Every week we get questions from our readers about ways to treat acne. Unfortunately, one answer cannot cover all questions. There are several types of acne (ex: inflammatory acne, hormonal acne, comedone acne) and each is treated in different ways. To get rid of acne for good, you first need to find out what kind of acne you have in order to move on to step two, identifying products that treat your type of acne.
Below, I've posted a very simple questionnaire that will tell you exactly what type of acne you have and, depending on the result, the products you need.
Questionnaire WHAT TYPE OF ACNE DO YOU HAVE?
Do you have inflamed red pimples?
What kind of baskets do you have?
A. Red, swollen, painful lesions
B. Painful cysts under the skin
C. Blackheads/pimples with white point on top
What is the area where the pimples appear?
A. All over the face
B. Chin and jaw area
C. T-zone of the face
If most of the answers were A, then acne is inflammatory.
If most of the answers were B, then the acne is hormonal cystic.
If most of the answers were C, then the acne is comedone.
Also known as papulopustular acne, this should be treated topically with benzoyl peroxide based products. This ingredient kills bacteria effectively, but can be quite harsh on the skin and should therefore be used sparingly. For more sensitive skin types, choose products with tea tree oil, as its antimicrobial properties help fight acne and the bacteria that cause it.
Also, to soothe inflammation COSRX's ACNE PIMPLE MASTER PATCH are a great choice as they are essentially a 'pimple bandaid'. They help soothe the skin, speed up the healing process, and keep pimples covered so you can avoid secondary infections.
Hormonal cystic acne
NEVER try to pop a hormonal cyst because these cysts are deep under the skin. Nodules and cysts are the most severe forms of acne, which unfortunately usually lead to skin damage such as permanent scarring. A board-certified dermatologist can talk you through topical medications or even oral medications that may be effective. It is also extremely important to visit the dermatologist as soon as possible, because the sooner you treat the areas, the less scarring you will suffer.
For those with outstanding acne scars, brightening products like vitamin C and niacinamide are effective in treating them. If you have sensitive skin try using a reduced percentage of vitamin C, such as Dear, Klairs' FRESHLY JUICED VITAMIN DROP , which contains 5% vitamin C.
The best type of treatment for most types of acne is chemical exfoliation with AHAs and BHAs, this way you avoid the build-up of dead skin in your pores and help your skin regulate oil production. For comedonal acne, salicylic acid (or BHA) is especially recommended because it helps remove excess oil from the skin and exfoliate dead cells from the skin's surface.
COSRX's AHA/BHA CLARIFYING TREATMENT TONER is the ideal product for preventing whiteheads, blackheads and pimples. Composed of natural ingredients, it can be used daily for gentle skin exfoliation.
If you have any questions, leave a comment or try the free Zutter CONSULTANCY service!