Last reviewed by Editorial Team on August 13th, 2018.
What is Comedonal Acne?
Acne is one of the most encountered medical problems all over the world, especially in pubescent teenagers. The underlying mechanism is the same, as the hormonal fluctuations during puberty are responsible for the stimulation of oil production. Comedonal acne is a particular type of acne, in which hair follicles or pore becomes partially or fully blocked, this resulting in the appearance of blackheads and whiteheads.
Comedonal acne can range from mild to severe and it is important to understand that it appears because of the increased sebum production in the skin (component of skin oil). This, combined with the old or dead skin cells, contributes to the direct blockage of the skin pores and thus to the appearance of comedones. These can be very diverse but in most situations they are simple papules or bumps with a color similar to the one of the skin. They give the skin a texture close to the one of sandpaper.
What does comedonal acne look like?
In order to best describe what comedonal acne looks like, it might be a good idea to describe the different types of comedones.
As it was already mentioned, a partially blocked skin pore can lead to the appearance of blackheads. These are not black because they have a lot of dirt accumulated in them, as it is commonly believed. Blackheads are black because of the high melanin content, this being a surface pigment. Whiteheads, on the other hand, appear when the skin pore is completely blocked. These are closed and you can see the white center as a bump.
Comedones can also be described according to their size: micro-comedones are only visible through the usage of special instruments, while macro-comedones are visible with the naked eye, having a diameter of two or three mm. Two particular types of comedones are the giant comedone (more similar to a cyst, similar to a blackhead in appearance) and the solar comedone, this being a direct result of constant sun exposure and additional damage.
Symptoms of Comedonal Acne
These are the most common symptoms of comedonal acne:
- Appearance of blackheads and whiteheads on the skin
- Oily skin
- Sandpaper texture of the skin
- Reddish hue of the skin
- Additional blemishes present on the skin
- Secondary inflammation of a comedone
Comedonal Acne Causes
These are the most common causes of comedonal acne:
- Increased production of testosterone within the body (this is why comedonal acne is so encountered in pubescent teenagers)
- The sebum in the skin does not contain enough linoleic acid, causing the skin pores to clog much more easily
- The increased quantity of proteins in the body that trigger an inflammatory response
- Secondary bacterial infections. A bacteria can exacerbate the production of sebum in the skin and it can also lead to inflamed comedones
- Using moisturizers and other skin care products excessively
- Humid, warm environments
- Exposure to chemicals contained in different cosmetics. These tend to clog the pores even more, causing comedones to appear more rapidly
- Squeezing a pimple can lead to the infection of the clogged pore and to the appearance of a comedone
- Excessive face scrubs and chemical peels
- Laser-based treatments for face peeling
- Increased consumption of dairy and sugary foods
Treatment for Comedonal Acne
These are the most common courses of treatment and change suggestions for comedonal acne:
- Use oil-free cosmetics on your face and other parts of the body affected by the acne
- Maintain good body hygiene. Use antibacterial soap in case of secondary infections
- Give up smoking, as it is a known fact that smokers have a higher chance for comedonal acne to appear than non-smokers
- Change your diet habits, by eating less dairy products and sugary foods. Instead, add plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and do not forget to drink plenty of water, as this is the best way to hydrate your skin
- Use topical creams for the recommended period of time. Among the most popular creams recommended for comedonal acne, you will find any of the following: benzoyl peroxide, azelaic acid, salicylic acid, glycolic acid and retinoids. The latter should be used only for reduced periods of time, as they can have serious side-effects on your body
- Oral medication is recommended as well for comedonal acne. Hormonal based medication can help, as well as oral retinoids, but the precaution from above remains the same
- Anti-bacterial oral medication is recommended for secondary bacterial infections.
- In case of large or persistent comedones, surgery might be the recommended course of treatment. Three of the most common surgical treatments are cryotherapy, electrosurgery (cautery or diathermy) and microdermabrasion. The specialist doctor will decide however on the best course of treatment for your comedonal acne problems
Comedonal Acne Pictures
Photos, Images and Pictures of Comedonal Acne…