We bet you clicked on this blog because you either feel like you have the worst skin in the world, you hide out and you desperate to find a reputable professional to help treat it and keep it at bay for good – are we right? If not, you probably have a friend or family member who you have watched suffering from acne or backne? Either way, stress no more! Let us get you understanding exactly what acne is about, why and how you or your BFF can clear and prevent future acne and scarring. Get yourself a cup of tea, relax and take this all in.
First Things First: What the heck is acne?
Did you know that acne is one of the most common skin conditions in adults and teens around the world? Acne is defined as a chronic, inflammatory condition on the skin that causes pimples and spots to appear on your face, neck, chest, back, and upper arms. Acne usually appears during puberty but there are a select few that are suffering from this condition throughout puberty going into adulthood.
Acne is a condition that affects the oil glands that are attached to your hair follicles in your skin, which produces a substance called sebum. When a pimple appears, this is when the pore where your hair follicles are situated are blocked and the sebum cannot escape the hair follicle.
A combination of our sweat, hair, dead skin cells, and oil creates a plug that will, later on, cause swelling and inflammation caused by bacteria.
This bacteria is known as Propionibacterium acnes, it lives on our skin and is the contributor to acne formation. But not all bacteria are bad for our skin, some help to have a pimple-free skin. Who knew!
But there are a few other triggers that can cause acne other than this bacteria. Hormonal factors, stress, greasy cosmetics, menstruation, and some medications containing androgen are merely a few factors.
Variations and Types of Acne:
We all know there are different types of acne but did you know that there are different levels or variations of severity? There are different grades of Acne! From your more common forms like having blackheads and whiteheads to cystic severe acne!
These variations would be better to understand and characterized when you can identify what’s on your skin. So the following are types of Acne:
Also known as Open Comedones, this is a pore that is clogged by oil (sebum) and dead skin cell on the surface of the skin but it’s not covered in a layer of skin. The reasoning behind it’s dark or black appearance is because the oil and dead skin cell solution has reached oxygen that will in return oxidize it, turning it black.
Also known as Closed Comedones, this is the same as a blackhead but the only difference is is that it is covered by a layer of skin, giving it a white appears that is slightly protruding from the skin.
Blackheads and Whiteheads are also known as non-inflammatory acne. Meaning they do not cause any swelling or inflammation on the skin.
Pimples that are usually red and swollen are known as inflammatory acne. Although oil and dead skin cells contribute to inflammatory acne, bacteria can also cause clogging in our pores. Bacteria can cause further infection much deeper in the skin, resulting in painful and red acne. Forms of inflammatory acne are listed below:
Papules are usually hard and tender to the touch and pinkish, this is due to the walls of the clogged pore being broken down due to inflammation.
Pustules unlike papules are filled with pus. The pore is also clogged and broken down by inflammation and appears more red than pink in color. They usually have either a yellow or whitehead at their tip.
Unlike papules and pustules, nodules occur deeper underneath the skin. They occur when further irritation and infection take place causing them to grow larger. Because they are deeper underneath the skin they are typically more difficult to treat at home. Prescription medication is usually necessary for the treatment of nodules.
Cysts are the largest form of acne and their formation is usually the result of a severe infection. This form of acne is most likely going to leave scars on your skin. They appear as large red or white bumps on the skin that is extremely painful to the touch. Cysts can develop when pores are clogged with a combination of bacteria, dead skin cells, and sebum. Cysts appear deeper than your nodules in the skin. Cysts can be treated with prescription medication and with the help from a dermatologist that can surgically remove the cysts. DO NOT attempt to remove or pop a cyst! This will only cause more damage to the already damaged skin.
Whatever you do, RESIST the URGE to POP PIMPLES! Especially inflammatory ones!
Grades and Severity of Acne:
Now that we know the different types of acne it makes it easier to classify the severity and under what grade of acne it falls under.
Grade 1 Acne:
Grade one acne is considered the mildest form of the four stages. It is usually composed of blackheads and whiteheads and a few papules. This form of a breakout is usually occasional, like going to an exam or interview.
Grade 2 Acne:
Grade two acne is known as a moderate form of Acne. Moderate acne usually is a combination of blackheads, whiteheads, papules, and pustules. Apart from the usual areas like our T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin), moderate acne occurs anywhere on the face.
Grade 3 Acne:
Grade three acne is a severe form of acne. It consists of a lot more papules and pustules that are tightly packed together that can merge and create a bigger papule or pustule. This form of acne can cause scarring even though you have not touched or tired squeezing the pus out.
Grade 4 Acne:
Grade four acne is one of the worst forms of acne. It may consist of cysts and nodules that appear deeper in the skin than our usual forms of acne. Scarring is very common when it comes to cysts and nodules, it is best to seek medical help from a dermatologist when approached with this form of acne.
Treatment and Product Recommendations:
We know now what the ins and outs are of different kinds of acne, but the question remains: How do we treat acne?
We would recommend you pop into your closest Laser Beautique clinic and see one of our professional aesthetician. A skin consultation is free of charge! A consultation will include a plan of action, tailor-made for you and your concerns. The plan of action will include a series of acne peels or treatments coupled up with homecare products.
Before you go anywhere, we got to give you a few options of treatments and products we recommend!
At the Laser Beautique we are proud to say that we stock the very best products! Just to name them all: Opitphi, Nimue and RegimA
Below we will give you a prescription from each brand. This will include treatments and products that will help you through your journey to bright and clear skin. All 3 brands are cosmeceuticals. What are cosmeceuticals? Cosmeceuticals are the marriage of cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. Think: antiodidant plus lipstick or retinol plus face serum voile…its magic!
With Optphi we aim to create true skin rejuvenation through the use of optimal concentration of active ingredients used in synergy with one another to allow for positive homeostatic influence (PHI) on a cellular level. The brand is a focused range with niche products, which target specific skin concerns such as barrier impairment, and discomfort associated with redness and inflammation.
Optiphi Products Both Active and Classic:
- Facial Cleanser – 7 in one product including a spot treatment
- Muslin Cloth
- Ageless Active Gel – calming serum
- Moisture Control Light – day and night moisturizer
- Protect the Canvas – Sun Protection
- Refine Foliant
- Clarity Serum
- Glycolic Acid Peels 25%
- Glycolic Acid Peel 30%
- Hydrate and Repair Classic Facial
The Nimue brands makes use of Phytoceutical ingredients (plant-derived) and Biotechnology (lab synthesized) to give you a fusionist brand. It is considered a Derma-cosmeceutical, in other words:
Derma = Dermal improvement
Cosme = Cosmetics
Ceutical = Pharmaceutical like benefits
Not only will this brand prevent irritation, but it will also re-educate, hydrate, heal, and restructure your skin.
Nimue products can help treat acne from grades 1 to 3! First of all, we need to get you using the Nimue homecare products for at least 4 – 6 weeks before we can book you in for a professional treatment, reason being that we need to prep your skin beforehand.
Nimue Product we would recommend are:
- Cleansing Gel – used morning and night. Remove cleanser with lukewarm water and gauze.
- Conditioner – Superior rejuvenation product – it is not a TONER. Spray onto gauze and wipe over skin.
- Nimue Day – a moisturizer that can be used for drier, problematic skin.
- Purifier – moisturizer used at night and as a spot treatment during the day.
- Moisturiser Lite – can be an alternative moisturizer for both morning and night when the skin is more sensitive or oil.
- Exfoliating Enzyme – used 2-3 times a week to help detach dead skin cells.
- Sun C SPF 40 – light-weight sun protection.
Keep in mind that not all products will be recommended. Products will be prescribed to you according to your skin.
Nimue Treatments we would book you in for after you have been on the homecare products are:
- Active Rejuvenating Treatment
- Therapeutic Treatment
- Deep Cleanse Treatment
- 35% Glycolic Treatment
- 7.5% TCA Treatment
- Nimue SRC Problematic Treatment
- Detoxifying Treatment
Do keep in mind that the treatment plan might not require all the mentioned treatments. Every person has different needs and enquires about different treatment plans for those needs.
RegimA addresses individual skin issues with active ingredients that target each contributing factor and to normalize every skin function, to achieve equilibrium by influencing factors to bring the skin to optimal health.
- Derma Zest Cleanser + Toner – natural skin toning effect, reducing oil production
- Daily Intelligent Sebum-Solver – help reduce oil production and is mattifying
- Acne Attack Recue Serum – reduces pore size and minimizing blackhead appearance.
- Rejuvoderm – night maintenance and natural exfoliator
- Power Peel 30
- Power Peel 50
- Acne Attack Masque – this is a peel
- Rapid-Rejuvo Masque – this is a peel
Words on encouragement
Don’t let acne take over your life and try not to worry! – This is probably the most difficult of all. Learning that acne doesn’t define you, is super important! The less you worry about your skin, the less you stress, the quicker we can help you clear things up! All you need to do is get into a routine and be consistent.
At the end of the day, you will deal with your acne. You will take back control. Acne is very common and although it can make you feel horrendous, it shouldn’t stop you doing the things you love and it certainly should not stop you enjoying life. Visit out website www.thelaserbeautique.co.za or call us on 0860 850 851. Book your free skin assessment. You have noting to lose!