Ever woke up one morning and looked in the mirror and BAM a pimple?? Don’t stress we have all been there before, and you start to wonder why me, why all of a sudden?
Acne is one of the most common skin disorders affecting 85% of Australians aged between 15-24. I’m not between 15-24 you say…unfortunately acne can appear at any age, anywhere on our body: the face, neck, chest, shoulders and upper back are the areas mainly affected by acne. Our skin is the biggest organ being made up of different components; different layers of the skin, glands, nerves, protein, blood vessels and fatty acids. This makes our skin one of the most complex organs to the human body. Just one of its components is the pore which contains a follicle, hair and sebaceous glands (oil glands). The sebaceous glands are responsible for keeping our skin soft, smooth and helping our skin to shed dead skin cells. Acne begins when these glands produce too much oil and thats when our friends decide to come out. The extra oils that the gland produces becomes clogged building up dirt, bacteria and dead skin causing further blockage for the skin. The bump that forms is either a whitehead known for its white tip, if the plug forms a dark tip then it’s called a blackhead if a plug breaks open swelling occurs resulting in red bumps called pimples, and the worst of the culprits cystic acne categorised by hard deep painful cysts under the skin.
“But I cleanse and look after my face you say….”
During our teenage years (how beautiful) our body starts to go through puberty and physical development, it is at this stage where acne is most common. Many however still suffer from acne well into their adult life. Acne is closely linked to a hormonal imbalance. “But I’m well out of my teenage years my hormones are fine” while this maybe be true our hormones unfortunately change. These hormonal changes include puberty, menstrual period, pregnancy, menopause, the pill, stress and conditions such as polycystic ovarian syndrome. Another reasoned maybe greasy or oily skincare products, make-up and hair products, climate especially high levels of humidity causing excessive perspiration, certain medications such as steroids, and hormone replacement therapy.
To pop or not to pop??....NOT
When our pores swell it causes a disruption in the follicle wall. If the infected follicle is near the skins surface, the area of the skin is able to heal itself. HOWEVER!!! If the infected follicle burst out into the dermis it destroys healthy skin tissue resulting in the spread on infection hence more pimples as well as wounds and possible skin scarring. Unfortunately as the wounds heal, depending on the severity of the acne, scars may develop due to loss of tissue causing whats known as an ice pick scar. Often, what could also happen is that the scar isn’t a true scare at all. This is what we call post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. This is a temporary discoloration that will heal and fade on its own.
Home treatment- A proper home skincare regime is a must. AHA’s such as glycolic acid have been proven to successfully manage acne. One of the key components is Vitamin A. Your therapist will recommend the products that will best treat your individual condition.
In clinic treatments- There are a numeral of in clinic treatments that help to target acne and acne scaring. Facials are great in treating acne and acne scaring; some have a down time of 1-2 weeks, where others have minimal down time all.
Chemical Peels The most common types of chemical peels used are AHA’S, BHA’S and enzymatic. They work by helping to accelerate the skin shedding process therefore preventing pore blockage, unclogging existing blockage and helping to fade scars.
Microdermabrasion Microdermabrasion…the vacuum cleaner for the face, my absolute fav!! It works as a suction helping to exfoliate the top layer of skin. This help to unclog pores and prevent congestion.
Skin needling This is great when treating acne scaring. This is a non-invasive treatment that uses microscopic needles to help improve the skin texture, smoothing out any fine lines and wrinkles, this treatment also helps in pigmentation. While everything takes time don’t worry we will get there and have your skin looking like it once was.