Just What Is Acne Comedonica?
One does not often come across the terms acne comedonica, although the condition is not that uncommon. Acne itself is a very common skin disorder. Nearly 4 out of 5 people suffer from the disorder at some point in their lives. Often the condition may be mild and not long lasting. For some however, acne can be more severe and long-lasting or even chronic. There are many things which are believed to cause or contribute to an outbreak of acne, including chocolate, sweets, and stress, but the major cause is bacteria, and treatment of acne most always involves use of an anti-bacterial agent of one kind or another.
Acne Comedonica - The most common type of acne is acne vulgaris, which can exist in several forms ranging from mile to severe. Acne comedonica is a mild to moderate form of acne vulgaris. Affecting primarily the skin on the face, but also at times the chest and back, acne comedonica is characterized by small bumps in the skin called comedones. These bumps occur at the pores of the skin. These comedones may be darker in color than the surrounding skin, and are called blackheads, or lighter, and are called whiteheads. Blackheads occur when oils in the pores are open to the air and oxidize, turning brownish or black. When these oils are not allowed to oxidize, the bumps remain white.
Unfortunately, the most common treatment for these two types of comedones is a home remedy known simply as squeezing them. While seemingly effective, at least temporarily, squeezing a blackhead or a whitehead does not resolve the problem. The comedones will return and perhaps even become more deep-seated and also may become infected. Comedones, if they are to be physically removed, should be done in a sterilized environment and by a physician or dermatologist. The best "home remedy" for acne comedonica is simply not to touch the little bumps, and with the exception of perhaps applying a topical remedy, leave them alone.
What Does Not Cause Acne Comedonica - Before addressing possible treatments for acne comedonica, let's take a quick look at two of the reasons most often given as causing acne. Number one is chocolate and sweets. Chocolate and sweets do not cause acne. There is no specific food that is considered to be a cause of acne. What can cause acne is an imbalance in your body's chemistry. If your system becomes overly acidic, acne can result. A diet of acidic foods can therefore contribute to acne vulgaris or acne comedonica. Chocolate does not cause acne, but in conjunction with other foods, could contribute to the skin condition.
Stress is also believed to be a cause of acne. Without a doubt, stress can cause a flare-up of an already existing acne condition, and can contribute to making an acne condition worse, but it is not an underlying cause of the disease. It is more accurate to say that acne causes stress than the other way around.
Treatment - There are a number of topical medications available for treating acne comedonica, both prescription drugs and over the counter medication. There does not seem to be one single medication that works equally well for everyone, and a person suffering from acne comedonica may have to try more than one medication to get relief. In addition, some medications commonly used to combat acne can have severe side effects, especially where pregnant women or women about to become pregnant are concerned. Accutane for example, while being a very effective acne treatment can cause birth defects. The message is to read labels, including warnings, carefully, or consult with a dermatologist when selecting a potential cure.
Antibiotics - There are a number of antibiotics useful in the treatment of acne, tetracycline being one of the most popular. Tetracycline can produce certain side effects if taken by prescription, in pill form. If applied topically, it has been know to cause skin discoloration in some people. Generally though it has proven effective. Other antibiotics include azeliac acid and erthromycin. One problem with antibiotics is that after a period of time they may become less effective as the bacteria become resistant to the medicine. This problem can often be circumvented by simply switching from one antibiotic to another.
Retinoids - Another approach has been the use of retinoids, a form of Vitamin A. Retinoids have a good track record in the treatment of acne vulgaris or acne comedonica, but have been know to cause side effects, principally skin irritation, but also a chance of birth defects can be an issue. Women of child-bearing age should approach this form of treatment with caution and under the advice of a physician.
If there is anything good about acne comedonica it is that it is in no way life threatening. It can be an embarrassment to have to carry around of course, but for most people it's not much more than a temporary inconvenience. If anything, don't treat even a mild case by pricking or squeezing, and you'll likely get through it all right.