It’s Saturday and we have our beauty talk today on acne and remedies.
Disclaimer– I’m not a medical doctor but a researcher and so this article is born out of my personal research and experience. Always consult your medical doctor before you embark on any treatments.
Acne is a disease of the skin characterized by the appearance of pimples, blackheads, inflammation and increased sensitivity in the skin. This disease occurs in areas of the body with more sebaceous glands (glands that produce sebum or fat) such as the face, chest, and back.
The appearance of acne in most patients is in adolescence during the stage of development, but this does not rule out that there are several factors that cause acne in other stages of life, such as:
- Genetic factors.
If one of your parents suffered acute episodes of acne, you are more likely to experience the same, because there is a relationship between genetics and this disease.
Genetics affects the structure of the follicle, the activity of sebaceous glands, hormone levels and the response of the immune system to bacteria, which are some of the factors involved in the development of acne.
When we say that acne is an intensely hormonal disease, the cause is that the hormones are responsible for regulating, among other things, the activity of the sebaceous glands, the production of sebum and the immune response to the bacteria that cause acne.
For this reason, life stages such as adolescence and pregnancy are related to a greater chance of acne and hormonal contraceptives are sometimes used as a treatment for acne during adolescence or adulthood.
Also because of this, men and women suffer from acne in different ways. Women, during adolescence, have more episodes of acne, due to a large number of hormones that are responsible for regulating the menstrual cycle and menstruation along with the fertile days, is a very common cause of acne. Men, on the other hand, are more prone to suffer from episodes of severe and inflammatory acne during adolescence but this is decreasing after the passage of adulthood these episodes of acne are decreasing and the disease usually stops.
- The bacteria
Acne and especially inflammatory acne are related to the presence of the bacterium Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) that inhabits pores and skin follicles that produces erythema and the typical swelling of acne. For this reason, antibiotics are sometimes prescribed as part of the treatment.
It is a common saying that eating fatty foods affects acne and causes us to have more pimples. Science has not been able to find evidence to support that belief, but there seems to be a relationship between diets rich in sugars, high-fat foods, and simple carbohydrates and the onset of acne.
Eating certain foods makes us get grains: chocolate, sausages, especially fatty or dairy foods. And it is true that foods such as chocolate are usually high in sugars and that a diet rich in sugars increases the level of sugar in the blood, a factor that is related to the appearance and worsening of acne outbreaks.
In the case of milk, a series of studies have linked its consumption with a higher incidence of acne. The cause could be in some hormones that contain milk, which can affect the metabolism and hormonal balance that in turn affects acne.
Stress is a known factor because it imbalances hormone levels and affects the immune system, and both are involved in the onset of acne.
- The environment.
Temperature, humidity or sunlight also affect the appearance and worsening of acne. The cold makes the sebum of the skin more dense, which favors the clogging of the pores. The dryness of the environment can cause the skin to generate more sebum to protect itself. The sun, allergies, and other factors can influence the hormonal production, skin structures or bacterial colonies that end up influencing the appearance of the grains.
Why does acne occur?
At puberty, for example, hormonal changes cause the sebaceous glands to produce and secrete more fat. This action irritates and clogs the pores, which is why black spots are known as comedones that can be opened or closed appear.
If the comedones are not treated and extracted, they become inflamed and appear grains that can be of different sizes, these are painful when adopting an inflamed characteristic, of red coloration and full of pus.
The more time passes and the disease is not treated, the greater the complications for the patient, such as scars, infection by manipulation, spots and marks that should have an adequate treatment for the resolution of the clinical picture.
For them, it is always important to go to the dermatologist (a specialist in this area) to treat the disease in a timely and correct manner.
Types of acne
Acne is a disease classified into 3 types according to its characteristics.
- To effectively treat acne, first the doctor or specialist must perform a clinical examination to determine the personal history of hereditary diseases, hormonal changes, medication consumption and acne history in your family.
- Tell the treating specialist or doctor:
- What is the daily routine in skin care?
- How is your diet? What do you eat daily?
- What kind of skin do you have?
- Characteristics of acne that is presenting
We will expose the 3 types of acne for more knowledge of what it is and how to treat it.
- NON-INFLAMMATORY ACNE – BLACK SPOTS AND CLOSED COMEDONES.
Non-inflamed acne is characterized by the appearance of blackheads. Due to the obstruction and irritation of the sebaceous duct, black spots are produced, known in medicine as closed comedones.
For people suffering from non-inflammatory acne, the resolution of the disease is simple. What is indicated in these cases is:
- Perform a facial cleansing by a specialist once every 28 days to avoid the appearance of annoying closed comedones, enlarged pores and improve their appearance.
- A daily facial cleansing routine is indicated at home, twice a day (day and night) that includes:
- Cleansing cream, cleansing milk or dermatological soap
- Facial scrub twice a week.
- Micellar water
- Tonic without alcohol
- Topical Vitamin C Serum or Cream
- Non-comedogenic moisturizer.
- Sunscreen with SPF 50 or more
In addition to these products, products containing Salicylic Acid and topical Retinoids (vitamin A) should be applied, which are indicated to eliminate the appearance of acne and reduce the size of the pores to have optimal care of the skin.
Characteristics of non-inflamed acne.
- Acne or pimples are present but they are scarce and the outbreaks are not recurrent.
- The closed comedones predominate in this clinical picture.
- The skin is ready to receive a facial cleaning every 28 days by a cosmetology, aesthetics or dermatology professional.
- INFLAMMATORY ACNE
They are lesions in the form of nodules and cysts, very red and painful that affect the patient physically and psychologically due to their striking and unattractive appearance.
Clinically it is identified as inflammatory lesions in their majority and less comedones, they are quite sensitive, inflamed and painful to the touch. It is important to go to the appropriate medical attention, since its timely treatment prevents acne from worsening and then scars and unwanted spots appear on the skin.
Characteristics of inflammatory acne
- Affected, inflamed, painful and sensitive area.
- Pimples with obvious signs of pus.
- You can see acne in the form of cysts, lesions with pus and mostly nodules and limited closed comedones.
- In this stage, medical treatment is essential, and after the resolution or improvement of the condition, a deep facial cleansing is carried out.
In addition to the treatment explained in non-inflammatory acne, it must be indicated
- Retinoids oral or topical treatment (previous assessment and medical examinations).
- Oral contraceptives (previous assessment and medical exams) to avoid fetal malformations if the patient (woman) becomes pregnant during treatment with Retinoids.
- Antibiotic oral or topical treatment, in the judgment of the attending physician.
- INFLAMMATORY AND NON-INFLAMMATORY ACNE
Dermatologically covers the two acne mentioned above.
Characteristics of acne combined
- Affected, inflamed, painful and sensitive area.
- Scrape and handling signs.
- Acne with pus.
- Scars on the skin.
- Redness around the skin rashes.
- Comedones closed.
Treatments that include mandelic acid, glycolic acid, vitamin A (Retinoids), salicylic acid and the correct use of benzoic peroxide are essential in the treatment of acne at its appropriate time.
It is very important that these products are handled only by professionals and under strict medical indications, that with the correct use the patient will have the best results. They are strong products, but the skin knows how to tolerate them and responds correctly to assets.
However, having an aggressive regimen of care and treatment in the home, you must take into account several important tips during and after the treatment of acne.
- Always leave the house with sunscreen to prevent photodamage and aging of the skin. Any retinoid (derived from vitamin A) or topical product that is used on the face can produce spots that will later be difficult to remove, therefore always apply sun protection 30 minutes before being exposed to the sun.
- Have a daytime and nighttime facial routine that includes products recommended by the dermatologist or doctor specializing in the care and treatment of acne.
- Use non-comedogenic makeup for important occasions, the rest is avoided and contraindicates the use of makeup, as it clogs the pores and does not allow the skin to breathe properly.
- Avoid touching the pimples or squeezing them, to reduce the possibility of skin infections, spots or scars.
- Avoid the use of home remedies such as toothpaste or ointments not recommended by the specialist, it is abrasive to the skin and causes irritation and peeling.
Photo Credit: VladimirFloyd (istockphotos)
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I am Dr. Christiana Stephen, a wife, a mom of 4 under 4 year old kids, a photo lover, makeup artist, a wellness coach and a lecturer. Motherhood for me is ongoing, its a period of learning and unlearning. I am passionate about a lot of things but most importantly helping mothers around the world reach their wellness goals comes as top priority. Hence, I have created this community for every woman out there. Feel free to be part of this amazing journey of motherhood and wellness. I will say raising this community is inspired by my experience and learning process. The main essence is to empower moms on the benefits of healthy living as well as the need to create a life work balance.
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