Acne is not an uncommon sight for anyone, regardless of age, race, or gender. The little white bumps on one’s face are relatively normal and its appearance and disappearance is so commonplace that we accept it as a recurring part in our daily lives. But what is it exactly, and how can one overcome it?

Acne forms when hair follicles on your skin are plugged with oil and dead skin cells, resulting in several variations such as whiteheads (closed plugged pores), blackheads (open plugged pores), or pimples (small, red bumps with pus at the tip).

While these are the most common ones, other types of acne may also occur, such as nodules (painful lumps beneath the skin’s surface) or cysts (larger lumps underneath the skin that contain pus).

Typically, acne forms on the face, but can also appear on the chest, upper back, and shoulders.

 

What causes it?

To keep itself soft and lubricated, the skin relies on pores which consist of a hair follicle and a sebaceous gland that produces oil which then travels up the hair, onto the skin to maintain its softness.

Acne occurs when the pores are clogged with too much oil, buildup of dead skin cells, bacteria buildup in the pores, or a combination of all three.

 

What treatments are available to overcome acne?

There are several ways to treat acne and reduce the risk of it breaking out:

 

Home Care

  • Shampooing your hair regularly to maintain a regular oil coat
  • Cleansing your skin frequently with mild soap to rid it of excess oil and dirt
  • Refraining from squeezing the pimple, as it runs the risk of spreading the bacteria and oil to other parts of the skin
  • Avoid wearing hats
  • Using makeup that is water-based

 

Medical

  • Salicylic acid is a topical antibacterial agent that helps unplug pores due to its exfoliation capabilities. The acid is commonly found in various soaps and acne solutions.
  • Benzoyl peroxide not only kills bacteria that causes acne, it also dries out existing pimples and effectively prevents new ones. The compound can be found in acne creams and gels.

In more serious cases, an individual may require consultation with a doctor, who will then prescribe you with oral or topical antibiotics to reduce inflammation, kill the bacteria, and prevent scarring.

 

What are some of the best practices to prevent acne?

It is impossible to prevent acne, but there are some practices to reduce the chances of acne happening, including:

  • Keeping good facial hygiene by washing it with an appropriate cleanser
  • Wearing loose clothing
  • Changing your diet to include less refined sugars
  • Reducing stress
  • Using water-based makeup instead of oil-based
  • Taking a shower after exercising

 

Speak to our doctors today to learn how you can combat acne today!

 

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