Whats The Difference Between Acne And Pimples
Although acne and pimples are terms that are often used interchangeably, acne is considered to be a skin condition, while pimples are a symptom of it. Acne refers to an ailment that affects the skins hair follicles and glands.
Different symptoms of acne can indicate the cause of breakouts. These may include:
The Difference Between Chemical And Mineral Sunscreen
Maybe you’ve been told that spending time in the sun will improve your acne. This is also a myth.
If you have acne-prone skin, choose a product labeled oil-free or noncomedogenic to avoid clogging pores. You should also look for a physical or mineral sunscreen. This is ideal for sensitive skin because its also less likely to clog pores.
Rather than believe anything you hear, consult your dermatologist and get answers to your acne questions.
Founded in 1925, the CDA works toward the advancement of science and medicine related to skin care. Their website provides a host of invaluable resources for the general public, patients, and dermatologists. You’ll find comprehensive information on acne causes, the psychological effects of acne, acne myths, and more.
The AARS aims to increase awareness of two common dermatological conditions, as well as support for clinical research and improved care among those living with acne and rosacea, a skin condition that causes redness and bumps. Visit the site to read industry news or find acne clinical trials near you. You can also make a donation to support the organizations work.
Wash Your Pillowcase On The Regular
If youre spending a small fortune on skincare products each month, you could be throwing money down the drain if youre not washing your pillowcase often enough.
You spend up to one-third of your life sleeping, so all of the dirt, sweat, hair products and makeup from your face seeps into your pillowespecially if you dont wash your face before bed.
Sleeping on a dirty pillowcase means that youre sleeping in all of that debris and it isnt doing your skin any favors.
In addition to washing your face before bed each night, you may want to wash or replace your pillowcase on a weekly basis. If you have oily skin, you may want to do it more often and make sure your pillowcase is clean and oil free.
Also Check: Does Dry Skin Cause Acne
Don’t Irritate Your Acne With Toothpaste Or Rubbing Alcohol
Sure, weve all heard that toothpaste or rubbing alcohol can help dry out a zit, but many DIY treatments aren’t solutions for how to treat acne. In fact, applying toothpaste or rubbing alcohol are more likely to cause irritation and dryness than treat the actual pimple. Instead, stick with topical over-the-counter and prescription spot treatments with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide that are specially made to target pimples, says Dr. Hammerman. For an all-natural spot treatment, she suggests dabbing tea tree oil on the area a few times a day with a cotton ball.
Experiment With Acne Medications
You’ve probably seen the Proactiv clear skin system advertised on television at some point over the last several years, but does it work? Proactiv is one of the better acne remedies out there for mild cases of inflammatory and noninflammatory acne, hormonal acne and adult acne. The starter kit comes with a gentle benzoyl peroxide exfoliating cleanser, a glycolic acid pore cleanser, and a benzoyl peroxide repairing treatment.
Proactiv 3-step acne treatment system, from $33 for a 30-day starter kit,
Another option is Clean & Clear’s Continuous Control Acne Cleanser, a 10 percent benzoyl peroxide facial cleanser, is one of the best face washes designed for everyday cleansing if you have acne. Add an oil-free facial sunscreen as well.
Clean & Clear Continuous Control acne facial cleanser, from $9, Target.com
You can also try e.l.f. brand Acne Fighting Foundation, which contains ingredients to both fight acne and soothe irritated skin, including salicylic acid, witch hazel, camphor, tea tree extract and aloe. This is one of the best acne products on the market for not only “covering up” acne, but continuing to treat it, as well.
e.l.f Cosmetics Acne Fighting foundation, from $6,
Our final suggestion is Effaclar Duo includes micronized benzoyl peroxide that gets at acne deep within the skin. The non-drying, oil-free product is good for moderate acne.
La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo duel action acne treatment cream, from $20,
Read Also: Is Collagen Good For Acne
Things To Try When Acne Wont Clear
The following tips from dermatologists can help you get started.
1. Give an acne treatment at least 4 weeks to work.Using a new acne product every few days may seem useful, but that approach can worsen acne. Acne treatment needs time to work. Using a different product every few days can also irritate your skin, causing new breakouts.
If a treatment works for you, you should notice some improvement in 4 to 6 weeks. It can take two to three months or longer to see clearing.
If you notice improvement, keep using the treatment. Even when you see clearing, you’ll want to keep using the acne treatment. This helps to prevent new breakouts.
When to see a dermatologist about acne?
Seeing a dermatologist can help prevent acne from worsening. You can benefit from seeing a dermatologist when acne:
Causes acne cysts and nodules
Hasnt cleared with treatment you can buy without a prescription
Makes you feel uncomfortable, and you want clearer skin
2. Attack the different causes of acne.If you dont see improvement after 4 to 6 weeks, add a second acne product to your treatment plan.
This approach can help attack the different causes of acne. Bacteria, clogged pores, oil, and inflammation can all cause acne.
Benzoyl peroxide decreases P. acnes bacteria
Retinoids, such as adapalene gel, unclog pores and reduce oiliness
Salicylic acid eases inflammation and unclogs pores
Won’t clog pores
What Causes Adult Acne
Adult acne, or post-adolescent acne, is acne that occurs after age 25. For the most part, the same factors that cause acne in adolescents are at play in adult acne. The four factors that directly contribute to acne are: excess oil production, pores becoming clogged by “sticky” skin cells, bacteria, and inflammation.
There are also some indirect factors that influence the aforementioned direct factors, including
- hormones, stress, and the menstrual cycle in women, all of which can influence oil production
- hair products, skin care products, and makeup, which can clog pores
- diet, which can influence inflammation throughout the body.
Some medications, including corticosteroids, anabolic steroids, and lithium, can also cause acne.
Many skin disorders, including acne, can be a window into a systemic condition. For example, hair loss, excess hair growth, irregular menstrual cycles, or rapid weight gain or loss in addition to acne, or rapid onset of acne with no prior history of acne, can all be red flags of an underlying disease, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome, or other endocrine disorders. Tell your doctor if you are experiencing additional symptoms he or she may recommend further evaluation.
Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Back Acne
Q How Can You Heal Pimples
A. If you get an acne outbreak once in a while, use a retinoid cream or an antibiotic cream which will help dry the pimples. Anti-bacterial creams like adapalene gel also show immediate results. Certain topical applications can make your skin photosensitive. So make sure you use sunscreen when youre using a retinoid cream. Use a face wash with glycolic acid or salicylic acid which will help to keep the skin well balanced, reduce hyperpigmentation and give you clear skin. If you find that the acne leaves behind scars as it is drying, consult a dermatologist. With correct treatment, the acne can be cleared and cured without leaving behind pitted scars.
Amanda Mitchell Senior Beauty Writer & Stories Creator
Skin Type: Normal/dry on face, dry on my body
How I Break Out: I uh, have never had a pimple , and I likely get less than 5 zits a year, in total. Yes, Im annoying. However, Im not free from acne! I get a good amount of back acne, and I have a form of acne inversa, aka Hidradenitis suppurativa, which a chronic inflammatory type of acne that happens in places where skin rubs together, like your armpits, and its, for lack of a better word, acne that develops under the skin. That happens mostly during extremely warm weather and/or moments of stress.
Top Acne Picks:
Topicals Faded Mist: Dealing with hidradenitis suppurativa, plus having melanated skin means that I am prone to scars, specifically scars in places you really dont want them internal acne is not fun, yall! But I love this mist because it allows me to get in every nook and cranny of my body, while treating my acne problems and helping the already existing scars fade away. Id swim in this stuff, if I could.
Recommended Reading: Does The Birth Control Pill Help Acne
Key Skin Care Tips To Protect Your Face From Irritation
Wash your face first: Dirt and oil on your skin will get trapped under the mask and can cause breakouts. Always put your mask on over a clean face. Choose a gentle cleanser that is fragrance free and oil free. Rinse with lukewarm water, not hot. Avoid scrubbing or rubbing the skin.
Apply a good moisturizer: Moisturizer keeps your skin hydrated and acts like a barrier to friction from your mask. Choose one that is fragrance free and oil free. Look for protective ingredients like ceramide and hyaluronic acid. Avoid heavy products that can clog your skin and make you break out.
Skip the makeup: Dont wear makeup underneath your mask. Masks act like occlusive barriers, which means trapped makeup can lead to clogged pores and breakouts. Also, residue from makeup can soil your mask fabric.
Wear only clean masks: Dirt and oil from your skin plus bacteria from your mouth and nose will end up on your cloth mask. Keep a rotation of masks on hand and wash them after every use.
Stick to fragrance free laundry detergent: When washing your mask, choose a fragrance free laundry detergent and lay flat to dry. Fragrance within fabric can be an irritant, so you definitely dont want it on your face.
Dont reuse surgical masks: Surgical masks are not meant to be reused because there is no good way to clean them. The CDC does not recommend surgical masks for the public. But if you choose to use one, dont use the same one twice.
What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider About Acne
- What type of acne do I have?
- How severe is my acne?
- Do I need to see a dermatologist?
- Do I need a referral?
- What over-the-counter medications do you recommend?
- What prescription medications do you recommend?
A note from Cleveland Clinic:
Acne is the most common of all skin conditions and can have a profound psychosocial impact.
Read Also: Does Salicylic Acid Help With Acne
You Don’t Stick Long Enough To A Regimen
Inflamed skin takes time to calm down and heal. Give yourself at least 6 weeks to 2 months of a regimen before you give up and try something else. And make sure you apply treatment to the entire affected area. If you spot treat, the bacteria could grow elsewhere.
Some people go cold turkey once the worst of their breakouts are over only to find their acne flares up again. Once your skin clears up, it’s important to keep up the regimen for a time and then slowly taper off.
Tea Tree Oil For Acne Treatment
Some people swear by the disinfecting power of tea tree oil for acne treatment. It can be applied either full strength or slightly diluted with water directly onto pimples. Use a small amount on a clean cotton swab or cotton pad and dab on the affected areas immediately after cleansing. Because tea tree oil can be drying, you might choose to use both tea tree oil and coconut oil for acne as part of your clear skin regimen.
Read Also: How To Clear Acne Blemishes
What Triggers Acne In Women
Many things can trigger acne in women:
- Hormone changes during puberty. During puberty, girls have an increase in male sex hormones called androgens. This increase causes the glands to get larger and make more sebum.
- Hormone changes as an adult. The menstrual cycle is one of the most common acne triggers. Acne lesions tend to form a few days before the cycle begins and go away after the cycle is completed. Other hormone changes, such as pregnancy and menopause, improve acne in some women. But some women have worse acne during these times. Stopping use of birth control pills can play a role as well.
- Medicines. Certain medicines, such as those used to treat epilepsy and types of depression.
- Pressure or friction on the skin. Friction caused by bike helmets or backpacks can make acne worse.
- Family history. If other people in your family have acne, there is a greater chance you will have it.
Dont Over Examine Your Skin
Warning: Objects may be larger than they appear. Be careful with mirrorsespecially those over-magnified makeup mirrors.
No ones skin looks normal with this degree of magnification, Dr. Thompson said. These types of mirrors often lead people to spend more time picking, squeezing and damaging their skin.
Read Also: How To Remove Dark Acne Scars
Keep Your Skin Moisturized
When youre in the throes of an acne breakout, adding more moisture to your skin is probably the last thing on your mind. As youve already learned, however, dry skin over-activates your oil glands which leads to breakouts. The solution? Keeping your skin moisturized.
But whats the best way to keep your skin moisturized to prevent breakouts?
Your skin is a protective barrier made up of water, fat and other substances. When the skin itself loses moisture, the sebaceous glands produce more oil that sits on the surface, clogging your pores.
The best moisturizer is one that combines oil and water to keep your skin naturally hydrated and free from acne.
Start by choosing a moisturizer designed for your skin type. From there, make sure it doesnt contain any drying agents like alcohol. Moisturizers made with glycerin and hyaluronic acid help lock in moisture, keeping your skin supple all day long.
In addition to knowing which type of moisturizer to buy, you should also learn how and where to apply it. Depending on your skin type, you may need different moisturizers for different parts of your face.
If you have dry skin, you may need moisturizer on your cheeks and forehead while women with oily skin may only need it on the sides of the face.
What Is Acne Symptoms Causes Diagnosis Treatment And Prevention
Weve all been there: Its the morning of a big date or an important meeting. You look in the mirror, and what do you see? A breakout.
Whether it’s one pimple or a cluster of blemishes, acne is a common problem that affects people of all ages boys, girls, men, and women, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Acne, or acne vulgaris, occurs when glands in the skin produce and secrete too much of the skin’s natural oil, called sebum.
Sebum, along with dead skin cells, can clog pores, resulting in acne. And sometimes, bacteria called Cutibacterium acnesgets into pores, causing inflamed acne.
Also Check: What Works Best For Teenage Acne
Do Apply A Paste Made Of Crushed Aspirin
Aspirin contains salicylic acid, which is a top-shelf acne fighter by all accounts. Applying a paste made of aspirin immediately removes excess oil and dead skin. In other words, it helps to unclog and dry out your angry pores, while simultaneously reducing swelling and redness. Its one of the home remedies that dermatologists recommend, and it even helps reduce pain at the application site. To make the paste, crush an aspirin with a spoon and swirl it with a few drops of water. Then apply it directly to the pimple.
Do See A Dermatologist
Dont let acne keep you from putting your best face forward. If you or a family member is having concerns, challenges or problems with your skin, controlling acne or cystic lesions, schedule an appointment with a dermatologist.
Acne severity can be related to genetics while others may just have more challenges with acne, Dr. Thompson said. Whether youre a teenager or an adult suffering from acne, a dermatologist can provide additional ideas, tips or prescription treatments and can help devise a solid skincare regimen. Dermatologists are here to help.
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Don’t Overlook Amazing New Technology In The Drugstore Aisle
If saving babysitting money for a year still won’t make a dent in the funds you need to get a fancy laser treatment that will blast away acne scars, don’t be discouraged. Thanks to the geniuses behind drugstore brands like La Roche-Posay, there’s a new class of products that feature smart technology and better-than-ever ingredients to help treat dark marks and acne scarring at an affordable price. La-Roche Posays Pigmentclar line is unique in the way it combines exfoliating lipohydroxy acid , phe-resorcinol, and ferulic acid, which are both strong brightening ingredients, all together to form a topical product thats seriously effective,” says dermatologist Dr. Mona Gohara.