ACNE-KNOWLEDGE: The Skin Condition You Thought You Knew

Acne is not life threatening, yet acne-sufferers often face great social and psychological implications of this common yet often chronic inflammatory skin condition. Those with acne are more susceptible to anxiety, depression and other mood disorders, according to research from the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, ‘Psychodermatology of Acne’.

The findings of this research conclude that finding an effective solution for acne is crucial for improving the self-esteem and psychological well-being of its sufferers.

But how do we go about finding effective solutions for what appears to be a naturally-occurring inflammatory reaction caused by the blockage of the pilosebaceous units of our body (sebaceous glands)?

Much has been written about the causes and solutions of acne, from bad hygiene habits to hormonal activity to humid climates; from maintaining a multi-step skincare routine of expensive products to the restriction of specific dietary components to monthly facials—during which pimples are squeezed and expunged.

Depending on who you ask, the answer to ‘how to get rid of acne’ will differ and the proposed solutions may or may not work for you.

And if they do work the first time, they might not the second time and that might leave you wondering why.

The ‘Psychodermatology of Acne’ suggests that the ineffectiveness of common fixes for acne is due to miseducation, but we propose that it could also be due to the lack of proper education in the different causes of acne, its variations and manifestations, that prompt us to misdiagnose our own acne conditions and thus resort to apparently logical but ultimately temporary (and superficial) solutions.

When we have a bad cough, we take cough mixture. But when that doesn’t get rid of it, we go straight to the doctor to identify the type of cough, its underlying causes and get prescribed medication to resolve the problem.

But because we often see acne as a minor irritant akin to a mosquito bite, we don’t consider it a ‘real’ medical condition and thus, we self-medicate or turn to non-medical experts for advice on how to resolve our inflammatory skin condition.
The truth is, acne is a medical condition. It is commonly referred to by dermatologists and skin experts by its medical term ‘acne vulgaris’. There are many versions of acne vulgaris, a multitude of causes for it and a myriad of ways to address each specific case.

If this sounds like an overwhelming load of information to learn and remember just to deal with acne, don’t worry—there are doctors and derma-experts who specialise in acne vulgaris and know these things inside out. The important thing to remember is that you should seek the right source (a medical one) in order to find an effective solution to your case of acne vulgaris.

However, it is also important to personally understand the basic causes of acne and the inner workings of the various solutions available for dealing with acne. 

We believe that understanding how acne comes about and how your skin reacts to various treatments can empower you to make better treatment decisions the next time you suffer an acne outbreak.

It will also help you to care for your skin—which is your biggest organ—in the long term and ensure it stays healthy for a lifetime!

We have broken down all you need to know about acne into bite-sized chunks so come back to this page frequently to learn more about the causes and solutions to acne.

You can also arrange a consultation with Dr Elias Tam at EHA to discuss your specific acne concerns and find the appropriate solution for your skin problems!

Upcoming topics:

1. Causes and Types of Acne

2. Acne Prevention

3. Effects of Oral Medication

4. Effects of Topical Medication

5. Effects of Aesthetic Options

6. Your Skin After Acne

7. Acne Scarring: Causes & Prevention

8. Treatment for Acne Scarring

9. Caring for Acne-Prone Skin

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