Either as adults or teenagers, we have all had our fair share of an acne breakout. The appearance of acne on the skin depends mainly on your skin type. Some people have acne-prone skin (oily skin), while others have normal skin meaning they have little or no appearance of acne even during puberty. By popping a pimple, you can either cause damage to your skin or leave a scar.
Acne is a skin condition that shows up as reddish pimples on the skin. It happens when the hair follicles on the layer of the skin plug with dead skin cells and oil (or excessive sebum production). A pimple appears mainly on the face, neck, chest, and back, resulting from excessive oil production by the sebaceous glands. Acne appears mostly in teenagers when in their puberty phase. Most people also get to experience acne deep into their late 30’s. Many factors trigger the appearance of acne on the skin. Sometimes it is a result of bacteria in the skin, which leads to infection and also inflammation. The pus that is squeezed out of the pimple contains dead white blood cells.
There are different types of acne, and understanding what each type is, makes treating it easier. The six subtypes of acne differ in appearance and are categorised under two types “inflammatory acne” and “non-inflammatory acne”.
Non Inflammatory acne
As the name implies, non-inflammatory acne does not appear to be swollen. It is safe to note that it grows inside the skin and results from clogged pores. It can only increase in size when popped or squeezed. There are two types of non-inflammatory acne;
1. Whitehead - The appearance of whiteheads happen mainly on the nose and around the lips, and it has a white surrounding and is also referred to as closed comedones. The treatment of whiteheads can be more troubling than the other type of non-inflammatory acne.
2. Blackheads - These types of acne are common in adults, and blackheads are easier to extract; they result from an overdue and untreated white head.
Most of us are conversant with inflammatory acne because it appears on the face, neck, back and chest. It is a result of excessive production of oil on the skin. There are four subtypes of inflammatory acne.
1. Papules - It has no pores and happens after you squeeze a whitehead.
2. Pustules - Also known as ruptured comedones and occurs due to stress or excessive oil production. Pustules occur primarily in teenagers during puberty. This type of acne is filled with yellow pus and is also inflamed.
3. Nodules - If you have ever had painful acne, then you sure have had your share of nodules. It has the same colour as the skin and most times needs medical attention.
4. Cysts - The most popular in the inflammatory acne category. Cysts are itchy and painful, and they appear due to a build-up of bacteria on the skin. Cystic acne is the most uncomfortable type and is often referred to a dermatologist to take care of.
These are easy tips to treat your acne, and also remember it is best to visit a dermatologist if the pain and breakout persists.
People fail to realise that the appearance of acne on the skin is due to their diet. I have acne-prone skin, and every time I eat a meal made with a lot of groundnut oil, I end up having an acne breakout. There are healthy diets that can reduce and prevent the appearance of acne on the skin. You need to eat food rich in vitamins A & E. You should also look out for food that contains omega three fatty acids and antioxidants. Food like chocolate, dairy products and fast foods can cause an acne breakout. By eating and drinking your greens (green tea), you prevent acne because they create internal protection for your skin. Also, adding Vitamin C to your diet helps because it increases collagen formation. It also increases cell turnover, and when this happens, your hormonal acne reduces.
There is an acne breakout on the skin when there is an overproduction of natural oils. Suggesting a moisturiser has people confused, but the truth is that you help the skin retain its natural oil by moisturising. When the skin is too dry, it gets irritated, which can lead to acne breaking out. Moisturise your skin twice daily in your morning and nighttime routine. A lightweight moisturiser works perfectly if you have acne.
Use good makeup
It is easy to try and cover your acne breakout with makeup but what most people fail to realise is that it causes more breakouts! This is because some cosmetic products cause or worsen breakouts. Check the ingredients in your foundation and powder and confirm if it is good for acne-prone skin from your dermatologist. Makeup can trigger your acne, and it is worse when you have to apply layers of it on your skin to cover the acne. Ensure your product is good and also cover up pimples with a bit of make-up.
Clean your phone screen
Your phone screen might be responsible for the acne breakout on your face. The phone holds dust and germs that can cause acne. By holding your phone on your skin, you cause friction which irritates the skin and promotes a breakout. It is best to wipe your phone with a microfiber cloth at least once or twice a month.
Manage your stress, cut back on your salt and sugar, wash and cleanse your face at least twice a day. Use a gentle cleanser, and always remember to moisturise your skin. It is safe not to squeeze your pimples to avoid leaving dark spots. Also, change your beddings as germs can cause acne breakouts on the skin.
If your breakouts are too painful or a lot, please make sure to see a dermatologist.
It is never too late to start caring about your acne. Be patient with your journey.