Acne commonly known as pimple is one of the worst nightmares for a lot of people. Acne not only irritates the skin but also leave dark marks or scars on the skin. The problem is not just skin deep but it also has a huge psychological and social impact on the patient especially the adolescent population. So to refrain from these effects of acne, one must take good care of its skin to prevent acne breakouts or consult a dermatologist as soon as their first breakout occurs for further management of acne.
How Does One Develop Acne?
Acne is usually a feature of oily skin. Excess sebum (oil) production by the oil gland leads to clogging of the pores giving rise to whiteheads and blackheads referred to as closed and open comedones respectively. These long-standing comedones are further infected by a bacteria present on our skin and are converted into acne. So, it is important to regulate the sebum(oil) production and keep acne at bay.
Clean the face with a BHA or AHA face wash to prevent clogging of the pores. AHA's and BHA's are gentle exfoliators as they dissolve the excess oil and dirt on the skin. Restrict to washing the face not more than twice a day. As excessive washing will strip off the skin of the natural essential oils and make it dehydrated which will indirectly trigger more oil production. One can use medicated face pads or thermal spring water sprays in the afternoon if the face feels oily.
Use scrubs cautiously. Scrubs can only aggravate the acne. A mild scrub can be used once in a while followed by a rich moisturiser.
One can skip this step if open pores are not their concern. If needed, one can use a mild toner that is water-based or rosewater as these works well for oily skin.
Use a water-based, non-comedogenic moisturiser. Avoid the oil-based creamy moisturisers as they can clog the pores.
The most common myth about sunscreens is that it aggravates the acne. On the contrary, using a suitable sunscreen according to the skin will help with the photosensitivity caused by the anti-acne creams and oral medicines thus preventing further tanning or residual pigmentation.
a) Retinoids: Retinoid creams have been the most commonly used anti-acne creams. They can be used sparingly with the moisturiser. They help by minimising the oil production, shrinking the pores and remodeling the scars to a little extent. An overnight application on a non-irritated skin can avoid recurrence of acne.
b) Anti-bacterial gels: Topical antibiotic gels like clindamycin can also help to fight the bacteria.
Anti-acne face masks can also be used as a preventive measure for acne.It helps by absorbing the grease and gunk from the pores. Since the anti-acne masks are very drying, limit the use to once or twice a week depending on the dryness and skin type.
If one is not responding to the conventional acne treatments and have unwanted facial/ body hair in the midline of the chest or abdomen, excessive unexplained hair fall, irregular menstruation, excessive weight gain or difficulty in losing weight; it is important to rule out the hormonal imbalance. This may require a series of the investigation so meet the dermatologist for that and keep healthy skin.