4 Stages of Acne & When to See an Expert

Recurrent acne is not just unpleasant to deal with but also worrisome – it can often be hard to understand what is triggering it.  You may try out a variety of treatment options one after the other, only to find that your acne has come back again. But, before looking for a cure, it is essential to identify which stage of acne you're dealing with.

Understanding the 4 stages of acne

Acne may begin imperceptibly on some areas of your face and progress to being more visible and significant.

Acne prone skin

Acne prone skin is when your skin produces more than optimal oil and there is reduced or absent skin cell shedding from the surface of your skin. The resultant mixture of dead skin cells and excess oil clog your skin pores and are ready to form a pimple that is attached to your normal skin cells. In this phase, one may or may not develop acne.

Acne breakout

Bacterial growth commences in the dead skin cell-oil mixture. This may trigger your immune system to go into a defensive mode, causing your skin to become red indicating inflammation. At this stage, a pimple breaks out and is visible on your skin. Acne may now progress through this stage in the form of a Whitehead, blackhead, papule, pustule and eventually worsen to become a cyst when left untreated.

Post acne breakout

Once your body is able to overcome bacterial infection, acne starts to heal known as the post acne breakout phase. The acne spot now starts to clear but may leave an acne scar and a skin depression.

Acne can be present on your skin one or more of the following stages of severity.

Mild acne

Acne in the mild form will be just the initial stage – when tiny comedones appear around your nose, forehead, and jaw. There is no redness or swelling of the skin at this stage.

Moderate acne

Papules and some focused pustules will be present on the nose, cheeks, forehead, and jaw or chin. Some of you may also notice blackheads or whiteheads on your chest, back, and neck. Skin inflammation and swelling will now be significant but still within the tolerable range.

Severe acne

Severe acne comes with pustules, which are more pronounced and spread rapidly on your face. The cheeks are the worst affected. Underlying skin damage sets in and may now be linked to infection in some parts of your body. Pustules are extremely painful and cause prominent swelling.

Cystic acne

Many pustules and cysts begin to encroach on other parts of your body. Cystic acne manifests as discolored nodules, and this may indicate an emergency. Bacterial infection may be at its peak in the skin as well as other body parts.

Acne scar

An acne scar is formed at the site of the skin lesion. These scars appear as discolored skin patches which may resolve spontaneously within 6–12 months. However, in some cases, these scars may continue to progress, leading to the formation of keloid scars, indicating indiscriminate scar growth.

Harmful ingredients Found in Skincare Formulations

Excessively using skincare ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) for your acne may reduce it but leave your skin damaged in the process. Free radicals produced by these ingredients act as stressors for your skin and cause premature skin ageing. In some cases, they may not even solve your acne issues entirely. If you follow a proper skincare regimen but don't understand the reason behind the recurrence of your acne, you should check your skincare formulations immediately for such ingredients. Additionally, timely adoption of expert-backed solutions such as the revolutionary TT technology can help you resolve your acne.

When Is the Right Time to Seek a Dermatologist's Advice for Acne Treatment? acne

Although some acne can be handled effectively with high-science technology, but infectious, moderate, severe, and cystic acne require a dermatologist’s attention. For instance, while moderate to severe forms of acne indicate the beginning of mild to moderate bacterial skin infections, cystic acne should be treated as an emergency, requiring no second thoughts about visiting a dermatologist.   In all, one should identify what type of acne they have and consider treatment options accordingly.

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