Acne is a skin condition that can have a really debilitating effect on a sufferer’s self-esteem. If you have acne and are unsure of where to start with treating it and understanding how it works.
It’s easy to feel frustrated when your skin isn’t behaving as you want it to and seems to resist all your attempts to soothe and heal it; but hopefully this basic guide to acne will help you to understand more about what you and your skin are experiencing.
Causes of Acne
Acne is caused when pores become blocked with excess oil, bacteria, and dirt. The main symptoms of acne are spots on your face, back and chest. Your skin is also likely to be oily, red and sore.
It can be aggravated by many things such as:
- Hormonal Changes (women for example may notice breakouts at certain times of their menstrual cycle)
- Weather (excessive heat can cause sweating which can contribute to blocked pores)
- Genetics (Acne can actually run in families and you are more likely to suffer from it if one of your parents did)
Sometimes, acne is simply pure bad luck and there seems to be no rhyme or reason for a breakout, but luckily, there are acne treatments available that will help soothe your skin.
If you are already having an acne breakout, then covering it up may be your only option in the mean time, if you feel you need too. However, you shouldn’t feel that acne needs to be covered up. It’s completely normal and part of you, so unless it’s really affecting your confidence, let your skin breathe. It’s better for your skin to not have makeup on the t, as you don’t want to risk clogging your pores further and potentially causing more issues. You also risk spreading acne to different areas of your face with your makeup brushes and sponges.
If it’s important to you that you cover your acne up as best as you can, you can purchase specialist concealers that contain salicylic acid, which helps fight the spots whilst covering them up.
In terms of covering technique, this will vary depending on the kind of outbreak you’re having (the linked article breaks down the different methods beautifully) but it’s always a good idea to take ice to a swollen blemish before coverage to reduce swelling.
At Home Treatments
Treating acne at home now has many more options than there used to be.
Ensure you cleanse your face thoroughly, Removing dirt and excess oil twice per day is going to go a long way in preventing any bacteria from spots. Use cleansers designed for acne sufferers – Dermalogica do some great ones, as does Jordan Samuel and SLMD Skincare. Basically though, the key ingredients to look out for will be Salicylic Acid and Niacinamide.
Try not to be tempted to pop whiteheads and let them disperse on their own, as busting them can cause skin damage, further infection/swelling, and even scarring.
There are many creams and serums dedicated to reducing breakouts, most of which contain Salicylic Acid. However, there are also other home treatments available such as small clear patches (which still contain active ingredients and actually help to keep the area clean too), or face masks specially-designed for those with acne.
Also, if you wear a Covid nose & mouth mask, ensure you use a new one daily so as not to spread bacteria.
Dermatologist Acne Treatments
If you have ongoing issues with acne, then seeking dermatologist focused acne treatment is probably the best way forward. Professional dermatologists can create a treatment plan designed specifically for you and your skin. They may offer a solution when at-home options are failing.
Dermatologists can offer more advanced solutions than what is available at home, starting from topical skincare treatments all the way to laser treatment, so it’s a great idea to see what’s on offer if you suffer long term, rather than relying on just treating acne at home.
Dealing with acne can be frustrating, but with some good routines and some professional help, it is possible to treat even the most severe cases.
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