Acne is a skin condition that occurs when your hair follicles become plugged with oil and dead skin cells. It causes whiteheads, blackheads or pimples.
Acne is most common among teenagers, though it affects people of all ages.
Effective acne treatments are available, but acne can be persistent. The pimples and bumps heal slowly, and when one begins to go away, others seem to crop up.
Acne signs vary depending on the severity of your condition:
- Whiteheads (closed plugged pores)
- Blackheads (open plugged pores)
- Small red, tender bumps (papules)
- Pimples (pustules), which are papules with pus at their tips
- Large, solid, painful lumps under the skin (nodules)
- Painful, pus-filled lumps under the skin (cystic lesions)
Acne usually appears on the face, forehead, chest, upper back and shoulders.
For many women, acne can persist for decades, with flares common a week before menstruation. This type of acne tends to clear up without treatment in women who use contraceptives.
In older adults, a sudden onset of severe acne may signal an underlying disease requiring medical attention.
Four main factors cause acne:
- Excess oil (sebum) production
- Hair follicles clogged by oil and dead skin cells
Acne typically appears on your face, forehead, chest, upper back and shoulders because these areas of skin have the most oil (sebaceous) glands. Hair follicles are connected to oil glands.
The follicle wall may bulge and produce a whitehead. Or the plug may be open to the surface and darken, causing a blackhead. A blackhead may look like dirt stuck in pores.
But actually, the pore is congested with bacteria and oil, which turns brown when it’s exposed to the air.
Pimples are raised red spots with a white centre that develop when blocked hair follicles become inflamed or infected with bacteria.
Blockages and inflammation deep inside hair follicles produce cystlike lumps beneath the surface of your skin. Other pores in your skin, which are the openings of the sweat glands, aren’t usually involved in acne.
Certain things may trigger or worsen acne:
- Hormonal changes. Androgens are hormones that increase in boys and girls during puberty and cause the sebaceous glands to enlarge and make more sebum. Hormone changes during midlife, particularly in women, can lead to breakouts too.
- Certain medications. Examples include drugs containing corticosteroids, testosterone or lithium.
- Studies indicate that consuming certain foods — including carbohydrate-rich foods, such as bread, bagels and chips — may worsen acne. Further study is needed to examine whether people with acne would benefit from following specific dietary restrictions.
- Stress doesn’t cause acne, but if you have acne already, stress may make it worse.
These factors have little effect on acne:
- Chocolate and greasy foods. Eating chocolate or greasy food has little to no effect on acne.
- Acne isn’t caused by dirty skin. In fact, scrubbing the skin too hard or cleansing with harsh soaps or chemicals irritates the skin and can make acne worse.
- Cosmetics don’t necessarily worsen acne, especially if you use oil-free makeup that doesn’t clog pores (non comedogenic) and remove makeup regularly. Nonoily cosmetics don’t interfere with the effectiveness of acne drugs.
What to use for Acne-Prone Skin?
- Starting your day, you must have a product that controls acne to make sure your skin fights bacteria producing acne. For that, you may try out a tea tree face wash, such as
- Use acne clarifying moisturizer. It will help in reducing the inflammation and will also hydrate the skin. Try out:
- Don’t skip out on sunblock or sunscreen. It will help save your skin from any further damage.
We recommend a mineral-based sunblock as there are no ingredients to irritate your skin further :
- At night, before going to bed, remove your makeup if you have any. Use an oil-free makeup remover because further oil will produce more pimples and acne. You can try out:
- After cleansing, apply this serum:
- Once the acne starts to go away, use rosehip oil to remove scars and blemishes.
If self-care remedies don’t clear your acne, see your primary care doctor. He or she can prescribe stronger medications. If acne persists or is severe, you may want to seek medical treatment from a doctor who specializes in the skin (dermatologist or pediatric dermatologist).
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*Disclaimer: All articles published on Beauty Hooked are based on heavy and thorough research by our beauty consultants, makeup artist and experts. All products recommended have been tried and tested by us personally and only then recommended to you. All these products, at the prices presented, are as of the publication date of the article. Prices presented in the article may vary across retailers in Pakistan depending on the retailer’s margin