What causes acne is the same for everyone regardless of your gender, age, skin colour, or ethnicity. The most important fact about acne is that it’s an inflammatory disorder and therefore almost everything you do to make it go away must reduce or eliminate inflammation.
There is a whole series of factors that create the perfect environment for acne. To be successful in treating acne you need to understand what interrupts or stops the sequence of events which lead to acne in the first place. This will allow you to create a successful anti-acne skin-care routine at any age.
There are six factors that contribute to the formation of blemishes:
- Hormonal activity
- Overproduction of oil
- Irregular or excessive shedding of dead skin cells,
- Build-up of bacteria
- Sensitizing reactions
How Blemishes Are Created
Blemishes are created when the hair follicles in the skin become blocked with dead skin cells and excess oil (know as sebum). People that are prone to acne tend to shed more dead skin cells per day and produce more oil than people with healthy pores.
Each hair follicle is connected to a sebaceous gland that lies beneath the surface of the skin and to a pore on the surface of the skin. When things are going well the sebum leaves the pore and flows freely out onto the skins surface and keeps the skin moist and smooth.
However, when the oil gland produces an excessive amount of sebum which then mixes with the built up dead skin cells it forms a plug in the follicle creating either a white or blackhead. The more red and inflamed spots known as papules, pustules, nodules or cysts are caused when the harmless bacteria that lives on the surface of the skin infects one of these blocked pores.
To successfully treat acne you need to know the myths that surround and acne and what not to do when you have acne.
The Myths about Acne
- Blemishes are caused by dirty skin or poor hygiene – This assumption often leads to over cleaning the face and causes irritation and dryness but will not clear up blemishes.
- You can dry up blemishes – Drying up the skin with harsh ingredients can actually do more harm. It reduces the skins ability to fight inflammation, encourages bacterial growth and encourages the oil glands to work overtime to compensate for the loss of natural oils.
- Acne is caused by eating junk food – There is no evidence that junk foods cause acne.
- You can spot treat blemishes – You can reduce the redness and swelling of a blemish with topical products. However, this will not deal with the cause of the acne and will never getting to the root of the problem.
- If it tingles it must be working – Products that are made with ingredients that make your skin tingle or burn cause irritation and only make acne worse.
- Moisturiser will make you break out – If you are acne prone with oily or dry skin you need to use light-weight moisturisers that won’t clog pores. If you don’t moisturise and your skin becomes dry you run the risk of producing more oil to compensate for the surface dryness leading to further breakouts.
- Toothpaste can cure acne – Toothpaste might be able to dry out acne lesions however there are no active ingredients in it that can reduce a spot or stop acne from forming.
What Not To Do When Treating Acne
- Treat your skin gently -Don’t use harsh or irritating skin care products.
- Don’t pick at your blemishes -Squeezing spots can cause bacteria to spread causing more blemishes and possible scarring.
- Don’t wash your face with bar soaps or bar cleansers – The ingredients in soap are very drying and can clog pores.
- Don’t use extreme heat or cold to treat your blemished skin – This can cause inflammation. Pores do not open and close with hot or cold water.
What You Should Do to treat Acne
There are some basic rules for treating acne prone skin. The main thing is to be gentle with your skin and keep it has calm as possible.
- Gentle cleansing – Using a mild, water-soluble cleanser will to help reduce oily skin and acne without making the skin feel dry and tight.
- Exfoliate with salicylic acid – This is a fantastic ingredient for treating acne. It not only has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties but it also exfoliates to remove built-up dead skin cells on the surface of the skin and inside the pores. It can also help reduce marks left from surface blemishes
- Use light-weight moisturisers – Use gels, light serums liquids or fluid lotions. You still need to moisturise acne prone skin.
- Bring products that contain glycolic acid into your regime – Glycolic acid is similar to salicylic acid but it gives a deeper exfoliation and is great for fading acne marks.
- Bring retinol into your skin care regime – Retinol helps speed up the skins cell turn over and can help to reduce mild scarring and unclog pores.
However, if you have exhausted over the counter options and are still struggling to keep your acne under control then it may be worth speaking to your GP. They can prescribe antibiotics or refer you to a dermatologist. Alternatively, there is a variety of aesthetic treatments such as chemical peels, light therapy and laser that can be very effective. Do your research and find a reputable clinic and see what treatments they offer. No one has to suffer with acne anymore there is so many options available.
At Clinic33 in Hove, East Sussex we a range of treatments and products that can help you manage your acne and we can tailor a treatment to suit your needs. For more information check out our website www.clinic33.co.uk or to book a consultation send us a message on Facebook and tell us about your skin.