Unlike bad haircuts, bullies and questionable fashion choices, skincare break-outs are not always left behind when we leave high school. It can still haunt us long after our teenage years and for many adults, it’s something they have to deal with on a daily basis.
“Many of my patients struggle with break-outs. It’s not restricted to a specific age or gender, but we’ve had amazing success treating it,” says Tracy Cheketri, aesthetic therapist at Aurora Medical Aesthetic Centre.
What are break-outs?
Break-outs can mainly be divided into two categories:
Comedones are the most common skin concern and consist of blackheads and whiteheads. These pesky problems form as a result of oil and dead skin build up in the pore and we usually find them (especially blackheads) in the t-zone area. Once it’s exposed to air, the plug oxidises and turns black. Whiteheads are very similar except that the build-up stays enclosed in the pore unoxidised and can be more difficult to treat. The best way to deal with comedones is by following a good at-home skincare routine that uses salicylic acid. This beta hydroxy acid (BHA) has the ability to clean out pores, loosen debris and regulate oil production. If comedones are not extracted correctly they can become aggravated and develop into inflammatory acne.
Papules and pustules are forms of inflammatory acne and the second category of break-outs. These blemishes can be especially hard to treat and cause severe pain, inflammation and permanent skin damage. For inflammatory acne to form it’s a bit like the perfect storm; bacteria, oil and dead skin build up in the pore and causes it to inflame. The body reacts by sending white blood cells to the infection and the papule is formed. If left untreated pus forms (gross we know) as a result of waste product and white cell build up – this is known as a pustule. Inflammatory acne is best treated with a combination of benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid.
There are various factors that can cause us to break-out, but here are a few to take note of:
Hormones, yep those pesky things never seem to stop torturing us. It’s thought that an over-production of androgen results in an over-production of oil an in return creates the perfect breeding-ground for brake-outs. Hormonal breakouts are typically seen around the jaw and chin.
Lazy skin. With age, our skin can become lazy at exfoliating and this can cause a build-up of dead skin in our pores. With the right at-home skincare and regular treatments, we can encourage the skin to exfoliate as normal. This is, unfortunately, something that you will have to keep up with for the rest of your life but the reward is worth it.
Choosing the wrong products can cause our skin to react by breaking out. Skincare products with drying and irritating ingredients cause inflammation and an over-production of oil. It might also be that you’re using a cream that’s just too rich for your skin and this causes unnecessary oil build-up. For this reason, it’s important to employ the help of a skincare therapist for a tailored at-home routine based on your skin type.
Bad diet plays a role. Okay maybe this is not the biggest reason but it does come into play. What you put into your body will often reflect in your skin. A diet filled with sugar and processed foods causes inflammation in the body and inflammation manifest in the form of acne. Many people who struggle with severe cystic acne, found that cutting red meat and dairy from their diet improved their skin.
At Aurora Aesthetic Medical Centre we’ve successfully treated break-outs through a combination of targeted treatments and tailored at-home skincare routines. However, if you do think your acne is triggered by hormonal changes it’s important to talk to your doctor as it might be a symptom of an underlying health concern.
“I’ve found that chemical peels work best to treat both comedones and inflammatory acne. The ingredients in the chemical peels are specifically selected to gently exfoliate the skin, reduce inflammation and control oil,” explains Tracy. The skincare routine acts in a supportive role by doing exactly the same but in a gentler way in between treatments. The correct treatment of acne will also prevent scarring and post acne inflammation that can be especially difficult and expensive to treat.
The Spring Challenge
It’s time to give your skin the make-over it deserves! At Aurora Medical Centre we see the effect that acne has on our patients’ physical and emotional well being. Well no more, we’re offering you the opportunity to take part in our Spring Challenge – a specially designed treatment plan and at-home skincare regimen to clear up your acne and give your skin a complete make-over. Read More