sever acne because it cannot penetrate deep enough under the surface of the skin to reach the severely inflamed nodules and cysts.
Severe acne requires medicines to be taken orally, that is systemic treatment. You doctor will most likely prescribe oral antibiotics and contraceptives. Large inflamed cysts will need to be treated with an injection to lessen the symptoms and promote healing.
Apart from severe acne where medical help might be needed, most of the milder forms of acne can be treated by using natural or herbal alternatives or supplements.