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Acne 101: Causes, Treatments and Prevention

Acne is a common skin condition that affects people of all ages, though it predominantly appears during the teenage years. Understanding the causes of acne and the available treatment options are key to managing the condition well in the long run.

Understanding Acne

Acne occurs when hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells, leading to inflammation and, in more severe cases, infection. The skin's sebaceous glands produce an oily substance called sebum, which helps protect and hydrate the skin. However, excessive sebum production can lead to the development of acne. Hormonal changes, particularly during puberty, can trigger an increase in sebum production, making teenagers especially prone to acne.

Types of Acne

Acne can manifest in several forms. Here are the most common types of acne:

  • Whiteheads: Also known as closed comedones, these are small bumps with a white head that form when hair follicles become clogged.
  • Blackheads: Similar to whiteheads, blackheads have an open pore at the surface, giving them a dark appearance.
  • Papules: These small, red bumps occur when skin cells and bacteria get trapped in the pores, leading to inflammation.
  • Pustules: Pustules are red, inflamed bumps with a white or yellow head caused by a buildup of pus and bacteria.
  • Nodules: These are large, painful bumps deep within the skin resulting from clogged pores and bacterial infection.
  • Cysts: Severe cases of nodular acne can lead to the formation of cysts, which are large, pus-filled bumps that can cause scarring.

Causes of Acne

There are many causes behind acne, but common ones include:

  • Hormonal Changes: Hormones, particularly androgens like testosterone, play a significant role in acne development. These hormones stimulate sebum production during puberty, which increases the risk of developing clogged pores and acne.
  • Genetics: If your parents or siblings have struggled with acne, you may be more likely to experience it, too.
  • Excessive Sebum Production: Sebum is an oily substance produced by the sebaceous glands in the skin. When too much sebum is produced, it can mix with dead skin cells and bacteria, clogging pores and leading to acne.
  • Bacteria: The propionibacterium acnes bacteria can contribute to the development of acne by inflaming the hair follicles.
  • Diet: While foods do not directly cause acne, some studies suggest that a diet high in processed sugars and unhealthy fats can worsen acne.
  • Stress: Stress can affect one’s hormone levels and increase inflammation in the body, making it more difficult for your skin to heal and increasing the likelihood of acne.
  • Medications: Certain medications, such as corticosteroids, can also cause acne as a side effect.

How Can Acne be Prevented?

While some factors cannot be controlled (e.g. hormonal changes or genetics), there are other steps you can take to lower your risk of developing acne, or prevent it from worsening:

  • Keep Your Skin Clean: Washing your face twice daily with a gentle cleanser can help remove excess oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria.
  • Avoid Touching Your Face: Your hands carry bacteria and dirt, and constantly touching your face can transfer these onto your skin.
  • Use Non-Comedogenic Products: Non-comedogenic products are designed to not clog pores, which can help prevent acne.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drinking water helps keep your skin hydrated and improves overall health.
  • Manage Stress: Finding healthy coping methods, such as exercising and practising relaxation methods, can lower the chances of acne flare-ups.
  • Consume a Balanced Diet: Incorporating fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can provide essential vitamins and minerals for healthy skin.
  • Talk to Your Doctor: If you are experiencing chronic or severe acne, it is important to consult with a aesthetic doctor who can provide personalised and targeted treatment.

How Is Acne Treated?

Depending on the type and severity of acne, there are various treatments available to treat them:

  • Over-the-Counter Products: Products containing benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid can help treat mild to moderate acne.
  • Prescription Medications: Your doctor may prescribe oral or topical medications, such as antibiotics or retinoids, for more severe cases of acne.
  • Medical Procedures: Treatments such as chemical peels, laser therapy, and microdermabrasion can help improve the appearance of acne and prevent future breakouts.

At Zion Aesthetic Clinic, we offer a range of treatments for acne and acne scars tailored to each individual. Contact us at 6235 7358 and let us help you attain healthier and clearer skin.

“Every patient deserves our utmost care.”

Drop us a message below or give us a call to find out more about our services today.

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Zion Aesthetic Clinic

We Are Located At:

111 Somerset Road, #04-08,Singapore 238164

Call Us At: +65 6235 7358

Our Opening Hours:

Monday to Friday: 11am – 8pmSaturday: 10am – 4pm Sunday and PH: Closed

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