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Different types of acne

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In this article

Propionibacterium acne
Teenage acne
Adult acne
Rosacea acne
Vaginal acne
Pregnancy acne
Don't let your acne control your life

If you suffer from any type of acne, we fully understand. It can be stressful and impact severely on your life. We believe that everyone deserves the right skincare for their skin type and acne prone skin needs skincare that not only simply cleanses and moisturises, but fully supports and hydrates it too.

Acne isn’t just confined to teenage skin - adult acne and pregnancy acne can affect our skin in later life too, and acne doesn’t just always affect the skin on the face. It can affect the skin of the back, neck and chest, and even the vagina.

So here’s a look at some of the different types of acne and what can cause this often upsetting condition.

Propionibacterium acne

Propionibacterium acnes is a common bacterium that lives on human skin. It’s present on the skin of many of us and is often harmless and doesn’t always lead to acne.

But in those who’s skin produces excessive amounts of sebum (a waxy, oily substance naturally produced by the skin), P. acnes can take hold and ‘colonise’ the skin, leading to infected hair follicles and pores within the skin.

Comedones (blackheads which are open and on the surface of the skin, and whiteheads which are closed and often rupture below the skin) and pus-filled spots called pustules then begin to form. This is known as acne vulgaris and is one of the most common types of acne.

P. acnes can be treated with long-term antibiotics, but antibiotic resistant strains have developed, meaning that antibiotic use can be fruitless. The best course of action is often literally skin deep - appropriate skincare.

Teenage acne

Teenagers are the group most commonly associated with acne vulgaris. But that doesn’t make it any easier if you or your teenager are suffering. At a time in life when hormonal fluctuations mean developments and changes so rapid that your body, let along your emotions, just don’t feel like they belong to you, teenage acne is a cruel twist of fate.

Teenage acne is caused by these fluctuating hormones, specifically androgen hormones, which are present in both teenage boys and girls. Androgens increase during puberty, and flood the blood leading to all the changes puberty brings.

But they also make the oil glands in the skin increase in size, and therefore produce more oil, or sebum. Oily skin is more prone to acne, and blackheads, whiteheads and hard, pus-filled pimples, spots and cysts develop.

Most young people grow out of their teenage acne as they reach their 20s but during these tender years, the right skincare routine can help to tackle the cause of acne, and not just the symptoms.

Adult acne

Adult acne can be triggered by stress, taking the contraceptive pill, periods, pregnancy and the menopause. Some medications such as steroids and drugs that control epileptic seizures can also lead to the development of acne.

If you have adult acne, we completely understand how you feel. Our co-founder Eileen suffered with acne for over 15 years and lost all hope in ever having acne-free skin. Which is why she was so excited to help develop Sönd Skincare, a regime that takes a different approach to all the other skincare promising to give freedom from acne.

Rosacea acne

Rosacea is a condition that causes facial flushing and redness and the development of thin but visible blood vessels on the face. It can also cause spots called papules and pus-filled cysts called pustules on the face, in a condition called rosacea acne.

Antibiotic creams are often used to help treat rosacea acne, but they need to be used long-term. These creams can cause stinging, burning, itching and dryness. This means that some people prefer a more holistic approach to treatment. This includes avoiding any flare up triggers such as sun or wind burn, stress, spicy foods, hot drinks and alcohol and sticking to a gentle, more natural skincare regime that hydrates and balances the skin.

Vaginal acne

You may not think it, but the skin around the vagina is very sensitive, yet it’s often exposed to many different everyday things that can irritate it. Highly scented soaps, wipes, bubble baths, washing powders and fabric softeners can all lead to vaginal acne.

Sanitary towels and tampons can also irritate this delicate area too. These products are not naturally white and are often bleached to make them more ‘appealing’. These bleaches are very harsh on such sensitive skin.

Vaginal acne can be caused by regular shaving and using lubricants, spermicides and condoms too. Plus wearing underwear made from man-made fibres (rather than natural cotton) causing you to sweat more can lead to vaginal acne. As can urine leakage, vaginal discharge and semen if not washed away.

Pregnancy acne

Much in the same way as teenage acne develops as a result of constant variations in hormone levels, pregnancy acne can develop because of the hormone fluctuations experienced when expecting a baby. Pregnancy acne is most common in the first and second trimesters.

Hormones called androgens, mainly associated with male characteristics but also present in females, increase during pregnancy. It’s these hormones that are responsible for an increase in sebum production within the pores. Sebum is oily in nature, and excessive amounts can block these pores, allowing acne-causing bacteria to build up and lead to acne.

Some women also experience acne outbreaks during their period, again due to hormone levels rising and falling during the menstruation cycle. If this is you, you’re frustratingly also more likely to develop pregnancy acne. But the good news is, pregnancy acne should disappear once you’ve given birth and your hormones have settled back down to normal levels.

Don't let your acne control your life

Acne can impact on your self-confidence and your enjoyment of life. Whatever type of acne you have, we can help. Sönd Skincare is a range of alkalising products that help to balance the skin, meaning that the skin is less stressed and more able to naturally defend and hydrate itself.

Alkalising skincare products are the antithesis to regular skincare that are acidic and by their very nature can irritate sensitive or acne-prone skin. Read our article on alkalising skincare to find out more, and discover how it could be the answer to your skincare needs!

Hannah de Gruchy BSc(Hons)

About Author

Hannah de Gruchy is a freelancer writer who specialises in health and wellness. She has a keen interest in the biology of skin and loves using her words to help separate the real science of skincare from the pseudoscience of some skincare brands. Hannah has a degree in Human Biology and many years’ experience working in laboratories around London. Using this experience, Hannah enjoys turning complex science into interesting, engaging and easy to digest pieces to read. In her spare time, Hannah runs, practices yoga and loves cooking plant based foods.

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