Everyone is dreaming of a flawless, spotless, and blemish-free skin. Honestly, our skin condition adds so much to our overall physical appearance. Not only that, the way our skin looks also boosts our self-confidence and uphold our image. However, this dream of a young and flawless skin can be ruined by several skin conditions including acne. And this is true to everyone. In fact even babies may experience baby acne.
To have acne is really a nightmare. And did you know that acne is not exclusive to teens and adults? Yes, babies may also experience acne even at their very young age. This is known as baby acne.
What is Baby Acne and Its Causes?
Baby acne are acne that develops on babies’ young skin. Baby acne is actually a common condition that babies may experience after 2 to 4 weeks from birth. Most babies experience baby acne and it’s mostly temporary and heals by itself.
Presently, there is really no known cause or reason why babies get acne. Baby acne is commonly seen on babies’ faces like on the cheeks, nose, chin, and forehead. Other babies may also have baby acne on the chest or back. Baby acne is smaller in size compared to adult acne. It is normally characterized by a small red bump, like a pimple. It could also appear like white pustules.
How to Treat Baby Acne?
In most cases, baby acne does not last that long on babies’ skin. In fact, it gets easily healed without using any medication. However, in cases where baby acne won’t get rid of your baby’s skin, do not hesitate to consult your pediatrician. They may prescribe medicated creams or lotions especially formulated for baby acne.
Never ever try using any medication on your baby’s acne that is not prescribed by your pediatrician. Babies have very sensitive skin. Regular topical acne treatments for adults will surely irritate their skin and worsen the situation. Read more How to Get Rid of Baby Acne.
5 Easy Homecare Tips for Baby Acne
While you are waiting for your baby’s acne to disappear, here are some tips that can help avoid aggravation.
- Keep your hands off. Avoid touching it. Your hands carry a lot of germs and bacteria that will surely irritate baby acne. Also, when applying medication, make sure to wash your hands first.
- Keep your baby’s face clean. Wash your baby’s face regularly. Once or twice a day is enough. Over washing can worsen the baby acne condition. Use mild soap or facial wash especially formulated for babies.
- Be gentle. When washing, do not put too much pressure on the skin. Avoid scrubbing it. Do it as lightly as possible. This way, you won’t irritate it. Also, gently pat it dry using soft and clean towel.
- Use what is prescribed. Avoid applying products like lotion or cream that is not prescribed by your pediatrician. Use only prescribed products with the approved amount.
- It will heal, just be patient. Do not rush and get so worried about it. Let it heal. It won’t last that long.
Just a reminder, consulting your baby’s doctor is always the best option. This way, your doubts about your baby’s condition will be gone and will be replaced by peace of mind.
Cystic Acne: Pictures, Causes, Treatments
Everyone’s goal as far as our skin is concerned, is for it be as clear as possible. No one wants to have a skin full of blemishes, dark spots, and scars. However, sometimes, achieving a flawless skin is not easy because of acne.
Battling with acne is sometimes a long and rigorous process. Majority of us, our puberty was accompanied by acne. Acne usually strikes when we get to our teens and sometimes it does not just stop there. Puberty is sometimes just the beginning of a person’s acne struggle. In worst cases, acne continues to bother people even during adulthood.
If you’re struggling with acne, you can surely attest how bad it feels to have it. In fact, just one zit is enough to ruin your day. What more for people with cystic acne?
Cystic Acne: Causes and Treatments
Cystic acne is just one of the most common types of severe acne. It is also called nodulocystic acne. Just like other types of acne, cystic acne develops when pores get clogged with too much oil and dead skin cells. When this happens, it creates a good environment where acne bacteria can thrive. Cystic acne takes place when bacterial infection goes deeper into the skin, generating too much pus. This causes a hair follicle to erupt, spreading the infection to other nearby follicles. As a result, a large, extremely red, and inflamed lesion (cyst) appears on the skin surface. Cystic acne is painful and most of the time causes deep scars. (Read more about What Causes Acne)
What Causes Cystic Acne?
No one really can exactly pinpoint the real cause of cystic acne. Again, it develops the same way other common types of acne do. However, it is said that the male hormone known as androgen plays a significant part in severe acne development. Androgen is present in both men and women. When a person hits the puberty period, the androgen level increases, causing oil glands to overly produce sebum which then leads to clogged pores and cystic acne growth. In women, cystic acne is normally treated by undergoing hormonal therapy that could reduce the androgen level.
Cystic Acne Treatments
Cystic acne is not just an ordinary acne. With this, it is very important that you consult a dermatologist who can prescribe the best cystic acne medication suitable to your condition. Here are some of the most common cystic acne treatment and medication your dermatologist might prescribe.
- Prescription-strength topical treatment. These prescribed topical treatment normally comes in the form of gel, cream, and lotion. The strength varies and will be prescribed based on what type of severe acne you have. Your dermatologist may also prescribe a combination of these topical medications.
- Oral antibiotics. Because of severe acne condition, topical treatment might not be enough to cure and prevent it. In most cases, topical treatment is combined with oral antibiotics to fight and kill bacteria and diminish inflammation.
- Combination oral contraceptives (Hormone Therapy). Women with severe acne may take birth control pills as prescribed by a doctor to decrease the level of testosterone. Having a lower testosterone level may decrease the severity of acne in women. Birth control pills bring so many bad and good side effects. Don’t hesitate to discuss it with your dermatologist before undergoing this medication. (Read more about birth control for acne)
- Cortisone shots. Cortisone is an anti-inflammatory chemical naturally produced by the body. However, naturally produced cortisone in the body does not last long to fight acne inflammation. For cystic or severe acne, cortisone is injected directly to the bump to help quickly reduce inflammation. As a result, large red bumps will flatten fast.
- Isotretinoin. This is an acne pill that is normally prescribed to people with severe acne condition that does not respond to any other medication. This pill is taken for a period of 15-20 weeks and is said to be very effective. Unlike other acne medication with mild side effects, Isotretinoin can cause high risk of depression and can result to deformed infant if taken during pregnancy. Other side effects include dry nose and mouth, dry cracked lips, and muscle and joint pain.
5 Easy Homecare Steps for Cystic Acne
It is never easy to have cystic acne. It greatly affects not only your physical image but also your emotions and self-confidence. To help you ease all the troubles that cystic acne brings, here are 5 easy home care steps that you can follow for your fast healing and improvement.
- Wash. Generally, your facial wash should be mild and non-comedogenic. If your dermatologist prescribed a specific type of facial wash, you have to use it. When washing your face, you have to be gentle. Scrubbing your face too hard will only aggravate the condition of your acne. After washing, gently pat it dry with a clean towel.
- Treat. After washing your face and drying it up, don’t forget to treat your acne by applying whatever topical treatment was prescribed by your doctor. Severe acne is different from just regular pimples. So, you can’t just use any over-the-counter topical acne medication that you want.
- Moisturize and protect. After applying your topical treatment, to avoid dry and flaky skin, make sure to apply a good amount of light and non-comedogenic moisturizer on your face. If there is a specific moisturizer your doctor wants you to use, do not deviate from it. Moisturizing your face or skin will help diminish dead skin cells that can clog your pores. However, if moisturizer is not prescribed, then skip this step.
- Protect. Always make sure to wear sunscreen or sunblock before exposing yourself under the sun. When you’re using topical treatment for cystic acne, your skin becomes very sensitive and the harmful effects of the sun can cause further irritation. Look for light and non-greasy sunscreen.
- Take your meds. For severe acne, oral medication is normally recommended aside from topical treatments. Whatever it is, may it be an antibiotic or combination oral contraceptives, you have to take your meds regularly and on time with the right dosage.
Cystic Acne Scar Treatment
The battle continues. After getting rid of cystic acne, the next thing you need to attend to are the scars left on your skin. Below are some reminders to avoid severe scarring and recommended severe acne scar treatments that you might want to consider. If you follow these reminders religiously, surely you can lessen or completely avoid deep scars on your face. Read more about How to Get Rid of Cystic Acne.
Reminders to Prevent Cystic Acne Scars
- Keep your hands off! Never play or touch your pimple except when you are applying medication on it. Your hands, most of the time, carry a lot of germs and bacteria. Frequent touching may aggravate your acne and could lead to infection. Touching, picking, popping, or squeezing can make your acne worse, leading to a deep scar when it heals.
- Stay away from the sun. Our body has the ability to do its own repair. Scars and pimple marks will eventually fade as your body undergoes its own healing process. However, if you are often under the sun, the process of healing and fading your scars becomes slow.
Here are some of the most recommended cystic acne scar treatments that your dermatologist might prescribe.
- Chemical peels. This is done by applying high-potency acid to acne scars. It helps peel off the top layer of the skin, minimizing deep scar tissue.
- Laser resurfacing. This procedure uses laser light which is proven to improve skin texture and appearance by renewing it.
- Light therapy. This treatment uses specialized lasers and radio frequency devices to treat severe acne scars. This works by heating the dermis that causes new skin to form. After a number of treatments, acne scars will noticeably fade.
- Soft tissue fillers. This process works by injecting soft tissues such as collagen or fat under the indented scars, making it less noticeable. The result will just be for a short period of time. Thus, to maintain it, you will need to undergo the same process periodically. This severe acne scar treatment could result to temporary swelling, redness, and bruising.
- Skin surgery. This severe acne scar treatment uses a minor procedure called punch excision. In this procedure, your doctor cuts out acne scars and patch up the hole in the scar by stitching or skin grafting.
Other types of Severe Acne
Aside from cystic acne, there are 3 other types of severe acne that you need to watch out for. Here are the three other common types of severe acne.
- Acne Conglobata. This type of severe acne is chronic. It never gets healed. It could be ceased for a period of time using strong medication, but eventually comes back afterwards. Acne conglobata is commonly seen in men, ages 18-30. This type of severe acne is characterized by extremely red and large bumps. It is also full of pus.Ulcers may develop beneath and could cause deep scars when it gets healed.
- Acne fulminans. This type of severe acne is characterized by abrupt and serious inflammation that affects the whole body. This normally starts with fever and joint pains. Acne in this condition also develops ulcers. Acne fulminans normally occurs after treatment for acne conglobata failed.
- Gram negative folliculitis. This acne-like disorder in extreme condition is caused by gram-negative bacteria like Escherichia coli, klebsiella, pseudomonas aeruginosa, serratiamarcescens, and proteus species. Technically, it is not really an acne. Though, this condition is normally a result of treating acne with oral antibiotic such as tetracycline for a long period of time. Gram negative folliculitis appears like pustular rash commonly mistaken as worsening acne since it is observed on people with existing acne.
It is always a good idea to consult a dermatologist for cystic acne and other severe acne cases. Self-medication is really not a good thing for serious acne conditions like these. And for fast healing and skin recovery, always make sure to properly follow what was prescribed by your dermatologist. Do not hesitate to schedule an appointment. Your dermatologist knows best when it comes your skin issue.