Acne vulgaris is a condition that can be treated successfully if approached correctly.
So, how do you get rid of it? Firstly it’s important to bust the myths surrounding acne. Have you ever been given any of the following advice?
- “Washing your face regularly prevents/cures acne”
- “Acne in the centre of the face or around the mouth is “hormonal”
- “Stress causes acne”
- “Smoking doesn’t affect acne”
- “Eating chocolates causes acne”
- “Eating greasy foods causes acne”
- “Tanning ones face makes acne better”
- “Applying Sunscreen causes acne”
- “Everyone will outgrow their acne, it is ‘normal’ to have pimples as a teen”
- “A few pimples are not acne” (See table below. Mild acne can progress to more severe acne)
- Acne is a disease of the pilosebaceous unit (hair follicle and sebaceous (oil producing) gland)) which leads to
- Excessive sebum (oil) production as a result of increased sensitivity of the sebaceous glands to hormonal influences. This starts in teenage years but can persist into adulthood. There is often a genetic predisposition.
- Skin cells sticking together causes plugging of pores (keratinization disorder). This causes the formation of comedones – blackheads or whiteheads.
- Bacterial overgrowth within the comedone, and finally Inflammation which causes pimples and pus pimples (pustules) as well as cysts.
So What Are The Do’s And Don’ts of Acne Treatment?
- Go get professional help early. Start off with your GP who will refer you to a dermatologist if necessary. Acne scarring is irreversible and can be prevented.
- Eat a healthy diet, avoid sugar especially sugar containing cool drinks such as COKE and FANTA, and manage your stress
- Clean the skin with a gentle cleanser and not scrubs
- Apply an oil free moisturizer
- Apply sunscreen when out in the sun. There are many oil free preparations available Use a foundation to cover up the pimples if necessary. There are many acne friendly cosmetic preparations available
- Leave your skin and hope it will clear on its own
- Squeeze pimples. Squeezing and ‘picking’ can lead to scarring and pigmentation. This can damage the skin permanently.
- Tan your face hoping acne will go away. The sun damage can cause premature aging and also skin cancer later in life.
- Use abrasive cleansers and scrubs.