Stages of Acne
Acne vulgaris or acne is a skin disease which is recognized by red scaly skin, pimples, blackheads or whiteheads, papules and nodules. It mainly attacks the areas that have the largest amount of sebaceous follicles, like face, neck, back and so on. In this disease, lesions are formed due to the change in pilosebaceous units of skin, which are associated with sebeceous gland. The basic symptoms of acne include the reddening of the skin, increased number of blackheads and whiteheads, formation of itchy and inflammatory papules and nodules. The major cause of acne is the blockage in the follicles of the skin. When the sebaceous glands widen their size, the production of sebum is increased, which results in increased production of androgen that stimulates the formation of blackheads. When these blackheads get in contact with the naturally-occurring bacteria, the condition gets inflammatory and causes lesions, which results in scars and hyper pigmentation of skin. Acne is largely active in the adolescence due to the hormonal changes in the body and may continue till adulthood. However, acne outbursts do not happen overnight. In fact, they happen over a period of time, from being mild to getting severe. Read on the following lines and know the different stages of acne.
Different Stages of Acne
* The very first stage of acne is blackheads and whiteheads. It’s from here that the acne spurt commence. When the hair follicles are blocked due to dead cells and dust, whiteheads start generating. Mainly predominant on the nose and chin, these are not clearly visible and are non inflammatory in nature. They are basically the result of the follicles being filled up by sebum. The prevention of acne at this level is very easy and can be done by maintaining the daily cleansing routine. However, in case the whiteheads start becoming black, you have all the reason to worry.
* Next is the “mild stage” of acne. In this, inflammation is caused in some parts of the skin. The condition may also generate papules which are small in size. Papules so generated are slightly elevated in structure, but are neither infected nor do they contain any pus. The intensity of inflammation in this stage is not much and can be easily curable with creams having salicylic acid.
* The third stage is basically an advanced phase of the stage two, wherein the papules that were earlier small in size start getting bigger and more inflamed. The condition gets serious but not severe. Daily skin care and a specialized treatment can help solve the issue and prevent the acne from getting serious.
* In this stage, the papules take a major face of pustules. The pustules increase in number and are generally filled with the liquid, look inflammatory and usually have a white tip.
* If these above stages are passed without any treatment, acne enters its severe stage wherein nodules and scars are generated The pustules present on the skin take the shape of nodules consisting of liquid, white blood cells, dead cells, sebum as well as bacteria. A nodule is an inflamed lesion that extends into the deeper layers of skin and is very painful.
* In this stage, the nodules or cysts break out with blood and liquid leading to infection. The skin becomes highly red in appearance. If proper treatment is not taken up, the bursting of nodules continue leaving scars on the skin.
* In the last stage, scars replace acne. These scars are hard to remove and require specialized treatment.
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