So you’ve got acne? Why me!

So you’ve got acne? Or know someone that does? Or just want to know what acne is and why this is happening to me?

These are questions I’ve been asked so many times in my 35+ year career as an esthetician, I feel as if I need to write about what it is.

Simply stated: acne is oil, dead skin, and bacteria. It is estimated that is 85% of people from the ages of 12 through 25 will experience breakouts of some type and acne.

Acne affects women much more than men and usually appears on the forehead and face, and can move down to our chest, upper back, and even shoulders.

It is not uncommon to hear; “I have not had a problem until now.”

There are many factors that can trigger acne:

  • Hormones (the largest factor) increase during puberty producing more sebum and causing hair follicles become sticky and are unable to shed
  • Changes during pregnancy
  • Reduction in estrogen around the age 35 (at least 10 years before menopause) have an impact acne
  • If one parent had acne in your family, there is a 40% chance that you will have acne. If both parents had acne, there is up to an 80% chance that you will have acne.
  • Bacteria, stress, diet, and medications, such as oral contraceptives or corticosteroids, may also aggravate acne.

Acne symptoms can be non-inflamed in which the hair follicles become clogged and blocked with oil secretions and dead skin cells.

These are some of the different types of acne:

  • Whiteheads (closed plugged pores)
  • Blackheads (open plugged pores)
  • Papules (small red bumps)
  • Pimples (pustules)

If the clogged pores become infected with bacteria, inflammation results in nodules and cystic lesions (large solid painful lumps).

These are questions I ask my clients when they complain or are concerned about acne:

  • How well are your current products and treatments controlling your breakouts?
  • Do you find you have fewer or more breakouts that come and go quicker?
  • Have you developed pigmentation?
  • Have you given your regime at least three months to see results?
  • Do you understand how your products interact and what to watch for while using those products?

Acne can cause scaring and emotional unhappiness. The sooner you begin treatment, the lower your risk of problems can be and the quicker these outbreaks can be brought under control.