This condition is also called “Picker’s acne”, it results when acne lesion (pimples) are compulsively squeezed and scratched, resulting in scabs and scars. It is seen most commonly in adolescent girls and has been thought to be associated with underlying depression, anxiety or emotional problem.
Acne, also known as acne vulgaris, is thought to be caused by multiple factors. Overproduction of a normal oil on the skin called sebum, increase under the influence of hormones. This, coupled with insufficient shedding of exfoliating dead skin cells, plug hair follicles. The plugged hair follicles can become inflamed and have increased growth of normal skin bacteria, Propionibacterium acnes. Medication such as lithium, cortisone, iodides, some seizure drugs or isoniazid can also cause acne lesion.
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Acne can also cause scarring. This scaring lead to acne excoriee. The skin condition stemmed from uncontrollable desire to repetitively scratch, pick or squeeze acnes or pimples. The scars appear in various shapes, sizes and locations on the body. They are often found in parts of the body easily accessible or exposed and not covered with clothes like faces, scalp, upper back and forearm.
The choice or pattern of treatment is based on whether the person has primary acne or pimples at the time of seeing the doctor or not. If you have pimples at the time of seeing your doctor, he will treat the pimples and counsel you to avoid squeezing it.
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First of all, if you have acne vulgaris or pimples, it is important you note that repetitive picking or squeezing of the acne can cause scarring. If there is always uncontrollable desire to pick the acne, your doctor might need to treat you for obsessive-compulsive disorder as well.
Medical treatment includes topical and oral.
Topical treatment includes the use of creams, washes and gels that contain:
Antibiotics such as benzoyl peroxide, clindamycin, erythromycin, azelaic acid, Sulphur and sodium acetamide.
Vitamin A derived products such as tretinoin, tazarotene and adapalene.
Oral treatments may include the following:
Antibiotic such as tetracycline, minocycline, doxycycline, cephalosporin etc.
Isotretinoin: This drug has many side effects. It should be avoided in pregnancy or women with desire to be pregnant soon. It is only used when acne is unresponsive to the treatment outlined above.
In cases where anxiety, depression and obsessive and compulsive disorder is diagnosed as the primary cause, anxiolytic and anti-depressant medications are prescribed.
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Primary Care Dermatology Society
American Osteopathy College of Dermatology
Dr. Adeyemo Olusola is a medical graduate of Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ogun State, Nigeria along with certificate in advanced diploma in Principles of Nutrition, Management and Leadership, Dublin and Certificate in Global Health from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He is an avid reader of books from different oases of life, expert in Medical Statistics and an award winner at both local and international level. “So many a time, I have seen people die avoidable death because of lack of knowledge or information, falling victim of fate. There is then a necessity laid on us to help arm our society to the teeth, as a healthy society cannot be detached from an informed one. Hence, there is need for healthgist.net. We hope you will have a wonderful stay on our website.”