Active Acne | Acne Marks | Acne Scars
Acne is a universal skin concern that affects both men and women of all ages. Although the cause may be multifactorial, the main cause is increased sebum(oil) production and p.acne bacterium. With the appropriate treatments and home care, this condition can be managed effectively. And if treated early, the hassle of acne scar treatment can also be avoided. That said, it is never too late to treat acne, or scarring. With consistency, diligence and proper professional advise and skincare, clear, smooth and blemish free is possible for sure.
What is you main concern?
Active acne usually affects teenagers which start around the time of puberty. It also can affect adults – late onset acne. It usually starts on the face area but may also concurrently or subsequently be seen on the chest or back.
Do you have the habit of picking your acne with your bare fingers? Does your acne leave a nasty mark behind everytime it heals? Do you need tonnes of concealer and makeup to cover up your spots daily? do you know why this happens? Our skin contains melanocytes ( Pigment producing cells) . Everytime there is an injury to the surface, our skin reacts by producing Pigment (dark spots). In medical terms also known as PIH (Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation) This condition may resolve on it’s own with good skincare but will take months and months. With treatment options such as microdermabrasion, Pigment laser, chemical peels and prescription creams, this process can be expedited to reveal clear and glowing skin without the need of concealers and tonnes of unhealthy makeup to cover up.
Did your teen years leave being unsightly acne scars that you have carried to adulthood? do you feel less confident revealing your bare skin due to acne scars? do you wish for smooth skin? The Good news is that acne scar treatments have come a long way and today there are many options to effectively treat acne scarring. Each type of scarring may be treated in different ways so it is important that you have your scars examined by a trained Aesthetic Dr to determine the most effective treatment.
Types of acne:
When we are talking about acne, the thing that bothers us most are the pesky spots. Some are just unsightly while others may also be painful.
These are tiny firm bumps that are painless. These occur due to overproduction of Sebum (oil production).
If the whiteheads progress to get exposed to air and get oxidized, than the whiteheads will progress to become blackheads. Blackheads are difficult to treat, but the good news is technology in skincare has progressed so far that this issue is easily solvable.
These are small red bumps that may feel tender due to inflammation
Similar to Papules but these lesions are infected and therefore contain pus in the centre. Pustules are also tender to touch.
Nodules are large, painful hard lumps that develop beneath the surface of the skin.
These are large, sebaceous filled lesions that are usually encapsulated by a wall. Medication may reduce the symptoms and recurrence of infection. Excision of the cyst intact with the “Wall” is the only way to totally remove it.
Why does acne occur?
Are you tired of pimples popping out on a daily basis? Does acne make you feel shy and depressed? Do you feel you are missing out on living your life to the fullest because of Acne? Is Acne ruining your social life? Have you spent thousands and thousands on skincare but still suffering from acne? Do you feel that you have to live with acne for the rest of your life? This stage of acne is the most painful not only physically but also mentally. Many teens and even some adults suffer from acne breakouts that just sprout and grow despite a whole cupboard full of skincare and advise from well-meaning family and friends. Jumping from one skincare to the next also doesn’t help. Because not all Acne can be resolved the same way, it is important to seek professional advise and get onto the right track for effective healing.
The main cause for acne boils down to 2 main causes.
1. Increased sebum production – oily skin.
2. Bacteria – mainly p.acne which lead to formation of inflammation, infection and pus formation.
The causes for the increase in sebum production could be purely hormonal but may also be hereditary, related to lifestyle and diet or the use of wrong products.
The topic of products will be further discussed as it is something we can all do to prevent acne breakouts and save some money in the process.
Depending on skin types the most suitable cleanser can be a mild neutral cleanser to something a bit stronger with Salicylic acid, AHA, BHA or fruit enzymes. The idea would be to be able to clean out dirt and grime without over-drying or irritating our skin.
We are sometimes tempted to use an Exfoliator in the quest for smooth blemish-free skin. However, some Exfoliators may be too harsh for inflamed, infected skin. Used too often it will also dry out and strip our natural protective layer of the skin and in turn, our skin reacts by producing more oil which is counter productive in the treatment of acne. A gentle Exfoliator may be used once a week safely.
Use an alcohol-free toner to gently cleanse off any residual cleanser and prep skin for the subsequent skincare. Some toners also have soothing and pore refining ingredients.
4. Serum and moisturisers
The difference between serums and moisturizers is the consistency of the product. Serums are more liquid-based while moisturizers are usually cream-based. However many water-based moisturizers are now available to moisturize without the oiliness. The important part to note be it serums or moisturizers is to use non-comedogenic products meaning that the product will not block pores. For oily skin, look out for products that are *oil-free * non-comedogenic *water-based products that aim to provide mild moisturization ( if needed) without clogging pores or adding on to oil production.
This is also an important step due to our tropical climate. It is important to use a non-comedogenic sunblock as well and sometimes in very severe acne this step may even be skipped for awhile till proper oil control is in place. Proper use of sunblock will go a long way to prevent unsightly spots and pigmentation left after active acne dries out.
6. Makeup and foundation
As far as possible, it is advised to omit makeup and thick makeup that clogs pores and may aggravate acne. It may be difficult but the long term idea is to heal your skin so that you will not need to cover up your beautiful skin with tonnes of concealer, foundation, and makeup. If makeup is a Must due to occupation etc, use non-comedogenic foundations, replace makeup brushes/cushions often and always ensure all traces are cleansed and removed properly before sleeping.
7. Prescription creams
Prescription creams may also be prescribed to aid in the healing of acne breakouts and the lightening of acne marks. Always start with the lowest strength of prescription creams and work your way up to prevent over-drying, skin irritations or other unwanted side effects. It is advisable to get these prescriptions from a professional and trained doctor.