June is acne awareness month! Here at Beautopia, all our estheticians are Acne Specialists. We take pride in our knowledge and continuing education on the subject. Client education is just as important! Today we’re going to do a quick run-through of common questions and important points about acne.
- Acne only occurs during puberty – While teens are more likely to have acne during puberty, studies show that more than 50% of adults will experience some form of acne through the years. Even babies can have acne!
- Acne is from poor hygiene– One of the biggest myths about acne is that only people who are dirty or unhygienic get the condition – while poor hygiene could exacerbate a breakout, acne is more likely caused from internal issues such as genetic predisposition, hormones, or gut issues.
- Moisturizing oily skin will make it worse- Giant misconception alert!! Skipping moisturizing is a bad idea. Especially for most patients with acne. In a lot of cases, we are using active ingredients that potentially have a drying effect. Without replacing that moisture or natural barrier- your skin will try to overcompensate and overproduce oil to protect itself!
- The sun “dries out pimples” – Sorry, but the only thing tanning is good for is increasing your risk of skin cancer. Tanning and/exposure to UV rays is one of the worst things you can do to your skin. It’s also important to keep in mind that exfoliating products and acne medication both topical and internal increase photosensitivity in the skin- leaving you even more vulnerable to the sun.
- If I pop this pimple, it will go away- Probably not. Doing extractions yourself is dangerous territory. Not only are your hands teeming with bacteria but you may not get to the root of the breakout. This will leave it coming back again, and again- which will further increase your risk of scarring. Leave it to your favorite esthetician instead!
What causes acne?
For most people, acne is an inherited condition of the pores. When someone is prone to acne, their pores clog with dead skin cells much faster than normal. Healthy pores shed about one layer of dead skin cells per day inside the pore, but acne-prone pores shed up to five layers of dead skin cells per day.
The different grades of acne
Grade 1: Mild Acne (Comedones)
Grade 1 acne is characterized by the appearance of open comedones, or blackheads. These blemishes occur when pores are clogged by an excess of waxy sebum, which is an oily substance secreted to lubricate skin.
Grade 2: Moderate Acne
In moderate acne, blemishes appear in greater numbers. With Grade 2 acne, there will also be occasional papules and pustule, which are the types of blemishes that most people associate with acne. Papules are raised red bumps caused by bacteria that have damaged the pore with no fluid inside. Pustules are also raised red bumps, but present as white at the top due to an accumulation of white blood cells and debris. While papules and pustules indicate the presence of bacteria, the inflammation is actually due to the immune system’s response to the infection.
Grade 3: Severe Acne
Acne moves to Grade 3 when blemishes occur in larger numbers and inflammation is more pronounced. When it reaches this point, the skin’s structure is compromised, and the risk of acne scarring is very high.
With a greater incidence of papules and pustules comes a greater temptation to eliminate them by squeezing or popping. Unfortunately, this can serve to spread the bacteria and multiply breakouts.
Grade 4: Cystic Acne
In Grade 4, cystic acne is characterized by large, angry-looking blemishes on the face and jaw line which can also affect the upper body, neck, arms, shoulders and back. Grade 4 acne often results in cysts, which are deep blemishes more than 5 mm in diameter. Nodules are hard, painful bumps that are similar to cysts but contain no pus or other fluids. They can last for weeks or months and even go dormant only to reappear later on.
How to treat acne
Treating acne can feel overwhelming when you’re shopping for remedies yourself. It’s best to see an esthetician and/or a dermatologist if necessary. Multiple factors come into play when acne is present. Including diet, lifestyle, and environment. Avoiding pore-clogging ingredients and inflammatory foods are two things you can do yourself to set a good foundation before you seek treatment. Incorporating lifestyle changes like adding anti-inflammatory foods into your diet, frequently changing pillow cases, and not touching your face are a few basics as well. Most professional treatments will include getting you on a regimen with products that encourage increasing cell rate turnover, are antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and soothing. Going in for regular treatments that include extractions every 2-4 weeks will most likely be recommended as well.
Can Beautopia help me with my acne?
At Beautopia acne is our specialty. All of our estheticians are certified acne specialists! We are proud to carry the Face Reality line- one of the most successful acne lines out there. We also carry other lines that we can be used to customize your regimen even further.
Possible treatment options
- Acne Treatment – We will want to see you every two weeks for an acne treatment. It typically takes about 6-8 services over a 3–4-month period of time to get you mostly to completely clear. Your Acne Specialist will: Assess what type of treatment your skin needs when you come in. We will also assess how your home care regimen will be adjusted so that your skin does not over-adapt and stop responding. Perform an acne treatment with extractions.
- Aeroclear– Aerolase for ACNE (no downtime, includes extractions and a superficial acne peel) Reduces inflammation by shutting down blood vessels, blocking the inflammatory aspect of acne and reducing the pressure on the surrounding tissue. This alleviates pain and post-inflammatory redness. The laser energy destroys acne-causing bacteria in and on the skin to both clear existing lesions and prevent future breakouts. It also helps to reduce excess oil and sebum output from the sebaceous glands.