Acne typically causes small-size skin swelling once the follicles are completely or partially blocked with dead skin cells and skin oil. The blackheads are partial blockage while a whitehead is fully clogged. It is important to note that acne which is filled with pus is called papules and pustules. Oftentimes, acne can cause hard lumps that are considered more serious due to their exterior and potential for the development of scarring.
What are the types?
Hard acne bumps can develop in two forms. An acne nodule reaches beneath the skin surface and large in size and firm to the touch. As for an acne cyst, it extends below the skin and filled with pus along with dead cells and skin oil. Both of these hard acne bumps are quite visible and can cause discomfort if they are pressed or touched. It is not advisable to pick on these bumps or attempt to pierce or pop them. Popping them open can increase the risk for infection.
What are the possible causes?
Mild or serious cases of acne are not linked to uncleanliness. An individual can end up with pimples if the skin produces excess oil called sebum that is produced by the body with adolescent hormone changes. The bacteria can enter the mixture which attracts white blood cells and triggering the inflammation that results to a skin lesion. Most teenagers develop pimples but not all of them end up with severe cases with hard acne bumps such as cysts and nodules.
Considerations to bear in mind
Both acne nodules and cysts has a high risk of scarring once they finally vanish and often persist despite typical home remedies such as products that contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.
A doctor should be consulted if the individual has recurrent hard acne bumps so that proper treatment can be started before scars develop. The doctor might provide stronger medications such as prescription creams, corticosteroid injections, antibiotics and strong oral medications.
Treatment for the scars
Scars from the hard acne bumps might be narrow and deep or might take the form of a gradual depression in the skin. Both types of scars can be managed with various methods depending on the severity of the mark.
There are chemical peels and microdermabrasion that are often effective for mild scarring while severe cases would require dermabrasion, deep laser treatments or laser resurfacing. Other options to eliminate scars or reduce their appearance include filler injections and surgery.
Always bear in mind that acne could not be completely prevented if the skin is producing excess sebum, but there are measures that can ward off serious lesions such as nodules and cysts by gently washing the skin no more than twice a day using mild soap or cleansing products.
Avoid using harsh cleaners or scrub the skin since irritation can worsen acne and can cause the development of hard acne bumps. The mild case can be treated with over-the-counter creams and avoid from picking, squeezing or popping any pimples.