One of the most Googled questions on every girl's phone is - how to get rid of acne. This is further proof that acne is a common skin concern, but it does not change the fact that pimples, breakouts and acne can be a traumatic experience on an individual level. Going to bed with flawless skin and waking up to acne is a nightmare all of us have experienced. There are many products, tricks and at-home treatments to get rid of acne, but how many of them actually work? Not many. Therefore we decided to consult cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Mrunal Shah Modi, Owner & Director - Shine Skin, Hair & Laser Clinic, Mumbai to tell us all about it.
- Why do we get acne?
- How to get rid of acne - Do's and Dont's
- Types of acne
- Ways to treat acne
- Home remedies to get rid of acne
- In-office treatments to get rid of acne
Why do we get acne?
The first question that pretty much every person has is why do we get acne? In order to learn about how to get rid of acne, it is important to first understand the reasons behind it. Therefore, that’s the first question we asked Dr. Modi, and here’s what she had to say:
“There are a lot of reasons we get acne, our skin is a reflection of our body, diet and environment.” Below are 10 of the most common reasons for acne.
1) Hyperactive sebaceous glands -
Sebum is a waxy, oily substance naturally produced by your body to keep your skin moisturized. However, in some people, these glands produce excess oil and this blocks the follicles along with dirt and impurities leading to acne.
2) Hormones -
Increased androgen levels in the body can make the oil glands go into overdrive, causing the skin to produce more sebum, leading to acne.
3) Irregular periods and PCOS -
Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome experience acne more than others because of the hormonal imbalance in their bodies.
4) Medicines -
A lot of medicines can also cause acne, hormonal tablets, medicines that contain lithium, steroids, androgens, etc. are all contributing factors to acne. Sometimes using the wrong face creams, especially those containing steroids cause steroidal acne.
5) Stress and lack of sleep -
Another factor that causes acne flare-up is stress and unhealthy sleeping habits. Both can wreak havoc in the normal functioning of the body.
6) Climate and environment -
Hot and humid weather is the perfect environment for acne-causing bacteria to thrive. Sweat, oil and impurities often lead to acne on the face as well as other parts of the body.
7) Menstruation -
A lot of women get an acne flare-up just a week prior to their menses, this again happens due to the hormonal fluctuations in the body. Heavy cosmetics -
8) Heavy cosmetics -
Heavy makeup and skincare products can block the pores and cause acne. Sharing makeup, not washing the makeup brushes, sleeping or exercising with makeup on can also lead to acne.
9) Dairy -
These days cows are treated with artificial hormones, these hormones may cause fluctuations in your hormones and thus cause acne.
10) Alcohol and smoking -
Smoking constricts the flow of oxygen in your cells, this causes a lot of skin problems including acne. Alcohol, on the other hand, increases heat in the body and leads to acne.
How to get rid of acne - Do's and Dont's
Follow these dos and don'ts by Dr. Mrunal Shah Modi to get rid of acne.
Types of acne
Not all acne are the same, and to learn how to get rid of acne, understanding the types is also important. Here’s what Dr. Modi has to say, “In medical terms, we divide acne into four major categories - papules, pustules, nodules and cysts.
Acne is divided into whiteheads and blackheads, mostly termed as open and closed comedones respectively.
Acne usually affects the face, but when it comes to the back, shoulders or chest, it is called truncal acne.
Depending on the severity of acne, it is classified as grade 1 acne and severe nodulocystic acne goes up to grade 4-5.”
Ways to treat acne
Acne treatment takes a while to show results, so anything that promises overnight improvement won’t actually work. While looking for ways on how to get rid of acne, there are two approaches that one can take - home remedies and in-office treatments.
Home remedies to get rid of acne
1. Aloe vera for acne:
A naturally soothing and calming ingredient, aloe vera accelerates the healing process of both acne and acne scars, thereby reducing inflammation and giving you flawless skin.
2. Tea tree oil for acne:
A lot of natural products developed for the treatment of acne contain tea tree oil as their main ingredient. So, if you are wondering how to get rid of acne, this might be the solution. It can be topically applied along with a carrier oil to heal acne. The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of tea tree oil fight acne-causing bacteria and reduce redness/inflammation.
3. Apple cider vinegar for acne:
ACV is slightly acidic in nature and fights many types of bacteria and viruses. It helps heal acne as well as the scar that is often left behind by the acne.
4. Honey and cinnamon mask for acne:
Brimming with antioxidants, both honey and cinnamon are effective in reducing acne. Since these ingredients also have the ability to fight bacteria, they offer quick relief from acne.
In-office treatments to get rid of acne
An effective and long-term method to treat acne is by opting for an in-office treatment at a certified dermatologist’s office. If you want to know how to remove acne, here are a few treatments recommended by Dr. Modi.
1. Mild acne:
Grade 1 acne is treated with salicylic acid and lactic acid cleanser. Night creams containing adapalene, clindamycin, benzoyl peroxide creams are advised.
For grade 2 acne, where there are mild pustules, sometimes oral antibiotics like doxycycline or azithromycin or minocycline are given in addition to the above creams and cleansers.
3. Chemical peels:
Fruit acid peels like glycolic peels, salicylic peels give good results. Cleanups are done after steaming the skin and all blackheads and whiteheads are removed.
Effective treatment for acne pigmentation and it gives good results. This treatment is also called skin polishing, where superficial damaged pigmented skin is removed using aluminum oxide crystals.
5. Severe nodulocystic acne:
Along with oral antibiotics, a vitamin A derivative like isotretinoin helps control oil production. Weekly chemical or fruit acid peels are done to reduce the acne. After the acne settles down scar treatment is started.