When people think of acne-prone skin, a face filled with bright red bumps will probably come to mind. However, there are many different ways that acne may be manifest. Though it’s by far the most prevalent skin problem in the U.S.,1 many aren’t sure of what acne actually is, and this can make the process of preventing and treating breakouts painful, or even difficult. The good thing, however there is an effective treatment program you’ll get on the road towards a clearer complexion.
We talked to three dermatologists to find out the causes of acne and how it develops and how you can take care of it.
Meet the Expert
Dr. Marisa Garshick, MD, FAAD is a Board-certified dermatologist at MDCS: Medical Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery Centers and the Clinical Assistant Professor in Dermatology located at Cornell University.
Dr. Brendan Camp, MD, FAAD is a double board-certified dermatologist at MDCS Dermatology in Manhattan.
Dr. Craig A. Kraffert, MD is a board certified dermatologist and co-founder of Amarte Skin Care and DermStore.
The various types of Acne
While acne is technically this skin problem that may cause breakouts, pimples and other kinds have come to be synonymous with the word. Although the symptoms of acne all begin in the same manner however, certain types of acne may develop into different kinds of acne. “All acne lesions share the same underlying cause which is the microcomedone, an extremely tiny blockage of the duct that runs around a hair follicle that runs that extends from the dermis’s deeper layer to the skin’s surface,” says Kraffert. “As the microcomedone continues to grow it may develop into an open, normal comedone (blackhead) or an unclosed comedone, which looks like an extremely small whitehead on the surface of the skin. Comedones that are inflamed can be caused by redness and swelling around them. Microcomedones that are not able to grow into normal comedones however, they develop an in the background inflammation. The severity of inflammation as well as its location within the skin the red and tender bumps are referred to as papules and, if they have pustules that are centrally located, they are called pustules. Papules that are more painful are referred to as cysts. Larger cysts can be called”nodular cysts.”
Comedones “Generally comedonal acne — which are referred to as blackheads and whiteheads, usually appear in oily-prone areas of the skin , such as the T-zone. However, it may occur in any place,” says Garshick.
Pustules and papules They can be pustules and papules: These are the “classic” symptoms that you imagine when you think of pimples. “Red pustules and papules are thought to be more acne-related and, as such, could also be linked to inflammation and bacteria” Garshick states. The primary distinction? Papules are bumps that have raised edges that contain pus.
The Cysts “Hormonal cysts,” while they may happen everywhere, usually appear as cystic cysts. note: these are “invisible” cysts that are sensitive to contact.They are They are typically located in the lower 1/3 of the face, or the jawline region,” says Garshick. “For many the breakouts may be periodic and happen around menstrual periods.”
“The process of developing acne is multifactorial” claims Camp. “It is caused by hyperkeratinization of the follicles (exfoliating or shed skin cells create an enveloping pore,) hormonal influences (androgens or sex hormones which signal oil or sebum production) and inflammation triggered by bacteria.” In simple terms acne-related symptoms, such as bumps, red and raised spots can be caused by excessive fluid and dead cells bacteria get into a pore, that triggers an inflammatory response in the body, leading to breakouts. More detail, below:
Sebaceous glands that are situated at the ends of a hair follicle or pores, produce sebum that is an oily compound that is designed to protect the skin by hydrating it and protecting it from external influences. In some cases, these glands be overloaded and produce excessive oil, which could result in blocked pores and, eventually breakouts.
Sebaceous glands get activated primarily by hormones. “Acne is often hormone-driven,” says Kraffert. “The hormones responsible for acne can also lead to the development of oily skin.” Which hormones are responsible for an increase in oil production? “Androgens are the major cause for acne.” Kraffert adds. “Androgen levels tend to increase in the adolescent years and, more specifically, in women, during early adulthood.”
Dead cells on the skin: It’s not only oily skin that triggers acne signs. Dead skin cells can cause acne breakouts due to clogged pores.
Diet: Though it’s highly debated as a legitimate cause some believe that their diet can directly impact the health that their skin. “A diet that is high in glycemic index is believed to be connected with acne.” claims Camp. “These kinds of foods trigger massive spikes the blood sugar level, which lead in the production of hormones which could encourage the formation of acne.” Examples of high-glycemic foods are the white bread, sugar and even some of it.
The best skin care routine for acne prone skin
Although the symptoms of acne tend to diminish over time, the issue of acne needs to be treated to ensure that your skin to be clear of bumps more frequently than not.
Cleanse your skin. A routine of cleansing your skin will help to keep your skin healthy Be sure to be aware of the nature of your acne-related symptoms in mind while applying an exfoliant. “A regimen for skincare can differ depending on the severity and nature of acne,” says Garshick. “For the majority of people suffering from acne should wash your face for a couple of times a each day.” For people with mild acne or oily skin, it is beneficial to apply a salicylic acid-based cleanser such as Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne wash that helps unblock pores. “In addition to breakouts, you should take into consideration your skin type while cleansing, and make adjustments depending on the change in the seasons. “Those who have dry skin types don’t require an exfoliation treatment or cleanser which will eliminate all oil from their skin while people with oily skin could prefer something more powerful,” says Camp. “For the oily complexion, I suggest Cetaphil’s DermaControl Cleanser. If you have dry or irritated skin, would recommend CeraVe’s Facial Cleanser that Hydrates.”
Exfoliate. Cleansing is a great way to remove dirt and oil off your skin, but you’ll want to exfoliate the dead skin cells, too as gently as you can. Kraffert suggests Amarte Daily ExfoliPowder to cleanse and exfoliate that is gentle enough for everyday use.
Tone. It’s not a necessity but it can improve the appearance of the skin, or help treat it, depending on the ingredient, for instance, tea tree oil or sulfur as they both alleviate the symptoms of acne. “Toners are fantastic products that you can use and although not everyone is required the use of them, everybody is able to benefit from these products,” Kraffert explains. “Those who have acne-prone skin and oily skin are likely to get the greatest benefits from toners, since they’re made to get rid of sebum, oil and grime from your pores.”
Implement active ingredients. The specific treatments for acne will differ between individuals and, as dermatologists advise who advise on the best treatments for acne-prone skin are spots and retinol. Camp suggests Differin gel that “helps control cell renewal and avoid clogging of pores that can be used in the evening,” together with the 5% benzoyl-peroxide to fight acne-causing bacteria such as Clear Skin Spot Treatment from Glo Skin Beauty. But don’t apply both at the same time. Instead apply the benzoyl-peroxide in the morning, and apply the evening retinol every week, a couple of times after you’ve developed an acclimatization. As you begin to learn with these ingredients, gradually introduce them. If peeling or redness that is excessive is observed, consult dermatologist.
Moisturize. It might seem counterintuitive adding more moisture to oily skin, but since acne treatments can dry so it’s crucial to replenish. “For the moisturizer I suggest CeraVe Facial Lotion because it hydrates and has Ceramides that help to support the skin barrier naturally without clogging pores. Or La Roche Posay’s Toleriane Double Repair which contains ceramides and niacinamide, which help to reduce inflammation.”
Always apply SPF. “As numerous anti-acne treatments can cause you to be more sensitive to sun it is crucial to use wearing sunscreen every day,” says Garshick. “Elta MD UV Clear is an ideal choice of sunscreen for people who have acne-prone skin since it’s an zinc-based sunblock that includes the ingredients hyaluronic acid and niacinamide to aid in hydrating and soothing your skin.”
The body should be treated if it needs to. “For those suffering from back and chest breakouts that appear painful and red, a benzyl peroxide cleanser, like Panoxyl 4 percent is a fantastic choice,” says Garshick. “As it is essential to be gentle with your skin, particularly if you use prescription chemicals or exfoliants, such as glycolic or salicylic acids It is recommended to choose a mild body wash, such as Dove Sensitive Skin Body Wash that is not comedogenic and won’t block pores.”
The process of implementing a skincare regimen is similar to exercising and learning to speak a different language. If you are looking to see the results, consistency is the key. “Those with acne-prone skin need to be consistent with their regimen of daily skincare not just when breakouts appear,” recommends Garshick.
Everything should be taken in moderation
If you’re suffering from acne, you could be tempted by a variety of products to treat it, but doing this could deprive the skin of essential oils which could lead to dry skin and irritation. “My general principle for dealing with acne is to use less more”” advises Camp. “The more products you use in your regimen the more complicated it gets and the less likely you will be to adhere to the regimen. Furthermore, using many products can lead to cause disruption to the acid mantle as well as the microbiome.” Garshick suggests the same thing with your haircare products, too, since the buildup of hair products can cause breakouts in the hairline as well as elsewhere around the body, including the face.
Acne breakouts aren’t something that happen overnight and they don’t disappear so fast either. “Don’t quit using acne treatments too quickly,” advises Camp. “I advise clients that acne medication applied to the skin are recommended to be used for between 8 and 12 weeks before they declare their effectiveness or not. It’s not helpful to go through different products in a hurry.” In the meantime try in keeping your hands out of your face. “While tempting, it’s not recommended to pop or pick at the pimple,” he adds. “Doing such a thing can rupture the follicle and increases the region of inflammation. This can result in more colored skin. This also increases the chance of scarring and can cause a bacterial infection.”
Be aware of when to consult an Expert
For severe acne-related symptoms the over-the-counter treatments might not offer relief and, in this instance an appointment with a doctor is your best option to find the right solution. Apply any prescription just after exfoliating or cleansing to ensure maximum absorption. Apart from topical products special treatments can to address problems and heal the skin. “In-office treatments that are able to treat acne can include steroid injections facial surgery for acne, peels red and blue photodynamic therapy, light therapy, microneedling and lasers” claims Camp.
To summarize Acne breakouts may occur due to the dead cells of your skin or bacteria develop within the pores, which triggers the body’s response like it does when an illness disrupts its system. A regimen of skin care can help reduce the signs, or stop new breakouts from occurring however, the specific regimen will be dependent on your personal preferences and your skin type and the extent of your acne-related issues. In general dermatologists suggest cleansing, frequent exfoliation as well as moisturizing and the treatment of any spots that are needed as well as actions that improve overall health of your skin, such as using retinol during the evening and every day SPF.
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