Are you bothered by the common flaring up of your pores? Do you often wonder the cause of it? No matter how well you take care of your skin, these unwelcomed guests on the face just don’t stop. Well, that’s acne for you! Let’s try to explain what acne is a little scientifically! It is a common skin problem that can be characterised by flaring up of skin on the face, forehead, chest, back, and even shoulders.
How does it happen? The overall skin has tiny holes or pores that usually catch grime, dirt, dead cells and tend to get blocked. When this happens, you may notice a pimple or a zit. But, if that happens often, that is when it is called acne. Genetics, hormones, humidity, and even wrong skincare ingredients may be a cause for acne to keep appearing. And, no it isn’t true that acne is only a teenage woe, no matter what your age is - it can strike you!
What is acne?
This article is your guide when it comes to all your questions about acne. Let us simplify what acne is for you first. Acne is a common skin problem that occurs when the follicles on your skin become clogged with oil and other dirt. It leads to whiteheads, blackheads or pimples. It is so common to occur that research states approximately 80% people have battled with acne sometime in their life.
There are certain effective treatments for acne. But well, some zits may heal but others may seem to crop up! Depending on the severity of acne, it can even cause emotional trauma and leaving behind pesky scars. It is recommended to treat it earlier than regretting your skin later.
What are different types of acne?
Acne includes two forms of what can be referred as comedones. If you ask what comedones are, they mean skin bumps which occur due to clogged pores. Skin pores can be fully or partially blocked and often lead to the occurrence of whiteheads and blackheads. These are the most common acne lesions:
- Blackheads: These are open pimples on the skin that fill up with dead skin and excess oil. The black patches appear to be dirt in the bump, but they are created by an uneven light reflection from the obstructed follicle.
- Whiteheads: These are pimples that are kept closed by dead skin and oil.
- The following are examples of inflammatory lesions that are more prone to induce skin scarring:
- Papules: These are inflamed or diseased hair follicles that generate these little, red, raised lumps.
- Pustules: These are little red pimples with pus in the centre.
- Nodules: These are firm, often painful lumps that form beneath the skin's surface.
- Cysts: These are huge pus-filled lumps beneath the skin that are frequently uncomfortable.
What causes acne?
It is often noted that acne starts with change in hormones caused by androgen, which is at the peak during teenage and early adulthood. It is further caused by sensitivity of your hormones, microorganisms on the skin and the fatty acids within your oil glands. The sebum that your oil glands produce travels all the way to the hair shaft or pores of your skin, which mostly lubricates the skin but in times of overproduction - it leads to acne. Acne can appear under following circumstances:
- Excessive oil production by the follicles
- Your pores fill with dead skin cells
- Bacteria can clog your pores
- Air pollution
- Fluctuation in hormone levels
- Food causing acne: Consumption of oily food, skimmed milk, whey protein, and food items with excessive sugar content can also induce acne
Acne pimples form when bacteria proliferate in a clogged pore and the oil cannot leave, which can be caused by any of these issues.
What are the symptoms of acne?
Symptoms of acne can be observed on your face, neck, shoulders, and upper back. These may include:
- Breakouts that occur frequently or repeatedly
- Cysts are inflamed and large
- Spots that are oozing or pus-filled
- Redness and discoloration of the skin, especially dark areas or blotches (hyperpigmentation)
- Inflammation and swelling
- Pain and tenderness in the affected area
Acne VS Pimple: The distinction between acne and pimples is that acne is a disease, whereas pimples are a symptom of it.
What are the treatments available for acne?
Your acne therapy will be determined by your skin type, acne kind, and lifestyle. While some products may be purchased over-the-counter, many topical and oral therapies require a dermatologist's prescription.
- Benzoyl peroxide can be looked out for in your face wash or gel. This ingredient allows the bacteria accumulating on your skin to die without increasing acne.
- Salicylic acid can be used as a toner or a cleanser. It dissolves dead skin cells and eliminates the topmost strata of damaged skin, preventing further clogging of your pores. It is one of the best acne solutions.
- Retinoids are vitamin A compounds that are particularly good in removing blackheads, whiteheads, and preventing blocked pores.
- Antibiotic lotions can help reduce surface microorganisms that clog your pores.
- You can also check with your dermatologist to recommend you certain chemical peels which clarify your skin from deep within
- Salicylic acid can be used as a toner or a cleanser. It dissolves dead skin cells and eliminates the dead skin cells, thereby preventing further clogging of your pores. It is one of the most coveted acne solutions.
- Antibiotic lotions can help reduce surface microorganisms that clog your pores. These dry out active acne and soothe your skin.
- Acne can be cured at home with the help of a few best acne solutions. Here’s how you can use sandalwood face masks, neem and coconut oil packs, and other ayurvedic home remedies for acne!
- Make sure to keep your skin clean, consume plenty of fluids and also avoid popping the pimples.
Acne can be cured at home with the help of some of the best acne solutions. For instance, you can whip up a mask using tea tree oil, aloe vera and honey to soothe your skin. Make sure to keep your skin clean using natural skincare products, consume plenty of fluids and also avoid popping the pimples.
Skincare routine to follow for acne
CleansingThe foundation of any skincare routine is a good cleanser. You must make it a point to cleanse your face regularly or at least twice a day to keep your skin free from oil, dirt, makeup, and pollutants that might flare up acne. We recommend you to try the Coco Soul Revitalising Face Wash that’s gentle, toxin-free, and non-drying! It is gentle on your skin, thereby causing no harm or irritation that can make place for new acne. Formulated with neem, it helps clear blemishes and pimples from your skin, making them disappear within a few washes.
To fight acne the right way, you must reach the core. The place where it all starts - your pores. Exfoliating your skin regularly keeps your pores healthy and free from oil or dry skin cells. It helps you get rid of dead skin cell buildup, comedones, and leads to smoother, softer skin.
Pro tip: Be gentle when you’re scrubbing as you don’t want your skin to get irritated and grace you with more acne. We would also recommend you to choose grain-free and lightweight exfoliators for acne-prone skin.
A lot of acne-prone people always wonder: “why should I use a moisturiser when I already have oily skin?” Well, that’s not how it works! You must go for a non-comedogenic, oil-free moisturiser that doesn’t trigger acne, but will help ease dryness and give your skin the essential nutrients to heal flakiness.
When to see a doctor?
If you've tried everything from home remedies to face cleansers and anti-acne creams and still haven't seen improvements, it's time to consult a dermatologist.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the main cause of acne?There can be various causes of acne - your diet, skincare routine, and even your hormonal changes.
What foods cause acne?Foods that cause acne are oily, fried items as well as spicy food. Steer clear from them if you’ve got acne-prone skin.
Does acne go away naturally?For most people, acne does go away naturally. But for most teens if after puberty acne doesn’t seem to reduce, you need doctor consultation and a proper treatment.