ACNE – GET AN EXPERT OPINION
Acne is one of the most troublesome and common skin care problems for people around the world!
As a teenager I was blessed with great skin, I assumed when real life started it would be the same – blemish free and beautiful. Except it wasn’t!
At 37, I won’t venture far from my concealer and I have spent a small fortune on skin care and make up, as well as hours with doctors, dermatologists and facialists, trying to achieve the clear complexion I once had.
Today, my skin is not too bad (touch wood), yet I know what it’s like to feel the discomfort, embarrassment, expense and distress of adult acne. Honestly when you are worrying about spots and wrinkles, enough is enough.
Although most often associated with teenagers and the onset of puberty, the truth is you can get acne at any age (I know I was plagued with it from the age of 24). According to figures, I’m one of the growing number of adult acne sufferers, at last count, 54% of women over 25 had some facial acne. Another study puts cases for those aged 20-30 at 80%, with 5% finding their spots persist into their forties.
The British Skin Foundation recently surveyed 2,000 adult sufferers and found 635 had lowered self confidence while 20% felt a relationship had ended due to their skin problems and a worrying 20% said they had even contemplated or attempted suicide.
Having visible acne really affects peoples self esteem, daily functioning work and relationships.
While I cant deny it is comforting to know that I am not suffering alone, it is puzzling that we seem more spot prone than ever before, the major reason is the rise in STRESS LEVELS!
So what is acne, this skin disorder that has a self esteem crushing ability???
WHAT IS ACNE?
Most of us are familiar with acne, even if we don’t know the specifics of what makes acne, knowing what can cause your acne is your first step in learning how to take control, so you can get rid of breakouts and get back to having clear skin!
Acne most commonly develops on the
Face – affects almost everyone with acne.
Back – affects more than 1/2 of people with acne.
Chest – affects about 15% of people with acne.
Acne occurs when the hair follicles (which every pore on your face is actually part of a follicle) becomes blocked with dead skin cells and oil. The mixture of oil and dead skin cells allow the bacteria to flourish inside that hair follicle instead of remaining on the skins surface were it normally resides without causing much trouble.
The bacteria then feeds on the debris in the follicle which in turn starts a domino effect by producing inflammatory chemicals and enzymes. This process attracts the white blood cells and produces inflammation.
Acne is first and foremost a inflammatory disorder and when treating it, its important to remember that anything you can do to reduce the inflammation will help acne heal faster – the reverse is true as well, making the inflammation worse will make your acne worse!
The next stage and development of acne is when the wall of the plugged follicle breaks down, causing the spilling of anything inside to nearby skin leading to lesions and pimples.
DIFFERNENT TYPES OF SPOTS
There are 6 main types of spots caused by acne
Blackheads – small black or yellowish bumps that develop on the skin, they are not filled with dirt, but are black because the inner lining of the hair follicle produces colouring.
whiteheads – have a similar appearance to blackheads, but may be firmer and believe me wont empty when squeezed.
Papules – small red bumps that may feel tender or sore
Pustules – similar to papules, but have a white tip in the centre, caused by a build up of pus.
Nodules – large hard lumps that build up beneath the surface of the skin and can be painful
Cysts – the most severe type of spot caused by acne, they are large pus filled lumps that look similar to boils and carry the greatest risk of causing permanent scarring!!
WHY TREAT ACNE?
The myths about acne are as common as the skin condition, one common myth is that you have to let acne run its course.
Dermatologists know that letting acne run its course is not always the best advice.
* Without treatment, dark spots and permanent scars can appear on the skin as the acne clears.
* Treating acne often boasts a persons self esteem.
* Many effective treatments are now available.
WHAT CAN I DO IF I HAVE ACNE?
* Do consider the pill, certain types such as Yasmin can help with outbreaks of this kind. A low dose, long course of antibiotics may also be prescribed.
* Try anti-inflammatory, topical treatments containing benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid.
* Don’t squeeze them however tempting. You risk scarring and worsening the spot by pushing inflammation deeper into the surrounding tissue.
* Do speak to your GP, there are many options, for some the contraceptive pill can be effective, for severe cases, a dermatologist may prescribe a hormonal treatment called SPIRONOLACTONE, which reduces your skins oil production.
* Don’t use cleansing cloths, brushes and scrubs, I know I have in the past thinking “I’ll exfoliate those spots away”, yet any harsh treatment will only make the inflammation worse.
* For those really huge ones that are similar to boils, these are acne cysts – large pus filled lumps. They are the most extreme example of acne, distressing and definitely the most likely to cause scarring.
In this case do ask to be referred to a dermatologist – the oral retinoid ROACCUTANE, it is very effective in severe cases, but can only be prescribed by dermatologists.
This works by reducing inflammation and sebum production, completely clearing acne in 60% of cases.
The catch, well it does have some severe side effects such as extreme dry skin resulting in nose bleeds, cracked lips and dry eyes.
Its important to know you are not alone and don’t close yourself away as there are options that you can take to treat and clear your acne leaving you feeling you have your life back and with confidence!!
Beauty Haven also provide a range of skin treatments that are clinically proven to be effective for treating clients with active acne and acne scarring, any further questions please contact
Beauty Haven 02890 666628