Do you experience any low confidence in front of others because of imperfections in your skin? There is no need to worry. They are not life-threatening. You are not alone. Most people are having imperfections on their skin. Let us see what these imperfections are and how we could tackle them. They are known as blemishes.
If you are a person with blemishes, don’t skip the article. Spare some minutes to read the blog.
What Are Blemishes?
A blemish is any form of mark, spot, discolouration or defect that arises on the skin. They can appear on any part of the body but mainly occurs on the face, back, chest, upper arms or any body parts that have hair follicles or open pores. Face blemishes are common among most people.
What Are the Causes of Blemishes or What Causes Blemishes on Your Face?
Here are some of the reasons why blemishes occur.
Hereditary reasons can be one of the causes of blemishes. There are some inherited disorders and conditions that lead to the formation of blemishes such as birthmarks, Mongolian spots, hemangiomas and Fabry disease which involves gene mutation, leading to dark, red spots.
Excess Oil Production and Clogged Pores
The excessive secretion of oil from the sebaceous gland in the skin results in the formation of pimples. It then results in the accumulation of dirt and dead skin cells leading to clogging of pores. It happens mostly in people with oily skin. It also occurs in adolescence due to the influence of androgen hormones.
Viral and Bacterial Infections
Certain viral infections such as cold sore and chicken pox leads to the formation of skin blisters which finally results in blemishes.
Bacterial infections such as impetigo results in scarring which will take some time to fade.
Exposure to Sun
Frequent or prolonged exposure to direct sunlight damage your skin. When the ultraviolet rays fall on your skin, they trigger the production of melanin resulting in overactivity. Excessive secretion of melanin gives the skin a darker shade. Some of the pigments bind together to form a clump which appears as discoloured blotches on the skin. The scattered clusters of melanin will take the form of freckles, moles, melasma and age spots.
Acne breakouts are often associated with hormonal changes and abnormally high levels of androgens in the body. The scars left behind by acne are one of the main causes of blemishes. Hormonal acne mainly affects females as they are high levels of androgen during their puberty and also during their monthly periods. There is a chance of improving or worsening the acne during pregnancy and menopause as they undergo hormonal changes during this time.
Your skin may be affected by what you consume. Excessive consumption of oily and dairy products can worsen acne. Whole milk and low skimmed milk when consumed excessively increase the risk of acne breakout. Cheese and yoghurt are unlikely to increase the risk of acne.
A high level of stress can undermine your skin health and your overall well-being. People who lead stressful life are susceptible to various dermatological ailments, especially acne. Emotional stress has been the primary contributor to the development and aggregation of acne due to certain neurogenic changes in the skin.
Administration of certain medications such as corticosteroids, androgenic steroids, lithium and antiseizure drugs may cause acne as their side effects lead to facial blemishes.
Some foods such as peanuts, shellfish, eggs, milk and wheat may cause allergic skin reactions which may lead to acne breakouts and blemishes.
Improper Skincare Routine
The accumulation of dirt, pollution or dust throughout the day, can lead to blemishes if you lack a proper skincare routine daily. Heavy make-up without proper skin care can also precipitate acne and blemishes.
How to Know if You Have Blemish-Prone Skin?
The common symptoms of blemish-prone skin are
- Uneven skin tone.
- Discolouration of the skin.
- Itching or skin irritation.
- Brown or reddish patches that are present on the skin.
- Inflammation of the skin
- The appearance of inflamed and painful pustules.
- Dryness of the skin.
- Eruption of pus from the bumps of the face.
- Change the skin texture from soft to rough.
What Are the Types of Blemishes?
When a pore is clogged at the base of the skin, the hair follicle wall ruptures within the dermis and nodules are formed. Since the infection is so deep, the rupture takes place under the skin rather than at the surface. Nodules can also be filled with pus, but you will never see a whitehead as the infection is so deep.
The nodules are larger than papules and normally have a diameter of 1 to 2cm. The nodules will appear on the skin at any level. They might be flesh-toned or crimson in blue.
When the swelling and inflammation of the nodule becomes so intense, it damages the healthy skin surrounding it and destroys the hair follicle known as a cyst. This type of blemish is the most painful of them and is extremely prone to scarring.
When you use the hair removal methods like tweezing, waxing or shaving, there occurs ingrown hairs. Some hairs that grow back into the skin and become stuck are known as keratinocytes. The keratinocytes result in the formation of a red bump.
The acne scars are formed as a result of damage to the skin’s dermis layer. Anything that opens the skin such as a pimple or a cut will cause scarring.
They are tiny skin lesions that come in different shapes and sizes. They have a diameter of 1 cm. Their colours range from pink to brown.
Pustules are developed from papules. As the bacteria that cause blemish increases, white blood cells are sent to the blemish to fight off the infection. The after-effect is the formation of pus which is a whitish substance made of dead white blood cells. The pustules are topped with pockets of yellow or white pus and have a red and painful base.
Some blemishes are shown by the body as an indication of skin cancer. There are several types of skin cancers like basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma. Skin cancers can range in colour and appearance. Some look like dark moles with irregular borders while others look like yellow scabs or raised red bumps. If people are aware of the warning signals of skin cancer they could detect it earlier.
Blackheads and whiteheads
They are also known as comedones. Blackheads are open comedones that form when a clog of sebum and dead skin cells enlarges and widens the pore. But whiteheads are closed comedones that are covered by the skin. They are reddened and sensitive with pus-filled tips. Both types of comedones are non-inflammatory and they are never painful or swollen. But sometimes they lead to inflammatory blemishes.
As you become older, your skin will be more prone to the damage caused by the sun’s UV radiation. With increasing age, your skin’s regeneration power will also decrease and finally, there comes a stage when your skin will not be able to outgrow the sun damage, leading to the development of age spots.
The birthmarks appear shortly after birth or at the time of birth. They can be of different shapes, sizes and colours. They are broadly classified into
Pigmented: Caused by an overgrowth of melanin-producing cells in a specific area of the skin. They are typically black or brown.
Vascular: Occurs when there is an abnormal growth or malformation of blood vessels underneath the skin. They appear as purple, pink or red.
Moles and port wine stains are common birthmarks. It will last for a lifetime. Hemangiomas and salmon patches usually go away over time.
Melasma is a non-threatening yet cosmetically distressing skin condition that is characterised by the development of dark spots on the skin. It occurs due to sun exposure and certain hormonal changes that trigger melanin overproduction. Melasma is fairly prevalent during pregnancy. Women who consume oral contraceptives or hormonal replacement also suffer from melasma.
This condition is characterized by the development of discoloured spots or patches on your body, especially on your face. Several factors can lead to the clumping of melanocytes or melanin-producing cells and eventually it results in hyperpigmentation or intensely pigmented patches of the skin. It is essentially a post-inflammatory skin reaction due to injury, burns, acne or other causes.
Cold sores are tiny, red, fluid-filled blisters. They typically appear on the lips and around the mouth. These are painful lesions that may develop on the chin, cheeks and nose. Usually, these cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus. They are viral and highly contagious. The discharge starts after a few days of forming and then crusts over.
Milia are tiny white bumps that appear in clusters around the nose, eyelids and cheeks. They appear most commonly in newborns. They are also seen in adults, but it is less common. It occurs as a result of skin trauma (burns, blisters) or skin conditions such as rosacea and dandruff. People often mistake them for blemishes. They are made up of a protein called keratin which can be managed by a skincare regime incorporating AHAs, BHAs and retinoids.
Facial Blemishes and Their Colours or Blemish Colour Guide
The blemishes are characterised by their colours and can provide important clues on what their cause is. Some of the blemish colours that you commonly experience are
As a result of eczema or rosacea, it forms the appearance of red blemishes. Other types of red blemishes on the face are pimples, pustules, ingrown hair, cold sores, allergic reactions etc.
The brown blemishes occur due to hyperpigmentation due to an increase in melanin or dark pigment of the skin. The two most common types are age spots and melasma. Skin cancers such as malignant melanoma appear as dark brown or black.
Black blemishes on the face occur due to hyperpigmentation. It leads to a particular area of the skin appearing darker than the rest. They appear as dark blemishes on the face and may be surrounded by red or black raised dots. The three types of black blemishes are lentigines, melasma and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
They appear as white spots across your cheeks or a larger part of the face due to fungal infection or other reasons. The common type is whiteheads.
Does Blemish Go Away on Its Own?
Blemishes are harmless and when they appear on our face our body starts a defence mechanism at that time itself. Blemishes disappear eventually from your skin. In some cases, it may take one or two weeks whereas in some cases it may take months for the blemishes to disappear.
Blemishes are a common problem among most people, especially on the face. The occurrence of blemishes ranges from genetics to environmental and various lifestyle habits. Blemish-prone skins can be identified easily and also the type can be identified easily. The colour of the blemish gives clue on what type it is. Your body starts the defence mechanism once they appear on your skin and it may take weeks to months for the disappearance of blemishes without any treatment.
Are blemishes and acne the same?
Most people think that both blemishes and acne are the same. But it is not right. Acne is a disorder where excessive sebum secretion leads to clogging of the pores and results in the filling of pus init. But blemishes are a condition which occurs as a result of an acne outbreak.
What is an example of a blemish?
A simple example of a blemish is a pimple or any other mark on your skin.
What is inside a blemish?
Blemish forms as a result of acne and scars. Acne is formed from the excess secretion of sebum from sebaceous glands and results in the clogging of pores, further making it a pus-filled one.
What deficiency causes blemishes?
The deficiency of vitamin B results in different types of skin blemishes like acne, rashes, dry and flaky skin, cracked lips and wrinkles.