Acne is a common skin condition and if left untreated, results in acne scars. If you’re unsure as to whether you’re affected by acne, or if you’re recently been diagnosed, don’t fret! Our experts have rounded up the most common questions you have about causes of acne, as well as available or do-it-yourself treatments. Here are the top 6:
- Is acne caused by a lack of cleansing?
This is in fact a widespread myth and does not contribute to acne development. You might be surprised to know the main culprit is over scrubbing and harsh soaps which worsen the acne.
Acne stems from trapped oil and dead skin cells in the hair follicle that combine to create a comedo. It occurs primarily when there is a disorder of the pilosebaceous unit (consisting of the hair follicle, sebaceous gland and duct). When this occurs, bacteria attack the hair follicle wall and subsequently rupture it leading to an inflamed lesion.
Acne outbreaks are also due to hormones called androgens which are released from the adrenals, ovaries, and testes. When this happens, they stimulate the sebaceous glands which are responsible for an oilier skin appearance. Because oilier skin is more prone to comedones, acne is encouraged to develop.
- Only teenagers get acne, right?
Statistics show that acne is found in three out of every four teens in the U.S. and hailed as the most common form of skin disorder there. However, acne does not only afflict teens but also 80% of people between the ages of 20 and 30 according to the American Academy of Dermatology. This population mainly suffers from mild to moderate acne with a more specific ratio of 25% found in adult males and 50% in adult females. Acne has been known to also occur in infants, toddlers, and young children.
While the presence of acne appears to be hereditary, acne also occurs most commonly during puberty, ovulation and menstruation, pregnancy, perimenopause, and menopause.
- Can you prevent acne?
There are preventative steps that you can take to minimize breakouts. Here’s how:
•Daily cleansing with a mild cleanser.
•Regular exfoliation to reduce the amount of dead skin cells.
•Drinking plenty of water.
•Staying away from oily skin and hair care products – read the labels.
•Refraining from picking or “popping” existing blemishes.
- What can I do about my acne?
Acne breakouts can be controlled and treated with professional help or advice. For milder forms of acne, you can buy an over-the-counter acne product that contains benzoyl peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide works effectively to combat Propionibacterium acne which is the bacterium responsible for acne breakouts. In addition to this, salicylic acid and resorcinol are some of the other ingredients used to fight the acne bacteria.
However, treating moderate to severe acne requires more skilled direction and it is advised that you consult with a skin care professional. This would help you gain specific knowledge on the variety of treatment options available to target your specific acne and be offered in the form of topical treatments and/or oral medications.
- How long will it take my acne to clear up?
There is no strict timeline on this as it varies from individual to individual. A lot of this is also reliant on how disciplined you are with both your acne treatment regimes and the extent of your acne. Bear in mind that there is no specific acne therapy or treatment guaranteed to cure all acne woes. It may sometimes take different options of acne treatment to best identify what your skin responds to when treating the acne.
According to the majority of dermatologists however, improvements in the skin once initializing acne treatment may take anywhere between one to six months. Being disciplined with your acne treatment regime will hasten positive results as well as patience and persistence through this process. Remember, controlling acne requires time and care but it is all worth it once you begin to see significant progress.
6. What should I look for when selecting a skincare salon to treat acne?
Selecting the right salon is vital and therefore ensuring that key factors such as the following are checked. The salon should practice strict hygiene in both sanitation and sterilization. The therapist attending to you must be trained and certified as a professional. The therapist attending to you must be equipped with good skin knowledge and equipment knowledge ensuring that treatments can be fully customized according to your needs. Do avoid the salon if they seem to engage in any form of hard selling. Ensure that the brand of the equipment they use for acne treatment is reliable and verified for reliability and safety. Most importantly, fully research the salon before you embark on any skin programmes with them.