When Should You Seek the Help of a Professional for Your Acne?
It’s thought that globally over 80% of people under the age of 30 suffer from breakouts. Whilst the issue isn’t fully understood, the contributing factors can include hormones, stress, genetics, diet, and even some medications.
Over time, regular breakouts can turn into persistent acne if not tackled correctly, so it’s vital to take steps to eliminate skin inflammation and occasionally, this may involve getting the professionals involved.
What is happening within the skin when you breakout?
Acne occurs when excess oil and dead skin cells build up in your pores and attract C. acnes bacteria. In short, when the follicle becomes filled with sebum, dead cells, and bacteria, it begins to swell, producing inflammatory chemicals that send your immune system into overdrive.
A surge of white blood cells rushes to fight these bacteria, leading to more inflammation. Redness and swelling may occur, and pus is created. A breakout has now formed on the surface.
What are the different types of acne?
As for these breakouts, they come in different forms that are helpful to be able to distinguish. First, whiteheads – the shiny white protrusions that are all too easy to pop and aren’t surrounded by red, inflamed skin. They occur when excess oil and dead skin cells get trapped in your pores and are much easier to control than other forms of acne.
The same applies to blackheads, which are very similar to whiteheads except they’re open, and their contents have oxidised and turned black.
Papules are another form of mild acne. They appear as small, raised red bumps, and they make the skin look and feel bumpy. Then you’ve got pustules, which are sore red bumps with a white head on the top.
Nodules are large, solid, red lumps that are often painful and indicate a severe clogging deeper down in the dermis. Never attempt to extract these yourself, as this may lead to scarring. Cysts are the final type of acne – they are just as deep and painful as nodules but are swollen and filled with pus.
As frustrating as acne may be, the most important thing to note is that the best way to tackle them isn’t by squeezing them, scrubbing them or consistently exposing them to high-strength skin acids.
That’s why any form of acne treatment – whether your breakouts are mild enough to treat yourself at home or require an expert’s advice – is greatly helped by a high-quality targeted skincare routine and better lifestyle choices.
When to see a specialist
As a general rule, you should seek professional help when you feel that a situation has gotten out of your control. You may have tried multiple over the counter treatments or even been on prescription medication but are still battling the breakouts frequently.
Here are some helpful guidelines that will help you to decide whether seeking professional advice is necessary:
You may have also noticed that your acne has become severe enough that it’s leaving scars. Ignoring it will only lead to further scarring, which will remain long after the initial breakout has gone. At the first sign of scarring, contact a professional for advice.
It’s impacting your life
Acne may also leave you feeling self-conscious, impacting your day-to-day life. If this is the case, seeking the help of a caring professional who will advise you on the best products and treatments will help you feel much happier about your skin much sooner.
Your acne is spreading
If you’re noticing that your acne is spreading to other parts of your body, such as your back or chest, you should seek the advice of a professional who can assist you in getting to the root of the problem to minimise these breakouts.
It’s developed suddenly
Has your acne appeared seemingly out of nowhere? Usually, acne progresses slowly, so a sudden appearance of it in force may indicate that professional intervention is required.
Painful acne is often a sign of infection. If you’re struggling with painful bumps because of your acne, seeking expert advice will help you determine the best route to minimise the infection and relieve your discomfort.
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Disclaimer: Please be aware that results and benefits may vary from patient to patient taking into consideration factors such as age, lifestyle and medical history.