Acne is a skin disorder caused by the bacteria Propionibacterium acnes which is part of everyone’s normal skin flora. When pores are blocked by an accumulation of excess sebum, P. acne overgrows and breaks down the pore walls. Other bacteria then are exposed to the skin’s surface by this action and cause the pimples, blackheads, skin inflammation and cysts typical of acne.
Acne is not limited to the face; it can also attack the chest and back of the sufferer due to the large number of sebaceous glands located in these areas. Both of these areas tend to produce large, painful cysts that may need to be treated by a dermatologist.
The best acne skin care starts before acne actually appears–its all about being proactive. Following good preventative measures helps you prevent acne from taking hold and spreading to other regions of your face or body.
The foundation of acne skin care is cleansing to prevent accumulations of dirt and oil from blocking pores. Especially if you are acne prone skin, daily showers to rinse of the day’s accumulated oils and grime are a must.
Instead of the morning shower that many of us become accustomed to, a nightly shower to rinse off the day’s grime, sweat and pollutants may be more beneficial to someone who suffers from body acne.
As well as keeping clean through daily or nightly showers, an often overlooked part of cleanliness is changing pillowcases and sheets often to reduce the bacteria that becomes present on them through repeated use. Synthetic fibers may cause more sweat to become trapped on the skin, particularly if the clothing is tight.
Loose cotton clothing that permits the skin to breathe is recommended for those who suffer from the ravages of acne.
If you are a woman who wears make-up, an aspect of cleanliness that can be easily overlooked is regularly washing your make-up brushes and sponges.
Using a small scoop to dole out creams and foundations is preferable to contaminating these with your fingers, and thus spreading acne.
If you are acne-prone, avoid the over-drying soaps that can backfire and cause increased sebum production in favor of a mild, water-based cleanser for face and neck. Avoid scrubbing any acne-prone area hard as this can spread acne.
Make-up should always be removed nightly to avoid clogging pores.
Of course, do not pick or squeeze acne lesions, as this can drive the bacteria deeper into the skin, and spread it to adjacent areas of the skin. As well, it may cause permanent scarring.
In addition to twice-daily cleansing of the skin, you may wish to try an OTC product containing benzoyl peroxide to help clear your skin. In this case, less is more–go for a product containing no more than 5% of this medication to avoid skin irritation.
If you cannot find any relief for your acne even after following these recommendations for cleansing, keeping clothing and bedding clean and daily showers, consult a skin care professional who may prescribe antibiotics or other oral acne medications to bring your acne under control.