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First Aid for Acne

Last updated March 5, 2018

Approved by: Krish Tangella MD, MBA, FCAP

Acne is a common skin condition that can occur anywhere in the body with hair/sebaceous follicles. It mostly affects the face, upper chest, and back.

What is Acne?

  • Acne is a common skin condition that can occur anywhere in the body with hair/sebaceous follicles. It mostly affects the face, upper chest, and back
  • Acne is frequently observed in adolescents and is caused due to the growth hormonal changes that take place during that period
  • The treatment of Acne commonly involves the use of topical creams and gels, medications, dermabrasion, skin surgery, and even laser therapy

What are the Causes of Acne?

The causal factors for Acne could include:

  • Puberty
  • Other hormonal causes, such as pregnancy or steroid use
  • Use of certain medications, like lithium and corticosteroids
  • Stress and high glycemic diet may worsen Acne

The glycemic index measures the rate of increase in blood glucose levels, following a meal. Foods with a high glycemic index include white rice, potato, white bread, corn flakes, bagels, etc. Vegetables, nuts, beans, whole grains, many fruits, etc. have a low glycemic index.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Acne?

The signs and symptoms of Acne include:

  • Whiteheads and blackheads (comedones)
  • Pustules (pimples)
  • Papules
  • Nodules
  • Cysts
  • Dark spots in the skin, when Acne heals
  • Scarring

How is First Aid administered for Acne?

Acne treatment is not a First Aid concern. The treatment measures include:

  • Benzoyl peroxide and other topical creams are often applied for minor cases of Acne
  • Over-the-counter cleansers, such as salicylic acid and alpha hydroxy acid
  • Cosmetic procedures like microdermabrasion, laser, and light therapy can also be beneficial
  • If over-the-counter medications fail, you need to consult your physician and discuss about topical or oral retinoids, antibiotics, and hormone therapy

Who should administer First Aid for Acne?

The individual affected by Acne himself/herself can administer the treatment.

What is the Prognosis of Acne?

  • Most Acne begins to fade around the age of 20 years when the body stops producing androgenizing hormones
  • However, adult Acne is becoming increasingly common

How can Acne be Prevented?

A few helpful tips to prevent/minimize Acne:

  • Clean the face and other affected areas with gentle cleansers
  • Choose facial cleansers according to your skin conditions (e.g. oily versus dry)
  • Follow a healthy diet
  • Try to avoid stress

What are certain Crucial Steps to be followed?

  • Avoid excessive washing and scrubbing of the skin
  • Do not pop or lance pimples, this merely spreads bacteria and leads to excessive scarring

What are some Useful Resources for Additional Information?

References and Information Sources used for the Article:

Helpful Peer-Reviewed Medical Articles:

Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: June 8, 2013
Last updated: March 5, 2018