Acne is a disease, a chronic condition, a dermatological disorder, or simply and more commonly known as a skin disease, which manifests itself in the hair follicles and sebaceous glands, caused by a bacterial infection that produces skin injuries characterized by blackheads, outbreaks of pimples, cysts, infected abscesses, and (sometimes) scarring. Usually it is influenced by various hormonal changes that occur during puberty, pregnancy, etc.
Types of acne
Acne vulgaris: It is characterized by the presence of comedones, papules, pustules, cysts and nodules on the upper face of the chest, neck and shoulders. It is typical of adolescents and, depending on the severity of the injuries, it is described in various types.
Comedogenic Acne: seborrhea of the skin appears only, with numerous comedones. It is the mildest form.
Papulous Acne: Many comedones, most of them inflamed. They do not appear, or may do so, as a small number of injuries with pus.
Atrophic Acne: Occasionally, a papular acne, especially if it is very intense, leaving small cavities and skin scarring while evolving.
Acne Conglobata (Conglobato = rounded shaped): Characterized by the presence of many large sized comedones, some of them double or triple in size, large abscesses with fistulas connected with each other, cysts and inflammatory nodules. The secretion is common and abundant in occasions. Sometimes it occurs associated with other diseases apparently due to a defect in the immune system.
Premenstrual Acne: refers to acne injuries that appear or worsen during the period prior to menstruation in women. It is caused by hormonal changes that occur during the menstrual cycle.
Neonatorum acne or newborn acne: These are papular-pustular injuries that appear in small numbers on the face within the first 48-72 hours of life. Apparently related to maternal progesterone in the blood of the newborn.
Keloid Acne: It is characterized by the residual scars that have thickened, forming keloids. It is more common in black and oriental races.
Tropical Acne:A particular intense variety of acne that occurs in tropical regions with warm and humid climate. Appears mainly in the back, buttocks and thighs, while not so much on the face.
Acne by contact: caused by skin contact, voluntarily or involuntarily, by substances that promote the formation of comedones. This is the case of workers in some industries that are in contact with chlorinated hydrocarbons (chloracne, petroleum oil or resins). It is also the case of using creams, makeup, oils and even sunscreens (cosmetic acne).
Iatrogenico Acne; Caused by the side effects of certain drugs. The typical example is by the use of corticosteroids (steroid acne), but may also be produced by other pharmaceuticals such as anabolic and androgenic drugs , bromides, glucocorticoids, iodides, isoniazides or oral contraceptives.
Rosacea Acne:: Although it has long been considered as a form of acne, anatomical and pathological clinical characteristics give sufficient factors to consider it as a separate entity, commonly referred to as Rosacea.
Cystic Acne: TIt is the most severe form of acne with comedones, papules and pustules and, especially inflammatory nodules, painful abscesses and cysts with occasional hardened scabs.
Degrees of acne
Acne is classified according to different degrees, related to the severity of the injuries, in order to determine the proper treatment:
Mild Acne: the main injuries are not inflammatory.
The papules and pustules may appear, but they are small and few, generally less than 10.
Moderated Acne: a higher number of papules, pustules and comedones, between 10 and 40.
The thorax might be affected also.
Moderately Severe Acne: there are numerous papules and pustules, between 40 and 100, normally with infiltrating deep nodular injuries. The affected areas of the skin also extend to the face, the torso and back.
Severe Acne: nodular cystic acne and acne conglobata belong to this group, characterized by many large nodular injuries, painful pustules, along with many small papules, pustules and comedones.