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Many people think that acne and pimples are the same. We’re here to set the record straight. There is a difference between the two.
Acne is a skin disease that affects the skin’s hair follicles and oil glands, while pimples are the symptoms of acne. Therefore, if you have one lesion, like a whitehead or a blackhead, it is a pimple; while a cluster of pimples is acne.
What Causes Acne?
Acne is caused by changes in your body’s oil glands. These glands create a natural oil, called sebum, that lubricates and waterproofs your skin. When your skin has just the right amount of sebum, you are free from acne and other skin problems.
But sometimes, your oil glands produce more sebum than usual. The excess oil mixes with dead skin cells and clogs pores. Bacteria then grow inside the clogged pores, causing inflammation. This results in the pimples that are commonly referred to as acne.
What are the Different Types of Acne?
There are several types of acne. The most common are:
- Whiteheads: After the pores are clogged, a white head pimple forms. Whiteheads are caused by a buildup of sebum and dead skin cells. You can recognize a whitehead by its smooth and shiny surface.
- Blackheads: Your hair roots or the hair follicles are blocked. As a result, the oil and dead skin cells can’t come out. This causes a blackhead. You can recognize a blackhead by its darker color with a visible opening.
- Papules: This type of acne is characterized by small and tender red bumps. Papules are inflamed but not infected.
- Pustules: Pustules are white or yellow bumps that contain pus. It is caused by a bacterial infection. Pustules may be red at the center and white or yellow at the outer part.
- Nodules: Nodules are the most painful kind of acne. They are deep cystic lesions that can cause permanent scars.
- Cysts: Cysts are painful pus-filled lesions that are deep under the skin. They can rupture and cause pockets of pus to form on the skin.
How Do You Prevent Acne?
Although there is no sure way to prevent acne, you can take measures to reduce your risk of being affected by this skin condition. The following are some of the effective ways to prevent acne:
- Wash your face twice a day: Wash your face twice a day – first thing in the morning and right before you go to bed. Keep the skin dry while washing your face. If you have oily skin, use a mild facial cleanser that is oil-free.
- Avoid touching your face: Do not touch your face while you’re in public places. This is to prevent the transfer of bacteria to your face. It is not advisable to pick pimples, too because this can make your acne worse.
- Use mild soap: If you have sensitive or dry skin, use mild soap. Do not use harsh products.
Acne is a common condition that affects most people. The good news is that there are several ways to treat this skin problem. If you want to get rid of acne, you should visit a dermatologist. With the right treatment, you will be able to prevent pimples.
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