Acne vulgaris

Acne vulgaris is a very common skin disease that mainly affects the hair follicles and their sebaceous glands. It is characterized by the increased occurrence of pimples and blackheads (comedones) in areas of the body with many sebaceous glands, mainly on the face, back and chest. Although the disease is harmless in itself, acne can also lead to psychological problems such as reduced self-esteem and depression.

Among the various diseases that are grouped under the collective term acne, acne vulgaris is by far the most common. In about 75 – 95% of teenagers and young adults acne vulgaris affects them in varying degrees of severity. Depending on its severity, acne can be treated with ointments or tablets, but a visit to a dermatologist is always advisable to avoid a further worsening of the disease and to prevent scarring and psychological problems.

The most common symptoms of acne vulgaris are blackheads (comedones), nodules (papules) and inflamed pus pimples with white pus. Inflamed pimples can also cause scarring due to the penetration of bacteria into the lower layers of the skin and the resulting inflammation. In addition to the organic symptoms, the external changes often lead to psychological problems as well, as the affected persons can withdraw from society and become depressed.

Acne vulgaris develops due to an obstruction in the drainage of the sebaceous glands at the hair follicles. In people who are not affected by acne vulgaris, the sebaceous glands on the hair follicles constantly produce sebum (sebum), which is applied to the skin like a kind of endogenous skin cream at the point where the hair comes out of the skin. If one is affected by acne vulgaris, these excretory ducts block the sebum.

The reason for this is an excessive number of cells in this duct, so that there is too much keratin and the duct is blocked. If this congested sebum is infected with bacteria found in the hair follicles, this can lead to larger pimples and inflammation, which can also lead to scars. The reason for the blockage of the sebaceous glands can have many causes.

It is now assumed that the changes in the sebaceous glands in both men and women are caused by male sex hormones (androgens). This also explains why acne vulgaris occurs most often during puberty. Similarly, the female menstrual cycle and the associated hormone fluctuations are also considered to be the cause of acne vulgaris.

In addition, studies have shown that acne vulgaris is to a certain extent hereditary and therefore occurs more frequently in some families. Whether the development of acne vulgaris is related to diet has not yet been shown in studies. However, it is assumed that a carbohydrate-rich diet does not promote the development of acne vulgaris.

The diagnosis of acne vulgaris is usually made by the dermatologist on the basis of the visible findings on the affected parts of the body. Depending on the frequency of the skin changes occurring, acne can be divided into mild, moderate, severe and very severe acne. The classification is relevant for the treatment options.

There are countless therapy options for the treatment of acne vulgaris, which can be applied according to the stage and severity of the acne. In the past, the only treatment option was to take advantage of the sun’s rays, which also explains why many sufferers complain of fewer problems in spring and summer. In general, a certain amount of skin hygiene should be observed, but it is also important not to wash and cream too much, as this can further stimulate sebum production.

Which cosmetics are best suited for the treatment of mild acne also depends on the skin type and should be decided in consultation with the dermatologist and pharmacist. For mild and more severe forms of acne, an ointment containing dibenzoyl peroxide is recommended as a first therapy. For patients who frequently complain about inflamed skin areas, a combination of the ointment with antibiotics may be useful which can be used either orally or as an ointment.

Women can often regulate the symptoms of acne vulgaris by taking the pill. The drug class of isotretionoids is used especially for more severe forms of acne vulgaris. As these drugs are potentially damaging to the fertility, they should only be taken by women who do not currently wish to have children.

These medications usually have to be taken for more than half a year and almost always lead to a significant improvement or even complete disappearance of acne vulgaris. Scratching or squeezing out pimples is not recommended, as this allows even more bacteria to penetrate the skin and the inflamed sebum is pressed deeper into the skin, which can lead to scarring. The scars caused by severe forms of acne vulgaris can be reduced by the dermatologist using laser therapy.

Home remedies can also be used for acne. Home remedies can also be used for acne. Since acne has mainly genetic and hormonal causes, prophylaxis is hardly possible.

However, a healthy diet and adequate skin hygiene should be ensured. As a rule, acne vulgaris usually disappears around the age of 20, but it can also persist for a few more years, but often then in a much milder form.