Acne Causes & Treatments

Acne is the most common skin condition of them all. In fact 85% of the population will develop acne at some point so if you haven’t experienced this as yet, count yourself lucky!

Although acne usually begins, and is most common, in puberty, many adults also develop the condition. Sometimes hormonal changes such as pregnancy or the menopause can cause acne to develop, but more on this later.

Acne commonly develops on areas of the body that contain lots of oil glands (sebaceous glands) such as the face, neck, back, chest and shoulders, and can look like this:

acne treatments at RITUAL Skin Clinics in Alton and Alresford

The oil made in our skin (sebum) is made by sebaceous glands that reside in our hair follicles (pores). When cellular debris blocks pores, the sebum becomes trapped causing a comedone, more commonly known as a Blackhead or Whitehead.

The bacteria multiply as they feed on the sebum, growing on this skin and multiplying further. A breakout.

NOTE: Blackheads and whiteheads are effectively the same thing, a plug of sebum and dead skin cells trapped inside a pore. Whiteheads have a thin cover of skin trapping the plug where as blackheads do not. The sebum plug is exposed, it oxidises causing the colour to change.

Check out this diagram below, complex organ our skin isn’t it? Look at the complex network for just one hair follicle!

acne causes and treatments at RITUAL Skin Clinics in Hampshire

Now these blackheads and whiteheads are frustrating enough. But that’s not where acne ends unfortunately.

You can see in the diagram above, the follicular wall is under a lot of pressure caused by the congested skin. If this wall breaks, the contents of the sebum plug go into the surrounding skin. It spreads.

This can trigger an immune system response, causing inflammation. Think large, red, sore, sometimes painful Papules and Pustules shown below.

treatments for acne at top skin clinics in Hampshire

So we now know what acne is, and the fact that it is caused by:

1 – Overproduction of Sebum

2 – Blockage of pores by a skin cell/sebum plug

3 – Proliferation of bacteria causing inflammation

So what can we do to treat it?

1 – Controlling excess sebum production

2 – Effectively exfoliating and cleansing the skin to avoid the build up of the skin cell/sebum plug

3 – Doing this gently so that we don’t cause blackheads and whiteheads to become pustules and papules.

Now remember that I mentioned that acne can sometimes appear with hormonal changes such as pregnancy or the menopause?

The problem is that many acne-focused skincare products are created for teenage skin, and we might not like it, but a 16 year old’s skin is going to be much more robust than a 40+ skin.

There is a huge gap in the skincare industry to effectively treat more mature skin that has a tenancy towards acne.

And that is why we have created a Detox Clear Skin Treatment.

The treatment contains

1 – Salicylic Acid to exfoliate inside the pores (clearing out that sebum plug!)

2 – Hinokitiol to control p.acne bacteria on the skin (stopping the spread!)

3 – Resveratrol to provide antioxident protection for skin cells

4 – Slow release, encapsulated Retinol to gently increase cell turnover without irritation

If you aren’t quite ready to book a treatment just yet, then here are some more Acne Skin Tips for you:

1 – Don’t touch your face. Your hands aren’t always clean and the bacteria on them can cause irritation and pimples.

2 – Don’t pop, squeeze or pick pimples. Prevent scarring by leaving acne along.

3 – Gently wash your face twice daily using a mild cleanser. Washing too frequently and scrubbing can irritate the skin and aggravate acne.

4 – Use non-comedogenic skin care and make up to avoid clogging pores.

5 – Avoid all alcohol-based products. They strip the skin of its natural moisture, causing it to compensate with increase oil/sebum production. No thank you!

6 – Clean makeup brushes and sponges regularly to prevent dirt and bacteria build up.

7 – Keep your phone clean. Germs from your hands end up on your cheek and jawline whilst you chat!

8 – Remove your makeup thoroughly before bed.

9 – Use a clean pillowcase regularly to avoid bacteria spreading.

10 – Keep a note of what triggers your acne. Your skin is unique as are your triggers. These could be certain foods, certain products, stress, tiredness, your menstrual cycle, or any number of things.  

Selina x