A Spot of Bother
We mostly associate spotty skin with teenagers, but the sad fact is you can have wrinkles and spots at the same time. Yes, acne can strike at any age.
A sudden outbreak can be annoying, but prolonged periods of spotty skin is nothing short of distressing.
So what is acne?
Sebaceous glands, which lie just under the skin’s surface, produce an oily substance called sebum. Sebum is good as it helps to keep our skin supple and protects from external hazards. These glands are found in highest concentration in the face, upper back and upper chest areas.
In simple terms the more active these sebaceous glands are, the greasier a person’s skin is and the more prone they will be to spots.
These occur if the entrance to the sebaceous gland gets blocked. The sebum builds up under them, resulting in whiteheads, blackheads, or pimples.
Sebum feeds the germ called p-acnes, which can result in it multiplying and as our immune system, which protects us against infection, tries to fight it off the result can be inflamed red spots and pustules.
One of the effects of changes in puberty is a surge of hormones which can cause more active sebaceous glands which is why teenagers are more likely to suffer from spots.
But adults get acne too, with women being more prone than men. Hormone-related conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome can sometimes be the cause. A woman’s ovaries also produce the hormone androgen during the monthly cycle which can overstimulate certain receptors on the skin causing an over-production of oil.
Spotty skin has nothing to do with being dirty. If anything, washing too frequently, or harshly, can make matters worse.
Spots around the hairline are often related to greasy hair products, such as gel or shampoo clogging the pores. Products containing petroleum jelly or mineral oil should be replaced with non-greasy alternatives.
For some people, a high-calorie intake or a diet rich in dairy foods can trigger adult acne. If in doubt cut these from your diet to see if it makes a difference.
Over-the-counter acne treatments can help clean out pores and reduce the inflammation caused by acne. And using an oil-free face wash that contains salicylic acid can help. Salicylic acid is an antibacterial that will remove bacteria and exfoliate your skin by removing dead skin cells to reveal fresh new cells. Using a gentle facial brush on a regular basis to keep the oil from building up on your skin can also improve spotty skin.
Avoid using oily sunscreens which can clog up your pores. Choose lighter, fragrance-free sun cream as some fragrances can irritate sensitive skin, causing it to breakout.
Makeup, while useful to cover spots, can also be clog your pores and cause spots. Skin needs to breathe. Be careful about the kind of foundation you apply (chose oil-free) and always make sure your hands are scrupulously clean when applying.
Popping pimples is a no no, but it’s so tempting. Squeezing a spot only makes them red, bigger and painful. And will probably leave you with a scar. It can also spread the bacteria around your face causing more acne.
The Garrett Clinic’s recommended treatments
Chemical peeling is a tried and tested aesthetic treatment for acne, post acne pigmentation (dark spots) and mild post acne scars (pits). At The Garrett Clinic we recommend Enerpeel® used in conjunction with professional Medi-derma and/or Tebiskin® skin products.
Enerpeel® moderates excessive skin cell production by delivering the right combination of ingredients deep into the skin to target the specific problem. At the same time Enerpeel® safely removes damaged skin structures and boosts repair and rejunvenation processes.
ENERPEEL® has an innovative formula based on a 30% salicylic acid solution and specific acne treating ingredients such as triethylcitrate, ethyl linoleate and GT-peptide-10 and utilises patented carrier technology.
The treatment influences sebum lipid metabolism (reducing inflammatory triggers) while effectively reducing p.acnes bacteria growth.
We also use professional Tebiskin® products which have been proven to control acne, especially inflammatory acne by inhibiting inflammation. They have a rapid and effective antibacterial effect and slow sebum production rates by an average of 53%.
Tebiskin® products are used alongside clinical treatments (peels) especially Enerpeel® to achieve effective concentrations at the required depth to have the desired outcome.
We may also recommend Medi Derma-Pro, a highly effective skin protectant and moisture barrier ointment for both at-risk and compromised (acne prone) skin.
It is a greaseless, pH-balanced, fragrance-free skin product suitable for everyday use as a moisture barrier to protect, repair and restore the skin.
There have been significant medical and non-medical advancements in acne treatment in recent years so most acne can be cleared up. Come and see us at The Garrett Clinic to find out how we can help you with a treatment or a combination of treatment and products.