If you have ever experienced an acne breakout, you’ll definitely understand how depressing it is.
In order to look less ghastly, we use makeup to cover blemishes and spend money on ineffective pimple creams or facial treatments. Many times, acne problems keep recurring and just can’t seem to completely resolve.
Acne can also make us feel insecure and less confident.
Just what triggers an acne outbreak?
Hormonal changes and overly productive sebum glands are the biggest culprits of an acne breakout.
Sebum, a naturally produced oily substance, is meant to give skin a protective layer and keep it moisturized. When there is overproduction of sebum, the face starts to be over-oily and trap dead skin cells.
When skin turnover is low, the skin cannot ‘breathe’ and our pores get blocked – this eventually leads to acne.
Here are more facts you need to know about acne.
Acne can strike at any age.
Many people think that their acne will disappear after the puberty stage. The is partially true as acne usually happen to teenagers and young adults going through puberty, starting as early as when you are 12 years old.
However, acne can happen to anyone from 30 to 50 years old and is known as adult acne. Adult acne breakouts commonly occur to women going through hormonal fluctuations such as post-pregnancy and menopause.
Other reasons of an acne breakout include stress or family history. Sometimes certain skin products, unsuitable skin treatments and certain drugs or medications can trigger a breakout as well.
In stressful situations, our bodies produce more androgens, which are hormones that activate the oil sebum and cause acne. A family history of acne-prone skin problems might lead to genetic predisposition for pimple breakouts.
Certain skin products and medications might also affect individual’s face conditions or hormonal levels. All these cause skin imbalance and can lead to pimple outbreak.
Toothpaste on acne doesn’t work.
This traditional home remedy is a myth that has been spreading around for decades, and claims to treat breakouts.
However, doctors have said that there are no ingredients in toothpaste that make this method more effective than conventional treatments. In fact, there are no ingredients in toothpaste that makes sense in the treatment of acne.
There is also no scientific evidence to prove that the ‘toothpaste remedy’ is effective. It might even worsen your facial conditions, since it dries out the skin and irritate it. If doctors don’t recommend it, you probably should not do it!
Your hairstyle and head wear may be causing your acne.
Head wear and hair accessories, such as hats, caps, head bands, might be a reason for your acne. These articles can trap sweat and bacteria which clogs your pores and leads to outburst of pimples.
If you are having a bad hair day or just want to cover your head, it’s fine to wear those head accessories once in a while. However, don’t wear them too often, especially when you’re working out or doing strenuous activities (leading to you sweating profusely and clogging your pores). As the saying go, do everything in moderation.
Certain hair styles can also be a reason for your acne. Especially if it sticks to your skin, irritates skin, makes it itchy or causes you to pick at your skin. Generally, sweeping all your hair away from the face is best hair style to prevent acne.
Treating acne – the right way
It’s important to remain patient as acne can take an average of six to eight weeks to completely disappear. Before you give up on your acne treatment, remember that results takes time to show.
During the time you are undergoing acne treatment, refrain from putting heavy makeup. If after a month of treatment, you still don’t see even a tiny bit of improvement, then you might want to reach out to an aesthetic doctor or dermatologist for a skin consultation and diagnosis.
If it is cystic acne you are suffering from (cystic acne are big huge red acne that have pus inside), you should seek out a doctor as soon as possible. It is not ideal to treat cystic acne on your own and the longer you wait, the higher chance of developing permanent acne scars.
Here is a personal recommendation of the top aesthetic clinics for acne and acne scar treatment.
DIY or homemade acne treatments
For mild acne or the occasional zit, homemade acne treatments like face masks are OK.
But typical home remedies such as using tea tree oil or beauty masks may not be as effective for severe acne. It is advisable to do some research on the different types of products and masks before attempting to try them on inflame- and acne-prone skin.
Acne Care Tips
Here are some of our personal care tips for people with acne-prone skin:
- Wash your face twice a day, with warm water and a suitable face cleanser that is specially formulated for acne treatment
- Do not apply creams that are too strong or not prescribed for you as it may further irritate the acne and cause even more inflammation, swelling and redness.
- Refrain from touching your face and transferring more bacteria to your skin.
- Wash your hands before applying lotion, cream or makeup on your face.
- Use tissue paper to pat your skin after washing (in case your acne is caused by bacteria on your face towel)
- Choose makeup that is made for sensitive skin
- Visit an aesthetic clinic to treat your acne if you can (advisable)
- Sanitize or clean your phone regularly (as it touches your face often)
- Refrain from excessive sun exposure (sun is a known trigger for acne)
- Avoid stress and anxiety, which can worsen acne
Acne is a common skin condition. While it might reduce one’s self esteem and cause embarrassment, don’t forget that there are many treatment options and good skin doctors out there – its just a matter of getting the right diagnosis and using the correct treatment for you.