Spots, pimples blemishes - whatever you call them, everyone has had an odd spot at some point in their lives. Acne, however, is a chronic skin condition causing hair follicles on the skin to become blocked and congested, resulting in areas of inflammation and infection. We know that acne is not only a physical problem – it can have a huge psychological affect and can severely impact a person’s mental health and wellbeing.
Acne is more common in women than men.
Acne mainly affects the face (although it can also be seen on the chest and back area).
Affects around 9% of the population worldwide.
Acne lesions can be non-inflammatory, inflammatory, or a mixture of both.
Non-inflammatory lesions are known as comedones. Open comedones are known as blackheads and closed comedones are known as whiteheads.
Inflammatory acne lesions include papules and pustules (5 mm or less in diameter) — in more severe disease, these can develop into larger deeper pustules and nodules.
Most people with acne will have a mixture of inflammatory and non-inflammatory lesions and the severity of acne differs too.
As with a lot of chronic conditions, we don’t know for certain what causes acne. While we may not currently have a definitive answer, the most recent research identifies factors which may contribute to acne.
Androgens (a small group of sex hormones) cause some people to have an increase in sebum (oil production.) Increased sebum can cause changes which mean that skin cells don’t effectively shed and the pores may become blocked.
A tendency towards severe acne in people with a family history of the condition has been identified.
A link between acne and high glycemic index diets has been identified. This means carbohydrate rich foods that are quickly broken down raising your blood sugar levels.
Meaning that white bread, white rice, potatoes, as well as sugary foods and soft drinks can worsen acne.
A normal skin bacteria called cutibacterium acnes takes hold in the tiny hair follicles below the surface of this skin causing a chemical change and inflammation under the surface of the skin
For severe acne we would always recommend seeing a specialist GP or dermatologist.
It is also important to remember that no one product or treatment is going to make acne disappear and it will take weeks if not months to see any improvement in skin.
Key ingredients in acne management:
Retinol from Vitamin A increases skin cell turnover and encourage dead skin cells to shed rather than block pores.
Salicylic Acid - a type of Beta Hydroxy Acid, which works as chemical exfoliator that can penetrate sebum as it is fat soluble, it also leaves a very fine coating to stop pores filling up again with oil.
Benzyl Peroxide forces peroxide into the hair follicle unit helps dimmish the bacteria. A good product with contain smalll molecules to help penetrate the product into the middle layer of your skin. Redness can sometimes be seen if the product just sits on the skin.
Key Points to Remember:
To avoid over-cleansing the skin (which may cause dryness and irritation). Acne is not caused by poor hygiene.
To use a non-alkaline (skin pH neutral or slightly acidic) synthetic detergent cleansing product twice daily on acne-prone skin.
To avoid oil-based comedogenic skin care products, make-up, and sunscreens, and, if make-up is used, it should always be removed at the end of the day.
That persistent picking or scratching of lesions can increase the risk of scarring.
That treatments may irritate the skin, especially at the start of treatment.
To reduce the risk of skin irritation associated with topical treatments, start with alternate-day or short-contact application (for example washing off after an hour).
If you would like to know more about how we can help you please call us on 01482 651600 to click on line to book a no obligation appointment with one of our skin specialist