What is the cause of acne? Can it be avoided? Is there any way to get rid of it for good? Read on to discover the answers to these questions.
If you have acne, you’re not alone. This common skin problem affects people of all ages, races and lifestyles. But what is the cause of acne? And is there anything you can do to get rid of it once and for all? Let’s find out.
What is the cause of acne?
Acne happens when oil and dead skin cells seep into and clog the follicles in your skin. For most people, the uncomfortable condition appears on the forehead, face, upper back, shoulders and chest.
The most common symptoms of acne are:
- Tiny red and tender bumps called papules
- Pimples, which are just like papules but with pus
- Big, painful, solid lumps under the skin’s surface called nodules
- Pus-filled painful lumps under the skin’s surface called cystic lesions
- Closed, plugged pores called whiteheads
- Open, plugged pores called blackheads
While keeping your skin clean—especially the areas that are most prone to the condition—is a great way to minimise the risk of acne, there are also some non-hygiene-related factors you should take note of:
- Your diet – Research shows that substances like skim milk and foods rich in carbohydrates—such as white bread, chips, and chocolate—may worsen acne. Further study, however, is needed to determine why and whether or not eliminating them from your diet would help. Some people find a diet change makes a big difference. Others still have acne no matter what they eat.
- Your stress levels – When you are stressed, your body releases a substance called corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH), which, in turn, triggers your skin to produce more oil. More oil, of course, is not only known to increase acne risk, but also worsen the condition in people who are already diagnosed with it.
- Medications you’re taking – Some drugs, especially those that contain corticosteroids, lithium, or testosterone, have been shown to worsen acne in some people.
- Your hormones – Androgens and other hormones that can trigger increased oil production are also known to exacerbate the condition. Some teens notice their acne clears as they get older; this is thanks to hormones settling down.
- Your genetics – If both your parents had the condition, there’s a big chance you’ll get acne too.
- Pressure or friction on your skin – Scratching and contact with items such as smartphones, helmets, backpacks, and tight shirt collars can trigger or worsen acne.
- Oily or greasy substances – Contact with products like oily creams and lotions or even cooking oil may increase your risk for acne or aggravate what’s already there.
Who gets affected by acne?
While acne is more common in teenagers due to the increased androgen levels puberty brings, it can actually affect everyone. In fact, adult acne is becoming more and more common in Australians.
However old you are right now, it’s important to always keep your skin clean and avoid things and substances that can increase your risk for the condition.
If you can’t control your acne yourself, a consultation with a Skin Expert at a reputable MediSpa can help. Following a thorough analysis of your skin, using a special digital scanner they will provide you with an ideal homecare routine and a professional in-clinic program unique to you.
What acne treatments are available?
While there are many drastic Acne Treatments available, such as the ones listed below, you should consider using the right approach for your skin and the possible side-effects that accompany many of these prescriptions. Our goal as skincare professionals is always to protect the overall health of our clients and while we would never contradict medical advice, we have seen amazing results using products and treatments that support the skin and without the harsh side effects presented by more intense approaches.
We agree that in some cases these medications are essential to get the Acne under control, but it is always a last resort in our opinion and to be monitored by strict medical supervision.
Non-encapsulated Retinoids are prone to causing skin sensitivity, cracking and bleeding of the skin. Oral Antibiotics may have an impact on gut health and produce other unwanted side effects too. Dapsone, a type of antibiotic, may cause mood or mental changes as well as physiological changes such as yellowing of the eyes and skin. Combined oral contraceptives although a common quick-fix have a long list of possible side-effects too, from mood changes to long term systemic changes and weight gain. Isotretinoin that is commonly prescribed to people who do not respond to other types of oral medication and treatment may have severe long term side effects. Certain variations of Isotretinoin could even have long term side effects on the reproductive system of male and female users.
What is the best approach for my Acne?
- Encapsulated Retinol provides a stabilised form of Vitamin A, enhancing cellular renewal and further controlling oil production.
- Benzoyl peroxide is used to control bacterial growth, as it delivers a high dose of oxygen to the skin.
- Azelaic acid has antibacterial properties and is more effective when used alongside anti-inflammatory ingredients such as liquorice and Vitamin C
- Salicylic acid dissolves the pimple-causing plugs that form in pores over time and due to excess oil
- Glycolic Acid works alongside Salicylic Acid to help refine skin texture and reduce pore size, but salicylic acid is more effective in decongesting the skin.
- Anti-inflammatory Ingredients such as liquorice and Vitamin C reduce the redness in the skin and aid quicker healing.
Oral Supplements to support Acne Skin:
Zinc – Immune Support for Skin
Magnesium – Supports the Adrenal System
Vit C – Brightening & Anti-Inflammatory
Omega 3, 6 & 9 – Regeneration & Skin Health
Saw Palmetto – Reduces DHT, a form of Androgen Hormone that causes Acne
Skin Fit : Reprogramming Your Skin
At Temple Skincare & Spa we have a very effective program which spans over 12 weeks. It involves 6 Skin Treatments tailored to meet your skincare goals with each visit. The program also includes 12 LED lights to help build the skin’s immunity and increase the rate of healing.
In cases where people have post-acne scarring more clinical procedures such as skin needling and IPL/laser rejuvenation are available.
Don’t let acne get the best of you
With so many effective treatments at your disposal, it is likely there is one which will minimise your acne. When you work with a specialist, they will be able to determine the cause, give you lifestyle recommendations and find a cream or treatment process which works for you.