What are the different types of Acne?
Acne is a very common skin condition that can affect most people at some point in their life. Acne is the general term that people use when they get spots, blemishes and also lumps and bumps under the skin. Essentially it is blocked pores on the skin due to excessive oil production, trapped dead skin cells, bacteria and hormones.
There are 6 main types of blemishes:
Whiteheads – Which are closed blocked comedones. The top of the pore closes and looks like a small white/yellow bump.
Blackheads– Are open comedomes. They are very similar to whiteheads but the blocked pore stays open and exposure to the air causes them to be black or dark in appearance.
Papules – Are small raised red inflamed spots.
Pustules – Similar to but slightly larger than papules and can be painful.
Nodules – This is large hard bumps underneath the skin. They can be very painful and scaring is often involved.
Cysts – These develop deep underneath the skin and is the most severe form of Acne. They are fluid filled nodules.
What causes each type of acne?
There are lots of myths about the causes of acne and lots of them have not been proven but some good tips to think about are anything to help reduce stress as this can really exacerbate the issue. Diet especially is something that people believe there is links to but not much scientific data to back it up much more research is needed. So following a good balanced healthy diet along with exercise is a good starting point and is the best recommendation until more is known. Lets look at each of the types of blemishes and what causes them:
Whiteheads – The pore gets blocked with sebum or dead skin cells and it then closes.
Blackheads– The pore again is blocked with sebum and dead skin cells and it stays open and is exposure to the air which causes them to be black or dark in appearance.
Papules – The pores become blocked with bacteria. Our bodies produce white blood cells which fight infection and the inflammatory response causes them to be inflamed.
Pustules –The pore is blocked with oil, dead skin cells and bacteria and it can fill with pus that we produce in response to it.
Nodules – If the walls of the pore starts to breakdown then the bacteria and oil go deeper into the skin and can affect other pores close by.
Cysts –A severe inflammatory reaction occurs in the pore which causes fluid filled nodules much deeper in the skin.
What are the best treatments for each type of acne (ingredients & procedures)?
You should always start with a simple skincare routine suited for oily blemish prone skin. Dermo-cosmetic skincare products are the perfect solution backed by science to address the needs of the skin. Ideally you should use a consistent skincare routine for at least 3 months to see the full benefit. Starting with a mild and gentle cleanser, there are myths surrounding acne that the skin is dirty and sometimes people over cleanse due to this. However this is not the case at all and over cleansing can aggravate the skin. For example Avene Cleanance soapless gel cleanser is designed specifically for oily skin with very mild cleansing agents to clean the skin without stripping it, it will remove impurities and make-up whilst reducing excess sebum leaving skin refreshed and mattified. Even oily skin needs to be moisturised as it will help barrier function and to protect the skin and help retain water. Just make sure your moisturiser is adapted for oily skin then it will not increase the oil on the skin and make sure it is non comedogenic.
We would recommend Avene Cleanance Comedomed a concentrated moisturiser enriched with Comedoclastin, a patented active derivative of milk thistle that works to moisturise the skin, regulate excess sebum, reduces blemishes and limits their reappearance. Studies showed 90% clearer skin after a week*. After two months of use, the moisturiser encourages a 45% reduction in blemishes** compared with when the cream is not applied. If skin is still congested with whiteheads and blackheads then Retinoids can be good for helping to unclog pores, studies show Retinaldehyde give good results on skin that is prone to acne. Avene Triacneal can be used at night with Retinaldehyde to boost your routine and also help reduce the appearance of scars. Alternatively Salycylic Acid a beta hydroxy acid is good again to help unclog pores, they can be added into your routine if needed. After 3 months you have seen no improvement then we always recommend seeing a pharmacist or a GP for advice, however it is still important to have the basis consistent skincare routine even if a healthcare professional recommended medicine to help out.
To browse the Avene range visit McCauley.ie
* Tolerance and efficacy study using Cleanance Comedomedon 56 subjects with mild to moderate blemishes.
** Evaluation by clinical scoring on 36 subjects.