Like it or not, everybody has blemishes. Some people hide their blemishes under clothing—scarves, hats, long-sleeved tees, and trousers. Others try to conceal the marks by slathering on makeup. Wouldn’t it be nice to get rid of them altogether?
What are blemishes?
Any mark on the skin is a blemish. Some blemishes are permanent, like birthmarks and certain types of skin discolouration. Some blemishes fade over time, such as skin lesions resulting from illnesses like chickenpox, eczema, and cold sores. Still others, such as acne blemishes and ingrown hairs, tend to come and go.
Most blemishes are not harmful, but they can sap your confidence. This is why people are often eager to eliminate those marks. Birthmarks, hyperpigmentation, and deep skin lesions are all blemishes that require a doctor’s attention. If your problem is mild or moderate acne, however, consistent home treatment should yield good results.
Types of acne blemishes
Acne breakouts occur when your skin produces too much oil. Genetics, hormonal fluctuations, and stress are common triggers.
Keep in mind that acne can be of different kinds. Before embarking on blemish treatment for your acne, make sure to assess the type of acne and its level of severity. Here’s a quick guide!
1. Blackheads are tiny dark spots that look like dirt specks on the skin’s surface. Don’t try to scrub them out though, for that could worsen your acne. A blackhead is not dirt, just oil and dead skin cells clogging an open pore.
2. Whiteheads are white or skin-coloured zits. They form when oil and dead skin cells block pores and the pores close up.
3. Papules are small, red, inflamed bumps. They appear when bacteria enter clogged pores. Sometimes multiple papules will appear close together, which may leave your skin feeling rough.
4. Pustules are red, inflamed bumps that contain pus. They occur when acne bacteria infect the skin. Pustules typically have a white or yellow head.
5. Nodules are large, hard, painful bumps that form deep below the skin. They show up when acne-causing bacteria infect clogged skin pores.
6. Cysts are the most severe form of acne. They form when the lining of a clogged pore ruptures, thus allowing the accumulated oil and bacteria to spread to the nearby pores. Cysts are large, inflamed, fluid-filled blemishes that are very painful.
Blackheads and whiteheads are the mildest forms of acne, while papules and pustules are of moderate severity. Nodules and cysts are the most severe forms of acne and may need a doctor’s intervention. Act quickly if you spot a nodule or cyst forming, for they could lead to permanent scars.
Treating acne blemishes
The severity of your acne will determine the ultimate course of treatment. However, the starting point is the same for everyone.
1. Cleanse, tone, and moisturise: A super-simple skincare routine can do wonders for your acne-prone skin.
- Ditch the harsh bath soap for it strips the skin of essential oils. Replace the soap with a mild cleanser for your skin type and use it twice a day—once in the morning and once at night.
- Chase the cleanser with a good toner. The toner eliminates any accumulated residue, clarifies pores, and cools the skin.
- Conclude the routine with a light moisturiser to hydrate and protect the skin. If your regular moisturiser leaves the skin feeling sticky, swap it out with a gel or lotion for oily skin.
2. Work in a topical cream: Sometimes your skin needs an extra boost to fight off acne. A specially formulated product like Clearica’s Anti-Acne Cream could shore up your skin’s defence against acne-causing bacteria. Massage in the cream after your night-time cleansing-and-toning routine.
3. Remember to exfoliate: A good exfoliating scrub once a week will slough off dead skin cells and reveal fresh, glowing skin. Scrubs are also useful for releasing ingrown hairs that are trapped beneath the skin.
While you are at it, exercise some precautions:
- Don’t step out in the sun without sunscreen.
- Don’t pop or squeeze pimples (that could lead to scars and more blemishes).
- Change your pillowcases frequently.
- Watch for acne triggers like sweat, cosmetics, and stress.
Lose the blemishes, find your glow
Depending on the severity of your acne, it could take six to eight weeks of consistent care for the results to show. If your blemishes do not ease up after eight weeks, consult a dermatologist. You may need prescription medicines to clear up the zits.
Whatever you do, don’t give up on your twice-daily skincare regimen. Once you find an acne treatment routine that works for you, follow it consistently. The road to healthy, blemish-free skin is well within your reach.