What is Acne?

What is Acne?

Acne is the term for plugged pores (blackheads and whiteheads), pimples, and even deeper lumps (cysts or nodules) that occur on the face, neck, chest, back, shoulders and even the upper arms. Acne affects most teenagers to some extent. However, the disease is not restricted to any age group; adults in their 20s – even into their 40s – can get acne. While not a life threatening condition, acne can be upsetting and disfiguring. When severe, acne can lead to serious and permanent scarring. Even less severe cases can lead to scarring.

What Causes Acne?

Many things can cause acne. Here are some of the most common:

  1. Age. Due to the hormonal changes they experience, teenagers are more likely to develop acne.
  2. Gender. Boys have more severe acne and develop it more often than girls.
  3. Disease. Hormonal disorders can complicate acne.
  4. Heredity. Individuals with a family history of acne have greater susceptibility to the disease.
  5. Hormonal changes. Acne can flare up before menstruation, during pregnancy and menopause.
  6. Diet. Certain foods may cause flare-ups.
  7. Drugs. Acne can be a side effect of drugs, such as tranquilizers, antidepressants, antibiotics, oral contraceptives, and anabolic steroids.
  8. Personal hygiene. Abrasive soaps, hard scrubbing, or picking at pimples will make them worse.
  9. Cosmetics and hair products. Oil-based makeup and hair sprays can worsen acne.
  10. Environment. Exposure to oils and greases, polluted air, and sweating in hot weather may serve to aggravate acne.
  11. Stress. Emotional stress may contribute to acne.
  12. Lack of sleep. Depriving oneself of adequate sleep or rest may worsen acne.

What you can do?

Lana recommends that you wash your face and other areas of your body that are problematic — your neck, back, chest, and shoulders — no more than twice a day. While fruity scrubs, mineral masks, and cooling astringents may sound like a good idea, the ingredients used in these products can actually aggravate your acne. Instead, choose a gentle soap or facial cleanser. Lana can recommend products specific to your skin that are hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, oil-free and alcohol-free.

After washing your face, follow up with an acne cream or gel designed to eliminate excess oil, reduce bacteria, and keep your pores clear. Lana has a series of products available designed for all skin types. Be sure to use an oil-free, broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 15 protection to help shield sensitive skin from damaging UVA and UVB rays.

Try to avoid touching or picking at your pimples, and never squeeze them. All these actions increase your chance of infection, which in some cases can lead to permanent scarring. If you use cosmetics, select foundations and moisturizers that aren’t oily or greasy. For example, a powder foundation may be better than a cream product for oily skin. Also look for products that are oil-free, water-based, and non-comedogenic. You may also want to select products that contain salicylic acid or other active ingredients to reduce breakouts. One last, important bit of advice: remove all makeup at the end of the day! Even cosmetics designed to help fight acne aren’t meant to be worn overnight.

Call and make an appointment with Lana. There is no reason you should live with acne. We have a treatment for you!