Acne is the most common ailment in America, occurring in an estimated 75-100% of the population at some point in their lives. The most common form of acne is called acne vulgaris, which is characterized by several different kinds of lesions, one of which is called a papule.
The most common form of acne is acne vulgaris, which is characterized by several different kinds of lesions, one of which is called a papule.
How and Why Papules are Formed
Papules are formed when a hair follicle becomes inflamed, which is different from what happens when a follicle gets blocked, causing whiteheads or blackheads. Blackheads and whiteheads are not inflamed, red, and painful, whereas papules are.
Papules come from too much sweating or friction, or in reaction to changes in climate or from taking certain medications. Some people are genetically predisposed to getting papules. They are usually raised, flesh-colored, and you may not notice them except by touching.
Acne Papules Treatment
- Do Not Squeeze a Papule. Dermatologists recommend against squeezing acne lesions altogether, but especially in the case of papules, since squeezing them has no effect. Papules do not usually have any pus or matter inside them; the bump is caused by inflammation, and squeezing the papule can cause more inflammation and damage to the skin and scarring. Apply warm compresses to papules instead, which can soothe the inflammation.
- Develop a Daily Skin Care Regimen. Acne treatment begins with prevention: good skin care. If you take care of your skin, the chance of developing papules is less, and it further helps clear up ones you already have. Start with a cleanser, especially one that includes benzoyl peroxide or other topical acne medication.
Face-Washing Procedure for Good Skin
- Wash your face with your hands, not a washcloth or sponge. Washcloths and sponges can actually increase acne, since bacteria remains on the washcloth.
- Follow with an astringent toner and a light moisturizer, although if your skin is oily you can leave off the moisturizer in your t-zone.
- You can follow up with a spot treatment on papules and other acne lesions that includes benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, but if you notice dryness or irritation, you should reduce the concentration of benzoyl peroxide and increase usage of moisturizer.
- Wear sunscreen. Research has shown that reducing sun exposure can also reduce inflammation, which can lead to developing acne papules.
Prescription Treatment for Acne Papules
If your acne papules treatment regimen at home doesn’t produce the desired results after several weeks, you need to consult a dermatologist. You may be prescribed a topical antibiotic such as erythromycin or clindamycin, or perhaps an oral one like tetracycline or minocycline. The dermatologist may also recommend retinoid treatment in the form of Tretinoin (Retin-A). Dermatologists and aestheticians rarely use physical treatments such as extraction to resolve papules, since this kind of interference can increase the inflammation and result in collapsed follicles, which can in turn become nodules or cysts.
Acne papules will, over time, usually produce the desired results: elimination or reduction of acne lesions. By remaining patient and dedicated to good skin care by using a cleanser, moisturizer, and topical acne treatment including benzoyl peroxide, you should be able to say farewell to papules.