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Treating a problematic skin...

The problem with treating an acne or problematic skin is that there are so many factors to take into account it can be hard to know where to start.

Firstly, let’s start by saying, that regardless of your age or the severity of the problem, nearly all acne conditions are mostly always caused by hormonal changes and fluctuations, especially in women. This means that eradicating the problem is extremely difficult without medical intervention, however, there are a number of things that can be done to help control and minimise its severity. Later I shall be sharing my top tips on dealing with spots.

Lets have a look first though at why spots develop in the first place. If you look at the picture below you shall see a diagram of a hair follicle with the sebaceous gland attached. The sebaceous glands are responsible for producing sebum, our bodies own moisturiser. If you do not produce much sebum, or if external factors dry your sebum reserves, you shall be left with dry, tight feeling skin. In the case of an acne sufferer, the body tends to over produce sebum. This overproduction then drains into the hair follicle, effectively filling it up. In many people the body has its own way of dealing with this, the hair within the follicle acts as a ‘wick’,drawing up the excess and depositing it on the surface of the skin. (Shiny T-Zone anyone?) However, in the case of acne sufferers, they very often have very fine, or no hair at all in the follicle, so the sebum remains, harbouring bacteria that eventually leads to infection.

This infected matter (pus!) is then expelled by the body, leading to a spot forming on the surface of the skin. This can become a vicious cycle though as the bacteria can now go on to infect healthy tissue around it. It is no coincidence that spots tend to form in ‘clusters’ or that some people only suffer from spots in once particular area.

So what can we do to help break this cycle and prevent re-infection? Here are my top tips for dealing with a problematic skin:

  1. ALWAYS and I mean always, remove make up thoroughly at night. Face wipes are not good enough! You need a cleanser, facial wash or cleansing balm to thoroughly clean your skin. Most people wouldn’t dream of not washing their face in the morning, so why do so many think it is acceptable to leave their make up on, blocking pores and breeding bacteria for 8 hours at night?

  2. EXFOLIATE, EXFOLIATE, EXFOLIATE! I have written this 3 times as, if you have an oily skin, that is how often you should be doing it, every week. I cannot stress enough the effect that exfoliation has on a problematic skin. Micro Exfoliant from Monu is excellent, as it provides a mechanical and biological action. Taking exfoliation to the next level, MONU+ RESURFACE & PEEL facial treatment is excellent for acne skins, with noticeably smoother feeling skin after just 1 treatment, and dramatic improvements after a course of treatment.

  3. Make small lifestyle changes that can make a big difference. Change your pillowcase every other night, they are breeding grounds for bacteria. Keep your hair back off your face as much as possible. Drink plenty of water, it really does help and don’t worry too much about chocolate, it doesn’t really give you spots! Hallelujah!

  4. Squeezing can be good! I know, it’s shocking! For most of our lives we are told not to squeeze our spots, but this isn’t always beneficial. As I previously mentioned, when the infected pus sits within the upper layers of our epidermis, it can spread infection to healthy tissue. That is why sometimes physically removing it can be advantageous. However, don’t be tempted to try this yourself, so often people get the squeezing process (called extraction in the trade) wrong that it can lead to further problems, including reinfection, or worse infection, damage to live tissue, scabbing and even scaring. Book into the professionals for extraction treatment and you’ll be able to enjoy a relaxing facial at the same time!

I hope you have found this helpful, for further advise you can contact us via our facebook page, email or by calling the salon on 01242 678869.

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