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Acne, Pimples & Spots

At Amara we know that annoying, unpredictable, unsightly, breakouts always come at the worst time.

Acne, Pimples & Spots Essentials

Causes: physically blocked pores and overproduction of sebum which allows bacteria to flourish and inflammation to occur

Types: there are several types and each develops for different reasons with different factors involved

Treatment: this depends on the type of acne but all acne patients need to take five steps to minimise breakouts and maintain blemish free skin:
(1) Identify lifestyle and makeup factors that may be causing breakouts
(2) Develop a working daily cleansing regime tailored to your skin
(3) Open pores, extract any blockages and repair skin barrier
(4) Reduce oil and sebum production that contributes to inflammation
(5) Reduce and prevent bacterial growth that contributes to inflammation

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We deal with all different types acne on a daily basis and have a catalogue of products and treatment options to help address this concern. Acne scarring as a consequence of unaddressed acne, is something we also see everyday and and we have a dedicated page for this concern. Please follow this link directly to our acne scarring page.

Acne – medically known as acne vulgaris – is a very common skin condition that affects around 85% of people at some stage in their life. It generally begins in adolescence as teenagers, but can appear in adults where it is known more commonly as adult acne.

What causes acne?

There is no single factor that causes acne but congestion of pores always plays a role. It is not caused solely by bacteria, or oily foods, or poor diet, or hormones, or because of a hydration issue, but each of these may contribute, often in combination.

Congestion is a blockage issue – acne is caused when pores become physically blocked at the same time as an excess of oil or sebum is produced by glands in the skin.

This ‘plug’ allows bacteria and sebum to build up in the pores, causing unsightly whiteheads, blackhead, pimples or cysts. There is an inflammation event involved with this blocking and unsightly blemishes form, develop and rise from the skin. In the case of cysts, the inflammatory event is deeper and travels down into the skin leaving a raised red lump at the surface.

Are there different types of acne?

Yes. Acne is a blanket term that covers all of the consequences of pore blockages and linked inflammatory responses. There are also different reactions that can occur during inflammation. Collectively, the body’s reaction to oil and sebum blockage have different commonly used names which are familiar to us all like whiteheads, blackheads, pimples and cysts.

Whiteheads
Forms when the pore blockage remains covered by a thin layer of skin.
Blackheads
When the thin layer of skin is breached and the plug is exposed to air, it turns black and we call these blackheads. This is not because of dirt – a common misconception.
Pustule/Pimple
If a significant inflammatory response occurs during a blockage, then a pustule may develop. Further inflammation just under the skin’s surface will cause a pimple (papule) to form.
Cystic Acne
If the inflammation occurs even deeper still, then the acne may become cystic. Cystic acne is harder to treat.

 

Acne and makeup – Does makeup cause acne?

Improper use of inferior or unsuitable makeups (like excessively heavy creams) and not properly removing your makeup fully every night is a trigger for a sub-type of acne known as acne cosmetica.

Acne cosmetica is characterised by small little bumps all across the surface of your skin – as a category of acne they are known as comedones and if they have a distinct whitish appearance are termed milia. These are not inflamed and will not be accompanied by pain the way some pimples and cysts are.

Identifying the culprit product is the key to addressing acne cosmetica.

What are the major factors in an acne breakout?

There is no single cause but a combination of some of the factors listed below are thought to contribute to acne breakouts and blemishes:

Genetics
Hormones
A broken skin barrier
Use of unsuitable moisturiser
Incorrect use of skin products
Use of unsuitable skin products
High humidity and excessive sweating
Food triggers (sugar, dairy, nuts)
Stress
Incomplete removal of makeup
Certain medications
Environmental contaminants

 

How do we treat acne at Amara?

Knowing what likely causes your acne is the key to treating it. Like every treatment we offer at Amara, once we understand your desires, your lifestyle, and your current skin care practices, we can effectively design a treatment journey to restore your skin health and leave your skin looking great. With great skin comes greater confidence.

At consultation one of our Skin Health Specialists will lead a discussion that explores the likely reason for your acne. Following a full skin analysis a treatment programme will be designed specifically for you. This usually begins with a treatment to decongest your skin and repair any barrier damage that might exist. From there we can explore the use of medical grade acne skin care which works by targeting acne at the depth it occurs. This is sometimes done in parallel with other machine led treatments. We have many options and it’s about finding a regime that works for you.

When should I start treating my acne?

The degree to which people are affected by their acne varies greatly and like acne itself, is linked to a number of factors. We get asked when people should start treating their acne all the time and the answer is simple: when it bothers you, that’s the time to do something about it.

For people with more moderate to severe acne concerns, we recommend treatment as early as possible and strongly recommend continued attention to minimise scarring. Often scarring that looks very mild in teenage years can develop into more prominent scarring as an adult. This is because the structural components of your skin deplete as you get older resulting in volume loss. This volume loss can bring out pre-existing scar tissue.

Daily Care for Acne

Most acne products will contain some potent ingredients which target sebum production or the bacteria that flourishes in the environment. These may include acids and other compounds that actively work to reduce the overproduction of the oils that are blocked in pores and result in inflammation.

Truth be told there is no daily skin care regime which can absolutely guarantee prevention of an acne breakout. There are too many factors involved. However, our Skin Health Specialists have nearly 20 years experience in finding the right regime and products for your skin so that breakouts are infrequent, resolve quickly and and have minimal impact on your skin health.

Treatments for Acne

A wide range of treatments are available. We would always recommend a skin consultation with one of our specialists before undertaking any further steps. This consultation will allow you the opportunity to discuss your treatment options in full. All acne programmes at Amara will seek to address the following to some degree or another –

  • Lifestyle impacts on your skin (environmental factors, diet)
  • Correct cleansing and a daily skin care regime to suit your skin (daily practices)
  • Opening the pores of your skin to minimise blockage (machine led extractions to correct active breakouts)
  • Reducing oil and sebum production in your skin (glycolics, salicylics, peroxides)
  • Reducing bacteria that contribute to acne formation (acidic and sulphur based disinfectants)

Acne treatment at Amara

Skin Consultation
A comprehensive skin consultation with one of our Skin Health Specialists will allow us to identify the likely factors contributing to your acne. They can then design a treatment programme to combat your acne as it presents in your skin.
Hydrafacial MD
This light resurfacing treatment cleanses, exfoliates, includes a chemical and physical extraction of skin impurities, effectively hydrates and has add ons that promotes the maintenance of good skin conditions. When it comes to acne, the Hydrafacial MD is enemy number one in the early stages of correction.
ZO Stimulator Peel
This elite peel is performed using ingredients from the ZO Skin Health Range of medical grade skin products. It makes use of three acids (glycolic, lactic and citric) to address excess sebum while also improving skin tone and texture.
ZO Skin Health Range
This is the premium brand of medical grade skin care available today. Developed by world renowned dermatologist Dr Zein Obagi, this range of skin care has everything your skin will need to correct acne issues and maintain good skin health.

 

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