What is acne?

An acne breakout is the result of an overproduction of p. Acne bacteria that naturally lives on the surface of our skin. This is often triggered by an increase of skin oil. The bacterium travels into the skin, and once oxygen is cut off, it thrives and breeds, helping to form large white pustules.

Is it dangerous?

Well yes and no. If Acne is treated correctly, it can leave minimal to no damage and no lasting effects. If the infection is prolonged and incorrectly treated, then scars can be left on the skin. Picking of the spots on the face can cause the infection to spread under the skin. The bacteria can travel through capillaries that are connected directly to the brain – this can be dangerous.

The infection can be very painful and can spread easily.

How can it be treated?

Using a good range of skin care will go a long way to keeping the skin healthy. Clinique’s Anti-Blemish Solutions range is perfect, and formulated by dermatologists for this very purpose and will complement most prescription acne treatments. The system is comprised of three products:

The foaming facial wash removes excess oil and debris on the skin’s surface. It also begins to loosen the dead skin cells.

The Clarifying Lotion is an exfoliator. The skin should be exfoliated but never with a manual scrub – with beads/granules. This, when wiped over the face once and only once will remove dead skin cells, helping to remove blockages and prevent more. The powder inside invisibly sits on the skin and helps to reduce oil and kills bacteria. This process allows the moisturiser to sink in more effectively.

Finally the oil free moisturizer hydrates the skin, without adding rich emollients that can aggravate the situation further. It also helps to disinfect the skin once it has sunk in.

There are many prescription products that a GP may recommend. Tetracycline antibiotics are often used help to kill off bacteria. An Isotretinoin may also be prescribed for more severe cases; these can be painful and cause dryness and hypersensitivity. These treatments are the most common, but your doctor will be more effective in providing insight to a possible solution. You should still use your skincare regime.

What else can I do?

  • Never pop the spots, these will lead to further infection and will promote scarring.
  • Use clean hands when touching the skin, for applying skincare for example.
  • Change your facecloth, towel and pillowcase every day. These are the worst spreaders of further infection.
  • Clean the filter on your hairdryer as this is often teaming with bacteria.

Suffering with acne can be a traumatic experience, however old you are. You are not alone; this is one of the most common skin concerns in the UK and is not something to be ashamed of. Talk to someone about it, and always consult your GP, this exactly the kind of thing they’re there for.

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