What is Acne?
First of all we should get our facts clear about what is Acne!
Acne is a skin disorder that affects the skin’s oil glands and hair follicles. The small holes in your skin (pores) connect to oil glands under the skin. These glands produce an oily matter named sebum. The pores connect to those glands by a canal called a follicle, a hair follicle. Inside these follicles, oil carries dead skin cells to the surface of the skin. A thin hair also grows through the follicle and out to the skin. When there is a hormone imbalance, as it usually is the case in young adults, aka teenagers, the hair, sebum, and skin cells clump together into a plug! In this mix there are also bacteria which in turn causes swelling. As this swelling is plugged that is a pimple grows.
Depending on the quantity of each of the ingredients, being it dead skin cells, sebum and oil, a variety of acne is “produced” by our body. That is why it can be said that there are 6 types of acne.
In reality, doctors still don’t know for sure what causes acne, but taking care of your skin can prevent outbreaks from becoming worse.
Acne and its treatments
Acne is a menace. However, it’s something that can be tackled. There are loads of acne skin care products around. We can classify acne skin care products into 3 broad categories –
- Preventive or general acne skin care products
- Over-the-counter, specialized acne skin care products
- On-prescription acne skin care products.
In general, acne skin care products are the ones that are used as acne-prevention measure. These include cleansers, make-up removers and similar products that help treat and prevent acne. In the real sense, these acne skin care products are just those that should already be part of your daily routine.
However, there are specific skin care products that are oriented to treat you skin for acne. These acne skin care products act against the causes of acne e.g. limiting the production of sebum/oil and preventing clogging of skin pores. Basically, these acne skin care products prevent the oil from getting trapped in pores and so disturb/stop the growth of bacteria that lead to acne.
Those general acne skin care products also include exfoliation products like skin peels and skin scrubs. These work towards removing dead skin cells, and so reduce the possibility of your pores clogging up and bacteria development.
Special Acne Skin Care Products
Then there are specialized acne skin care products that are available over-the-counter, meaning without the need of a prescription. These include products like vanishing creams which extract the extra oil from the skin. Most of these acne skin care products are based on benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, both of which are the enemies of bacteria (and hence acne).
When considering using such products, you should start with a product that has lower concentration of benzoyl peroxide (e.g. 5%) and see how your skin responds & reacts to it. Alpha-hydroxy-acid based moisturizers are also popular as acne skin care products. You might have to try a few, before you zero-in on the acne skin care product that is effective for you. If nothing seems to work, you should see a dermatologist.
On-prescription acne skin care products are the ones that are prescribed by a dermatologist. This can include ointments that can be applied on the affected area or oral antibiotics or just any topical treatment. Dermatologist could also suggest a minor surgical procedure to remove the contents of pustules. However, never try to squeeze or do this by yourself, it can lead to permanent damage of your skin and scarring.
Your doctor could also prescribe a hormone-based treatment (since hormonal changes are also known to cause acne). Such acne skin care products are known to be very effective in some cases.
Some Acne Skin Care Products Recommendations
With all the vast variety of acne skin care products available on the market to day, tackling acne is not that difficult. In my opinion, prevention is preferable than a cure, and to that effect I would recommend, in addition to taking care of your skin with the appropriate skin care routine, to review your diet and way of life.
- Are you doing enough exercises?
- Are you eating enough fresh fruits & vegetables?
- Are you drinking enough water?
- Do you drink alcohol? and if so, how much?
The answers to these questions may offer you part of the solution to your skin problems, as our skin reflects our inner health and nutritional balance. And in today’s society, with all the prepared dinners, processed foods, fast foods and super loaded sugar drinks, no wonders that our bodies and our skin “scream” for help!!
Founder of Beauty-Over-Fifty.com