Acne can be complicated, frustrating and very annoying, but almost everyone has dealt with it at some point in his or her life. Even though acne is a part of everyday life, it can be difficult to understand what type of acne you are experiencing, what’s causing it and what the best treatment path is.
So exactly what is acne?
Acne is a skin-disease that occurs in hair follicles when the follicle becomes clogged with dead skin cells and oil. There are many different types of acne that can be classified as either non-inflammatory or inflammatory acne. Non-inflammatory acne consists of blackheads (open comedones) and whiteheads (closed comedones). Blackheads occur when a pore is clogged but the top of the pore stays open, resulting in the characteristic black color seen on the surface. Whiteheads also form when sebum and dead skin cells clog a pore, but unlike blackheads, the top of the pore closes up resulting in a small bump protruding from the skin.
Clogged pores create the perfect microenvironment for the bacterium P. acnes to thrive and multiply. When these bacteria that are usually harmless on the skin infect clogged pores, inflammatory acne can occur. Papules, pustules, nodules and cysts are all forms of inflammatory acne. Papules and pustules occur when the walls surrounding your pores break down from severe inflammation. Papules are generally hard, clogged pores that are tender to the touch and usually pink in color, whereas, pustules are filled with pus and are typically red in color with a yellow or white bump on top. Nodules and cysts are the most severe types of acne. Nodules occur when the acne lesion becomes even larger and more inflamed and resides deeper under the skin than papules and pustules. Cysts are even more severe than nodules and reside even deeper under the skin.
Treating non-inflammatory acne
Consistent use of topical treatments is best for treating blackheads and whiteheads. Topical treatments containing AHA’s and BHA’s like glycolic acid, lactic acid and salicylic acid that remove excess oil from the skin and exfoliate dead skin cells should be used daily to remove blackheads and whiteheads on the skin and prevent future ones from forming. Dermala’s Acne Treatment Pads combine a gentle concentration of salicylic acid with our SE Microbiome Complex to provide daily exfoliation for your skin.
Treating inflammatory acne
Topical treatments to remove oil and dead skin cells should also be used on a daily basis for preventing new papules and pustules from forming. Additionally, antibacterial treatments like benzoyl peroxide, antibiotics and Dermala’s SE Microbiome Complex are used to kill excess bacteria in the follicle, which is contributing to inflammation of the lesion. However, unlike antibiotics and benzoyl peroxide, Dermala’s SE Microbiome Complex is naturally derived from the good microbes on your skin and specifically kills the acne-causing bacteria without the side effects.
How long does it take to see improvement?
Each person responds to acne treatment differently, but in general, results can take up to 12 weeks to see improvement with consistent product use. It’s also important to note that your environment can contribute to breakouts if you already have acne prone skin. Different foods you eat, makeup or conditioners you use, or how often you clean your sheets can all irritate your skin and contribute to acne. It’s important to observe what different daily activities worsen or improve your acne so you can combine your acne treatments with behavioral changes to ensure the best results.