What types of acne should I pop? or should not pop? Can you guys recognize the differences with those acnes?
We talked about comedonal acnes, which is non-inflammatory acnes in the last post. Excessively secreted sebum and too many layers of dead skin cells block the pores and create clumps of sebum inside the skin, which are referred to as a comedones. When comedones appear on the skin’s surface, they become comedonal (non-inflammatory) acne. Do you remember it?
In this post, we are going to take a look at the types of inflammatory acnes which is the worsen version of comedonal acne.
1. Popping Acne | Papules & Pustules
Everyone's skin harbors bacteria. But, since bacteria reside within the normal range, it does not cause problems. However, on acne-prone skin that generates a large amount of greasy sebum, these bacteria cause inflammation.
1) Papules | Early Stage of Inflammatory Acne
How does it cause inflammation? Papules are red, swollen acne, which are the early stages of acne, and they are the first step towards inflammation. Why do they get red and swollen? At the stage that comes before papules, that is, the stage of comedonal acne, dead skin cells build up, more and more, and as a result, oxygen is blocked from flowing through the pores. Bacteria flourish in oxygen-poor environments. The bacteria take this chance and begin to cause inflammation little by little. This is the stage of papules!
2) Pustules | Worsen from papule
And when we have red acne, we wait for the right time to pop it–when its head turns yellow. This yellow type of acne is called pustules, but how exactly does red acne get ripe and turn yellow? The enormously propagated bacteria and accumulated piles of comedones irritate the surrounding cells, causing some of the dead skin cells to fall off. To make matters worse, even external bacteria from outside invade the skin, and then finally white blood cells say, “That’s the last straw,” and gather around to begin the fierce fight. In this battle, the inflammation occurs while dead bacteria and white blood cells come up and appear yellow. And this acne here is called pustules.
2. Popping Acne | Treatment & Prevent
First of all, for fundamental prevention, you need to stop non-inflammatory acne from getting inflamed. To do so, you should use products that contain anti-inflammatory and antiseptic ingredients. We recommend using skincare products or spot treatments that contain benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid (BHA) since they help with anti-inflammation and disinfection. When you use these products, don’t forget to apply a moisturizing cream!
These antiseptic and anti-inflammatory ingredients a drawback, which is that they make the skin dry. So after using products containing these ingredients, you must apply a moisturizing cream at all costs at the final step of skincare, no matter what! Don’t forget to apply plenty a moisturizing cream!
Secondly, if the cause of acne is clogged pores, you need to open up the clogged pores and bring them back to a normal state, right? Vitamin A-derivatives are very effective in opening pores in a normal way. Vitamin A-derivatives include retinoids, retinol, azelaic acid, and tretinoin. Instead of cleansing your face with just water in the morning, wash your face thoroughly with a cleanser both in the morning and the evening, and then apply a skincare product containing vitamin A-derivatives. In reverse, you should avoid skincare products that contain oil or pore-clogging ingredients. The ingredients that clog pores and cause skin problems are called comedogenic. Comedogenics have five levels, from 0 to 5. The higher the number, the more likely it is to clog pores. So in order to prevent acne, avoid using ingredients with a high comedogenic index. And stay away from oil-based skincare products, since oil-containing creams are very likely to clog pores!!
Lastly, you need to exfoliate regularly. AHA, a chemical exfoliating ingredient, prevents acne by gently removing dead skin cells without irritating the skin and by cleansing the pore lids that have closed due to dead skin cells. But never ever use a scrub with microbeads for exfoliation. When you already have inflammatory acne, using a physical exfoliator can provoke your skin even more, and consequently, you can push inflammation and bacteria even further underneath the skin.
3. Hide Acne | Nodules and Cystics
These two types of acne have similar causes and symptoms. If the large comedone hardens and becomes infected with p.acne (bacteria) that always reside in pores, inflammation occurs, and then it becomes inflammatory acne. Depending on how much it becomes inflamed, it gets worse and develops into resistant acne. As for resistant acne, there’s a small clump inside the skin that is accompanied by fever and pain, and you can’t actually pop it! And most importantly, it scars! This acne can lead to scars that cannot be healed, so don't touch it and sit tight until it subsides or get it treated by a dermatologist.
Nodular acne causes fever, pain, and swelling as a flush of blood gathers around after the walls of hair follicle rupture. When you touch it, it feels like a hard lump, and it’s not that painful on the surface but there’s definite pain that comes from somewhere deep inside the skin. It looks like papules, which are red acne, because your skin also gets red with nodular acne, but its diameter is 5-10 mm larger or deeper. This type of acne rarely subsides by itself, and it lasts for a long time!
It has the same symptoms as I mentioned earlier, but it's a version of acne that has developed even further from nodular acne. Inflammation occurs deep inside the skin, in the dermal and subcutaneous layers, so it appears black and red and is even bigger than the common pustules. Extraction is extremely difficult because it has already penetrated deep into the skin, hardened from inside, creating pus and causing inflammation at the same time.
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