is defined as a common skin
condition that occurs when hair follicles become clogged with dead skin or
sebum. Sebum is a term used to describe the natural oil produced by the skin
that helps to prevent the skin from drying out. There are many different types,
causes, triggers and treatments for acne.
most important part of the struggle with recurring acne is education and
execution. Acne can have a great mental toll on those who suffer from the
condition. Acne can affect your mental health in ways that only other acne
prone individuals can relate. With proper education, as well as following a set
skin care routine that is specific to your concerns, acne can be greatly
Non-Inflamed vs. Inflamed (Cystic)
can be characterized by open
and closed comedones– white heads and black heads. These typically do not cause
Inflamed Acne/ Cystic
is associated with inflammatory acne that is deep
withing the skin. Often characterized by papuales (red-ish hued ), pustules
(pus filled), and nodules/cysts (large, firm and painful bumps that form mostly under the surface of the
Conditions that may resemble acneinclude Pustular Rosacea and Fungal
is a form of rosacea that may
closely resemble acne. The charatrists or pustular rosacea can include
pus filled blemishes and red swollen bumps. The bumps can
appear on the cheeks, chin, and forehead and are frequently misidentified as
acne. Treatments for pustular roseasea typically include
acid, benzoyl peroxide, and sulfur.
condition charactered by clusters of small, itchy red bumps on the skin. This
type of condition occurs when the hair follicles contract a “yeast infection”.
Treatment for fungal foliculitis include
sulfur, 1% or 2% ketoconazole or zinc pyrithione (found in dandruff shampoos).
Hormonal Factors with
acne refers to breakouts that occur due to certain hormone fluctuations. Certain birth controls, puberty, menopause,
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
, and other
causes for elevated androgen hormones can be a driving factor in development of
acne due to hormonal changes.
are 4 main factors that cause acne. These factors are all heavily influenced by
genetics, hormones, diet, medications, environment, and other lifestyle and
Excess Sebum Production
this factor is heavily influenced by hormonal factors and
dehydrated skin. Dehydrated skin tends to overproduce oil to compensate for
lack of moisture.
Abnormal Shedding of Dead Skin Cells-
while abnormal shedding is
mainly a genetic component– it may be influenced by other factors as well. Acne
prone skin can shed dead skin cells up to 5 times faster than skin is able to
turn over. This can cause a build up of dead skin cells within the pores– leading
to acne. Environmental damage to the follicles, such as UV damage can also
interfere with the skins ability to properly shed.
Intrinsic, or internal
factors, also play a big role in certain bacteria producing acne. The microbiome of the gut and skin have been
heavily linked with acne. An imbalance in certain strains of bacteria on the
skin can interfere with the ability to tolerate certain materials that the skin
commonly comes into contact with. Excessive pathogenic bacteria, or bacteria that can
cause disease, can lead to clogs becoming infected and inflamed.
influenced by bacteria, stress, and other health conditions. Inflammation is
also the main driving factor in the development of acne scarring.
Acne can be treated with targeted at home skin care
regimens, as well as professional in office treatments with a trained esthetician.
The most effective treatment plans tend to involve a multitude of approaches:
proper and personalized skin care at home (sometimes prescription strength),
adjustments to diet & lifestyle factors,
monthly facials,chemical peels,
treatment protocol can typically include products which
salicylic acid, retinol/tretinoin, AHAs,
may involve more aggressive treatment.
This treatment protocol may include products with benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and l-mandelic acid.
you are struggling with acne, please remember to be kind to yourself. The
simple fact that you have read this blog mean that you are on the right path to
improvement. It is important to remember that you NOT alone. The mental toll
that acne can have on individuals can lower self esteem and self- worth. Take
necessary time for yourself– to improve you physical and mental well
being. Your acne improvement journey can
start today, or whenever you are ready.