What’s Going On Down There?
Acne is often graded to help diagnose treatment on the following scale:
- Type 1: comedonal, less than 10 lesions on face, no scarring
- Type2: papular, 10-25 lesions on face and trunk, mild scarring
- Type3: pustular, more than 25, moderate scarring
- Type4: nodulocystic, severa outbreak, extensive scarringSome of the other types of acne or skin infections that you should be aware of, but are not discussed at length in this book are:
- Acne Cachecticorum is a rare form of breakout often brought about from anemia or other diseases.
- Acne Conglobata is a fairly rare disorder and usually occurs on the back, chest or buttocks. When an outbreak is at the cyst stage, it may likely involve multiple pores. Sometime the acne will seem like it is ‘tunneling’ and involves more than one follicle forming large interconnected abscesses.
- Acne Mechanica is also cause by external elements, but this time from clothing rubbing during physical activity on specific spots.
- Atrophic Acne which specifically deals with nodular acne that breaks down internal tissue and usually results in deep scarring.
- Chloracne is caused specifically by occupational exposure to chlorinated hydrocarbon chemicals.
- Dermatitis is a general catch-all phrase used to describe many skin afflictions such as rashes, allegergic reactions, and eczema (atopic dermatitis).
- Endocrine Acne flares up during a woman’s pre-menstrual time. If linked with other signs of androgen excess it could be the symptom of polycystic ovarian disease or Cushing’s syndrome.
- Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB) is an rare inherited disorder that consists of fragile skin that is easily blistered by the slightest touch and in its most severe forms painful open sores which heal slowly.
- Ichthyoses (or fish scale) refers to another rare family of genetic skin diseases characterized by excessively dry, thick, scaly skin.
- Indurated Acne – nodules hardened from inflammation
- Milia or ‘prickly heat’ happens when sweat ducts are plugged up due to swelling because of hot temperatures and this causes little drops of fluid to be visible in the epidermis.
- Neonatal Acne (neonatorum) which is experienced by babies usually due to prenatal hormonal exposure. This disorder, also called Infantile Acne, may predispose an individual to experiencing some form of acne later in life.
- Occlusion Acne which is caused by an outside irritant such as sweat, hair pomade, moisturizers, perfume or cosmetic allergy.
- Perioral dermatitis is of special note, because according to a German study, there is a connection between it and career women in their thirties. It is a rash or irritation affecting the area around the mouth and sometimes spreading to the nose, chin and cheeks.
- Psoriasis is the painful itchy red scaly patches of skin.
- Rosacea which usually first develops in patients in their late twenties to mid thirties, appears across the nose, cheeks, chin, and forehead, and is characterized by inflamed bumps and flushing.
- Tropical Acne is a term used to describe breakouts in skin not accustomed to the heat and humidity found in tropical environments.
If you have the signs of any of these disorders it is best to keep under a doctor’s care while trying to heal your other ‘picking issues’. There may other underlying serious medical conditions that need immediate attention.
The symptoms include pustular eruptions which center primarily around the mouth and chin, and is also characterized by tiny bumps and intense itchiness. Some possible external causes include the use of fluoridated toothpaste or facial creams, harsh soaps and excessive face washing, and cinnamon! Other studios have found similarities in the psychological profile of women experiencing this disorder in the areas of childhood frustration and idealization of a disappointing father figure. They have also found that the disease is more prevalent after failures or disruptions in family or work life in other words it may have psychological more than physical beginnings. We will see more of this kind of mind/feeling-body/skin connection in the next Chapter—Related Disorders.