What Is Acne and Acne Scars?
Acne is a skin condition that affects your skin when the hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. This condition triggers the formation of whiteheads, blackheads, papules, pustules, and cysts, and usually appears on the face, forehead, chest, upper back and shoulders. Acne is most common among teenagers, though it affects people of all ages.
Adult acne, or post-adolescent acne, is acne that occurs after age 25. For the most part, the same factors that cause acne in adolescents are at play in adult acne. The four factors that directly contribute to acne are: excess oil production, pores becoming clogged by “sticky” skin cells, bacteria, and inflammation.
There are also some indirect factors that influence the aforementioned direct factors, including hormones, stress, and the menstrual cycle in women, all of which can influence oil production, hair products, skin care products, and makeup, which can clog pores, diet, which can influence inflammation throughout the body. Some medications, including corticosteroids, anabolic steroids, and lithium, can also cause acne.
Acne scars form as a result of inflammation of the acne blemishes. This happens when the acne pore swells, initiating a breakdown within its walls. While most acne scars are small and shallow, others tend to penetrate the surrounding tissue, consequently causing deeper scars.
Steps to improve acne:
Step 1: Exfoliate to remove dead skin cell build-up
One of the causes of acne is a build-up of dead skin cells in the pores that are not shedding properly. It is important to remove these dead cells to allow treatment products to penetrate, improve acne and create a clearer complexion.AlumierMD Professional Treatments:
Enzyme Retexturing Peel
Refining Clay Mask
Step 2: Reduce the amount of acne bacteria (P. acnes)
Choose natural anti-bacterial ingredients instead of synthetic antibiotics where resistance is a growing problem.AlumierMD Home Care Products:
Step 3: Improve oily appearance
When sebum builds up under the plugged pore/follicle, it causes an inflammatory response. Keeping skin moisturized is an important way to balance sebum production. If skin dries out due to excessive washing or harsh chemicals, it will produce more sebum to compensate.
Also, look for gentle ingredients that help mattify skin.AlumierMD Professional Treatments:
Acne Clarifying Cleanser
Acne Balancing Serum
Step 4: Improve skin texture and tone
Depending on its severity, acne can leave post-inflammatory discoloration and scarring. Improve skin tone and texture with professional peels alongside smoothing and brightening home care products.AlumierMD Professional Treatments:
Step 5: Protect against inflammation and UV damage
Inflammation is a cause and a result of acne. White blood cells are drawn to acne lesions as an immune response to P. acnes bacteria, which in turn causes inflammation.
Inflammation in the presence of UV rays leads to hyperpigmentation, and exfoliating products used to treat acne often make skin more sun sensitive.
It is critical to block UV rays with a broad-spectrum sunscreen that contains ingredients to help calm irritation and maintain the skin’s delicate moisture balance. Use soothing ingredients like hinokitiol and sea whip to reduce irritation and improve complexion.
Here are some basic skincare tips and advice that can help prevent or ease problems with breakouts:
- Don’t overwash or use harsh scrubs. Acne is not caused by dirt. Two gentle washings a day is sufficient. Anything more can leave healthy skin dry and irritated, triggering the glands to produce even more oil. The result being even more pimples.
- Don’t use alcohol-based products. Alcohol strips the top layer of the skin and many astringents contain alcohol which can cause dryness and irritation. Again, this can prompt excess oil production and more blemishes.
- Beware of sweat. Working out heats up the body, and perspiration makes the skin an even more attractive environment for acne bacteria to grow. Take a shower as soon as possible after vigorous physical activity.
- Don’t squeeze or pick. It’s important to adopt a strict “hands off” policy when it comes to acne. Trying to pop pimples on your own can drive acne bacteria deeper into the skin. Picking can lead to more inflammation and permanent scarring.
- Allow enough time for acne products to take effect. Be patient – this can take up to eight weeks.
- Clean your makeup brushes and sponges. Prevent bacteria and dirt buildup by washing them in lukewarm water with a gentle cleanser or shampoo.
- Make sure your hair is clean. Oily hair can lead to acne around the hairline
- Keep your smartphone clean with antibacterial wipes. Germs from your hands end up on your cheek and jawline while you chat, which could lead to pimples.
- Remove your makeup before bed. Make proper cleaning a regular part of your bedtime routine.
- Make sure your pillowcase is clean. Regular washing prevents bacteria from spreading.