There isn’t a person around that hasn’t been affected by these blemishes and if they say they haven’t they are either lying or incredibly blessed.
This skin condition is said to affect up to 90% of young adults and over 50% of these will suffer with spots after the age of 25 too.
It may not be you who is suffering but you may have concerns for your children especially if they are finding it difficult to treat their outbreaks. They could get caught in a cycle if spots were first brought on by stress and worry.
There are many treatments available over the counter which can help reduce the appearance of individual spots, but for those who suffer with acne or pustules, more intensive treatment is necessary.
What causes spots?
Your skin sheds continuously and at times these dead skin cells can get ‘stuck’ to sebum inside the gland and create a blocked pore.
Once the pore is blocked, more sebum gets trapped in the pore which is susceptible to infection from various bacteria. This results in swelling and inflammation.
The severity of spots can be affected by many things such as hormones, oil glands, genetics, cleanliness and lifestyle.
There is a known link between cigarette smoking and an increase in visible spots but it is unclear how diet may affect the occurrence of spots.
Picking or scratching the affected area really can make it worse. It spreads the trapped bacteria to other areas and can lead to scarring.
What about shaving spots?
Similarly, everyone who shaves will be prone to developing spots in that area soon after shaving. Many will very rarely get the smooth result they are after and receive persistent irritation.
The true name of this skin condition is Pseudofolliculitis barbae. It is most common for men who are from African, Caribbean and Mediterranean backgrounds due to the nature of their hair.
Shaving spots and PB are formed when the hair is cut back to the skin and begins to curl in the follicle and not exit the skin. This allows for a build up of fluid causing irritation. Alternatively, it can be caused when the hair renters the skin which is more common when shaving against the grain.
Razor bumps can be unsightly and for many it will be a persistent if shaving continues.
What are the treatments available?
The first step is always cleanliness; the affected area should be washed twice a day and followed by a light moisturiser.
For those who have a mild affliction, treatments can be bought in almost any supermarket or drug store.
For persistent acne, more permanent solutions are needed, such as laser and light therapy.
Ellipse IPL therapy uses light to reduce the sebaceous glands rate of production, effectively reducing sebum and oil on the skin. This treatment can be specialised to treat darker skin tones making it an effective treatment for shaving spots and PB.
Blue light therapy targets the bacteria which causes inflammation and kills it. Results can be seen after the first session.
Chemical peels are also ideal for reducing the scaring that has come from spots and acne. If you are a survivor of acne and have the scars to prove it, we can provide treatments that will reduce the visibility of these marks so you can have the complexion you’ve been wanting for years.
Luxe Private Clinic, Clinical Director
Mr R . Thaxter - Luxe Private Clinic
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