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Different Types of Acne and How to Manage Them

Most people have gone through phases of acne where it was bad enough that it made them lose confidence and feel self-conscious. Some of them have outgrown this phase after their teenage years, with occasional outbreaks. Yet for some, the acne is recurring throughout their adult life.

To help you combat acne problems, we must first understand what acne is, its causes, and what typically triggers them.

So what is acne? It is usually a clogged and/or inflamed oil (sebaceous) gland found on the face, but can also occur on the back, neck, and other areas of the body. Most of the time it appears as a red and inflamed pustule, but can also look like blackheads, whiteheads, or cysts.

In the case that you think it might not be acne, we recommend researching dermatologists in the San Francisco area and booking an appointment so that they can assess if it could be something malignant.

Causes and Triggers

At the baseline, acne is caused by excessive production of sebum from the sebaceous gland, which creates a plug in the pore and can lead to inflammation if left as is. In some cases, the plug reaches the surface, oxidizes, and becomes blackheads. In other cases, they can stay beneath the surface and form whiteheads.

Genetic and environmental factors are also thought to be the cause of acne. Here is a list of common factors and how it triggers the onset of acne:

        How oily it is — oilier skin tends to be more prone to acne breakouts as pores get clogged up more often

        Sensitivity — if the skin is sensitive to its environment, even the slightest trigger, like a tight collar, can lead to acne

        Hormone levels — and imbalance of hormones usually cause outbreaks, which is why many experience more acne during puberty and menstruation

        Emotional stress — higher stress levels tend to trigger acne

        Diet — a diet high in sugars, simple carbs and dairy are usually the culprits for increased acne

        Personal hygiene — someone who doesn’t shower or wash their face periodically can be more prone to acne breakouts due to bacterial buildup on the surface

If you feel that your acne has been out of control lately, and don’t know why, it could be beneficial to look up what type of skin treatment you can get at clinics in Walnut Creek and get a consultation.

Acne Severity

The causes and triggers of acne affect people differently, and the severity of acne varies from person to person. Generally, acne can be classified as mild, moderate, or severe.

Mild Acne

Those with mild acne don’t get breakouts often, and they are fairly minor when it does occur—there will be some blackheads and unevenness, as well as very few (if any) inflamed pustules, but the acne is not widespread. This can usually be soothed and managed by over-the-counter acne products, as well as changing the diet.

However, if the acne persists and is left untreated, there is a possibility of it developing into a more severe form.

Moderate Acne

Those with moderate acne have more noticeable breakouts, where they have all the symptoms of mild acne, but also regularly get inflamed pustules. Some may be able to manage these breakouts from over the counter medication and diet modification, but for most, this doesn’t work.

If the acne really bothers you, you can consider calling your local Roseville skin doctor to ask for advice.

Severe Acne

Those with severe acne have a much higher degree of inflammation in their skin, and their blemishes are often much larger, red, and constantly swollen and painful. It is almost impossible to control severe acne with over the counter products and we recommend seeing a dermatologist so that they can help you tailor a specific skincare regimen with more specialized products, as well as possibly giving you an oral prescription to keep the inflammation down.

Managing Acne

No matter how severe your acne is, you can take steps to minimize factors that may be contributing to your breakouts. Here are some things you can change in your daily routines that can help reduce the frequency of your breakouts:


        Keep good personal hygiene
Removing makeup before bed, face washing, showering: don’t skip them. Keeping good personal hygiene will help you prevent bacterial buildup on the surface, as well as remove any excess oils on the face that could’ve blocked your pores. This can help you lower the chances of acne forming.


        Don’t be lazy with skincare
It may be counterintuitive to go through a whole skincare regimen (toner, serums, moisturizers) when your skin is oily. However, excess production of sebum could be an indication your face is trying to compensate for the dryness. Moisturizers can help the sebum secretion calm down over time once the surface thinks it’s getting enough moisture.


        Watch your diet
Knowing that a high sugar, carb and dairy diet can trigger acne breakouts, try to adjust how much of each you consumer. You don’t have to cut everything out completely, but slowly reducing these triggers may help reduce breakouts.


        Moderate Exercise
Since a lot of acne breakouts are due to hormonal imbalance, doing more exercise can help bring your hormones back into balance and thus reduce the frequency of your breakouts! If you don’t normally exercise, try starting out light with mini workout sessions, and build up the intensity to suit your needs


        See a dermatologist
If the acne is really out of hand, or you want more quantifiable results, try booking an appointment with your local dermatologist in Palo Alto, or wherever you live. Together, you can explore the skin treatment options and determine which course of action to take from there.

Disclaimer: We are unable to guarantee any result, even though most of our patients do see success. The results of our services will vary greatly to each patient’s level of commitment and compliance with the program.

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