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Let’s Talk Skin: Acne and blackheads – causes, diagnosis and treatments

07-08-2019 | Posted in: Skin Treatments

Do you suffer with oily skin & breakouts, pimples, open pores, millia, whiteheads, or blackheads? 

Have you had enough of acne causing spots and oily skin, and sometimes skin that is hot or painful to touch? Do you feel that breakouts and oily skin make you self-conscious and moody? Do you wish you didn’t have to wear heavy cover up makeup products when you would prefer not to? If that is the case, then let me tell you that you are not alone! This may come as a surprise, as you might think that acne is something that only teenagers suffer from, but adult acne can affect up to 55% of us!  650 million people globally are affected by acne. 25% of men and 50% of women suffer from acne outbreaks at some point in their lives.

At Vie Aesthetics we offer a complete system for acne prone skin, that includes diagnosis,  treatment, and home protocols for maintenance and prevention. We also believe very strongly in educating our patients to address the widespread misinformation and myths about acne. With this blog we hope to shed some more light on issues around, and the treatment of, acne and oily skin in order to achieve clear, even, radiant, and healthy skin. 

Firstly though, let’s look at what acne is…

Mild to severe acne

Acne (acne vulgaris) is an inflammatory dermatosis of the skin that can come in a variety of stages from mild to severe (see info on the left) and presents with pimples on the face (99%), the back (60%) and the chest (15%). In severe forms of acne, the skin damage can be permanent and leads to hyper-pigmentation and presence of scars. Acne vulgaris is different from rosacea acne and erythematosa acne. Unlike acne vulgaris that appears mainly in teenagers and young adults between 12 and 30 years, rosacea acne occurs in adults between 30 and 50 years old, especially in women.

Teenage acne

Teenage acne usually starts in puberty, when our sebaceous glands start producing oil. Teenage acne tends to show up all over the face, and back, chest and shoulders. At Vie Aesthetics our teenage acne treatments and products aim at reducing the presence of bacteria and at drying up all that oil that causes the areas around nose and cheeks to shine.

Adult acne

Adult acne differs from teen acne. Adults who suffer from acne tend to have breakouts on their chin and around their mouths and jawlines. This is caused by slower cell turnover, which allows oil to build up and cause inflammation, cystic acne and pimples. Adult skin is more delicate than teenage skin and tends to dry quicker. This means that our adult acne treatments and products are gentler on the skin.

What causes acne?

Your oil producing glands (Sebaceous glands) are attached to your hair follicle, which are small holes in the skin that an individual hair grows out of. The Sebaceous glands lubricate the hair and the skin to stop it drying out. They do this by producing an oily substance called sebum. In acne, the glands begin to produce too much sebum; this the excess sebum mixes with dead skin cells and both substances form a plug in the follicle.

What triggers acne breakouts?

Acne breakouts have a number of contributing factors, some which are easier than others to avoid. There are many everyday habits which you may not even realise are helping to spread bacteria and irritate the skin triggering those unwanted blemishes. We take a closer look at the most common, and sometimes surprising habits which can lead to acne breakouts. Acne triggers include

  • Testosterone – Teenage acne is thought to be triggered by increased levels of a hormone called testosterone, which occurs during puberty and can cause the glands to produce much more sebum than the skin needs
  • Hereditary – Acne skin can run in families. According to a study, if your parents had acne, it’s likely that you will also develop it.
  • Periods & Pregnancy – More than 80% of cases of adult acne occur in women. It is thought that many cases are caused by the changes in hormone levels that many women have at certain times from their periods or during pregnancy.
  • Medication – certain medications, such as steroid medications, lithium (which is often used to treat depression and bipolar disorder) and some anti-epileptic drugs (used to treat epilepsy) can cause a flare-up of acne.
  • Smoking – is often a cause of acne found in older people.
  • Accessories – regularly wearing items such as a headband or backpack, which places pressure on a targeted area can sometimes be the cause of an acne flare-up.

Acne: Myth to fact

  • “Acne is caused by poor diet” – So far research has not found any foods that cause acne. Eating a health balanced diet is recommended because is good for your heart and health in general.
  • “Acne is caused by having dirty skin and poor hygiene”. – Most of the biological reactions that trigger acne occur beneath the skin, not on the surface. So, the cleanliness of your skin will have no effect on your acne.
  • “Squeezing blackheads, whiteheads and spots is the best way to get rid of Acne” – This could actually make symptoms worse and leave you with scarring.
  • “Sunbathing, sun beds and sunlamps help improve the symptoms of Acne”. – There is no conclusive evidence that prolonged exposure to sunlight or using sun beds or sunlamps can improve Acne.
  • “Acne is infectious” – You cannot pass Acne onto other people.

How do we diagnose acne?

Seeing visible excess oil production on the skin with or without whiteheads, blackheads, papules, pustules, nodular and cystic acne. There is a dependence of mild, moderate to severe Acne and oily cases. There are six main types of spots caused by acne skin:

  • blackheads – appear if the plugged follicle is open to the skin, creating small black or yellowish bumps that develop on the skin; they are not filled with dirt but are black because the inner lining of the hair follicle produces pigmentation
  • whiteheads – are caused if the plugged follicle is close to the surface of the skin, which then bulges outwards. They have a similar appearance to blackheads, but they can be firmer and will not empty when squeezed.

Furthermore, normally harmless bacteria that live on the skin can then contaminate and infect these plugged follicles forming:

  • papules – which are small red bumps that may feel tender or sore
  • pustules – which are similar to papules, but have a white tip in the centre that is caused by a build-up of pus
  • nodules – are large hard lumps that build up beneath the surface of the skin and can be painful
  • cysts – are the most severe type of spot caused by acne; they are large pus-filled lumps that look similar to boils and carry the greatest risk of causing permanent scarring
Vie Aesthetics medical skin care:

Apart form the visible signs of acne, we offer a comprehensive skin analysis consultation using our state-of-art skin analyser that gives us photographic imaging under the skin( bacteria, circulation, hydration, pigmentation etc).

Let's fix it! Treatments and products

At Vie Aesthetics, we offer a complete programme to treat and prevent acne with tailor made facials that including LED Facial courses, stimulator peel facial courses, Red carpet facials Mesotherapy the new revolutionary Mini Botox treatment for Acne, Laser treatments, the deeper ZO 3-step Peel, and the world-class home care products and protocols.

For more advice on managing your acne, ask our ZO Medical certified skin specialists, who can recommend the right Acne Solutions for you.

We offer a wide range of products designed to remove oil, normalise pore size, help smooth skin’s surface, and reduce inflammation and irritation, suited to treat all types of acne for women and men of all ages, from blackheads to acne. offers a wide range of products designed to remove oil, normalise pore size, help smooth skin’s surface, and reduce inflammation and irritation.

Tailored treatment plans and combination treatments

At Vie Aesthetics we will draw up an individualised treatment plan choosing form  a complete range of medical facial treatments and the ZO Medical protocols and products, which have been expertly formulated in order to treat clogged pores, blackheads, papules, pustules, and cysts.
These high performance products can also be used as a preventative treatment for acne and breakouts, to repair surface damage, tighten pores, and improve the overall tone and texture of the skin.

Sometimes, regardless of diligently sticking to your routine, pimples can still pop up. This could be due to hormones, medication or some other factor out of your control. So, below we expand on a skincare routine formulated by Dr Obagi for both acne prevention and maintenance, just in case you get that odd pesky breakout.

We offer a number of non-invasive advanced medical aesthetics procedures for improving the skin tone and appearance and to treat active acne, scars, skin discolouration and pigmentation. The main treatments are: Derma courses with medical skin product; Advanced Peels and Medical Facials; Laser; Mesotherapy;  PlexR® Soft Surgery, Micro-needling, and Platelet-Rich- Plasma (PRP) Therapy, Super Skin Rejuvenation (SSR) Laser and IPL treatment.

We offer a complete range of effective, medical-grade products, which have been expertly formulated in order to treat clogged pores, blackheads, papules, pustules, and cysts. These high performance products can also be used as a preventative treatment for acne and breakouts.

Targeting the causes and symptoms of acne, ZO Medical Acne products work to exfoliate dead skin cells, helping to repair surface damage, tighten pores, and improve the overall tone and texture of the skin.

All of our Medical Ageing products have been expertly developed using powerful, pharmaceutical ingredients, including glutathione, soy isoflavones, Aknebright, encapsulated salicylic acid, micronized benzoyl peroxide, glycerine, green tea extract, and pinebark extract.

Due to the powerful ingredients and prescription pharmaceuticals contained in ZO Medical Acne products, they are only available on a consultation basis, ensuring everyone receives the correct product for their skin type and skincare goals. An ally in treating teenage acne flareups is the Offects Sulfur Masque:

 

Vie Aesthetics Acne Prevention + Treatment Program

This simple regimen is for those who have started to experience increased oiliness, blackheads, and comedones. It controls oiliness by slowing sebum activity and breaking down surface sebum. It will also exfoliate dead skin cells helps to repair surface damage, decrease clogged pores and tighten them, to overall improve your skin’s texture.

Acne is a common skin concern for people of all ages.

We offer a complete range of effective, medical-grade products, which have been expertly formulated in order to treat clogged pores, blackheads, papules, pustules, and cysts. These high performance products can also be used as a preventative treatment for acne and breakouts.

Targeting the causes and symptoms of acne, ZO Medical Acne products work to exfoliate dead skin cells, helping to repair surface damage, tighten pores, and improve the overall tone and texture of the skin.

All of our Medical Ageing products have been expertly developed using powerful, pharmaceutical ingredients, including glutathione, soy isoflavones, Aknebright, encapsulated salicylic acid, micronized benzoyl peroxide, glycerine, green tea extract, and pinebark extract.

Due to the powerful ingredients and prescription pharmaceuticals contained in ZO Medical Acne products, they are only available on a consultation basis, ensuring everyone receives the correct product for their skin type and skincare goals.

If acne is a concern for you, then why not get in touch and speak to one of our skin specialists today? You can call us on 07899673578 or CONTACT US here. Alternatively, you can use the BOOK CONSULTATION button at the top-right of this page.

Kind regards
Vicky Grammatikopoulou
CEO, Vie Aesthetics

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Let’s Talk Skin: Acne and blackheads – causes, diagnosis and treatments
Let’s Talk Skin: Acne and blackheads – causes, diagnosis and treatments
Let’s Talk Skin: Acne and blackheads – causes, diagnosis and treatments
Let’s Talk Skin: Acne and blackheads – causes, diagnosis and treatments
Let’s Talk Skin: Acne and blackheads – causes, diagnosis and treatments
Let’s Talk Skin: Acne and blackheads – causes, diagnosis and treatments
Let’s Talk Skin: Acne and blackheads – causes, diagnosis and treatments
Let’s Talk Skin: Acne and blackheads – causes, diagnosis and treatments
Let’s Talk Skin: Acne and blackheads – causes, diagnosis and treatments
Let’s Talk Skin: Acne and blackheads – causes, diagnosis and treatments
Let’s Talk Skin: Acne and blackheads – causes, diagnosis and treatments
Let’s Talk Skin: Acne and blackheads – causes, diagnosis and treatments
Let’s Talk Skin: Acne and blackheads – causes, diagnosis and treatments
Let’s Talk Skin: Acne and blackheads – causes, diagnosis and treatments
Let’s Talk Skin: Acne and blackheads – causes, diagnosis and treatments
Let’s Talk Skin: Acne and blackheads – causes, diagnosis and treatments
Let’s Talk Skin: Acne and blackheads – causes, diagnosis and treatments