What causes Acne?
Acne is caused by an overgrowth of P. acnes bacteria on the skin. It is linked to changes in hormones but it can start at any age.
Hormones control the amount of oil released from your glands, when these oils are produced in excess, it can aggravate the normally harmless bacterium P. acnes, which results in inflamed skin and spots.
Acne can be hereditary and hormone fluctuations during a menstrual cycle or pregnancy can cause acne to be inflamed for women.
What are the different types of spots?
There are six main types of spots that make up acne: Types of Acne Spots
As mentioned above, in the most common cases of acne which tend to be less severe, there are 6 types of spots:
Understanding each type of spot can affect the way it is treated and thereby be the difference between success and failure in the removal of the problem.
Blackheads occur when there is a larger opening in the pore and dead skin cells form a partial blockage beneath the surface. Although the name suggests that the spots are black, it is often only the very tip of the spot that is black. These types of spots usually last longer than most other types and are often difficult to remove.
Whiteheads are very similar to blackheads in that they are formed in almost exactly the same way except that dead skin cells block the pore and also form a layer over the top of it, As the oil builds up it pushes the skin outwards but the oil does not break the skin and the colour remains white,
Papules do not contain any puss. They are inflamed red spots that are raised up from the skin, because they have no head they are unable to be popped.
Pustules are the stereotypical spot. Closest to the surface of the skin, they are red and can look sore. A head forms often white or yellow in colour as it pushes to the surface. These spots may be popped or drained but it is still easy to get it wrong.
A nodule is much larger in size than popules they can also be painful. These are classed as severe acne. Nodules can last many months, in some cases; a dermatologist will need to help to remove them.
Cysts appear similar to acne nodules, however they are filled with pus and are very painful. Never try to pop or squeeze cysts since it can lead to deeper infection and serious inflammation which will last for months.
How can I control my Acne?
Cleaning the skin no more than twice a day with mild cleaners rather than soap is always recommended.
Avoid squeezing the spots and blackheads as it can make things worse and may even lead to permanent scarring.
It is also widely believed (but not conclusive) that a healthy diet which does not encourage the formation of harmful toxins within the body is a good direction to take in the prevention of acne
Some treatments are available to help monitor and clear acne.
What treatments are available for Acne?
There are several prescription treatments for acne on the market including Duac and Epiduo. These medications work to reduce the inflammation of the skin, reduce the existing spots and blackheads, and kill acne-causing bacteria.
There are many other non-prescription options on the market, some of which we sell on our website as we believe they are a few of the best ones.