Acne is the near-universal condition that seems to say, “So you thought adolescence wasn’t already hard enough?” At its root, acne is a case of too much of a good thing.
During puberty, oil glands go into overdrive, producing an excess of the oil, called sebum, which is the skin’s natural moisturizer. This overproduction of sebum, along with naturally occurring redundant skin cells, combine to form a ‘plug’, blocking pores and in turn cause whiteheads and blackheads (together called comedones). As these lesions become inflamed, they can produce papules, pustules, nodules and cysts. Acne
So what are zits, pimples and breakouts really?
Whiteheads (also known as a closed comedone) – the follicle is completely blocked. They remain under the skin and are very small.
Blackheads (otherwise known as open-comedones) – they are dark in colour and appear on the surface of the skin. Blackhead aren’t caused by dirt, but rather due to retained skin cells. The oil turns brownish black as it oxidises with some of the surface pigment (melanin).
Papules – small bumps also known as a “blind pimple”. Typically appear on the face, but may appear on other parts of the body, and occur as a result of the hair follicle wall breaking – the visible inflammation is due to white blood cells rushing in.
Pustules – They are red at their base and are pustular at the top, due to a collection of leukocytes (white blood cells).
Nodules – They are large, solid pustules. They are painful and are embedded deep in the skin. Unresolved pustules often flare up again and again.
Cysts – clearly visible on the surface of the skin but lie quite deep in the skin. They are painful, and are filled with pus. Cysts can easily cause scars.
So how do we treat these different types of breakouts, and the question all pimple-sufferers ask: Should I pop my pimple?
It’s tempting, but squeezing a pimple won’t necessarily get rid of the problem.
Squeezing can lead to a spread of bacteria, leading to inflammation which might cause more swelling and redness, making it worse. Squeezing also can lead to scabs and might leave you with permanent marks or scars.
Because popping isn’t the way to go, patience is the key. Blackheads and whiteheads can be removed by a qualified therapist, these are your non-inflammatory acne lesions. They can signal the start of a more severe acne condition when not treated, especially if noticed in early teenage years.
There’s no need to stress out about acne. Nearly everyone will struggle with it from time to time. Skin experts will tell you there’s no guaranteed way to avoid acne, however there are a few things you can do to minimize both the number, as well as the severity, of acne-breakout episodes you may experience.
Taking good care of your skin means adopting a thorough routine. Here are a few recommended DermaFix tips and products:
- Washing with an appropriate cleanser is important to remove excess oils. MD Prescriptives Mandelic Cleanser is a 3-in-1 action cleanser that fights inflammation and bacteria surrounding acne lesions, rejuvenates photo-ageing and supresses’ pigmentation.
- Regular exfoliation helps to minimise redundant skin cell build-up and promotes a brighter, healthier-looking skin. DermaFix DermaPolish + Activated Charcoal is a gentle enzymatic exfoliator, encouraging the removal of redundant skin cell build-up and offering deep-cleansing benefits whilst assisting to increase cellular turnover.
- Incorporating a lightweight moisturiser like the DermaFix Vitamin B Cream helps to provide hydration whilst assisting with oil production regulation.
Recommended for all skin types, including blemished and problematic skin of any age group, DermaFix Vitamin B Cream is formulated with Vitamin B Complex, assisting to calm skin, whilst promoting skin healing.
When breakouts are at their worst, an alpha-hydroxy based spot treatment can be incorporated to help target pustular lesions whilst minimising inflammation. DermaFix Mattifying Pore Minimizer visibly reduces and refines pores leaving the skin velvet-smooth.
Remember, prevention is better than cure. If severe infections occur or scarring is a concern, you should consult a Doctor immediately. For more information on the above-mentioned products visit www.dermafix.co.za or contact us directly on 0861282323.