Many people will know what a papule looks like before they know its name. So what are papules? They are the swollen red lumps that rise above the surface of the skin ranging in size from that of a pin head to around 100mm wide. They tend to look like normal spots but do not have a head like a normal spot. This is because a papule doesn’t have any puss. A papule can vary in colour as well as size, and can be seen in different hues of pinks, browns, reds and purples. They sometimes present themselves in singular form but are more often seen in groups or clusters.
Causes of Papules
When reading about what causes papules, it can be seen that they are a form of inflammatory acne. As a follicle is blocked by debris such as dead skin cells and dirt, the blockage can cause a pooling of the skins natural oils called sebum. Blackheads and whiteheads occur as this oil is pushed upwards to the surface of the skin. Yet papules are formed when the wall of the follicle is broken for some reason. This break allows white blood cells to enter the follicle and expand the opening, causing inflammation of the area.
As mentioned before, a papule has no head like other spots. They are not and should not be squeezed as this will only serve to further aggravate the situation and possibly transform the papule into a pustule. Most papules are formed in the first place by irritation of the blocked pores as people touch their skin. Also, if a person continuously tries to squeeze a papule, it is likely that they will succeed only in rupturing the skin completely resulting in scarring.
Where Can Papules be Located?
Papules can be found all over the body but tend to be found on the face, neck back, chest and shoulders. They are normally painless and often considered to be the least harmless of all the types of bacteria. This is because of the lack of puss which means less likelihood of further contamination of other areas. If left alone, a papule will eventually disappear BUT, if picked or scratched, it can quickly fill with puss and become crusty or painful.
For a lot of people who see the appearance of papules on their face, it is hard for them to leave the problem to go away on its own. If this is the case, then there are a plethora of options available to treat acne lesions of all kinds. The main focus when alleviating the problem of papules is to reduce the inflammation which has arisen from the growth of bacteria under the skin. This can be done from inside the body as well as out. Supplements or antibiotics may be taken which actively target and kill the bacteria causing the flare-ups. Most of these methods include ingredients which will regulate production of sebum too, lessening the pressure on the walls of the follicle. This form of treatment will often take a few days to work as the antioxidants contained within the tablets will have to establish themselves within the body before they begin to work.
For a slightly faster result, spot creams and gels are often used. It is important to have a fair understanding of the skin type being treated before any product such as this is used. Whilst a lot of lotions claim to be gentle towards skin, severe acne sufferers or people with extra sensitive skin should always check with a doctor or dermatologist before committing to a new product. Having said that, creams or facial washes containing Benzoyl Peroxide or even the raw solution itself is exceptionally good for any type of acne. The main reason for this is that the peroxide is an excellent regulator of the sebaceous gland, normalising the production of sebum. This means that if the pores can be kept clean and clear by gentle washing and exfoliation, without excess oil being produced there is less chance of clumping and plugging in the follicle itself. BP is also a brilliant ant-bacterial agent, able to kill the acne causing bacteria which inflames the skin around the follicle.
Often people assume that acne can be cured by scrubbing at the skin 3 or 4 times a day with harsh astringents and super gritty scrubs. Research has shown though that, as skin is irritated, in particular that which is prone to acne breakouts, the sebaceous gland is actually stimulated to produce more sebum. Obviously this is the complete opposite affect to what is needed. It is important to keep the skin clean, but using harsh methods to do this can often have dire consequences.
For most people, papules appear every once in a while and before they know it their skin is clear again without much fuss or effort needed to be taken. However there are many people who deal with acne on a very regular basis. For these people, finding the right treatment can often seem like an endless search but frequently, the answer is to research as much as possible about the grade, type and severity of the acne at hand. Then make an informed decision on the course of action to be taken. The best results often come from an accumulation of solutions perhaps even with some medical advice from a dermatologist. This is down to the fact that there are many underlying causes of acne and it is hard to define which ones are affecting a patient. Research is still being carried out to discover if there truly is a link between diet and acne. Whilst it is widely believed by many that food that is high in fat and low in fibre may lead to acne, there is no conclusive proof. The more concrete causes of acne that are found, the more can be done to find a solution for the condition.