Let’s accept the facts: no skin is insured against the appearance of acne. It is most often associated with the teenage years but also affects millions of people after that age. It is equally unpleasant in all its types: small to large pimples or cysts or as small bumps with the color of the skin or blackheads (comedones).
Why does acne appear?
Acne develops in the pores and sebaceous glands (hair follicles) of the skin. The cells in the pores form keratin, which builds up and blocks the openings. The sebaceous glands continue to function and produce sebum. Often the skin develops a bacteria, propionibacterium acne, that thrives in these conditions
Women are often more affected, as the hormonal imbalance during PMS impacts a lot.
Some drugs are also associated with the appearance of acne – testosterone, barbiturates, antiepileptic drugs, lithium and systemic and inhaled corticosteroids. Finally, mechanical irritation of the skin can also be the cause of acne.
Genetic conditioning has a huge role in whether you will have acne or not.
The color of the skin has its own significance too. Darker skin has larger sebaceous glands and better structured pores, suggesting a lower risk of acne. But if it occurs, people with darker skin are more likely to be left with pigment spots after the pimples.
There is no scientific evidence that food can cause acne. But certain foods (those with a high glycemic index, skimmed milk) may worsen existing acne. Of course, do not start stuffing yourself with chips, chocolate and pizza. They will in no way help your health, even if they do not cause acne directly.
If you have sensitive and prone to irritations skin, be especially careful about what products you use to care for it. Always get acquainted with ingredients and choose non-comedogenic formulas.
Before applying a product, wash your hands. Better still, pour out the amount you need outside the packaging to minimize the contact between your fingers and content. This will avoid the risk of contaminating the product with bacteria.
Take care of your cosmetic accessories; all brushes and sponges should be cleaned regularly.
Powder, for example, is best to be applied only with a brush to avoid irritating the skin excessively. It is important as it reduces the shine of the oily skin, covers the pimples and absorbs excess secretion.
Pink- and red-coloured makeup attract attention to irritated skin, so stick to neutral tones and a warm brownish range close to natural skin color. A good trick is to mix greenish with an ordinary foundation to cover the red spots. A working option is also to put a powder on top of the foundation.
Some hair products can also cause acne: gels, hair foams, pomades and sprays. In contact of hair with the face, the skin may become irritated and inflamed.
What should we do
The treatment of acne is strictly individual and its purpose is, besides removing the current infection, to prevent future complications.
Treat the skin daily, not just during the crisis. Do not forget that the treatment of acne-prone skin should be overall, not just in the areas of the pimples. When cleansing the face, do not use a sponge to avoid additional mechanical irritation of the skin and possible scars.
Acne is best affected by products that act simultaneously on oiliness, clogging of pores and developing bacteria – such topical products contain hexamethylenetetramine. If acne is less pronounced, mostly with comedones (black and white dots) then products containing retinol, benzoyl peroxide, alpha-hydroxy acids may be used. The use of topical antibiotics is undesirable, as they only have a temporary effect and cause resistance to bacteria.
In case of severe acne, topical therapy is not sufficient. You need to visit a dermatologist who will assess the condition of your skin and prescribe a complete course of treatment.
If acne is expressed in blackheads or red bumps with a white tip, it is good to clean them once or twice a week to clear the pores.
A few tips
- Mechanical irritation of the skin may further irritate acne
- Stress may worsen acne, but it can not cause it
- The sun dries the skin dangerously and does NOT cure the pimples
- Sweating during physical exercise can exacerbate or worsen acne on the face, chest and back
- The humid climate increases sebum secretion and can irritate the acne-prone skin