Whatever your skin type, specific factors might trigger or lead to oversensitivity: Your skin reacts strongly when you’d rather it didn’t…
WHAT IS ACNE ?
The beginning of acne which means the start of puberty; from overactive oil glands that produce too much sebum to an increase in sex hormones during this important time in life.
It is a widespread disorder since acne affects 83% of girls and 95% of boys…since its progress is unpredictable, from almost spontaneous healing to lingering, its treatment should be taken seriously and be specific..
STAGES OF ACNE...
- Hyperseborrhea: The first stage in all types of acne. Too much sebum production: The skin is shiny and small pimples appear.
- Retentional acne: The sebum build up in the follicle leads to the formation of open comedones (blackheads) or closed (whiteheads).
- Inflammatory acne: Bacteria proliferation (Propionibacterium acnes) as the hair follicle breaks inside the dermis; red pimples (papules) followed by pustules (filled with pus) appear.
- Nodulocystic acne: Swelling and inflammation of the sebaceous glands lead to the formation of oozing nodules.
Medications: Specific treatment for each stage of acne
- Light acne: Topical comedolytic treatment (help loosen blackheads) or topical antibiotics to fight inflammation.
- Moderate acne : When topical treatments are not enough, an oral antibiotic treatment must be added. Be very careful about sun exposure (sensitization risk): You must “photoprotect” your skin. Ask your physician for advice.
- Severe acne : The use of Isotretinoin is usually necessary. It is prescribed by your physician since it involves severe caution, particularly in relation to contraception. Usually, results are spectacular.
Dermo-cosmetic products :
Your dermatologist or pharmacist can recommend cleansing and moisturizing products formulated for your skin type and disorder.
A few product guidelines:
- Gentle products to protect your skin
- Moisturizing or emollient products to address skin dryness issues resulting from certain treatments
- “Non-comedogenic” products to help prevent the appearance of new blackheads
... and generally, products specifically formulated for acne-prone skin.
The sun is beneficial for acne-prone skin
False. Take care, as the sun feels at first as if it is doing your skin good! This is due to the bactericidal effect of UV rays, as well as the fact that a light tan will hide the appearance of lesions. This effect is sadly temporary, and meanwhile the sun has caused the skin to thicken, which aids the formation of microcomedones. The result is an acne flare-up three weeks later. So sunbathing with no photo-protection will always exacerbate your acne, and can even cause complications if you are taking certain treatments.
The pill is a treatment for acne?
True and false. Certain contraceptive pills will aggravate acne flare-ups, while others will reduce them. This has resulted in ccertain pills being used as an acne treatment, a trend that authorities approach with caution. The European Commission concluded that the Diane 35 pill (best known for its anti-acne treatment) "should not be used as a first-line treatment for moderate to severe acne, unless topical treatment and oral antibiotic treatment has been tried and proven unsuccessful”. However, there is nothing to stop a gynecologist prescribing a pill that has an anti-acne effect to his or her acne-prone patients.
Acne is inevitable?
True. For 80% of adolescents, it is indeed inevitable. Once the rush of hormones that is puberty has begun, the sebaceous glands double their activity and the skin becomes oily - this is the beginning of acne. Although it is inevitable (unless we can skip puberty!), acne is not insurmountable. Whilst overzealous cleansing can make it worse, specially adapted dermocosmetic products can slow things down thanks to non-irritant actives that reduce sebum and bacteria.
Any particular cleansing advice?
Don’t get overzealous about cleansing… Don’t try to “strip” your skin, all you’ll do is irritate it more. Be gentle with it. Use ultra-rich cleansing bars or soap-free gel cleansers. For removing make-up, use gentle daily cleansers.
Can I use make-up?
Yes, but not just in any old way… Select noncomedogenic products, it is the least you can do. If you need to cover a few small scars, Avène Dermatological Laboratories have developed a complete line of effective and safe “coverage” products.