Acne is a common skin condition where your skin follicles become blocked with oil and dead skin cells. It affects most people at some point in their lives. Acne is more prevalent in women than men, with more than 50% of women and 20% of men experiencing acne between the ages of 25- 45. The skin condition has a substantial impact on a patient's quality of life, affecting both self-esteem and psychosocial development. In this blog, we will learn some effective DIY tips for treating acne in 6 to 8 weeks and step out confidently with clearer skin.
What are the types of acne?
To treat acne it helps to know which type of acne you’re dealing with as each type requires different treatment.
These appear like 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 colour.
They appear like blackheads but are firmer and will not empty when squeezed.
They are small red bumps that may feel tender or sore.
They are bumps with a white tip in the centre and are caused by a build-up of pus.
They are large hard lumps that build up beneath the surface of the skin and can be painful and leave permanent marks
Its most severe type of spot is caused by acne and is largely filled with pus and looks similar to boils. They can leave permanent marks when healed. This is the most painful grade of acne.
What causes acne?
Despite being the most common skin condition, acne still has many misconceptions surrounding it. For instance, the popular belief is that sexual activity can influence acne or that acne is caused by a poor diet. Some even suggest that eating chocolate can cause acne. However, there is no research supporting these claims. It is caused when sebum oil and dead skin cells plug the hair follicles causing an outbreak of lesions commonly called pimples or zits.
Here are some factors that can increase acne on the skin
Fluctuating hormone levels
Picking at acne sores
Getting too little sleep
Using some comedogenic cosmetics
Environmental stressors like air pollution
Medications like steroid medicines, lithium (used to treat depression and bipolar disorder) and drugs used to treat epilepsy
Wearing clothes or accessories that put pressure on the affected area of skin like headgear or a backpack
While stress is not directly related to acne, stress can increase existing acne.
Causes of acne in men
For men one of the main triggers of acne are fluctuations in the level of testosterone. Fluctuations in the level of testosterone in the body increases sebum production, along with clogged follicles that lead to bacterial growth resulting in acne breakout and inflammation. Facial hair on men can also serve as fertile ground for bacteria growth and trap oil. It is important to use a clean razor and moisturise before and after shaving.
Causes of acne in women
Acne is a growing problem among women and they are more likely to be affected by adult acne than men are. This can be due to changes in hormonal levels that women have during certain times including:
Women show flare-up of acne just before menstruation
In the first three months of pregnancy women show acne
Acne along with symptoms including weight gain and formation of small cysts inside the ovary due to polycystic ovary syndrome
Acne and toothpaste: Busting the acne myth
Popular rumour has it that applying regular toothpaste to your pimple might help to shrink it. The likely reason for this belief is because some ingredients found in toothpaste such as baking soda, alcohol, and hydrogen peroxide are said to be drying and might help in doing away with your zits. However this is a misconception, remember toothpaste is formulated for your teeth not the sensitive surface of your face. Toothpaste has a basic pH level and too much application can irritate your skin which has a natural pH level.
Acne treatment tips: What dermatologists recommend
While acne treatment is often complicated, there are several home remedies for pimples that will treat acne and even prevent acne breakouts from happening in the future.
#1 Go for acne-specific products
Use acne-specific products including face washes, moisturisers, and serums. Our skin care experts at Clinikally recommend products containing salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and topical retinoids. You can shop such products from the convenience of home at Clinikally’s online inventory and get them delivered to your doorstep.
Dermatologists recommend adding a Niacinamide serum for face along with a sunscreen with at least SPF 30. Apply the serum twice daily and protect your skin with sunscreen before stepping out. The serum prevents acne by reducing sebum production. It also reduces scarring and soothes inflammation.
#2 Avoid scrubs and excessive washing
Avoid facial scrubs at all costs. Also, repeated washing can lead to ‘Detergent Acne’.
#3 Do not touch or pick at problem areas
This can trigger affected areas and lead to infections and cause scarring. This also leads to PIH (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation).
#4 Shower after exercise or work out
Activities like exercising or working out increase oil and sweat production, so shower regularly after exercise.
#5 Treat acne early
Early treatment can help prevent breakouts and target the root cause of acne.
#6 Manage stress effectively
Studies have shown that stress can flare acne. Manage and reduce stress in your day-to-day routines.
Treat acne and pimples with science
Acne is a common skin condition affecting most of us at some point in our lives. Keep in mind that what you think is a pimple may be another condition. You can get a dermatologist consultation online to get the best and personalised advice as per your skin type and concerns.
Clinikally is India’s first digital skin and hair clinic that lets you seamlessly consult dermatologists for personalised treatment plans that actually work. Effective treatment with products and formulations especially developed for use on acne and facial skin is a much safer bet and doesn’t need to cost you a fortune! Consistently using these treatments will keep your skin clear and healthy.