In clinic, I am often asked what the most common skin disorder is in the UK and how to treat it. And the answer is acne.
Acne Vulgaris, a skin condition that consists of comedones, papules, pustules and cysts, affects almost 85% of people at some point in their lives. Acne most commonly develops on areas of the body that contain a lot of sebaceous (oil) glands, like the face, neck, chest, back and shoulders. Acne usually begins (and is most common) in puberty, but many adults develop the condition.
Acne is caused by three major factors:
1 - Blockage of hair follicles (pores), where sebum is produced, by dead skin cells
2 - Overproduction of sebum
3 - Proliferation of P. acne bacteria and consequent inflammation
Adult VS Teen Acne
Adult skin is different from teenage skin, producing less oil, has a slower rate of cell turnover, and heals at a different rate. Products designed for teenage skin are often too harsh for adults, so using them can lead to irritation and dryness. At the same time, adults are concerned with visible signs of aging like fine lines, wrinkles and uneven skin tone.
Acne is a skin condition that affects individuals of all skin types.
Normal - normal skin has balanced hydration and balanced oil production.
Dry - dry skin does not produce enough oil, often feels tight and may be flaky and itchy.
Oily - oily skin has overactive oil glands, appears shiny and is more prone to acne.
Combination - combination skin is oily in the T-zone and normal or dry on the cheeks.
Sensitive - sensitive skin is more prone to react to skin care ingredients and is often red and uncomfortable.
Resilient - resilient skin is able to tolerate common skin care ingredients and easily recovers from irritation.
Treatment for Acne starts with a good home care regimen using specialized acne products containing cellular exfoliators AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) and BHA (beta hydroxy acid), retinols that work in the dermis stimulating cell turnover and collagen production, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, soothing and hydration boosting ingredients such as those found in AlumierMD's Acne Solution Series. IPL laser treatments have also proven very effective in treating acne successfully alongside regular chemical peels.
Acne skin Tips
1. Don't touch your face - your hands aren't always clean and bacteria on them can cause irritation and pimples
2. Don't pop, squeeze or pick pimples. Prevent scarring by leaving acne alone.
3. Gently wash your face twice daily with a mild cleanser. Washing too frequently and scrubbing can irritate skin and aggravate acne.
4. Use non-comedogenic (non-pore clogging) skin care and cosmetics.
5. Avoid alcohol based products. They strip skin of its natural moisture, causing it to compensate with increased oil production.
6. Make sure your hair is clean. Oily hair can lead to acne around the hairline.
7. Clean your makeup brushes and sponges. Prevent bacteria and dirt buildup by washing them in lukewarm water with a gentle cleanser or shampoo.
8. Keep your smartphone clean with anti bacterial wipes. Germs from your hands end up on your cheek and jawline while you chat, which could lead to pimples.
9. Remove your makeup before bed. Make proper cleaning a regular part of your bedtime routine.
10. Make sure your pillow is clean. Regular washing prevents bacteria from spreading.
11. Take note of what triggers your acne. Triggers can include certain foods, facial products, stress, etc. Keep a symptom diary to help you make links overtime.
Finally... you don't have to suffer in silence or become a social pariah... seek help and advice from an expert skin care professional.
** Invest in your skin....it's definitely worth it **