The Different Types of Acne, Pt. 1

Here are the most common forms of acne and skin issues which we see at Clearly Basics. We provide steps on how to treat the acne as well as escalation steps as needed:

Acne Vulgaris

Vulgaris. Sounds scary, right? In reality, it is just the opposite. Vulgaris is the Latin word for “common;” so despite how terrifying it may sound, this type of acne is normal and easy to treat.

Acne Vulgaris is largely driven by an accumulation of dead skin cells inside the pore.  We see this most pronounced in people with combination skin: their breakouts usually occur on the dry patches of skin (not the oily areas where most would assume the breakouts would occur). The papules are small to regular sized (less than 5mm in diameter).

Solution Step 1: A simple bottle of Clear Out will do the trick for acne vulgaris.  This formulation is left on your skin where it has sufficient time for retinol + azelaic acid to get to work inside the pore. 98% of users who use the Clear Out see significant improvement after a single bottle.

Escalation Step 2: If breakouts persist after three months, continue with the Clear Out and apply benzoyl peroxide onto the general areas where you continue to see breakouts. Cut out harsh cleansers or acids which may be weakening your lipid barrier. Consider reducing your intake of dairy, refined carbs and sugars. Eat foods high in zinc such as almonds or walnuts.

Escalation Step 3: Consult your dermatologist regarding a prescription topical antibiotic or topical retinoid.


Hormonal Acne

Hormonal acne appears the week leading up to your period. It is typically found on the lower part of one’s face – the jawline, chin and cheeks. Scarring is a big issue as new pimples surface every month before the scar from the last wave has faded.

Particularly in those with dry/combination skin, hard lumps underneath the skin tend to build in their chin and cheeks.  These closed comedones are very large and stubborn clogs that take up to five months to flush out. If you have these, continue with Step 1 for five months.

Solution Step 1: Use Clear Out + Lighten Up to help to flatten existing pimples as well as fade the appearance of scars. If you get larger/deeper closed comedones on your chin or jaw, add  benzoyl peroxide to work alongside the Power Duo during the day.

Escalation Step 2:  If acne persists, drink 5 g of dried spearmint tea boiled in in 250 mL water for 5-10 min, twice a day. Consider reducing your intake of dairy, refined carbs and sugars. Eat foods high in zinc such as almonds or walnuts. Also consider augmenting with birth control.  In particular the ingredient cyproterone acetate in Diane or drospirenone in Yaz. 

Escalation Step 3: Consult your dermatologist regarding spironolactone as it does not interfere with the hormone levels but stops androgens from binding to your oil glands.  In the extreme case of hormonal acne, consider speaking to a endocrinologist regarding PCOS.  Symptoms of PCOS include irregular periods and hirsutism (male pattern hair growth) as well as severe acne.


Adult-Onset Acne

Technically defined as acne after the age of 24, adult-onset acne often rears its ugly head due to changes in lifestyle, environment and stress. There is a big overlap with hormonal acne since changes like the use of contraceptives, pregnancy and menopause often happen during adulthood.  Distinguish between the two based on the timing: Hormonal acne tends come the week leading up to your period whereas adult acne is more sporadic across the month.    

Solution Step 1: We find that people in this group use many skincare products. If your acne is persistent, simplify your night time routine to a gentle cleanser and use Clear Out + Lighten Up to flatten existing pimples as well as fade the appearance of scars.

As we age, oil production decreases and you will find that your skin becomes more sensitive and easily irritated. If that is the case, use the Protective Moisturizer to nourish and repair your skin.

Escalation Step 2: If acne persists after three months of using the Power Duo, augment by applying a benzoyl peroxide gel in the mornings to the general area where you are breaking out. Consider reducing your intake of dairy, refined carbs and sugars. Eat foods high in zinc such as almonds or walnuts.

Escalation Step 3: Consult your dermatologist regarding a prescription topical antibiotic or topical retinoid.


Closed Comedones

Commonly called blind pimples or under skin pimples, these stubborn clogs start as hard lumps underneath your skin and take up to five months to finally surface. When they surface, they often come as large cysts.

Closed comedones associated with hormonal acne usually occur on the cheeks, the chin and the back. Whereas those associated with diet usually occur inside the neck.

In each step, allot 5 months in order to see through a cycle. Resist the urge to pick at cysts since they can easily cause tissue damage.

Solution Step 1: Discontinue use of liquid foundation or long wear makeup as we often find that these products used by people who struggle with closed comedones.

If you get more than five closed comedones per month, skip to step 2.  Otherwise, use Clear Out + Lighten Up for five months in order to work out all of these stubborn clogs.  Augment by applying benzyol peroxide gel in the mornings. 

Be diligent about using Lighten Up after the cysts have flattened so that you can quickly fade away the red scar. Also, make sure to use sunblock when going outdoors. A red scar will collect melanin and turn brown when exposed to UV.  Once it has turned brown, the acne scar can last up to two years!

Escalation Step 2: Consult a dermatologist regarding oral medication.  You will need this type of strength if closed comedones continue to form after 5 months using the Clear Out.


For More Questions …

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Disclaimer:

Nothing on this article should be interpreted as personal medical advice. For medical related matters, please consult with your dermatologist.


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