If you’re thinking that blackheads, pimples and acne are all different... um, yes and no. They are some of the forms of acne, and depending on what your skin serves up, you will need different treatment.
By the time you hit your twenties, it’s almost 100% guaranteed that you will have experienced some form of ‘skin blemish’ in the form of blackheads, whiteheads, a blind pimple that makes you see stars if you bump it, or Mount Etna erupting on your chin just before your big date.
Seems that acne is on the rise and can continue well into your fourth decade, in some cases. Blame your hormones, stress (which cranks up the oil) and what’s going on inside your pores.
How to Identify Your Type of Acne, According to Webmd:
Mild acne: If you have fewer than 20 whiteheads or blackheads, fewer than 15 inflamed bumps, or fewer than 30 total lesions.
Moderate acne: If you have 20 to 100 whiteheads or blackheads, 15 to 50 inflamed bumps, or 30 to 125 total lesions. Dermatologists usually recommend prescription medication for moderate to severe acne. It may take several weeks to notice an improvement, and your acne may appear to get worse before it gets better.
Severe acne: You have multiple inflamed cysts and nodules. The acne may turn deep red or purple. It often leaves scars. Prompt treatment by a dermatologist can minimise scarring. In some cases, a doctor may inject corticosteroids directly into nodules and cysts to reduce the size and painful inflammation.
What we need to understand is that a blackhead can actually become a huge acne cyst if the circumstances are right. It all begins with a pore, the opening belonging to a hair and sebaceous (oil) gland. The trouble starts when the pore gets blocked by oil and shedding skin cells. The path this takes from then on depends on a number of factors, including whether p. acnes bacteria, inflammation or ingrown hairs are added to the mix, your lifestyle habits, as well as how you handle the situation. And let us not forget that numerous types of acne can co-exist on your face and body.
The most effective way to get rid of these eyesores is to know what you’re dealing with and treat it correctly. Once you know, you’ll be able to ask yourself: Can I handle this myself? Do I need a skin-care professional? Or is it time to see the doctor?
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