Everything About Acne and How to Treat It 

Acne

What is Acne?

Acne is a result of the hair follicles in your skin being clogged with sebum (an oily liquid we all have) as well as dead skin cells and dirt. When the follicle becomes clogged, bacteria forms and this results in acne. Fluctuations in hormones can also cause it, which is typically why most teenagers suffer.

Skin care products you use on your face can also result in breakouts depending on your skin type and your skin’s sensitivity. Typically, oily skinned people should avoid highly comedogenic oils, such as coconut oil, or soaps that are too drying. Coconut oil clogs pores (a major cause of acne) and drying soaps have a high pH which destroys your skin’s acid mantle and can result in acne.

Types of Acne


Inflammatory

Cysts: Caused by a deep infection in your pore as a result of the pore being clogged. Often painful, large, red, filled with puss and appears to be under the skin.

Nodules: Large, inflamed breakouts that are usually painful. Typically forms in groups.

Papule: Small bumps on face that are red and appear closed.

Pustules: Medium sized bump with white or yellow center.


Noninflammatory

Blackheads/Comedonal Acne: Occur when a hair follicle becomes clogged with sebum, has a black appearance as a result of oxidation and melanin production. Also known as an open comedone.

Whiteheads: A result of dead skin cells, sebum, and bacteria being clogged inside a pore. Appear as little white bumps that are not inflamed and cannot be popped. Also known as a closed comedone.


How To Treat Acne

First, not all acne is treated the same. Some acne requires prescription medication while other forms can be treated with OTC products. The most commonly known OTC treatments that actually work are salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide.

Salicylic acid

An anti-inflammatory, beta hydroxy acid (BHA) that exfoliates your skin and unclogs your pores. It especially works on blackheads and whiteheads because those pores are open making it easier for the salicylic acid to penetrate into them. Salicylic acid should be your best friend when treating acne.

Benzoyl peroxide

An effective treatment because of it’s antibacterial and drying properties. Acne forms when a clogged pore becomes infected with bacteria, benzoyl peroxide kills this bacteria as well as dries the pus that often comes with acne.

Oils

Oils with a high percentage of linoleic acid as well as vitamin e and a, such as sunflower oil, sweet almond oil, and rosehip oil, are also proven to help treat acne. This is because people with acne tend to have one thing in common: a lack of linoleic acid.

Azelaic Acid

A natural anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory ingredient that is often used to treat severe acne and is very difficult to find in an OTC product. It is also proven to reduce the production of keratin, which is linked to promoting acne-causing bacteria growth. Azelaic acid is also known to inhibit tyrosinase production which causes hyperpigmentation, meaning it can also treat PIH (post inflammatory hyperpigmentation).

Retinol

Retinol is a vitamin A derivative that is often prescribed but is starting to appear more on store shelves in weaker dosages. It exfoliates the skin resulting in unclogged pores as well as prevents scarring.

Preventing Acne

  • Keep your skin clean
  • Avoid using pore-clogging products
  • Exfoliate often with BHAs to clear pores
  • Keep your skin hydrated and moisturized
  • Avoid drying products
  • Avoid touching your face frequently
  • Change pillowcase often
  • Drink water
  • Observe acne triggers

Treat Your Acne With These Products!

 

Have you suffered from acne or are currently suffering from it? Let me know in the comments!

Tip of the day: Never pop your pimples. The squeezing causes more irritation. When your pimples are more irritated, they get bigger.

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