Image of acne skin What is Acne?

Acne is a common condition caused by chronic inflammation of the hair follicle or pore, leading to localised redness and swelling. Acne is associated with increased oil production and people with acne often notice and complain of the greasiness of their skin, especially areas such as the face, chest and back.

Acne forms when the upper part of the hair follicle becomes blocked due to the influence of hormones. This blockage of the follicle traps oil and dead skin cells which causes whiteheads and blackheads to form. When these become infected with germs, a red inflamed pimple results.

How to treat acne?

Treatments for acne come in two forms; topical treatments and oral medicines. While mild acne responds very well to cosmetic products, moderate to severe cases may require prescription medicines from your doctor or dermatologist. Acne flare-ups and scars can be prevented by taking care of your skin in the following ways:

  • • Cleanse your skin twice a day to control excess oil and to reduce bacteria on the skin's surface.
  • • Exfoliate regularly to help prevent grease glands clogging, which can contribute to acne.
  • • Avoid heavy make-up and make sure you remove all your make-up before bed.
  • • Shower regularly, especially after exercise to get rid of excessive oil.
  • • Wash your hair on a regular basis. If your hair is oily, you may want to wash it more often.
  • • Do not squeeze or pick at acne lesions. This can cause acne scars.
  • • Use only water-based cosmetics if you have oily skin.
  • • Avoid greasy cosmetics or creams as these can aggravate acne.
  • • Avoid getting sunburned. Many medicines used to treat acne can make you more prone to sunburn.
  • • Apply a daily oil-free sunscreen of at least SPF 15 and try to stay in the shade as much as you can.
  • • Choose make-up and hair care products that are non-comedogenic or non-acnegenic. These products have been made in a way that they don’t cause acne.
  • • You may also want to use products that are oil-free.
  • • Make sure you eat a well balanced diet, especially plenty of fruit and vegetables.
  • • Zinc: 60 to 90 mg a day of this mineral improves some people’s acne. Several double-blind trials indicate that zinc supplements can reduce the severity of acne.
  • • Apply acne lotion regularly to the whole of the affected area and repeat the steps every day, whether or not acne is present. Many acne treatments may take a while to work (anywhere from 2-6 months). Don’t stop using the treatment within this time period .

Acne skincare products can reduce oil production, speed up skin cell turnover and fight bacterial infection.