Acne….dun dun dunnnnn (cue the scary music)… No one wants to wake up with a giant honking red ZIT on the end of their nose, but some of us are just blessed that way.
Oxford Dictionaries.com defines acne as
“the occurrence of inflamed or infected sebaceous glands in the skin; in particular, a condition characterized by red pimples on the face, prevalent chiefly among teenagers”
Unfortunately, acne can occur at any time of life. In fact, a large number of clients we see for acne are menopausal women, and young men in their 30s.
Acne is technically an inflammatory skin disease, and can be painful, itchy, swollen, and maddeningly difficult to heal. It tends to reoccur with some regularity, like an unwelcome house guest.
True acne will have comedones AKA blackheads, which may or not be visible. The classic pimple may be tiny or large and cystic. They may have a pustule or they may simply be a painful nodule.
Lets be clear though, just because you have a “pimple” doesn’t mean you have acne. There are several acne imposters, or look alike conditions including:
Folliculitis or Pseudofolliculitis
Staphylococcus infection / Boils
Its important to rule out other conditions, so that your treatment protocols are the most effective.
Acne is driven by four main imbalances:
Inflammation – triggered by stress, diet, lifestyle, environmental aggressors,
Retention Hyperkeratosis– AKA “sticky skin” a condition where the skin cells don’t shed properly: they shed too fast, in large sheets.
Excess Oil – both the quantity and consistency of natural sebum will affect this, in addition to comedogenic ingredients found in skin care, hair care, makeup and other personal care products. Many comedogenic ingredients ALSO contribute to Retention Kyperkeratosis.
Bacteria– the C. acnes bacterium actually contributes to the oil production and the inflammation.
Each one of these is related and overlaps with the other, making for a challenging puzzle.
Acne CAN be controlled, but it does involve a commitment to yourself. Our skin is a reflection of our bodies health, and our health starts with our gut. the connection between the skin and gut is becoming clearer every day. So much research is being conducted on the gut microbiome, and its association with the skin microbiome. After all, its really the same surface, one is outside, one is inside.
If you have been struggling with your skin, there is hope! A Certified Acne Specialist can help you determine a home care routine that will address your specific challenges. If you are in Rhode Island, give us a call at 401-632-4444 or visit us at https://viriditas.skincaretherapy.net/home
Here’s a cute cat picture too. Just because 🙂