Acne is a very common skin condition. It can be found in several different forms that are distinguished by the different type of blemishes you may have. Spots such as blackheads and whiteheads are most common and often mild. Pustules and cysts are the other two types of spots, which are more severe; these are often deep, inflamed, pus-filled and can be long lasting and lead to scarring.
What causes acne?
Your skin is made up of thousands of pores; each pore contains one hair and a sebaceous gland that produces oil, called sebum, which helps keep your skin soft.
Acne can be caused from a combination of different conditions such as:
- The gland is producing too much sebum; this can be the result of changes in hormones, which could’ve occurred as a result of puberty or pregnancy.
- Dead skin cells have accumulated and blocked the pore.
Skin specific bacteria called ‘Propionibacterium acnes’ commonly known as the ‘P bacteria’. P bacteria are usually harmless, unless trapped inside the pore when the excess sebum can cause inflammation and pus.
Acne can start at any age; however it is most commonly linked to a change in hormonal levels; which suggests acne is more frequent during puberty.
What does acne look and feel like?
Acne can be formed of different spots that are;
- Blackheads: Dead skin cells and oils collect in the opening of the skin follicle, producing a bump called a comedone. If the bump opens, the contents oxidize and turn black.
- Whiteheads: These are similar to a blackhead but the contents of the inflamed pore are not exposed to the air.
- Papules: Small tender pink pimples that appear on your skin and have a rough texture. Papules occur when the wall of a hair follicle break and cave in – the inflammation is due to white blood cells rushing in.
- Pustules: These appear several days after papules are formed when the white blood cells rise to the surface of the skin. Pustules can be large and painful.
- Nodules: Are a pimple like growth that forms under your skin. A nodule may be filled with inflamed tissue or a mixture of tissue and fluid.
Large tender spots or cysts rarely develop; these can either heal or burst. The skin will feel oily and the affected skin can feel hot, tender and painful to touch.
Different acne types
Different people may have a different type of acne. It is really important to get the correct treatment for your kind of acne.
At ProSkin we can give you a free skin analysis and consultation to help prescribe the right treatment for your specific skin type.
The different types of acne are:
- Acne Vulgaris is the most common form of acne, the types of spots including whiteheads and blackheads, papules, pustules, nodules and cysts all fall under this category.
- Acne Rosacea is most common in women over 30, similar to Acne Vulgaris the spots are the same; however a red rash that usually covers the nose, cheeks, forehead and chin will also appear.
- Acne Conglobata is the most severe type of acne; this condition is made up of large lesions across the face and body, as well as a large number of blackheads. This can lead to severe scarring and usually only affects males.
- Acne Cosmetica comprises of mainly blackheads and whiteheads and is caused by using pore-blocking cosmetic products. This causes blockage in the skin duct.
- Acne Fulminans usually affects young men and is accompanied by a fever and aching joints. The acne is severe and comes in cystic form.
- Acne Mechanica spots normally appear in an irregular pattern and can be caused by constant use of a specific substance on the same part of the skin, such as a dirty handset. This type of acne should clear up once you have stopped using the substance.
- Excoriated Acne occurs when spots have been picked which leads to a longer healing period – this can cause a greater risk of scarring. It is important to let your aesthetician know if you have picked your spots, so the correct treatment can be prescribed.
- Poyoderma Faciale is rare and sudden; it is made up of both pustules and nodules. This acne usually appears on cheeks, chin and forehead.
- Steroid Acne can form when using steroids. The drug can have the side effect of causing nodular-cystic acne. It is very important to inform your aesthetician if you have been using steroids, as it may have a link with your acne, and the correct treatment would need to be discussed.
Tips to help minimise acne
Although acne is hereditary and there is no cure, there are ways to minimise acne.
Do not pick or squeeze spots
Picking and popping spots can cause scars, as well as spread them. Try not to touch your spots as this could worsen the condition.
- Check your diet
Eating a balanced diet is important and can help improve your skin. Eating a high amount of fatty foods can affect your skin, therefore eat foods high in Omega 3 and cut down consumption of dairy products. It is important to cut down on sugar as this contributes to formation of acne.
- Do not clog pores
Using heavy makeup isn’t good for the skin and can block pores. Try using lighter mineral make-up to allow the skin to breathe.
- Stay out of the sun
Excess exposure to the sun can cause the skin to dry out. Your skin will produce excess oil to compensate for this, which can lead to more spots.
- Daily exercise
Exercise delivers oxygen to skin cells and regulates hormone levels, all of which contribute to reducing acne.
How to treat acne?
There is no magic cure for acne; however there are many specialist treatments that can help to reduce and even remove acne. As every case of acne is different it’s important you talk to a professional who can assess your acne condition and skin type and recommend the correct treatment for you.
At ProSkin our professional aestheticians can offer you the best treatment for your condition, we recommend a consultation before you consider treatment.
We offer a treatment for both acne and acne scarring allowing you to be treated for the condition of acne but also for any scars the condition may have left.
PicoSure™ Acne Scarring Laser Treatment
We are pleased to offer PicoSure™ Acne Scarring Laser Treatment; a safe acne scarring treatment with great results.
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Read more about PicoSure Acne Scarring Laser Treatment today.