Understanding acne and how to get rid of it.

By Catherine Ruffels

Acne is a skin condition consisting of blemishes that can occur on your face, neck, chest, shoulders, and back. It’s a stubborn skin condition that can cause anxiety and self-consciousness, so let’s take a look at how we can get rid of those pesky breakouts and get clear, smooth, healthy glowing skin once and for all!

How acne is formed

To keep your hair and skin well lubricated your body depends on oil-producing sebaceous glands which sits just under your skin, these glands secrete an oily substance which is called sebum which coats your skin helps keep the skin flexible and moisturized. Sebum travels up hair follicles and out through your pores and on to the surface of your skin. Your hair follicles routinely shed dead skin cells which sebum carries out of your body when your body produces extra skin cells and sebum they can stick together and clog your pores resulting in skin blemishes called comedones, then bacteria that normally exist in a small amount on your skin can flourish in the sebum in the clogged pore or comedone leading to inflammation.

Diagram of the parts of the skin

Different Types of Acne

  • Whiteheads are comedones closed off from the air.
  • Blackheads are comedones that turn into a darker color when exposed to air.
  • Papules are comedones that become inflamed, forming small red or pink bumps on the skin. This is already considered a pimple and may be sensitive to the touch.
  • Pustules are another kind of inflamed pimple that resembles a whitehead with an inflamed red ring around the white or yellow pus-filled bump.
  • Nodules are large inflamed bumps that develop deep within the skin they are often painful and firm to touch.
  •  Cyst which are larger painful pus-filled lumps similar to boiles that go deep under the skin.
5 different types of acne

Acne Triggers and Causes

Hormonal Changes

particularly a rise in testosterone can lead to sebum overproduction which is why acne often occurs during the teen years however can occur in any age

Medications

A variety of medications disturbs the balance at the gut, stimulates insulin, or increase follicular yeast which may provoke acne. Drugs containing corticosteroids, testosterone, or lithium. Medications such as antidepressants, antiepileptics, and steroids are known to promote acne.

Diet and Nutrition

These affect overall health. It may not directly cause acne but it can trigger acne by influencing the factors that cause acne. Sugar, fried and processed food can spike insulin which causes the sebaceous glands to produce more oil which increases the chance of having clogged pores, Milk on the other hand can affect hormones.

Stress

Stress can make acne worse. Some researchers believe that stress can cause our body to produce more insulin which triggers excess production of oil. Stress can also affect how we handle our skin, sometimes we tend to pick and prod our skin when we feel stressed out.

Wrong Choice of Products

Thorough cleansing is important and should be done regularly, but one must carefully choose what products to use as there are harsh, soap-based cleansers that can disrupt the skin’s natural balance and trigger acne. When choosing skincare and makeup products one must make sure that the products are not greasy as this may cause bacteria to flourish and are noncomedogenic or don’t clog the pores.

Rubbing or Friction

Acne may occur when there is skin friction, heat, pressure on the skin, or when the skin isn’t exposed to the air. This is known as Acne Mechanica. The most common causes are a tight-fitting hat, helmet with a chin strap, tight-fitting clothing or bra straps or prolonged use of face mask. Skin irritation can also cause itching and if you scratch a lot, or keep touching the area, you will help spread bacteria and worsen your acne.

 

Girl with acne

Acne Treatment

Acne treatment doesn’t happen overnight, it takes effort, commitment, and proper care. The best treatments inhibit sebum production, limit bacterial growth, or encourage shedding of skin cells to unclog pores. Treatments depend on the type of comedones and the severity of acne – mild, moderate or severe,

Lifestyle Changes

People who suffer from acne will benefit from a change in lifestyle. Understanding what the triggers are will help you know what to avoid. Following a skincare routine, washing your face with a mild cleanser, change your pillowcase to avoid breeding bacteria, avoid sugarily, fried, and processed food. Getting enough rest and relaxation to combat stress. It can help manage sebum production.  Look for oil-free or noncomedongenic products. Avoid picking or squeezing blemishes may lead to infection or scarring. Avoid touching your face.

Topical Medication

If you have a mild case of acne, products with one of the several active ingredients are recommended.

  • Benzoyl peroxide kills bacteria dries excess oil and removes dead skin cells clogging pores.
  • Salicylic acid slows the loss of skin cells to prevent clogged pores it may also break down whiteheads and blackheads
  • Alpha Hydroxyl Acids such as lactic acid help remove dead skin cells, reduce inflammation and stimulate the growth of new smoother skin.
  • Sulfur removes dead skin cells and dries excess oils

These are strong chemicals that may irritate the skin, schedule an appointment with us if you are struggling with acne.

If over the counter products are not effective, you may be prescribed stronger products with stronger ingredients

  • Vitamin A which reduces the buildup of dead skin cells in your pores
  • Topical antibiotic, which kills bacteria on your skin or a combination of benzoyl peroxide + topical antibiotics.

Oral Medication

For moderate to severe cases, your derma may prescribe an oral medication alone or in combination with the topical treatment

  • Oral Antibiotics which kills bacteria and reduce inflammation
  • Isotretinoin which is used only for the most severe cases
  • Corticosteroid injection may be give to relieve your pain and help clear up a particularly large lesion
  • For woman birth control pills containing estrogen may be prescribed to minimize the effects of testosterone

Facial Acne Programs

A specialized program where we do a thorough consult about your lifestyle, diet, skin condition, history of  your skin condition is discussed and assesed followed by a series of  relaxing facial using the best products and treatments customized depending on your skin condition.  All About You Skin Clinic has specialized 6 Months or 12 Months acne program to help their clients deal with their acne problems. 

All about you acne program

Recommended Products

O Cosmedics Gentle Anti-oxidant Cleanser

A gentle daily facial cleanser strengthened with powerful antioxidants. Suitable for all skin types including reactive and rosacea skins post-peel laser and surgery cleansing. Fortified with anti-pollutant boosters that trap and remove dirt and excess sebum. V8 Peptide Complex® leaves the skin super hydrated and refreshed. A daily must-have! Perfect for all skin types including the most compromised.

O Cosmedics Exfoliating Cleanser

Cleanser and scrub in one. Empowered with not one but four physical exfoliating beads (Cranberry Seeds, Jojoba Beads, Diatomaceous Earth, and Hydrated Silicone Crystals) to offer the skin invigorating, deep cleansing experience. Fortified with V8 Peptide Complex® the skin is left super hydrated, radiant, and awakened. It doesn’t get better than this!

O cosmedics Exfoliating Cleanser

O Cosmedics Multi-Functional Peel

 A professional-grade at-home peel containing 14% biomimetic Lactic Acid Complex to gently exfoliate the skin. This multi-tasking peel will hydrate, purify, and refine the skin, support product penetration, reduce fine lines and reveal a brighter, more even-tone for smoother, younger-looking skin.

O Cosmedics Potent Clearing Serum

Not one but four potent actives that control breakouts and diminish the appearance of scarring. Encapsulated Salicylic Acid and L-Lactic Acid exfoliate the skin (inside and out) and encourage cell turnover whilst powerful botanicals support the reduction of inflammation. V8 Peptide Complex® ensures skin is left super hydrated and rebalanced. Lifesaver! Perfect for breakouts congestion and even ingrown hairs.

O cosmedics Potent Clearing Serum

All About You Collagen Serum

Our multifunctional serum uses plant-based collagen from seaweed to help repair and strengthen the skin’s natural collagen and elastin. Vitamin C brightens the appearance of the skin texture instantly, while the Hyaluronic Acid hydrates and plumps the skin tissues.  A must-have for all skincare routines.

All About You Daily Peptide Moisturizer

Our revolutionary peptide cream contains Hydrolyzed Rice Protein which is a peptide that stimulates the proliferation of fibroblasts, therefore improving cell propagation and ultimately resulting in elevated cellular metabolism, improved collagen synthesis, reduction in wrinkles, and increased smoothness and toning. Also infused with Hyaluronic Acid and Q10. Naturally scented with Frankincense, Rose Geranium & Chamomile.

All About You Pink Clay Mask

 Infused with several healing herbal powders including Chamomile, Aloe Vera and Calendula, which are used for their soothing and calming benefits. Free from preservatives due to its natural powder form, the product activates instantly once a small amount of water (or toner)is added, forming a lovely silky paste that glides over the skin. Ideal for use twice a week, simply leave on the skin for 10-20 minutes before rinsing off. Extremely calming, clearing, and brightening which makes it perfect for sensitive skin and acne. It’s super hydrating and helps to absorb excess oil all while calming redness and calming inflammation

All About You Acne Treatment Products

Recommended Therapies

Professional Extraction

Extracting a pimple safely and cleanly is a lot more difficult than most recognized, and a variety of mistakes can force the sebum deeper into the skin. Only a professional should perform this type of acne treatment to ensure both safety and the best possible results.

Skin professionals take a great deal of care when performing acne extractions; to reduce chances of scarring and skin damage using sterile tools, proper cleaning, the opening of pore, applying pressure in the right area, identifying pore clusters and special devices such as suction tools that can help loosen dead cells and sebum inside. 

Microdermabrasion

It helps improve skin condition by removing built-up of dead skin cells that cause the blockage and keeping the skin clean. It may even help lighten discolored spots left after pimples heal.

(Recommended monthly)

Chemical Peel

Different AHA’s and BHA’s dissolve the intercellular glue that binds dead skin cells together, this release’s a cascade of cell renewal and turn over so you have new healthy clean cells and we can combat excess oil and acne-causing bacteria with certain AHA’s and BHA’s such as lactic and glycolic acid.

(Recommended every 2 weeks)

High Frequency

A tool that looks like a rod with an electrode tip is passed on the area to be treated, the electron produces argon gas and emits small electrical current. This therapy is meant to kill bacteria and reduce inflammation. The treatments also increase circulation to stimulate collagen, making the treatment an effective anti-aging and glow-boosting tool, too.

Led Light Therapy

Blue light creates an oxygen surge in the skin that kills the acne-causing bacteria from the layers below the surface. And RED LED light therapy creates healthy happy skin cells and gets the immune system working again to have your skin house running cleanly and smoothly again.

(Recommended every 2 weeks)

Acne is not a one size fits all. Breakouts come in many forms and happen for a variety of reasons. Treatment doesn’t work unless you are truly committed and work on it consistently.  Acne can take a toll on one’s emotional health, it can cause depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, poor self-image, decreased quality of life, and feeling of being alone. Early treatment can prevent these problems.

If you are suffering from acne, we are here to help, we have specialized facials and programs especially for you.  We can help you clear your skin and prevent acne from worsening and help you prevent breakouts in the future.