What is Acne?
Acne is a chronic disorder affecting the hair follicles and sebaceous glands.
This condition usually appears during puberty and tends to get worse for those with oily skin. Acne doesn’t only appear on the face, it can also appear on other areas of the body such as the neck, chest, back, shoulders, scalp, and upper arms and legs.
Acne Triggers & Causes:
We all experience some form of acne in our lifetime. There are many causes and triggers for breakouts.. Some triggers include hormones, diet, genetics, lifestyle & environmental stresses.
It can be difficult to determine the underlying causes of your acne breakouts without going through a long-term process of elimination to identify your skin’s unique triggers. Lack of sleep; stress; foods high in added sugars, oils, gluten and dairy, unclean hair and pillowcases; toxins in the environment, fragrances in cosmetics & household products are factors which many people do not realise are causing havoc in the body which manifest on the skin.
If your body is unable to rid itself of toxins due to an overworked liver & gallbladder, it’s only option is to eliminate them via the skin. It is crucial to gain an understanding of any triggers that you may be able to easily eliminate from your lifestyle. This along with understanding the specific type of acne you are suffering from is important to start the most effective treatment.
Now that we understand what acne is and a few of its triggers, let’s take a look at the various types of acne to help you identify which type of acne you may be suffering with.
Blackheads are very small dark bumps which are visible on the skin. These form when the follicle becomes blocked with oils and dead skin cells. Most would think this little black bump is trapped dirt under the skin, however the dark appearance is caused by a chemical reaction between sebum (oil) and air.
If the plugged follicle stays below the surface of the skin, it usually appears as a small, whitish bump known as a whitehead. Whiteheads have a similar appearance to blackheads, but may be firmer and will not empty when squeezed.
Inflammatory AcnePapules (Pimple)
Papules appear on the skin as a small, firm pink bump developed from excess oil & skin cells.
They are tender and are often considered a step between non-inflammatory and clearly inflammatory lesions. Papules normally fill with pus in 1-2 days.
Pustules are small round lesions that are inflamed and contain visible pus. They will appear red at the base with a yellowish or whitish center.
Nodules look like a small bump under the skin and are very sensitive to the touch. They can be skin-toned, before later becoming red & inflamed.
Cysts are large, very painful pus-filled lesions that are usually present deep within the skin.
They form when the contents of a blackhead spills over the surrounding skin and the response of the immune system producing pus. The cysts are very inflamed and often leave deep scars.
How can I manage my breakouts at home?
The most important step to treating your acne at home is to make sure you are using the best products for your skin type. Complete our online skin consultation today to get your very own customized plan.
- Use silk pillowcases and make sure to wash them regularly.
- Let your skin breathe! Take a break from wearing makeup.
- When a blemish appears, apply our favorite blemish gel to help get rid of it quickly!
- Ignore the pimple! Popping/picking your blemish can cause more harm than good.
- Consume food rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin B-2, Vitamin B-3, Vitamin E. Try to stay away from processed foods & added sugars.
- Reduce stress and emotional anxiety (easier said than done right now we know).
- Cleanse your face each morning and evening with an appropriate cleanser.
- Drink your water! 2 liters of water per day minimum. Try to avoid sugary drinks including soda & hot drinks as much as possible.
- Consider a probiotic supplement to boost your gut health. (please inquire with your doctor before doing so)
- Exercise each day. Exercise has been proven to help the body expel toxins, which helps achieve clear skin.
- Practice good personal hygiene. Sweat. Dirt and excess oil create the ideal breeding ground for the spread of bacteria. Make sure to use a great soap in the shower or bath so that you come out squeaky clean. We really like this one.
Acne can be a very sensitive thing to deal with. We want you to know that you do not have to suffer alone. Reach out to us for advice and guidance, come visit us for an in person consultation and customized treatment plan. We have many in spa treatments available to work along side your home care routine.
Vanessa Cadorette is a Medical Aesthetician and Lash Artist at Hello Gorgeous Beauty Studio in Guelph Ontario