Acne and pimples might seem like a single phenomenon for you but you would be surprised to know that acne develops and grows through eight different stages, culminating in the awful show on your face. The bright side of this fact is that it can assist us in managing the effects.
Once we recognise the early signs and symptoms of acne , we can take steps to stop the growth right there. Remember prevention is always better than cure. Let us have a detailed look at the various stages through which acne develops on your skin-
1. Blackheads and whiteheads with mild inflammation is the first sign of acne. At this stage, they are small and uncomplicated. Blackheads and whiteheads are normal for any skin and you may find any number of them sprouting up now and then. This is the time to act; you know that your skin needs care. You can start using a topical cream which contains Salicylic acid or Benzoyl Peroxide or an oil-free face wash to stop excess growth.
2. If you ignore the first sign of acne, the next gradual development will be small raised lesions around the blackheads and white heads. They start to become tender and more red. You can still use over the counter (OTC) topical creams with Salicylic acid or Benzoyl Peroxide - it is not too late!
3. If untreated, the number and frequency of blackheads with mild lesions increase and these are mild cases of acne. You may start using topical antibiotics now. You get OTC antibiotic cream but always consult your pharmacist.
4. Such lesions, if not taken care of, develop into small pustules. As the name suggests, these are pus-filled larger pimples which you are probably concerned and embarassed about.
5. The size and shape of such pustules increases and you might experience pain on touching. It is advisable that you see a dermatologist for medication and advice to avoid the next stage.
6. These pustules will now develop into cysts and nodules and might contain blood as well as. Cysts and nodules are affecting a deeper layer of skin, and the possibility of scarring is very high. Your skin will be very inflamed. On squeezing, these nodules usually rupture. Your dermatologist might start oral antibiotic regime to arrest the condition and relieve the condition.
7. These nodules and cysts grow in size and show up in greater frequency and might burst on their own. You might also have bleeding from these nodules..
8. If ignored, you would have full-fledged acne growth which would stay on your skin for a day or two after which it would rupture and start to heal on its own leaving marks and scars on your skin. So, the cycle is completed. And usually begins again very soon.
So now you know that you have so many warning signs of a small blackhead becoming major acne. As said, we can usually prevent these small blackheads developing into acne before it is too late. I have discussed several prevention measures in this website which might include dietary and lifestyle changes.
Before using any medication, especially oral antibiotics, it is advisable that you seek help from a professional. Acne is a simple problem with simple cures, but if ignored can lead to serious complications.