Ready for a comprehensive guide to acne? From the moment you hit puberty, spots, pimples and zits become a big part of your daily life. If you are lucky, then the only thing that will bother you is an occasional pimple at an unfortunate time, but if you, like so many others out there, suffer from acne, then it’s an entirely different ball game. One of the worst things about acne is that it can manifest is so many different ways, causing different types of outbreaks for different types of skin types, as well as being prevalent on various parts of the body. Acne isn’t just saved for the face area, it can affect lots of other places on your body like your neck, chest and back, in particular. If you are someone who is the early stages of realising that acne is going to be a part of your life for the foreseeable future, then take a look at what's below - a comprehensive guide to acne that you will find invaluable.
1. Comedonal Acne
This is a type of acne that occurs when dead skin cells and excess oils become trapped in your pores. Within this category, there are a further two sub-categories:
• Closed Comedone – these are more commonly known as clogged pores and whiteheads. They happen when a layer of skin forms over the gunk and debris that is trapped in a pore, creating a flesh coloured bump.
• Open Comedone – these are more commonly known as blackheads. When the gunk and debris in your pores become exposed to the air, it can oxidize and turn black.
2. Inflammatory Acne
Once the gunk and debris are inside your pores, it can mix with naturally occurring bacteria and cause an infection that manifests in inflammation and visible swelling. Inflammatory acne is also split into two sub-categories:
• Pustules – these are white pus-filled red bumps that have a head on the top, much like a traditional looking pimple.
• Papules – these are red bumps that occur when a pimple does not form a head, therefore there is no real opportunity to pop it without causing unnecessary skin damage.
3. Nodulocystic Acne
This is a much more severe type of acne infection that occurs deep down in the lower layers of your epidermis (or skin). As with the previous two types, it can be divided into two sub-categories:
• Nodules – these are classed as bumps that remain under your skin. They never form a head and tend to be very irritating and painful. It is best to leave these alone, instead letting a professional extract them or inject your skin with a cortisone shot.
• Cysts – these are the really large, painful pimples that you might associate most with really bad acne. They look similar to pustules but are much bigger, more painful and can often be extremely itchy.
Here is a list of potential treatments for acne:
• Salicylic Acid – this is best for inflammatory and comedonal acne, and most commonly comes in the form of a liquid exfoliant.
• Zinc & Sulfur – this is the best treatment for nodulocystic acne. Though nothing can really effectively penetrate a deep skin infection, these two ingredients can help to reduce the size of the cysts and nodules and eliminate excess oils.
Some of the best ways to prevent acne outbreaks include:
• Glycolic Acid – best used for comedonal acne. The acid can get rid of layers of dead skin cells and remove debris from your pores, which will both rejuvenate your skin and help to keep it infection free.
• Retinol – this is a great treatment for all types of acne. It is an anti-aging powerhouse product that increases skin cell turnover, meaning that dead skin cells do not have the chance to enter your pores and clog them up. It can also help to even out texture and tone.