Acne. No one wants it, but just about everyone will experience it. Usually, flare-ups start in adolescence, when our sebaceous glands are stimulated during puberty. However, just because your high school years are over doesn’t mean you can expect to stay pimple-free.
So what exactly is acne? And why is this happening to you? We’ll get to that, but let’s get to the first problem – the exact definition of what’s going on with your pores. To put it simply, acne is characterized by the formation of blackheads, pimples, cysts, and in severe cases, abscesses. These lesions form when your hair follicles and pores become clogged with oil, dead skin, and bacteria. Blackheads are just pores filled with oil and dirt. A pimple, however, is created when this clogged pore becomes infected, resulting in inflammation and pus. Amusing!
So why me?
By this definition, you might think that acne is the result of not washing your face properly, but that’s not entirely true. While cleansing is important, some people simply have overactive sebaceous glands, which is dictated by their genes. Additionally, studies have shown that many acne sufferers tend to harbor a particular strain of acne-causing bacteria. There is also a hormonal connection. Those with higher testosterone levels tend to have more active sebaceous glands which increase the risk of breakouts. Also, last but not least, it could even be driven on your gut. Researchers have found that those who have an overgrowth of bad bacteria in their digestive tract are more prone to acne.
In short, there are a lot of things that could be causing your acne. That’s why, if you’re experiencing moderate to severe breakouts, it’s always a good idea to see a highly qualified doctor, like the ones you’ll find at Skin Renewal, who can help you find the root cause of your flare-up.
How to treat acne at home
If your acne is mild to moderate, treatment begins at home using the right products specially formulated to keep your skin clean and clear. To start, gently wash your face using a cleanser containing salicylic acid, also known as beta-hydroxy acid (BHA). Unlike alpha hydroxy acids that exfoliate your skin’s surface, BHA can penetrate deep into your pores to clean them. A first choice is Lamelle Clarity Active Cleanser.
Then, whatever you do, don’t try to give a grainy scrub. These can make existing lesions worse, inflame them even more, and spread acne-causing bacteria around your face. Instead, exfoliate instead using a chemical exfoliant such as NeoStrata Clarify Oily Skin Solution which contains 8% glycolic acid, an AHA. This will gently remove dead skin cells that could end up clogging your pores.
When it comes to moisturizers and serums, again, you’ll want to look for those formulated with BHA such as Lamella Clarity Corrective AM. Another gem that cleanses the skin is SkinCeuticals Blemish + Age Defense. It also contains BHA which cleanses the pores as well as glycolic acid (an AHA) to exfoliate the surface of your skin. Best of all, it also contains dioic acid to help reduce excess sebum.
The bottom line
Acne, whether you experience it in your teenage years or adulthood, is always unpleasant. However, with the right products and a few lifestyle changes, you can effectively manage it at home. However, if your breakouts are moderate to severe, you’ll want to talk to one of the doctors at Skin Renewal. They will be able to create an action plan including in-office treatments such as peels. So, don’t let acne bring you down. We have successfully treated thousands of acne patients and together we can help you beat these breakouts!
Need to know more? Watch this space as we take a more in-depth look at acne and the best treatment options next.