WATCH: Acne - what is it and what could be causing it
Acne. Nobody wants it, but just about everyone will experience it. Usually, the breakouts begin in our teen years when our oil glands become stimulated during puberty. However, just because your high school days are over, it doesn’t mean you can expect to remain pimple free.
So, what is acne exactly? And why is happening to you? We’ll get to that, but let’s address the first issue – 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 blocked with oil, dead skin and bacteria. Blackheads are merely pores filled up with oil and dirt. A pimple, however, is created when that clogged pore becomes infected leading to inflammation and pus. Fun!
So why me?
Going by that definition, you might think 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 oil glands, something that’s dictated by their genes. Also, studies have shown that many acne sufferers tend to harbour a particular strain of acne-causing bacteria. There’s also a hormonal connection. Those with higher testosterone levels tend to have more active oil glands that increase the likelihood of breakouts. Also, last but not least, it could even be driven your gut. Researchers have found that those with an overgrowth of bad bacteria in their digestive tract are more prone to acne.
In short, there are lots of things that could be causing your acne. This is why, if you’re experiencing moderate to severe breakouts, it’s always a good idea to see a highly-skilled doctor such as those you’ll find at Skin Renewal who can help you find the root cause of your flareup.
How to treat acne at home
If your acne is mild to moderate, treatment starts at home by using the right products specially formulated to keep your skin clean and clear. To start, gently wash your face using a cleanser that contains salicylic acid, also known as beta hydroxy acid (BHA). Unlike alpha hydroxy acids that exfoliate the surface of your skin, BHA can get deep inside your pores to clear them. A top pick is Lamelle Clarity Active Cleanse.
Next up, whatever you do, don’t reach for a grainy scrub. These can aggravate existing lesions, inflaming them even further as well as spread the acne-causing bacteria around your face. Instead, rather exfoliate using a chemical exfoliator such as NeoStrata Clarify Oily Skin Solution that contains 8% glycolic acid, an AHA. This will gently slough away any dead skin cells that could end up clogging your pores.
As far as moisturisers and serums go, again you’ll want to look for those formulated with BHA such as Lamelle Clarity Corrective AM. Another skin-clearing gem is SkinCeuticals Blemish + Age Defense. It also contains pore-clearing BHA along with glycolic acid (an AHA) to exfoliate the surface of your skin. Better yet, it also includes dioic acid to help reduce excess oil.
The bottom line
Acne, whether you experience it in your teens or as an adult, 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 chat with one of the doctors at Skin Renewal. They’ll be able to create a plan of action that includes in-office treatments such as peels. So, don’t let acne get you down. We’ve successfully treated thousands of acne patients and together we can help you beat those breakouts!
Need to know more? Watch this space as we take a more in depth look at acne and the best treatment options next.