Acne is one of the most common skin conditions that we see and treat in clinic. Up to 85% of New Zealanders between 15-25 years old are affected by acne to some degree - So it's incredibly common! Even though it is more common to experience acne than to it is to not, this condition affects people's confidence and quality of life dramatically.
We are sure you will have heard many different explanations of what acne is but more often than not these different stories contradict each other and can leave us feeling even more confused than we were before, and if we don't know what acne is how are we supposed to effectively treat it?
So what is acne? Acne is an inherited inflammatory skin condition of the pores.
Pores in acne prone skin contain abnormally sticky skin cells that shed rapidly. These sticky skin cells can clump together with oil and hair and they form a 'plug' within the pore. This plug prevents oxygen from getting inside the pore which makes it a great environment for bacteria to thrive, and once bacteria infects the pore, inflammation (swelling) occurs.
Evolution of a pimple - What does your acne consist of?
Closed Comedone (White head) - Appears like a small bump under the skin with no redness or irritation. This is simply a 'plug' with no bacteria or inflammation.
Open Comedone (Blackhead) - The 'plug' is visible to us, often dark in colour due to exposure to oxygen which causes the oil to darken.
Inflammatory Papule - Bacteria has been introduced to the comedone which initiates an inflammatory response in the skin. Often appears as a red, swollen bump and can be sensitive to touch.
Inflammatory Pustule - To fight the bacteria white blood cells invade the site and this is where you will see 'puss' as well as inflammation and erythema.
Nodule or Cyst - At this stage the infection has broken through the walls of the pore and is infecting surrounding pores. These are very painful and deep, cysts can occur when there is a cluster of pustules very close together.
It is so important to leave your breakouts alone - Yes this means:
- NO touching
- NO picking
- NO popping
- NO squeezing
Once the bacteria has been introduced you must let the body fight it without your interference to ensure a fast, trauma & scar free recovery.
When it comes to treating acne, prevention is KEY.
Acne prone skin needs to be cared for from the inside out. This means:
- Lifestyle changes - Looking at your diet, stress & hormones.
- Skincare specifically suited to your skin type and acne type.
- Skin treatments to regulate the function of the pores
At Silk Space we are passionate about acne. Come in for a skin consultation where we will equip you with all the knowledge and personalised skincare to start treating your acne, as well as a detailed treatment plan so that we can not only fix the symptoms but the causes as well.
As always, if you're wanting to know more or have any questions, get in touch!