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Acne is a very common condition seen in different age groups. Most commonly starts when you are a teenager, also seen in adults and refererred as adult acne.
The pathogenesis behind acne consists of
hyperkeratinisation of follicle, bacterial proliferation, excess sebum production
hormonal factors such as androgen stimulation or insulin resistance
There is Fungal acne, due to overgrowth of malassezia that is a yeast present normally on the skin, other variants are acne conglobata and acne fulminans.
Rosacea is a different condition, a chronic condition of facial convexities which have various other types. More commonly seen in people from 30-50 years but some adolescents might have the inflammatory stage that is the papulopustular type of rosacea occuring simultaneously with acne.
One thing a person should understand if they are suffering from acne is that it’s just a skin condition, with proper treatment and patience it will go away. I’ve suffered from severe cystic acne for more than sixteen years. I had acne vulgaris, rosacea and hormonal acne as well. With a lot of hit and trial methods and severe mistakes done in my past today I am posting the do’s and don’ts if you have an acne prone skin.
Always visit your dermatologist first-
There are many causes of acne- bacterial, fungal, hormonal. It’s very important to know the cause first before starting any treatment. If the diagnosis is wrong the treatment won’t work, it’s as simple as that. Different conditions require different medications. This will not delay the healing and treatment and can control acne at an early stage, preventing scarring on the skin.
Use mild cleansers on face-
Acne is an inflammatory condition of the skin. If you will use harsh cleansers on the skin that might irritate it further, what we need to do is reduce the inflammation and calm down the skin in order to heal it. I personally use cetaphil cleanser for oily skin which was recommended to me by my dermatologist. Even if you have oily skin don’t go for over drying products as it leads to more oil production from the sebaceous glands.
Wash your face twice daily
Cleansing is a very important step. Never ever go to bed without removing your makeup or sunscreen as it can clog your pores and lead to more breakouts. Use a mild face wash in the morning and double cleanse your face in the evening for removing sunscreen and makeup completely from your face. Layer your skin at night with hydrating and calming skincare products to heal and provide a protective barrier while you sleep.
Look after your scalp health
Dandruff can lead to clogging of pores that may result in causation of acne. People with dandruff are more prone to develop fungal acne. Always keep your scalp dandruff free. Nizoral shampoo works great for treatment of dandruff.
Apply a good moisturiser recommended for your skin type
Whether you have oily, dry, normal, sensitive or combination skin type moisturisation is a must. It will provide hydration and send a signal to your skin that I AM NOURISHED, hence will control the excess sebum production and will maintain the skin health. Always go for affordable easily available skincare products which you can actually use for a significant period of time.
Wear a broad spectrum sunscreen everyday. EVEN AT HOME!
Harmful UV rays make your skin more prone to hyperpigmentation. Choose a physical/chemical sunscreen with at least 50 SPF and apply it daily. The acne spot treatments such as benzoyl peroxide, adapalene make your skin more sensitive to UV rays so in order to reduce the irritation and prevention from dark spots it’s advisable to use sunscreen without any fail. Reapply after every 2 hours. Always apply your sunscreen 20 minutes before leaving the house. The sunrays can enter through the windows as well so make sure you apply it everyday.
Wash your pillow covers and towels regularly
This will help in reducing the dirt build up in the pillow covers and towels. You don’t want to clean your skin, apply fancy skincare products and put your face on a dirty pillowcase. Wash them regularly to avoid bacterial proliferation that might lead to breakouts.
Check you diet
Avoid high glycemic foods such as pasta, whitebread, canned soda, packed juices with sugar and bakery items. Limit these items in your diet as sugar is an inflammatory food that can lead to acne. Include a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, probiotics such as kefir, buttermilk, yogurt, kombucha, antioxidants like tomato, green tea, matcha, kiwi for improving the gut health and skin health as well.
Clean your makeup brushes and blenders
If you apply makeup regularly wash your brushes and blenders to avoid first and bacteria build up. Also don’t share them with anyone. Be the sole user of your own makeup tools.
An average healthy person must consume 8-12 glasses of water everyday. This helps in flushing out the toxins from the body resulting in removal of waste products that can damage your skin. Add a hint of lemon or drink infused water to make it more delicious.
Working out5 times a week helps in boosting the metabolism, makes you active and helps in producing endorphins. This will lead to reduction of the stress hormones (cortisol) level in the body. Stress is also a triggering factor in causing acne so, take a deep breath and relax.
Wear loose breathable clothes
Sweat and warm humid climates can lead to the formation of malassezia folliculitis. So it’s better to wear loose clothes in order to prevent any infection.
Use Non-comedogenic Makeup
If you apply makeup keep it to minimum and use only non-comedogenic products. Try to use water based products such as cushion bb creams as they help in giving mild coverage and SPF as well.
Acne is just a skin condition. It will go away. There are no miracle creams or serums which will just vanish them overnight or in a few days. You have to be really patient and relax so that things take time to work with a proper lifestyle, balanced diet and target specific treatments. It will get better with time.
Never pop your pimple
How much you want to pop that pimple just stop doing it. It will lead to scarring, irritation, pigmentation and more acne around the area. Let it heal completely on its own while applying spot treatments targeted specifically to it. If you want there are multiple pimple patches available in the market such as COSRX or DR. BELMEUR but they work only on pimples with white heads (pustule) for cystic acne they don’t show much results.
Random DIY and putting random things on your face is a BIG NO!
When i was a teenager i got many mean comments from my classmates because of my acne. That made me really desperate to just make them go away as soon as possible. I tried almost every thing which I saw on the internet or told to me by my friends and it just made the condition worse. Never put ingredients like lemon juice, tomato, toothpaste etc on your skin. Go to a medical professional, get yourself checked and use treatments that are meant for treating acne. Toothpaste is just for brushing your teeth and lemon and tomatoes are meant for eating. The pH of these products are totally different which are very harsh on the skin and make your skin sensitive to UV rays that can lead to more and more damage.
Avoid granulated scrubs on active acne
For active acne mild chemical exfoliants are the best they help in reducing inflammation and redness. My favourite one is a mandelic 5% prep water by wishtrend. This will cause mild exfoliation without irritating the acne. Granulated scrubs can result in spreading of infection from one place to another leading to more acne. Don’t rub your skin while you have active acne.
Never use medications without prescriptions
Don’t start extensive active treatments on your skin before consulting your dermatogist. People who are teenagers and below 25 should follow only basic routine including a cleanser, moisturizer, sunscreen and target specific treatment recommended by their dermatogist.
Don’t oil your hair while you sleep
Don’t oil your hair overnight as some people may experience acne formation at places where the oil dribbles such as forehead side of the face. Oil acts as an occlusive which clogs pores results in formation of comedones and acne.
Overcleansing, over exfoliation, overuse of active ingredients and overusing the products that work will only aggravate and worsen the condition. Always use products in moderation so that they can work well on the skin without inducing any other side effects.
Top topical ingredients recommended by dermatologists
Ketoconazole 2%- for fungal acne
Salicylic acid 2%
Top ingredients to look for reducing post acne marks
Niacinamide -4%- 10%
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid or sodium ascorbyl phosphate)
Alpha hydroxy acids- Glycolic acid, mandelic acid, lactic acid
LHA- beta lipohydroxy acid
PHA polyhydrohy acids
Licorice root can also help in reducing dark spots on the face.
Hope you found this article helpful
Take care ❤️
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