How to identify if suffering from rare form of Acne?-Dr. Sravya Tipirneni
There are many variants of acne and some of them are very rare types as well. Often in clinical diagnosis they can be mistaken and treated as regular acne. I will be enumerating very few of the rare variants of acne. The first one that is very commonly very seen is acne excoriee, usually occurs in young adult women or teenagers who have a habit of picking on their lesions leaving excessive scarring and excoriations. This usually can be corrected by habit forming techniques and regular acne medications as well as in case it is severe, it has to be in consultation with a psychologist as well. Acne conglobata is another severe form of acne, mostly seen in males, younger males, If consists of very painful deep seated nodules. Sometimes interconnected under the skin and deeper layers by various sinus tracts. This requires a completely different modality of medication, mostly multimodal approach is necessary. The other one which is acne fulminans is a severe rapidly progressing type of acne. The difference is mainly it is associated with joint pains. Sometimes it progresses very rapidly over a period of one week itself and is also accompanied by fever. Another very common variant that I see every day is acne mechanica. This is also called as frictional acne. It mainly occurs in areas where very tight clothes or especially sports persons where there is a lot of friction and tight clothing for a long duration of time, the sweat accumulation also contributes to the formation of this acne. This basically is seen in very common sites of the tight spots where under bra straps and most commonly these days it is also called as cell phone dermatitis or cell phone acne because our cellphones are constantly producing heat and occluding your skin on the sides of the cheeks. The other one is drug induced acne, mostly seen in people who consume oral steroids, body builders and people who gym a lot, take these corticosteroids to increase their muscle bulk very rapidly. This does compromise your skin at a lot of different levels and should be taken with precaution and induces monomorphic acne, which is very easily diagnosed and treated as well. The other one which is rarely, is misdiagnosed as acne is actually gram negative folliculitis. If you have even on an oral antibiotic for a very long duration, you are likely to see a flare on discontinuation of that particular antibiotic, that is when you have to be suspicious of gram negative folliculitis, which is a totally different line of treatment. Cosmetic acne is mostly caused by comedogenic agents. There are certain ingredients in all the cosmetics and products that you use on a daily basis, namely lanolins, petroleums, vegetable oils which block and cause occlusion of the pores, leading to acne. Infantile acne, we usually see pediatric cases. Occurs mostly in age greater than 3 months, mostly seen on the cheeks. It should be treated. It is pretty easy to treat, considering the diagnosis is made correctly and early enough so that scarring can be prevented.