Things to Avoid When You Are Having Acne Breakouts
Acne breakouts is one of the most common skin issues in the world, affecting 40-50 million people only in the US, says the American Academy of Dermatology. Although they usually affect teenagers, they can appear at any age.
According to Medical News Today, this chronic skin condition affects the oil glands at the base of hair follicles. Acne may not be dangerous, but they can be painful or just annoying, depending on the type. They usually leave skin scars, so it’s really important to treat them in the right way.
If you are one of the millions struggling with acne breakouts, here are a few important things you need to know about them, as well as things to avoid when dealing with this skin issue.
Causes of Acne
WebMD described acne as a hormonal condition that’s driven by androgenic or male hormones which usually become active during puberty. Combining sensitivity to these hormones with fatty acids within oil glands and bacteria on the skin leads to acne breakout. They usually appear on sites of oil glands like the face, shoulders, chest, and back.
Other possible triggers include emotional stress, greasy cosmetics, some androgen-containing or lithium-containing medications, menstruation, and hormonal changes.
Types of Acne
There are a few types of acne, depending on the size, severity of pain, and color of acne pimples:
Whiteheads – small ones that stay under the skin
Blackheads – black and clearly visible as they appear on the skin’s surface
Papules – these pink bumps are small and visible on the skin’s surface
Pustules – red at the base with pus at the top, and clearly visible on the skin’s surface
Nodules – large, solid, and painful, clearly visible on the skin’s surface and embedded deep in the skin
Cysts – the most painful type of acne that’s filled with pus and clearly visible. They can cause permanent scars.
What’s The Difference Between Acne and Pimples?
According to Health line, a pimple is just a symptom of the skin disease known as acne. Some people can have a pimple or two and never develop acne. On the other hand, there are others who often get acne breakouts with different severity and level of pain.
What Is Bacne?
If you’ve ever heard the term bacne, it means acne occurring on the back. Pores located deep down the back can get clogged just as pores in other parts of the body. They are usually caused by wearing sweaty clothes, so make sure you get rid of them first thing after the gym.
How to Treat Acne
The treatment mainly depends on the type and severity of the acne. You should always consult a dermatologist or a primary care physician if you can’t adequately control your acne. The treatment’s goal should be the prevention of scarring after the skin issue resolves, recommends Medicine Net.
Mild Acne Treatment
You can treat mild acne by applying over-the-counter medications like soaps, gels, creams, lotions, and pads to your skin. For sensitive skin choose creams and lotions, and for oily skin choose alcohol-based gels which dry the skin.
Over-the-counter acne medications usually contain the following active compounds, says Medical News Today:
Resorcinol – for whiteheads and blackheads
Salicylic acid – for whiteheads, blackheads. It helps reduce swelling and inflammation
Benzoyl peroxide – it helps destroy bacteria, slows the secretion of sebum, and speeds up the replacement of skin
Retin-A – great for unblocking pores
Sulfur – it’s still unknown how it works
Azelaic acid – stops eruptions of sebum, increases the strength of the cells that line the follicles, and decreases bacterial growth.
Moderate to Severe Acne Treatment
Treated by dermatologists or skin specialists using creams or gels stronger than over-the-counter medications, or oral and topical antibiotics. A specialist may use corticosteroid injection if the acne cyst becomes extremely inflamed. Oral antibiotics are also used in the treatment of moderate to severe acne.
Acne in women can also be controlled with the help of oral contraceptives by suppressing the overactive gland. However, they may not be suitable for women above the age of 35, women who smoke, have a blood-clotting disorder, or a history of migraines. Therefore, it’s best to consult a gynecologist first.
Other possible treatments of moderate to severe acne include topical antimicrobials prescribed by a dermatologist, and the oral retinoid called isotretinoin.
Things to Avoid When You’re Having Acne – Prevention Tips
Here are a few things to avoid when having acne, which will help also you prevent it in the first place.
Avoid touching your face with your hands to prevent bacteria from spreading and further irritating your skin.
Avoid popping or picking pimples with your fingers as that can cause infection and leave scars.
Avoid spending too much time outside on the sun because some acne medications make your skin sensitive to sunlight.
Avoid eating junk food, greasy food, sugar, and dairy products. Instead, opt for fresh vegetables and fruits, as well as whole grains.
Avoid stressful situations, as stress can aggravate the skin issue.
Don’t wash your face with hot water or harsh soap because that may hurt and irritate your skin even more. Instead, keep your face clean throughout the day, by washing it two times a day to remove impurities using warm water and mild facial cleanser.
Avoid wearing blush, powder, or foundation, as well as cosmetics with added chemicals and dyes. Instead, choose oil-free cosmetics and makeup labeled as noncomedogenic. Use makeup sparingly whenever you can.
Avoid using gels, pomades, oils, and fragrances on your hair as they may get on your face and block your pores. This can lead to skin irritation. Make sure you wash your hair often using a gentle shampoo or conditioner as oily hair can contribute to oily skin on your face.