Monday, February 13, 2012

The Acne Pustule: What Is It, And What Can You Do? by George Hutton

Many people today, over a hundred million adults, suffer from acne on a regular basis. Acne is a common skin condition which while not physically dangerous or life threatening, can do untold damage to self esteem, and self confidence. As with any condition affecting your health and happiness, knowledge is power. Knowing is half the battle. In this article I will be talking about a very common form of acne called pustules.

All acne is formed when something called a sebaceous unit is transformed into a comedone in your skin. A sebaceous until is a small little self contained system that produces a hair, and oil for your skin. Of course when everything is working the way it should, then everything is fine. In the case of acne, however, you know you've got problems.

This happens because the pore, which is shared by both the potential hair that comes out of the hair follicle, and the oil, or sebum, produced by the sebaceous gland, becomes clogged, or plugged for some reason. They are many potential causes of this, and is not the scope of this article. When the pore becomes clogged, it's how called a comedone, and how it behaves is what will determine what the resultant skin condition will be.

When one of these clogged pores, called a comedone, becomes irritated, and contains puss, it is called a pustule. They appear similar to papules, but since pustules actually contain puss (hence the name) they are slightly different. The puss is a result of the pressure that is built up inside the comedone. Another thing that can cause it to be irritated. Sometimes it may be caused by bacteria, while other times it may be caused by enzymes, which are completely normal and exist in healthy skin. Of course there may be many other causes or reasons for the irritation, but the treatment is usually the same.

Even though you may be able to see a small white speck on top, resist the urge to pop it. Even if you do successfully release the pressure by getting rid of the internal puss, because of the inflammation, you run the risk of doing permanent damage to your skin, in the form of a scar. Scars can result when pustules linger for too long without being treated, or being treated improperly.

You best bet when you have a pustule that doesn't go away after a few days on its own is to see your dermatologist. He or she will be able to successfully relieve the pressure without any risk of permanent damage to your skin tissue.