It’s a big day, you wake up excited about crushing your goals! You scamper out of bed, rub your still tired eyes, and head over to the sink to wash up….but OH NO! What is up with the new glaring red zit that is staring right at you from the middle of your forehead??!! And what are those small patchy red blemishes near your chin?! Ugh! You are the unfortunate victim of an acne breakout!

What Is Acne?
Adult acne breakouts are no fun. The struggle is real. And they always seem to happen at the most inopportune time. (But wait, is there ever a good time for an acne breakout? …Um…No.). All acne (whether in your teenage years or adulthood) stems from the same underlying problems. And, as if it weren’t bad enough to have to deal with acne in any form, there are different types of acne. Blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, and deep painful cysts and nodules are all classified as acne and each type of acne requires a different treatment. Essentially, acne is the occurrence of inflamed or infected sebaceous glands in the skin that occur when pores and fine vellus hair follicles plug with oil and dead skin cells. As a skincare expert, it’s my job to determine which kind of acne my clients are dealing with and create a knowledge based program to combat and clear it up.

Whiteheads and blackheads are types of non-inflammatory acne. They are the least severe forms of acne but can still totally ruin perfect skin status by creating very small raised and filled bumps. Whiteheads are tiny, whitish or flesh-colored spots or bumps. They usually have a white circular center surrounded by a red halo, while blackheads are small black, or dark-colored, spots that may also appear as slightly raised bumps. The skin around a blackhead usually appears normal, while the center of the blackhead is darker than the surrounding area. But contrary to popular belief, the coloration is not a result of trapped dirt. Blackheads are simply whiteheads that have opened and widened and when the contents of a whitehead are exposed to air, they darken. You can read all about whiteheads and blackheads at one of my previous blogs here.

Pimples, nodules, and deep or painful cysts fall under the inflammatory acne category. They are more severe than non-inflammatory acne, and are more likely to cause complications, such as scarring or pitting. These blemishes will look inflamed, red, and/or swollen, and warm to the touch. The technical term for pimples is “pustules” – fitting since they are filled with white or yellowish pus. (I know, I know…quite the “eww” factor). And they are usually larger, tender bumps with a defined circular center and a pink or red base surrounding the raised bump.
The most severe form of acne are nodules. Nodules are hard, painful, inflamed lumps located deep within the skin. They have no visible center or head and typically no pink or red base. This type of acne develops when clogged pores damage tissues and cells deep beneath the skin’s surface and can cause skin complications such as dark spots or scarring if not treated by a professional.

And while there is so much research performed on acne and the underlying reasons why we get it, it’s root cause is pretty simple. According to New York City dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, M.D., “The main causes of acne are skin oil, acne-causing bacteria on the skin, sticky skin cells blocking your pores, and inflammation. Hormonal fluctuations, stress, and diet all likely play a role as well.”

Why Am I Breaking Out?
As a teen you might not have always washed your face every night, allowing dirt, grime, and sweaty buildup to collect on your skin and clog your pores. Maybe you were totally stressed out about mid-term exams, getting asked to the senior prom, or landing a good summer job. Now, as an adult, some of those same problems present themselves in other ways. Maybe your skin has become extra oily due to a new birth-control or other prescription med you have to take. Maybe you come home from a late night yoga class so wiped out from a long hectic day that you plop on the bed and pass out, not getting up to wash your face, or maybe you are just dealing with awful hormones that seem to wreak havoc at random times in our lives due to other stressors. Whatever the reason, the evidence of it all can present itself in serious breakouts. So while the instances for having problem skin may differ in adulthood from the teen years the aftermath is still the same.

The Tru Skin Rituals Solution
Bet you never thought you’d be so interested in learning about all the different types of acne right? It’s not exactly a topic you’d find yourself thinking about for longer than a second…unless you suffer from it. And if you do suffer from it, I’m here to help. I feel your pain and I know the frustration, insecurity, and embarrassment that dealing with adult acne can bring (or any acne for that matter). I’m here to listen to your questions and concerns and to help you through this phase by developing a customized skin care plan that will help to diminish the problem of acne. With a customized arsenal of skincare products for you, specialized treatments (like blue light therapy), and the knowledge to treat your various skin condition, I’ll develop a clear skin program designed to clear you right up!

Our facials, products, and treatment process are designed to work together to bring you quick and lasting results, plus I’ll share the ways that you can avoid future acne breakouts thru the use of the right high-quality skincare, a healthy diet and lifestyle, and a whole being approach that reminds you to take care of YOU. To book a treatment or virtual consult, please visit our booking page.

Jamie Ortiz of Tru Skin Rituals is a licensed esthetician, healthy skin advocate, age management strategist, and authority on corrective skin care.