Red Bumps All Over the Face
It can be quite a shock to wake up and realize you've got red bumps all over your face. Although many things can produce these symptoms, two common causes are bug bites and acne. Of these, acne is the most likely culprit. Acne may also develop on your neck and your upper back. Acne can scar, so treat this condition if you have it. If you do develop scars, however, dermatologists have a variety of corrective procedures to repair them.
According to Mark Knox in "Current Diagnosis and Treatment in Family Medicine," up to 60 percent of 10- to 12-year-olds and up to 95 percent of 18-year-olds will have acne from time to time. Approximately 10 percent of women and 3 percent of men will continue to have acne well into their adult years.
Acne is best thought of as an inflammatory response to obstruction of hair follicles on your face. These become plugged with sebum, allowing bacterial overgrowth to occur, and precipitating inflammation. Follicles are more likely to become obstructed if they are irritated, for example, by cosmetics. Other acne-provoking factors include ingestion of certain drugs -- such as steroids -- and severe emotional stress. According to Knox, despite popular belief that certain foods make a person more acne-prone, the association between food and acne is controversial.
According to the American Association of Dermatologists, excessive skin washing is not likely to cure your acne. Rather, it may lead to irritation and more acne. Instead, dermatologists recommend washing once or twice a day with a nonirritating soap and lukewarm water. If this treatment fails, topical anti-inflammatory or antibacterial agents may be prescribed. Birth control pills also have some efficacy in controlling acne.
Acne tends to be a chronic problem, says Timothy Berger in "Current Medical Diagnosis and Treatment," and tends to recur without warning. During treatment with antibiotics, recurrence suggests the emergence of an antibiotic-resistant strain of acne-causing bacteria. More concerning, relapses that occur after treatment with isotretinoin, an extremely powerful anti-acne agent, are life-long in up to 60 percent of people.
A possible complication of recurrent or particularly severe acne is the development of scars, which can be disfiguring if they cover a large enough portion of your face. The American Academy of Dermatology reports that dermatologists now have a significant number of treatment options for repairing acne-scarred skin, including microabrasion, surgery and skin-filling techniques.
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