Fighting acne: find out how to do it effectively

It is true to say that a specific daily treatment that regulates excess sebum and with purifying effects is useful to fight acne effectively, but other aspects of acne-prone skin must also be considered.

What is acne?

Fighting acne also means knowing its nature. If the skin is impure, with blackheads and pimples, most of the time it is due to sebum, the oily mixture produced by the sebaceous glands which, especially in adolescents, can be in excess (in this case we are talking about juvenile acne), due to the more intense hormonal stimulation.

Impure skin is therefore basically defined as "seborrheic" that is oily, but not all people with oily skin necessarily have acne.

This is because the excess sebum mixes with the cells of the surface layer of the skin, the stratum corneum, also in excess, creating an obstruction in the hair follicles, that is, the tiny channels from which the hairs emerge. A sort of plug is thus formed, called a comedone, which can be:

  • open or black point (i.e. when the sebum is exposed to air)
  • closed or white point

In both cases, bacteria such as Cutibacterium acnes can proliferate in the clogged follicle, which contribute to inflammation of the comedones, turning them into papules and pustules, commonly called pimples.

Therefore acne is an inflammation of the follicles, it is not an infection, so it is not contagious.

What are the causes of acne?

Acne does not have a real cause, but it has been shown that there are three concomitant factors underlying the inflammation of the pilosebaceous follicle. These three factors are: excessive sebum production, thickening of the follicle walls and the proliferation of bacteria, mainly Cutibacterium acnes.

Excessive sebum production can be a constitutional condition or linked to hormone activity.

It is the hormones, in fact, that regulate the functioning of the sebaceous glands - and specifically a particular group of them - androgens, is also responsible for the "hyperkeratinization", that is the increase of the horny cells which together with the sebum obstruct the hair follicles bringing to the formation of blackheads.

This is the main reason why acne generally appears during puberty, however it is a skin disease that can also occur in adulthood, especially among women, and in this case we are talking about late acne.

Acne manifestations can also be caused by allergic-type reactions to unsuitable cosmetic products (cosmetic acne), by excessive sun exposure (Mallorca acne) or by a skin condition called rosacea.

Important things to know about acne

Acne is a very widespread phenomenon and there are many misconceptions that accompany it. Here is what it is right to know about acne and how it can be countered.

  • "Squeezing" blackheads or pimples is a bad habit: it can increase inflammation and leave scars.
  • Pimples and nutrition: it is not true that some foods cause pimples. Although there is not always a direct correlation between diet and acne, a balanced diet helps to have healthier skin and, according to the most recent research, a health condition of the intestinal flora affects the well-being of the skin.
  • Acne does not heal with the sun: pimples seem to "dry out" in the sun, but the improvement is only temporary. On the contrary, exposing yourself without adequate protection can worsen the situation.
  • Some factors make acne worse: Smoking and stress can help increase the appearance of pimples and blackheads.

You can fight acne: use specific products

Acne can evolve in different degrees of intensity, from mild to moderate, up to very severe and can be a source of great discomfort because it mostly affects the face, the part of our body most exposed to the gaze of others.

When comedones and pimples are in an early / mild stage, instead of relying on do-it-yourself methods and remedies, it is very important to start following a daily routine with treatments and products formulated for acene-prone skin.

On the other hand, when the inflammatory manifestations are widespread, extensive and painful, it is advisable to contact the dermatologist for adequate treatment, sometimes even pharmacological.

How to treat acne every day

The choice of products and treatments specifically designed to fight acne and their use in your daily personal hygiene routines can help you effectively combat pimples and blemishes. In fact, in addition to cleansing your skin, the specific products act on several fronts, to fight:

  • the production of excess sebum
  • hyperkeratinization
  • bacterial proliferation
  • the shiny effect and redness

However, particular care must be taken in choosing delicate cleansers with a sebum-regulating action that control the skin flora without irritating or excessively drying the skin.

For a deeper action, formulations that contain microgranules are preferred: they purify the skin with a delicate scrub effect and counteract hyperkeratinization, thus preventing the formation of blackheads.

To cleansing, to be carried out twice a day, in the morning and in the evening, it is essential to combine a specific treatment to be chosen based on the condition of the skin and acneic manifestations or any drug therapy prescribed by the specialist.

To keep the three factors that lead to imperfections under control, products with sebum-regulating, keratolytic and rebalancing activities are ideal as maintenance treatments. To reduce and counteract acne blemishes, instead, a topical treatment with active ingredients that are particularly effective on all the factors involved in acne, such as azelaic acid.

Those who suffer from acne and follow pharmacological treatments or dermatological treatments such as lasers and peels, need skin hydration because these therapies can cause - as a consequence - extreme dryness and peeling of the skin.