Acne is a common skin condition that affects both men and women. Generally it develops during teenage years but can present itself during adulthood as well. Many acne sufferers will in a desperate attempt to rid themselves of the condition quickly try natural home remedies, products off the shelves in pharmacies/supermarkets, purchase infomercial products and even medications, going from one to another to another and more often than not end up disappointed with the results. Acne can dramatically affect a person’s self esteem and confidence but is not something you have to live with or wait to outgrow. Although currently there is no permanent cure, we can certainly control acne and improve overall skin quality.
Acne can be classified as two types:
Non-inflammatory – Blackheads & whiteheads are examples of non-inflammatory acne lesions. Not red or inflamed.
Inflammatory – as the name suggests, there is inflammation, redness and swollen lesions. A typical pimple is an example.
What causes acne?
- Hereditary factors – We can inherit certain genes from our parents that can determine how our bodies and our skin look, function and behave. These are known as hereditary factors. If either of your parents had acne or excessively oily skin, there is a good chance that you may develop acne also.
- Stress – Put simply, stress causes an increase in androgenic (male dominant) hormones that cause an increase in the production of sebum (oil). This can lead to breakouts.
- Humidity/dirt – If you’re exposed to a lot of dirt/humidity you could be more prone to breakouts. An example of this would be working in a hot environment/kitchen. Cleansing your skin thoroughly and having a good skincare regime will keep acne at bay.
- Hormones- specifically androgens, which cause the stimulation of the sebaceous glands which creates more oil, which in turn can cause inflammation.
- Hormonal Changes – premenstrual changes, pregnancy, puberty. The obvious hormonal changes (and possibly some level of stress) causes the acne.
A lot of women who never had acne in their teenage years find that they develop the problem in their 20’s to 30’s. Factors like comedogenic products, stress and hereditary factors could also be contributing, but usually hormones play a major role or an indicator of an imbalance in the thyroid. Speak to your doctor for more information or a test
For most skin types with acne comes acne scarring, this forms when the skin is trying to heal itself.
The skin produces lots of collagen to try and make up for the lack of normal skin functioning; these types of scars are usually raised. You can get ‘pits’, and these occur from the destruction of the tissue while the skin is inflamed. Unfortunately cystic acne almost always causes scarring.
This scarring can be treated and the skin condition can be improved to a point where you don’t even notice the scars! Speak to our therapists for more information about the treatments.
Can I do something about it?
Breakouts can be prevented. So many factors can contribute to acne and we only have control of some of a few. Making a few small changes can have a dramatic impact.
An important thing for those with acne is to choose cosmetics and skin care products that are non comedogenic (non clogging).
Don’t pick or squeeze, unless you know how to perform extractions correctly you will most likely only cause scarring.
- Avoid over cleansing/over exfoliating. Stripping your skin of all it’s oil or over exfoliating will aggravate & sensitize skin as well as over stimulate oil production and make breakouts worse. Cleanse 2 (3 times max) a day & exfoliate 2 – 3 times a week.
- You always have bacteria on your hands so avoid touching your face.
- Always remove your makeup before going to bed.
- Oil and dirt can build up on your pillow from your hair and skin so change your pillowcase at least once a week.
- Use a skincare routine that’s suited to your skin type. You’re best to speak to a therapist who can provide a skin analysis & recommend the most effective range.
- Assess your lifestyle. It’s important to make sure you are getting enough sleep, have a healthy & balanced diet & drinking plenty of water, if everything is healthy & functioning as it should on the inside you’re skin generally reflects it. External factors such as comedogenic makeup, dirt/grime, humidity can contribute to acne, but a lot to the time it can be internal factors such as genetics, diet, hormones, digestion & unless these issues are addressed, topical treatments alone usually won’t be able to get the results you’re wanting.
Book yourself in for a consultation with a therapist who can offer a thorough skin analysis, recommend suitable products & develop a long term treatment just for you. This is not a condition that can be cleared in a day and one single product or a single treatment is not going to be the solution. Potentially it will take a combination of products, treatments and a deeper look into what the possible causes may be in order to provide long term results.