Acne is a remarkably common skin condition. It affects many people at some point in their lives. It typically causes spots, oily skin and occasionally skin that can feel hot or painful to touch. Acne can typically be found on the face, neck, back or chest. Acne can range from a few spots to more severe problems which may cause permanent scarring and a loss of self-confidence.
There are 6 common types of spots caused by acne:
- Whiteheads – these spots may be firm to touch and will not empty when squeezed.
- Blackheads – like whiteheads in appearance but are black due to the inner lining of the hair follicle producing that colour.
- Nodules – typically large, hard bumps that develop under the skin and can cause pain and discomfort.
- Papules – usually small red bumps that may feel sore.
- Pustules – similar to papules but will have a white tip in the centre caused by pus.
- Cysts – these are the most severe type of acne spot. They are large, pus-filled lumps that may look similar to boils and carry the greatest risk of permanent scarring.
What Causes Acne?
Acne usually starts during puberty. This is because of hormone changes but it can start at any age. Certain hormones cause the grease-producing glands next to hair follicles in the skin to produce larger amounts of abnormal sebum (oil). Sebaceous (oil producing) glands are affected by our hormones and for people who have acne, these glands are very sensitive. These glands produce too much oil which changes the activity of a usually harmless skin bacterium called P.acnes. This becomes more aggressive and causes skin inflammation and pus. The hormones also thicken the inner lining of the hair follicle, causing the skin pores to block. Cleaning the damaged area of skin does not help relieve this blockage.
Occasionally acne can be caused by medication given for other health conditions or by certain contraceptive treatments.
Our diet also influences the likelihood of an acne breakout. A diet that consists of high levels of sugary food, white bread, potatoes and white rice has been shown to cause or aggravate acne. Switching to a lower GI diet may lead to fewer spots.
Stress will not directly cause acne. It can, however, make it worse if you already suffer from acne.
How Can I Treat Acne?
Acne is one of the most problematic skin conditions, both during breakouts and with the subsequent scarring caused by cysts.
It can be hard to treat, as its underlying cause is nearly always hormonal based. However, it can be managed well through treatments, home products and changes to diet. Unfortunately, much of the over the counter or high street products for acne include harsh astringents which exacerbate the problem in the long-term. This is because they upset the acid of the skin. These products can strip the skin of its much-needed oil to overproduce sebum to compensate.
There are a few simple things you can do straight away if you find yourself facing an acne flare up:
- Do not wash the affected areas of skin more than twice a day. Washing it too often can irritate the skin.
- Don’t try to pick or squeeze blackheads or spots. This may lead to permanent scarring.
- Ensure you fully remove all make-up before going to bed.
- Try to avoid letting your hair fall across your face and wash your hair regularly.
- Use a gentle face wash, such as our custom designed PURITY face wash which contains natural clinically proven AHAs, glycolic and citric acid to gently remove the build-up of dead skin cells.
- Try a maximum strength Vitamin C Serum, such as our PROACTIVE 10% Vitamin C. The serum includes clinically proven L-ascorbic acid which is quickly absorbed to remove free radicals and prevent skin damage. This product is perfect for sensitive or acne damaged skin.
- Ensure any products you use are specifically aimed at acne skin. Products such as the Mesoestetic Imperfection Control offer local treatment for emerging or rebellious acne breakouts.
- Choose products with natural antibacterial ingredients like hinokitiol, Canadian Willowherb, resveratrol, and tea tree oil. Choose these instead of synthetic antibiotics where resistance is a growing problem. Products including these ingredients, such as AlumierMD Acne Clarifying Cleanser are available from our online shop.
- Think about whether you get more spots after consuming high GI foods or even dairy. If it appears that something triggers your acne or makes it worse, try and see if you can avoid that item for a few days or weeks. You’ll be able to see if your skin clears up at all.
How Can Crysallis Skin Clinic Help?
Our aesthetic skin scientist, Frankie, leads her acne treatment here in Reading. She uses a 3-pronged approach, which combines products, treatments and looks at health and lifestyle factors. With this combination of trusted, science-backed products, cutting-edge clinical procedures, and skin education, she creates a personal skin journey for each client. Frankie adapts her treatments to your specific needs and type of acne you have.
Frankie’s acne treatments centre around reducing inflammation, clearing the pores, and controlling oil production. Following your skin consultation, she will advise you on the best acne treatments for you and your skin. Her focus is on enhancing and improving your skin’s quality, tone and texture through resurfacing and rejuvenating, resulting in a clear, balanced, and healthy complexion.
What Treatments Do We Offer For Acne?
- Skin peels: exfoliating treatment, used to repair acne scarring and pigmentation problems, bringing newer, fresher, smoother skin to the surface, as well as ensuring the condition does not return with continued product use. Our chemical peels encourage cell renewal to aid skin healing.
- Microneedling: uses the Meso M Pen to promote skin repair and collagen production, addressing scarring and hyperpigmentation. This can be used alongside medical grade mesotherapy serums to deeply penetrate and renew the skin.
- Skincare: cleanse, calm and clear your complexion whilst balancing hydration with powerful, effective and clinically proven products.
Achieve the skin you deserve and book a skin consultation at our skin clinic in Reading.