Acne occurs when the pores in your skin are blocked with oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells that clog your pores. These skin cells, sebum (oily, waxy matter secreted from your glands), dead skin, and hair clump together to plug pores, causing an infection and resulting in inflammation, or a pimple. Acne is not discriminatory, and for most people, pimples and acne start to appear during puberty and last into the early 20s, and in more severe cases, even well into adulthood.
The types of acne can vary on the severity of your case, but can include:
- Whiteheads: These occur when the pore is clogged and swell due to follicle blockage.
- Blackheads: Blackheads appear when the pore is open, but the follicle is being blocked.
- Tender bumps: Some patients have small red and tender bumps on their skin called papules.
- Pimples: Pimples are distinguished by a red pigment at the base of the affected area and are painful to touch.
- Cysts: Cysts are large and clearly visible on the skin, painful to touch, filled with pus and can leave scars if not treated correctly.
We recommend at-home treatments and general lifestyle changes before taking a more aggressive approach to remedying your acne.
At-home treatments include:
- Changing diet: By making small changes in your diet such as cutting out dairy products and wheat, you can identify if a food allergy is causing your acne rather than another environmental issue.
- Exercise: Getting plenty of exercise will allow your body to sweat and naturally clear your pores through perspiration.
- Not touching your face: While it sounds all too simple, frequently touching your face is an easy way to spread bacteria and can make your acne much worse, spreading the infection into new areas.
- Consistently washing your face: By washing your face twice a day with warm water and mild soap, you will help your body fight bacterial infections and keep your pores from being infected or clogged.
- Gently scrub your skin: When washing your face, it is important not to scrub your face too hard as the added pressure can push the bacteria further into the pores and make the infection worse.
If at-home remedies are not keeping your acne at bay, then it is time to discuss how medication can help manage your breakouts and face or body acne. At Anchorage Dermatology & Cosmetics, we prescribe a treatment plan that neutralizes the bacterial infection you may be fighting and utilize various over-the-counter medications or medicated scrubs to manage and remedy your acne breakouts while preventing new ones.
For more information on acne or to schedule an appointment, please don’t hesitate to contact us today at (907) 865-8455.