As a pharmacist, acne is a condition I am all too familiar with. Here are nine things you may not know about it.
1. Acne can be hereditary: If you or your child’s other parent suffered from acne as an adolescent, there is a higher chance that your child will have it too. Talk to your kids early and reassure them that you understand and there are solutions that work. Starting them early with a good cleansing routine can really help.
2. Boys suffer from acne more than girls: Hormones – specifically testosterone – play a strong part in acne. Obviously boys going through puberty are exposed to a lot of testosterone, which can wreak havoc with their skin. As a parent or guardian, it is our responsibility to reassure them that there are options that will work, and help find them.
3. There are six kinds of pimples: Blackheads and whiteheads are considered non-inflammatory acne lesions. This means they don’t have much redness around them. As a result they don’t tend to be sore. Papules, pustules, nodules and cysts are all inflammatory lumps of increasing severity. They are angry and very sore.
4. Hair products can make acne worse: Ever noticed that you have more breakouts around your hairline, particularly if you have a fringe? Your hair product could be the culprit because it can block the pores on your face. After you put product in your hair, try to hold your hair away from your skin until it dries. Also, make sure you clean your skin well if any hair product gets on it.
5. If you had adolescent acne, you are more likely to get acne when you are pregnant: The hormone surges in pregnancy are responsible for pregnancy acne. The good news is there are pregnancy-safe skincare solutions that can really help treat the breakouts. The other good news is that it tends to clear up quick-smart after delivery.
6. More than 80 per cent of people get acne: You are so not alone. The good news is there are effective solutions. They don’t work overnight and sometimes you need a little trial and error to find the right solution for you.
7. Pimples can sometimes return around menopause: Yep, it’s back to hormones again. It is thought that the hormonal changes are what can cause pimples. The good news is the acne tends to be mild and resolve quickly.
8. Acne is not caused by greasy food: Extensive scientific research has shown there is no connection between acne and eating chocolate or greasy foods. Acne occurs when hair follicles become clogged with excess oil and dead skin cells, and then hormones and inflammation get involved.
9. Acne scars are treatable and preventable: Scars can be treated by dermatologists using combinations of lasers and chemical peels, but early treatment of acne and good skin maintenance will prevent scarring in the first place.
SHOSHANA EISNER – founder, QED Skincare