At one time or another we have all dealt with a breakout, but how much do you really know about acne?
Here is everything you’ve ever wanted to know.
What is acne? Acne is your skins method of reacting when follicles become plugged with oil and dead skin. Acne is most commonly found on the face, neck, back and chest. These are the areas that have the largest number of functional oil glands.
Break outs can be non-inflammatory (blackheads and whiteheads) or inflammatory. Inflammatory acne can happen in several forms: papules, pustules, nodules and cysts. All of which can be red, tender, painful, and can lead to scarring.
Causes of Acne:
- Over-production of oil
- Build-up of bacteria
- Irregular shedding of dead skin resulting in irritation of hair follicles
Factors that worsen acne:
- Hormones (sorry but there isn’t much you can do about this one)
- Certain medications (corticosteroids, androgens and lithium are your main offenders)
- Diet (stay away from foods that cause inflammation. Ex. dairy, red meat & carbs)
- Contrary to popular belief, eating greasy foods and chocolate will not make acne worse
- Also having acne is not an indication that skin is “dirty”. In fact, over-washing and scrubbing can make things worse by causing irritation.
- Reduce oil production
- Speed up cell turnover
- Fight bacterial infections
- Reduce inflammation
It’s important to remember that it can take anywhere from 4-8 weeks to begin to see improvements. It is possible for your skin to worsen before it gets better. When treating any type of skin condition, you have to keep in mind that the problem didn’t happen overnight and it will not go away overnight.
- OTC topicals
- Prescription topicals
- Oral contraceptives
- Laser and light therapy
- Cosmetic procedures including microdermabrasion and chemical peels.
Meanwhile, at home you should keep your regimen simple. Use gentle products and avoid irritants. Watch what touches your face: your hands, cellphone and pillow cases, to name a few. These need to be cleaned regularly to avoid spreading bacteria. And most importantly, DON’T PICK!!! Schedule an appointment to see Dr. Kamajian and/or an esthetician to see how you can improve your skin condition and maintain results.