Saturday, September 19News For London

Understanding your skin: Acne explained.

Acne is one of the most common skin conditions, with 80% of people aged 11 to 30 being affected according to the NHS. Almost 8 in 10 teens have acne.  Although it is considered a normal part of puberty, it’s not always easy.

To understand acne, you need to learn your own skin.

Do you know your skin type? Infographic: Natalia Reppas.

Chances are you’ve experienced acne at some point in your life, if you are not currently experiencing it. How did that spot get there? Did I not wash my face enough? And more importantly, how do I cover it up? You’re not alone.

Bad skin can affect your confidence and make you feel less than your best. We are often left with spots that we have no explanation for in areas like our cheeks or forehead and we have no idea where they came from. 

Many teenagers experience mental health issues due to suffering skin problems, which demonstrates its worrying emotional impact. Issues related to our skin which we often feel are out of our control lead to a lack of confidence. 

Acne may also cause you anxiety and stress, leading you to withdrawing yourself socially. From not wanting to go out in public to just not feeling uncomfortable in your own skin. Often, the result is spending hours perfecting makeup in an attempt to cover it. But, your skin should never be a limiting factor in your life!

It is important to have a basic understating of what it is otherwise you may up going round in circles not understanding why you should or shouldn’t do or use something. 

There is no time like the present, whilst we are all stuck at home, to leave your skin makeup-free and get to the root of the issue. 

What causes acne?

Acne mainly appears on the face, but can also affect the neck, chest and back. There are many potential causes of acne. It usually starts during puberty, as a result of hormonal changes. excess hormones cause your oil glands to become overactive and increase excess oil. As a result, the sebum builds up and gets trapped under the skin, causing spotting. Another potential result of changing hormones is thicker hair follicles, which blocks the pores. If blocked pores become infected or inflamed form a pimple. 

But, other important possible causes of acne are medications, hormonal imbalances, genetics and lifestyle factors! Check the chart below to see some easy steps and precautions you can take during quarantine to help your skin!

The Skin Checklist. Infographic: Natalia Reppas

There are so many factors ranging from stress, to skincare, to more serious underlying medical conditions. Acne can occur for a multitude of reasons from genetic to hormonal and understand that every case of acne is different. 

Hormonal changes can also be related to birth control pills or your period. Other external triggers may include skin creams and makeup.

Remember that these spots are the end result of what’s being triggered by the reactions within the body so it is important to work out, on an individual basis, what triggers your skin.

Breakouts are often a sign that your body is trying to tell you something, since each area of the face is linked to something going on inside our body. 

This is broken down below with face mapping chart so you can see what’s causing your breakout an help prevent it.

The Skin Map. Illustration: Natalia Reppas

T-zone: Poor circulation, puberty, stress, coffee, alcohol.

Cheeks: Bacteria from cell phone, touching the face, dirty pillows.

Chin/Neck: Processed sugar, hormones, starchy foods. 

Medical Treatments

Acne treatment from a dermatologist will vary depending on the severity of the condition. It may be treated with creams alone, or creams combined with antibiotic tablets.

Acne is a long-term condition and as such it may take several months before the full effect of treatment is evident so patience is key!

Words and Illustrations: Natalia Reppas