Acne is a common skin condition that affects most people at some point. It causes spots, oily skin and sometimes skin that’s hot or painful to touch. Acne is very common in teenagers and younger adults. About 80% of people aged 11 to 30 are affected by acne, but acne can also affect people later in life. Acne most commonly develops on the:
- face – this affects almost everyone with acne
- back – this affects more than half of people with acne
- chest – this affects about 15% of people with acne
Acne develops in 4 stages:
- Clogged pores – Acne begins with a blocked pore. As skin cells constantly renew themselves, most dead cells will shed, revealing fresh skin underneath. If you’re acne prone, these dead cells mix with oil and become sticky and instead of shedding, clog pores and trap oil and bacteria inside.
- Oil secretion – At times of emotional stress or throughout puberty, androgen production increases the overproduction of oil, or sebum, which further clogs pores. As oil continues to be produced it collects and becomes trapped behind the plug, building up pressure inside the pore.
- Bacterial growth – The excess production of sebum increases the growth of bacteria which grow deep inside the pores. In a plugged follicle, the low oxygen and continually building level of sebum create the perfect environment for the growth and spread bacteria.
- Inflammation – As bacteria ingests the oil, they release inflammatory by-products that leak from the follicle. The body recognises these by-products as foreign objects and kick-starts an immune reaction. Red and white blood cells flock to the infection – resulting in swelling, redness and inflammation, forming what you will recognise as a spot.
- Blackheads – A blackhead is essentially an open clogged hair follicle. The black colour is caused by the oxidisation of the debris inside.
- Whiteheads – Whiteheads are formed in a similar way to blackheads, excess sebum blocks pores and becomes mixed up with bacteria and dead skin cells. When this process happens underneath the skin and spots aren’t oxidised, they become whiteheads rather than blackheads.
- Papules – Small to medium red bumps that feel tender or sore. This happens when pores become clogged with sebum and dead skin cells under the skin has caused inflammation.
- Pustules – When pores become clogged with sebum and dead skin cells, sections of skin are sometimes caused to bulge, resulting in a pustule. Pustules are aptly named for the pus they contain as a result of an infection of a pore
- Cysts – The most severe type of spot caused by acne. They are large lumps full of pus that look similar in appearance to boils. Cysts carry the greatest risk of acne scars.
There are a number of different acne types, with each characterised by a different set of symptoms and recommended acne treatment differing for each variety. We understand and emphasise how distressing acne can be for any age.
Book a confidential skin consultation to assess and discuss the most appropriate treatment package suitable for your skin condition. Treatments can include, Specially formulated Peels, Cosmeceuticals and or Plasma shower (a procedure to reduce the number of skin bacteria). For acne scarring, Medical micro needling, Protein Rich Platelet (PRP) therapy, Plasma Fibroblast, Peels, Cosmeceuticals are all recognised and suitable for targeting scarring.