General Treatments for Acne Scars
Acne is a common skin condition experienced by most people to some degree, but can vary widely in severity. Acne is primarily a hormonal condition that is common in teenagers, but can also affect adults.
Acne occurs when there is an excess of oil, known as sebum, produced by sebaceous glands of the face, chest, shoulders and back. As the excess oil exits the body, it can build up with dead skins cells, clogging hair follicles and creating an environment where bacteria can thrive.
What does it mean to have acne-prone skin?
Despite what you might think, it’s not just teenagers who have acne-prone skin. According to research, a staggering 80-90% of teens are affected by acne, and around 54% of adult women report experiencing breakouts too. It’s not something that we experience during our teenage years and never again, which means that it can be a real source of frustration for those of us who have acne-prone skin after our teen years. We know it’s not easy, but there are things you can do to manage your acne-prone skin.
Medically, acne is called acne vulgaris and is considered to be a long-term, chronic skin condition. Acne changes constantly in terms of severity and where it appears on the body. So, if you have acne-prone skin then you’ve likely seen spots in a number of different places on your body. You probably experience breakouts on your face, back, neck, chest, and shoulders the most, all of which can really affect your self-esteem.
Acne-prone skin means that breakouts happen more easily and more often for you. And, unfortunately, it’s not a simple skin type that will just “go away on its own.” Instead, acne prone skin requires consistent treatment over a number of months or years to manage it effectively, but more on that later.
Types of Acne
Acne can form as several different types of lesions on the skin, commonly found on the face, chest, shoulders and back. The severity of your symptoms can vary greatly and may include the following:
Clogged hair follicles, known as comedones, that are open at the skin surface are commonly referred to as blackheads because of the dark appearance of the plugs in the hair follicles. When comedones are closed they become slightly raised, skin-colored bumps, known as whiteheads.
Papules are small raised bumps that signal inflammation or infection in the hair follicles. Papules may be red and tender.
Commonly referred to as pimples, pustules are red, tender bumps with white pus at their tips.
Nodules are large, solid, painful lumps beneath the surface of the skin formed by the buildup of secretions deep within hair follicles.
Cysts are painful, pus-filled lumps beneath the surface of the skin that can cause scarring.
Routine to control acne
The self-help techniques below may be useful:
- Don’t wash affected areas of skin more than twice a day. Frequent washing can irritate the skin and make symptoms worse
- Wash the affected area with a mild soap or cleanser and lukewarm water. Very hot or cold water can make acne worse
- Don’t try to “clean out” blackheads or squeeze spots. This can make them worse and cause permanent scarring
- Avoid using too much make-up and cosmetics. Use water-based products that are described as non-comedogenic (this means the product is less likely to block the pores in your skin)
- Completely remove make-up before going to bed
- If dry skin is a problem, use a fragrance-free, water-based emollient
- Regular exercise can’t improve your acne, but it can boost your mood and improve your self-esteem. Shower as soon as possible once you finish exercising, as sweat can irritate your acne
- Wash your hair regularly and try to avoid letting your hair fall across your face
Other than the tips above, acnes can be more effectively combated with certain anti-acne treatments which include:
If you’re interested in any of these treatments, you can talk to our doctor for inquiries.
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