Acne Talks: How to Identify and What You Can Do
Updated: Apr 14
If you’ve clicked on this article, most likely, you’ve been: conscious or anxious about your skin, suffering currently from ‘maskne’, or having any of these skin concerns - oily skin, blackheads, whiteheads, or constant acne breakouts.
Well, continue scrolling down. We’re here to identify and cover the basics of acne.
WHAT ARE THEY?
Let’s start with the basic - acne vulgaris.
Acne Vulgaris is caused by a combination of hormones, oil, and bacteria. Sebum (oil) and dead skin cells typically come up through the hair follicles and out through the pores in the skin. However, when they clog the follicles and can’t escape the pores, they cause breakouts and emerge on the skin.
Most acne occurs on the face, shoulders, chest, and back. And, can range from mild, moderate, or severe breakouts. Oh, and “vulgaris” means common, hence the name “acne vulgaris” as common acne.
Now, here’s where acne gets tricky. They can be classified as:
Noninflammatory: Characterized by comedones (whiteheads and blackheads), and
Inflammatory: Characterized by papules, pustules, nodules, and cysts
It’s a lot to take in but we’ll keep this as simple as we can. 😉
A single bump is referred to as a comedo which is a hair follicle that has become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. Multiple bumps such as whiteheads and blackheads are called comedones.
Whiteheads are small closed comedone with flesh-colored or whitish blemishes. They occur when the oil plug develops beneath the pore of the hair follicle. They are not painful and usually cannot be “popped” since they don’t have any pus.
Blackheads are open comedones with a dark center that occur when the oil plug is near the opening of the pore. The black color isn’t dirt but a chemical reaction. They turn dark brown in color when the melanin in the dead skin cell oxidizes when exposed to oxygen.
A little reminder that comedones can sometimes become pimples if you try to pop or squeeze them out, allowing bacteria to easily access the broken tissue.
Don’t try to “pop” or squeeze these on your own since it may lead to mild or deep scarring, dark spots, and marks, or even further breakouts.
Papules are comedones that become inflamed, forming small red or pink bumps on the skin and may be sensitive to touch.
Pustules are another kind of inflamed pimple. The bump is filled with white or yellowish pus in the middle with a red ring around it.
Nodules and cysts are large, painful, inflamed bumps that develop deep in the skin and feel firm to the touch.
Are you now reading this part? Great! Now, let’s discuss what you can do to treat acne.
WHAT TO DO?
It doesn’t matter how mild or severe your acne is if it’s disrupting your life.
The key to solving any problem is to assess contributing factors first. Is it because of hormones, drug-related, puberty, genetics, diet, etc., then, we’ll determine the severity if it’s mild, moderate, or severe. Treatments, based on severity, may involve a variety of products and treatments from topical agents to laser or peeling treatments to combat comedone formation, inflammation, sebum reduction, bacteria build-up prevention, and more.
Make sure to check-in for an acne talk with your doctor, dermatologist, or trusted clinic which products or treatments suit your skin best. Keep in mind that if not treated promptly, both moderate and severe acne can result in scarring.
REMEMBER that it may take up to 12 weeks before you see any improvements with topical, oral, or any treatment. Medications that work for one person may not work for another. Consistency and commitment is very important with any treatment where you stick with it long enough to see results, even if there are no immediate changes.
Want to learn about your skin condition and what can help heal your breakouts? We're here to help! Send us a DM or give us a call at 0995 422 1387.