What type of acne do I have?

We can divide acne into 3 different types.  

1. Comedonal acne (bumpy skin, blackheads and non-inflamed acne)
2. Inflammatory acne (red, inflamed papules and pustules)
3. Nodular/Cystic acne (deeper, more swollen lumps under the skin called nodules)

For some patients a combination of all 3 of these can be present and not only on the face but back, chest and neck. It’s best to get your practitioner or clinician to have a closer look to advise of the best treatment option based on the type of acne present. 

Why do we get acne?

Acne is caused from an increase in sebum (oil) production which over time can block our pores. The secondary cause is the shedding of dead skin cells inside the pore which in combination with this oil can create a great environment for bacteria to manifest. 

What ingredients help to treat acne?

Salicylic acid is a great ingredient to help with acne as it helps to dissolve the oils which block the follicle and it also helps to remove any dead skin cells. Vitamin A is another common skin ingredient used in topical skin care and is also found in oral medication for acne. Vitamin A overtime can help to shrink the oil gland which is one of the main contributing factors of acne. 

What not to do?

Do not pick your breakouts, as a transfer of the bacteria can happen to other areas of the face. Also if too much pressure or trauma it caused, nasty side effects such as scarring can occur. It is always best to book in with a trained clinician to perform extractions.  

Can diet be linked to acne?

Yes, there is evidence to show that high glycaemic foods or drinks such as pasta, rice, bread and alcohol cause the blood sugar levels to rise when consuming them. When we constantly consume these our bodies are more susceptible to inflammation, insulin-resistance and increased hormone fluctuations which can affect oil production in the skin. The end result is more consistent breakouts.  Dairy is also linked to an increase in hormonal acne so we recommend minimising the consumption.  

I thought acne was a teenage condition, why am I still getting acne in my 20s and 30s?

Unfortunately we see patients with acne from teenage years through to 50 year olds. This is because there are so many different factors that can contribute to acne that are out of our control. We see patients that have never had a pimple in their life and then in their 40s get severe acne. Acne is often very unpredictable.

If acne is problematic for you, there are so many different treatment options available. To find more, come in for an appointment with our Dermal Clinicians Lily and Amelia.
Dr Alice Rudd is available for medical consultation if required.